State and Local Face Covering Mandates
(last updated Oct. 14, 2021)
As COVID-19 infections rise across the country due to the Delta variant, some states and a growing number of localities are acting to mandate face coverings in indoor public spaces. Numerous jurisdictions require face coverings in government-owned facilities and/or public schools, but see below for the list of known jurisdictions with face covering mandates extending to all indoor public spaces, including businesses. This list is compiled from media monitoring and intelligence from members and state associations. Please send any additions to Mike Green.
- Alaska - Anchorage
- Arkansas - Fayetteville
- California - Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Imperial County, Los Angeles County (including Long Beach and Pasadena), Marin County, Mono County, Palm Springs, Sacramento County, San Francisco County, San Luis Obispo County, San Mateo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County (now lifted as of 9/30) Sonoma County, Ventura County and Yolo County
- Colorado - Boulder County, Pitkin County
- Connecticut - Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk and Stamford
- Florida - Alachua County (Effective for 7 days and will expire 8/26/21, upon which the Board may vote to extend the Order. Florida Retail Federation reports that a bill passed last session - Senate Bill 2006 - gives the Governor the authority to invalidate a local government’s emergency order if it “restricts and individual’s rights or liberties”. )
- Georgia - Atlanta and Savannah (local governments in Georgia are only allowed to impose a mask mandate if the number of new COVID cases in their county rises above 100 per 100,000 people over the past 14 days.)
- Hawaii (statewide)
- Idaho - Bellevue, Blaine County, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley
- Illinois (statewide) - Chicago and Cook County
- Iowa - Iowa City (extended indefinitely)
- Kansas - Prairie Village
- Louisiana (statewide through 9/1)
- Maryland - Baltimore City, Charles County, Montgomery County and Prince George's County
Belmont, Boston (effective 8/27), Cambridge and Provincetown
- Missouri - Kansas City, Jackson County and St. Louis
- Nevada - there is a state issued mask mandate for counties with high COVID-19 transmission, currently including Carson, Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, Washoe and White Pine counties
- New Mexico (statewide)
- North Carolina - Blowing Rock, Boone, Buncombe County (includes Asheville), Cumberland County, Durham County/City, Cary, Fayetteville, Guilford County (effective 8/26), Hanover County, Knightdale, Mecklenburg County (includes Charlotte), New Hanover County, North Wilkesboro, Orange County, Scotland County, Wake County (includes Raleigh), Wilkesboro and Winston-Salem
- Ohio - Columbus, Dayton and Franklin
- Oregon (statewide) - Multnomah County
- Pennsylvania - Philadelphia
- South Carolina - Bishopville, Cayce, Clemson, Columbia, Forest Acres, Orangeburg, Richland County and West Columbia
- Texas - Dallas County, El Paso County (local Texas mandates are likely preempted by state law - see the below preemption section for details).
- Washington - Snohomish County
- West Virginia - Greenbrier County, Mercer County
- Wisconsin - Dane County (includes Madison) and Racine
The following states prohibit local mask mandates for private businesses either through legislation or executive order.
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- Tennessee (there is an executive order barring local mask orders in the 89 counties in which public health policies are directed by the state. The six counties with independent health departments — Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby and Sullivan — have all lifted local face-covering orders.)
*The state law barring local mask mandates has been blocked by a trial court for violating Arkansas' state Constitution.
**The County of Dallas, Texas was granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in its lawsuit against Governor Abbott, regarding the Governor’s recent executive order banning mask orders anywhere in the state. As a result of the TRO being granted, Dallas County will have the ability to order residents wear masks indoors for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. UPDATE 8/30/2021: State Court Judge Tanya Parker ruled with a temporary injunction that the Mask Mandate order issued by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is valid. Thus retailers in Dallas County must have a health and safety policy which must include masks are mandatory for all employees and customers while inside the store.
Trade Association Letter to CDC, HHS and OSHA: Mask Enforcement Should Not be on Business
FMI has joined with other national trade associations in asking heads of CDC, HHS and OSHA to prioritize the safety of employees and clarify that businesses should not be the enforcers of mask wearing. With the proliferation of the Delta COVID variant, we expect more local and state governments to pass mask wearing policies and ask that the burden of enforcement should not be placed on businesses and their employees. Read the letter here.
FMI Memorandum on Requiring Masks In-Store
Many state and local face covering orders differ in how they approach enforcement, exceptions, etc. causing some confusion. Although it is important to understand the jurisdiction applicable to your store, we also wanted to prepare a resource to help remind members of how these interact with Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. As such, we have worked with Ogletree Deakins to prepare the linked memorandum as a reference for you. Please let us know if you have questions, or if there are aspects of the mask issue you would like us to examine further.
Guidance on Face Shields
Both OSHA and the CDC recommend that all workers wear a cloth face mask for source control. To best protect public health, and to follow the scientific advice, we recommend following this guidance. Understandably, both CDC and OSHA have noted exceptions to the cloth face covering recommendation - such as the use of face shields in certain instances. However, it is important to understand that these exceptions are not desirable for source control, and consequently, should not be widely used and used only in the rare circumstance of medical necessity or specific hazardous situations. Even though face shields “can help” it is noted that they might not be beneficial for source control, and thus widespread adoption of face shields as a cloth face covering alternative may be counter to CDC recommendations
Face Mask Public Awareness Campaigns
Several states and/or state associations are running PSA campaigns to encourage safe shopping and the wearing of face coverings. See below for more information:
- Alabama Grocers Association's "Shop Safe" campaign
- California Governor Newsom's "Wear A Mask" campaign
- California Retailers Association's "Safe Shopping for All" campaign
- Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association and Retail Association of Maine's “Let's Be Kind” campaign
- Minnesota Grocers Association's "Get Your Mask On" campaign
- Northwest Grocery Association's "Urgent Plea" for public to wear a mask
- New Hampshire Grocers Association's Op-Ed: "Help grocers keep NH safe"
- Government Relations