Fact check: 9 states still have mask mandates – USA TODAY

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The claim: Only 4 states still had mask mandates as of Nov. 30

As the first cases of the omicron coronavirus variant are recorded in the U.S., some on social media claim all but a few states have ditched one method of trying to limit the spread.

“Base (sic) on today’s reports there are only 4 states left with a mask mandate. Shall we make it 3?” reads a Nov. 30 Facebook post.

The post accumulated more than 3,400 likes in four days. But it’s wrong.

USA TODAY confirmed with nine state health departments that mask mandates are still in effect for their states. 

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.

Several states still require masks

Nine states had mask mandates in place when the Facebook post was published – more than double what the post claims.

A list from the National Academy for State Health Policy shows nine states had mask mandates in place as of Nov. 19: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Illinois, New York and Connecticut. The District of Columbia was also listed.  

More: Federal mask mandate to be extended: Be prepared to mask up on planes through mid-March

USA TODAY confirmed that mask mandates remained in placein each of the states the day this post was published.

California and New York require unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors. In Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment. But the state’s website says unvaccinated people are required to wear masks indoors, and everyone must wear masks in certain settings, such as health care facilities and schools. Masks are not required outdoors. 

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The District of Columbia lifted its mask mandate Nov. 22, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. Masks are still required in settings like schools, hospitals and public transportation.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that only four states still had mask mandates as of Nov. 30. USA TODAY confirmed with nine state health departments that mask mandates are still in effect for their states. 

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