KEY POINTS

  • Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas made face masks mandatory in public places
  • They joined a growing list of states that required residents to wear face masks
  • Each state provided guidelines and exemptions

The states of Texas, Kentucky, and Kansas are now among the many places in the country where local governments mandate face coverings.

As the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. shows no signs of abating, more states are starting to see it prudent to require residents to wear face coverings in public places. Government health agencies say this is one of the best ways to minimize, or even prevent, the spread of the deadly virus.

Among the latest to join the club are the states of Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has issued an order requiring everyone in the state to wear face coverings while in public. It will come into effect Friday, July 10, and reportedly run for 30 days, after which it will either be allowed to expire or extended based on post-evaluation. Those who are below five years old and residents with medical conditions are exempted.

In Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly also signed a similar order. It is for those who venture to indoor public spaces or wait in line to enter such an indoor area, health care facilities, public transportation like taxis, and those riding a private vehicle service or ride-sharing cars. The state’s mandate also requires businesses to make it a policy for their employees and customers to wear masks. More states impose face mask policy More states impose face mask policy Photo: Al3xanderD - Pixabay

In the case of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott made it a state requirement beginning July 3 for all residents to wear masks whenever they are in public areas of counties with 20 or more confirmed and active cases of COVID-19. The governor also issued a proclamation granting mayors and county judges the authority to impose restrictions on any outdoor gathering where there are more than 10 people. However, the mandate exempts people who are gathering to eat, drink, swim, or exercise, as well as those aged below 10 years old.

States that already have a face mask mandate in place are Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maryland. These states also have social distancing policies that ask everyone in public places to maintain a distance of six feet between persons. In New York where coronavirus infections and fatalities are among the highest in the country, face mask requirements are in place since mid-April.

Other states that imposed orders requiring their residents to use face masks when in public places are California, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

In the case of Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, while they do not have mask policies, the respective state health departments recommend residents to wear them.