State Mask Laws: Summary – FindLaw


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Thinking about face mask laws in the United States can be an amazing exercise.

Many states require masks and some do not. And if states request it, what does that mean? Who should wear the masks and where should they be worn? Who is exempt?

If there was one federal system nationwide that applied to every citizen, that would be much easier. But of course there is no, and there is constitutionality The reasons for this. Under 10The tenth Adjustment, states have the primary authority to deal with the spread of disease within their borders.

Technically speaking, the federal government could Issue a nationwide mask mandate; But as the Federal Congressional Research Service concluded in Recent legal analysisNeither the executive branch nor Congress has enforcement powers. This analysis concluded that “enforcement of masked authorizations has been a challenge even for states, which can leverage state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce such mandates.”

So, in order to control the mask maze out there, we have no choice but to do it on a country by country basis.

In the position of the earth

With Mississippi passing through the state of face masks statewide on August 4, a total of 34 states plus the District of Columbia are now requiring face masks to be worn in public.

While the remaining 16 states have not issued mandates, most have numerous advice encouraging masks in public places or allowing municipalities to pass stricter rules.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which provides a comprehensive country-by-country report, summarizes mask authorization cases in this way: “ (T) Order masks in indoor public places such as restaurants and stores, on public transport and transportation services, and outdoors when you are unable to maintain a distance 6 feet from others. “

These are common elements in mask mandate countries, but how do they differ? On our way through the AARP list and the state orders themselves, we’ve picked a few areas to examine more closely.

  • Age requirements. All states exempt children, but ages vary. In Massachusetts and Connecticut, only children under the age of two are exempt. In Delaware, this age is 12 years old.
  • Work requirements. In Washington state, companies are required to deny entry to unmasked visitors, and most employees are required to wear masks. In Pennsylvania, masks are required for employees, while “basic services” customers are required to hide masks. Meanwhile, some states without a state have limited requirements. The unauthorized state of Nebraska, for example, requires employees and barbershops, which should be hidden from beauty salons and grooming companies. Regardless of the state’s rules on face masks, companies everywhere have the right to order them – just as they are entitled to order shirts and shoes.
  • Penalties. The Massachusetts state order sets a $ 300 fine for violators. Violating a face mask order in Michigan is a misdemeanor subject to a $ 500 fine. Meanwhile, some cities and provinces are taking a more hard-line stance. People who do not wear masks properly face a $ 1,000 fine in Talbot County, Maryland; Laredo, Texas; Nashwa, New Hampshire, among others.
  • Exemptions. People with medical conditions are usually exempt if the mask interferes with breathing. Some, like Alabama, exclude people who exercise in gyms as long as they maintain social distancing. Arkansas excludes people who participate in religious services, although face-covering is encouraged. Indiana excludes people “experiencing homelessness.”

Meanwhile, in countries where there is no mandate …

Although 16 states lack mask requirements, many have taken steps to encourage mask use. Utah has a program to offer free masks to anyone who wants them. In non-state New Hampshire, people in gatherings of 100 or more are required to wear masks.

Also, many of those states allow municipalities to order face masks, and many have done them. In Missouri, for example, Kansas City and St. Louis require it. In stateless Nebraska, Lincoln and Omaha.

However, state governors in two unauthorized states have taken a hard-line stance on municipal exclusions. One of them, Georgia Gov., Brian Kemp, got into a public fight with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the issue, and is suing the city. However, on August 13, he dropped the lawsuit and allowed Atlanta and other cities with 100 or more cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people to request masks in public places if they so chose.

A similar battle is currently brewing in Iowa, with Governor Kim Reynolds claiming that municipalities lack the ability to order masks. Many Iowa cities, however, Moving for a challenge Reynolds.

To find face mask rules that may or may not be in your state, the The AARP site Listed above contains links to state rules, orders, and other information.

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