A growing number of states, from New York to California, have announced this week their plans to roll back indoor mask mandates in the coming days. Some others, like Connecticut and New Jersey, are eliminating mask mandates in schools.
Here are the states lifting mask mandates:
- New York: Indoors, Feb. 9
- Rhode Island: Indoors, Feb. 11
- California: Indoors, Feb. 15
- Delaware: Indoors, Feb. 1 and in schools, March 31
- Massachusetts: In schools, Feb. 28
- New Jersey: In schools, March 7
- Oregon: In schools, March 31
- Connecticut: In schools, Feb. 28
- Illinois: Indoors, Feb. 28
- Washington: Outdoors, Feb. 18
The White House has yet to update guidance on mask wearing for the general public, but are urging students, teachers and parents to follow CDC guidelines when making decisions about mask-wearing in schools, regardless of state rules.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that now is not the time to change the recommendations or loosen restrictions aimed at preventing Covid-19.
"Right now, we still have about 290,000 cases every single day, and our hospitalization rates now are higher than they even were at the peak of our Delta surge," Walensky said. "So in this moment — while we are looking ahead and planning ahead, and we'll continue to evaluate and follow the science — our recommendations are consistent with encouraging students to wear well-fitting masks."
See doctor's reaction to states lifting mask mandates: