With coronavirus cases spiking across the country, more than half the states in the U.S. have mask mandates Monday.
While Illinois instituted a statewide mask mandate on May 1, other states have followed suit across the country. Gov. J.B. Pritzker explained that those within state boundaries must wear a mask in public places where social distancing is difficult.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced this week the state will require masks starting Monday. Hoosiers saw record COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
As of Thursday, 29 states and the District of Columbia have instituted or announced statewide orders requiring face coverings in public, with similar but varying requirements.
The states with a mask mandate include:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
States that do not yet require a mask mandate as of Thursday include Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Many states have individual cities requiring masks, but the governor has not enacted any kind of statewide mandate.
In Wisconsin, the cities of Racine, Green Bay and Superior joined Madison and Milwaukee as Wisconsin passing mandates requiring people to wear masks in certain public settings, though Gov. Tony Evers has previously resisted issuing a statewide order.
Pritzker testified before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security earlier this month, arguing for a national mask mandate and coordinated strategy.
"It's not too late for the federal government to make an impact," Pritzker said during his opening remarks.
During his comments, Pritzker criticized the federal government's coronavirus response, saying "there was no national plan to acquire PPE or testing supplies and as a result people died."
"When the same emergency is crashing down on every state at once that's a national emergency and it requires a national response," he said, adding that "states were forced to play some sort of sick hunger games game show to save the lives of our people."