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.
USA TODAY confirmed that mask mandates remained in placein each of the states the day this post was published.
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.
Our fact-check sources:
- Brooks Baehr, Dec. 2, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Melaney Arnold, Dec. 2, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Shannon Litz, Dec. 2, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Renee Narvaiz, Dec. 2, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Jonathan Modi, Dec. 3, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Katie Pope, Dec. 2, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Ali Bay, Dec. 2, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Erin Silk, Dec. 3, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- California Department of Public Health, retrieved Dec. 4, Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings
- New York State Department of Health, Nov. 24, Face Coverings for COVID-19 Prevention
- Office of the Governor of Hawaii, Nov. 29, Emergency Proclamation Related to COVID-19
- Illinois Department of Public Health, retrieved Dec. 4, Mask and Vaccine Requirements FAQ’s
- Nevada Health Response, retrieved Dec. 4, State of Nevada County Masking Mandate Guide for the Week of Dec. 3-9
- New Mexico Department of Health, Nov. 12, Public Health Order
- Oregon Health Authority, retrieved Dec. 4, Masking Requirements for Indoor Spaces
- Washington State Department of Health, retrieved Dec. 4, Masks and Face Coverings FAQ
- Connecticut’s Official State Website, Nov. 22, Latest Guidance: Mask and face covering requirements
- District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor, Nov. 16, Mayor Bowser to Lift Indoor Mask Mandate on Monday, November 22
- District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor, Dec. 2, DC Health Issues Indoor Mask Advisory
- American Association of Retired Persons, Nov. 24, State-by-State Guide to Face Mask Requirements
- National Academy for State Health Policy, Nov. 19, States’ COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declarations, Mask Requirements and Travel Advisories
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