USA Today and a labor and employment law website collected data from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico revealing that 39 states have shrinking coronavirus infections and 25 states have lifted statewide mask mandates.
The reports also reveal more than a political divide. Littler, a legal firm, took a deep dive into the numbers that show conflicts between the state governments and local jurisdictions. Many of the states rely on ever-changing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eight states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, recently tightened restrictions — North Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Louisiana, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington.
Of those states, only three — New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington — have slightly elevated levels of infections, according to the data.
Littler described the information this way:
Governors and public health officials across the country implemented stringent mitigation measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. As COVID-19 case rates fluctuate, face coverings remain popular as a preventative measure. Numerous jurisdictions have encouraged—or mandated—citizens to wear face coverings when out in public, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained effectively. Some directives also obligate employers to provide masks to their employees.
USA Today put together a comprehensive list of mask mandates and other coronavirus restrictions gleaned mostly from local news sources in states and territories:
Across the United States, officials are rolling out a patchwork of restrictions on social distancing. The orders vary by state, county and even city. Restrictions are ramping up in many areas as cases surge nationwide. At the height of restrictions in late March and early April, more than 310 million Americans were under directives ranging from “shelter in place” to “stay at home.” Health officials warn that easing restrictions too soon could bring new outbreaks, but many states forged ahead.
Here is a list of the states that have lifted mask mandates: Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Ohio, South Dakota, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Iowa, Alaska, West Virginia, Wyoming, Vermont.