Seven states took that guidance further, and they're requiring residents to cover their faces when they visit essential businesses or use public transportation.
All of the following orders from governors come with the same guidance: Masks are no substitute for social distancing—maintaining at least six feet of distance from other people—and staying home.
But they're better than nothing, and in these states, you can't work at or enter a business without them.
ConnecticutIn effect as of: April 20
HawaiiIn effect as of: April 20
Customers at essential businesses are required to wear cloth face coverings. Employees who interact with customers or goods at those businesses must wear them, too. Those measures are in addition to keeping six feet of distance and limiting the number of customers allowed in an establishment.
MarylandIn effect as of: April 18
New JerseyIn effect as of: April 8
New YorkIn effect as of: April 17
All residents over age 2 must wear masks or face coverings when they're in public and social distancing isn't possible (though maintaining at least six feet of distance is always preferred).
PennsylvaniaIn effect as of: April 19
Rhode IslandIn effect as of: April 18
Employees of essential businesses are required to wear cloth face coverings unless that employee can continually maintain at least six feet of distance from other employees. All employees, though, must wear face coverings when entering and exiting the building or using common areas. Businesses must provide materials for employees to make those masks.
Anti-Mask Laws Cause ConfusionMany anti-mask laws were enacted to keep Ku Klux Klan members from concealing their faces during the Jim Crow era. But the decades-old laws have been invoked this century, too, mostly against protestors who wear masks, according to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.
Now that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the public wear masks, governors must clarify if and how mask bans will be enforced. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp temporarily suspended the law upon urging from state and local officials. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall told residents to ignore the law for now, though both laws will likely enter effect again when state emergency orders are lifted.