Omicron Variant: U.S. States Where Mask Mandate is Back

In reaction to the danger of the Omicron variant, some states in the United States have reinstated mask mandates. On December 1, the initial case of the latest COVID variant in the United States was reported.

According to a statement released last Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43 Omicron cases have been identified across at least 25 states so far.

Of the 43 Omicron cases reported in the United States, 34 were among fully vaccinated people, and 14 had received a booster shot.

However, five of those incidents occurred less than two weeks after Reuters reported an additional shot last Friday.

“Despite the increased attention of Omicron, Delta continues to be the main variant circulating in the United States,” according to the CDC website, which was updated on December 13.

According to the federal body, Vaccines are the best way to “reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging,” and “masks offer protection against all variants.”

Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC continues to recommend “wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.”

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The U.S. States Where Face Masks Are Mandatory

According to USA Today and other reports, masks are required in at least nine states under certain conditions. They include, in alphabetical order, the following states:


Unvaccinated people and those in certain settings, such as public transportation and healthcare facilities, must wear masks.


Indoors, all unvaccinated people are required to wear masks. Face coverings are required for all people (regardless of vaccination status) on public transportation, school buildings, healthcare facilities, nursing homes, prisons, and other residential groups.


The state’s updated mask order requires all individuals aged five and older to wear face coverings in public places, with some exceptions.

Businesses are instructed to “refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering,” and establishments that “fail to enforce this rule may be subject to enforcement, including fines and mandatory closure,” according to the order.


According to an executive order signed by the state governor in early September, all individuals aged two and older must wear a mask in indoor public places.


According to the most recent CDC criteria, face coverings are required for all people, regardless of vaccination status, in all Nevada counties that have “significant or high transmission levels” of COVID infection.

New Mexico

New Mexico’s most recent guidelines require everyone over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face-covering when in public indoor spaces “except when drinking, eating, or under medical instruction.”

New York

Masks are currently required for all those over the age of two in all indoor public places, except venues that require COVID vaccination for entry.

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Masks are also needed for all passengers on public transportation, as well as those in health care and long-term care facilities, schools, child care centers, correctional facilities, and detention centers, homeless shelters, and state-regulated group homes for those with developmental disabilities, mental health, or substance abuse issues.


In Oregon, face covers are required in all indoor areas. Public and private workplaces, companies, general indoor areas, building lobbies, common or shared spaces, classrooms, elevators, restrooms, transportation services, and “different indoor areas where people may collect for any purpose” are examples of indoor spaces.


Regardless of vaccination status, those aged five and up must wear a mask in public indoor settings and at outdoor events with 500 or more attendees.

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