State-by-State School Mask Mandates

Below is a list of state-by-state policy, legislation, and litigation regarding school mask mandates. This information is changing rapidly and we will be updating this document accordingly. Be sure to check back often for updates.

In its guidance, (last updated January 13, 2022), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status”; however, the CDC updated its guidance for other community settings on March 24, 2022 and provides recommendations based on COVID-19 community levels, and is in the process of updating the “Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools” accordingly. Once the CDC updates their page, this dashboard will be updated.

Effective February 25, 2022, CDC is exercising its enforcement discretion to not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. CDC is making this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level.

Almost all states and U.S. territories no longer require masks in school settings as of March 11, 2022. This page will remain available and will be updated appropriately based on CDC guidance.

StateSchool Mask Mandate (yes/no)School Mask Mandate Ban (yes/no)State PolicyLegislationLitigationOther Notes
AlabamaNoNo None as of now; however, Alabama Rep. Andrew Sorrell has drafted an anti-mask mandate bill Varies by school
For example: here and here
AlaskaNoNo varies by district; Anchorage School Board overruled superintendent and extended mask mandate until January 15
American SamoaNoNo Territory still in CODE BLUE for COVID risk; masks were required in schools in June 2020; students were asked to wear masks on 2/17/2021, but it’s unclear the status since then; masks are required in buses, taxis, and commercial vehicles, and buildings open to the public; Vaccination is also required for people over 16 entering American Samoa
ArizonaNoYes (but blocked by courts) Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation to ban schools from requiring masks (by withholding funds from schools with mask mandates)On September 27, a judge found the ban on mask mandates unconstitutional; Previously, Arizona ban on mask mandate was not in effect until September 29. On Nov. 2, Arizona Supreme Court upheld that ruling.Varies by school
ArkansasNoYes (But blocked by court) Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law legislation to ban state or local mask mandatesPulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox blocks state from enforcing mask mandate ban on August 6, 2021; on September 30, Arkansas State Court denied the state’s request to remove the temporary injunction; On December 29, Pulaski County Circuit Judge ruled the state law that prevents schools from requiring face masks, is unconstitutional on multiple grounds, including that it discriminates between children in public and private schools. Private schools were not barred from requiring masks under the law. Varies by school
CaliforniaNo (as of March 11)NoCalifornia Department of Public
Health requires masks to be worn through March 11
On November 12, a San Diego County Superior Court judge rejected challenges to California’s statewide requirement that students and staff wear face masks indoors at schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19, leaving it to the governor to decide when it’s safe to lift the mandateAdditionally, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently committed to providing one to two tests per student across the state for the January reopening;

LAUSD requires students to wear non-cloth masks beginning 1/24/22

California dropped its mask mandate for full vaccinated people not including students; will likely drop student mask mandate after 2/28/22
ColoradoNoNo No mask mandate or mask mandate ban (depends on school districts), but, on October 27, a federal judge issued a restraining order against a suburban Denver county’s policy allowing parents to opt their children out of a mask mandate at school, finding that the rule violates the rights of students with disabilities who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
ConnecticutNo (expired Feb. 28)NoThe legislature extended the governor’s pandemic emergency powers through February 15, 2022, and Governor Lamont extended previously issued executive orders mandating masks in schools through February 15, 2022 in Executive Order No. 14A; now recommending the end date of February 28, 2022 for schools and superintendents to make the decision themselves Connecticut also requires vaccination or weekly testing of all school employees; Latest COVID-19 guidance in Connecticut
DelawareNo (Ended March 1)NoGovernor John Carney extended Emergency Mask Requirement in Schools was set to expire March 31 ; but Governor ended it on March 1
District of ColumbiaNo (as of March 8)NoD.C. Public Schools (DCPS) requires masks D.C.’s indoor mask mandate was reinstated on December 21, 2022; DC lifted school mask mandate
Florida NoYesRon DeSantis issued Executive Order banning mask mandates Group of parents filed suit; Judge issued ruling that denied plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction against executive order—ruling plaintiffs should have pursued administrative claims before the lawsuit; September 10, Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals judge reinstated state’s ban on school mask mandates– allowing the Florida Department of Education to penalize 13 school districts that require students to wear masks without allowing parents to opt-out of face coverings; Florida Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled (in favor of opt out provisions) that officials from six counties “failed to prove that the ban was ‘an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority.'”U.S. sends money to Florida school officials who defied mask ban; Florida restored funding to schools that ended mask mandates
GeorgiaNoNo While Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order prohibiting local governments from imposing mask mandates, Kemp has supported letting individual school systems make those decisions
GuamYesNo mandate in place for everyone; mandate in place for everyone; Masks required; still in place March 3, 2022
HawaiiNo (as of March 25)NoMasks are not required Masks are optional, but Hawaii DOH encourages diligent monitoring
IdahoNoNo varies by district; Ex. See Boise; See West Ada
IllinoisNoNoGovernor J.B. Pritzker had mandated masks for K-12 public and private schools- no longer required An Illinois appellate court has dismissed Governor JB Pritzker’s appeal involving the school mask mandate; several school districts are still requiring masks
IndianaNoNo The state has left COVID policies up to individual school districts. A September 1 statewide executive order allows schools to let students having a close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to remain in school “if all adults and students in the classroom correctly and consistently wear well-fitting masks the entire time, during the educational school day.”; Guidance released 12/30/21 allows students to return to class sooner after an exposure
IowaNoYes (But blocked by court) HF 847: Iowa school districts cannot require students or staff to wear masks, and Iowa cities and counties cannot impose mask mandatesIowa mother Frances Parr sues Gov. Kim Reynolds, state over mask mandate ban for schoolsOn September 13, 2021: A federal district court blocked Iowa’s law prohibiting schools from requiring masks. The court ruled that the law violates the civil rights of children with disabilities, including children with underlying conditions, who are more vulnerable to severe illness or death as a result of COVID-19; Order extended; On November 18, 2021, three-member panel on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal heard arguments in the appeal of the district court’s preliminary injunction on enforcing the state’s ban on mask mandates

Some schools are lifting mask mandates based on vaccine eligibility for younger students
KansasNoNo Attempt at a mask ban: SB 40 written to attempt to rewrite state’s emergency management law; requires school boards to hold a meeting over complaints within 72 hours; if board upholds a policy, parents can ask court for relief; Courts are required to hold a hearing within 72 hours and issue a ruling within 7 days; plaintiffs not required to show harm—and if court doesn’t meet deadline, plaintiff wins by default; Judge ruled that time limits imposed by SB40 violate due process; varies by district
KentuckyNoNoExecutive Order 2021-585 issued by Governor Andy Beshear on August 10, 2021 required all teachers, staff, students, and visitors in Kentucky Schools (preschool-grade 12) to wear face masks while indoors, regardless of vaccination status (but see “Legislation”)During the 2021 legislative session, the Senate and House passed a joint resolution, which amended KRS 39A, placing limits on the Governor’s authority to issue Executive Orders and regulations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic; On September 9, Kentucky’s legislature ended the requirement for masks to be work in K-12 schools and childhood centersJason Oswald, et al., v. Governor Andy Beshear, — F.Supp. 3d —-, Civil Action No. 2:21CV96 (WOB-CJS), 2021 WL 3698383 (E.D. Kentucky Aug. 19, 2021). Brought by about 20 families in a Campbell County Catholic school; Holding: Because General Assembly restricted Governor’s authority in KRS 39A.090(3), Judge granted temporary restraining order (TRO) against Governor Beshear’s mask mandate varies by district; several schools plan to drop mask mandates
LouisianaNoNoOn October 26, 2021, Governor Edwards lifted previously issued statewide mask mandate as long as schools comply with other CDC requirements Louisiana health officials urge the reinstatement of school mask mandates; several school districts keep mask mandates in place
MaineNoNo varies by district; parents are enraged at schools with mask mandates
MarylandNo (expired March 1)NoEffective 3/1/2022, local school districts can set their own mask policies; on 2/25/2022, the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review voted to lift the statewide school mask mandate. The vote came after the Maryland state Board of Education voted to make masking a local issue on 2/22/22. Effective 3/14/22, Baltimore City public schools will no longer require masks
MassachusettsNo (expired February 28)NoOn 1/10/22 Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeff Riley extended school mask mandates through February 28 (after state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education gave Riley authority earlier in 2021)- will expire February 28
MichiganNoNoMichigan Department of Health and Human Services (“MDHHS”) required that all persons five years of age and older wear a mask in indoor public settings, including while attending public and private K–12 schools; but has since rescinded Resurrection School v. Elizabeth Hertel, 20-2256, 2021 WL 3721475 (6th Cir. Aug. 23, 2021). Catholic school in Lansing, Michigan and two school parents sued state officials over Michigan Department of HHS requirement that students wear masks in school; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan held MDHHS orders did not violate Equal Protection Clause or Free Exercise Clause varies by district; most of the districts that do not require masks, still strongly recommend it
MinnesotaNo (But they are required on buses)No Minnesota judge rejected attempt to mandate masks in schoolsMasks recommended; while MN Dept of Ed does not require masks in schools, they do on buses because “All people are required by CDC order to wear face coverings on . . . school buses.”
MississippiNoNo Decision left up to school districts; school districts requiring masks, 16 of 149 school districts have optional masking, the remaining school districts require it
MissouriNoNoMissouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued
guidance
allowing school administrators and school board officials determine mask mandates
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit to stop school districts from requiring masks and judge denied request for a class action lawsuit– finding he would have to sue each district individually
MontanaNoYes (sort of)Governor Greg Gianforte announced DPHHS emergency rule to allow parents and students to opt out of any mask mandates Parents have sued on behalf of students asking the courts to overturn some districts school mask mandates The DPHHS emergency rule requires Montana schools to consider parents’ requests to opt out of mask mandates; many school districts have expressed that this does not affect their school mask mandates
NebraskaNoNo varies by district; some schools brought back mask mandates in light of the Omicron variant
NevadaNoNo Lawsuit challenging Clark County School District mask mandate dismissedIndividual districts are requiring masks; some schools lifted mask mandates after Thanksgiving break
New HampshireNoNo Parents are suing various school districts over mask mandate requirements; Judge dismisses request to stop NH school mask mandates Individual schools have mask mandates in place
New JerseyNo (expired March 7)NoGovernor Philip D. Murphy, issued August 6, 2021: N.J.A.C. Executive Order No. 251 (2021): An Order Announcing Indoor Mask Requirements for the beginning of the 2021-2022 School Year; Order extended January 11, 2022 — set to end March 7 School mask mandate set to end March 7
New MexicoNoNoEffective February 17, Governor lifted mandate that face coverings are required in most indoor spaces and leaves the decision on masking up to individual school governing bodies A private school in NM must pay $5,000 fine for violating the state’s public health order requiring masks in schools
New YorkNo (ended March 7)NoDepartment of Health (DOH) issued Interim Guidance for In-Person instruction Pre-K to Grade 12 through February 1 After a Supreme Court judge in New York ruled that the mask mandate cannot be enforced (finding it unconstitutional because he health department does not have the authority to make new laws), New York State filed an appeal ; A New York Appellate Judge granted a stay in the state’s lawsuit over the COVID-19 face mask mandate, meaning it remains in place while case is appealed — and schools must enforce it.Masks currently required indoors, but not required outdoors on school grounds, including during school sports;

NOTE: This issue is especially complicated because on January 24, 2022, State Supreme Court Judge found DOH unconstitutional and although Governor Kathy Hochul supports the mask mandate in schools, the legislature also stripped the governor’s office of its emergency pandemic powers because of former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s scandals
North CarolinaNoNo Governor Cooper provided an updated StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit which strongly states that schools should require masks indoors, especially for those who are unvaccinated; varies by district
North DakotaNoNo Although the North Dakota Legislature passed House Bill 1323, which prohibits state officials from implementing masks, the bill does not impact public schools‘ ability to require masks for students, staff, or visitors while on school property or at school events; masks are optional
Northern Mariana IslandsNo (but they are required on school buses)No Mask required on school buses; School COVID
does not include wearing masks; Approximately 96.7%  of the CNMI’s eligible population fully vaccinated (as of 1/9/22); Community Vulnerability Level Green
OhioNoNo varies by district; groups of parents have continued to file lawsuits in various school districts that require masking in schools;
OklahomaNoYes (but partially blocked by court) SB 658: blocks all public schools in Oklahoma from requiring masks unless the governor issues a state of emergency for their areaState medical group and several Oklahoma parents allege state law is unconstitutional; Oklahoma County District Court judge imposed temporary injunction on law banning mask mandates in schools until another hearing can take place, but students and parents can opt out of the requirement Schools that mandate masks
OregonNo (expired March 11)NoOregon Administrative Code 333-019-1015. Masking Requirements in Schools- the Oregon Health Authority requires all students, staff, contractors, and visitors to wear masks in doors—including public, private, parochial, charter or alternative educational program offering K-12; face coverings in outdoor settings is now a local decision

The Oregon Health Authority said on February 7, 2022 that the state will do away with mask requirements in schools and all indoor public spaces no later than March 31 ; will now lift the mandate on March 11
Horizon Christian School, et al. v. Kate Brown, Case No. 3:20-cv-01345-MO, 2021 WL 3863335 (D. Oregon August 30, 2021). Plaintiffs request TRO against Brown for enforcing mask requirement in religious and private schools similarly situated; Emergency motion denied, but Judge agrees to review issues de novo at hearing for preliminary injunctionResiliency Framework
PennsylvaniaNoNo On December 10, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the masking mandate, which also applies to child care facilities, is not valid because it was imposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s acting health secretary without legal authorization. Mask mandates are up to individual schools and school districts; schools continue to drop mandates
Puerto RicoNo (as of March 10)NoReinstated indoor mask-wearing requirements effective July 28
Rhode IslandNo (expired March 4)NoRhode Island Department of Education requires masking K-12; Governor Dan McKee required universal masking in schools by Executive Order until March 4 On September 16, 16 parents filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Gov. Dan McKee’s mandate that masks be worn in all Rhode Island schools; Judge upheld school mask mandateIndoor masking requirement was lifted February 11, school masking requirement will be lifted March 4
South CarolinaNoYes (But blocked by court) Temporary law written into state’s budget, known as proviso to ban mask mandates (H. 4100, 124th Leg., 1st Reg. Sess. (S.C. 2021); City of Columbia instituted mask requirement for students and staff in all daycares, elementary, and middle schools1) A group of parents on behalf of their minor children (along with Disability Rights South Carolina) sued the governor, the AG, the state superintendent, and several school boards in Civil Action No.: 3:21-02728-MGL: A federal judge issued a TRO, finding the state’s Proviso 1.108 violates the ADA and discriminates against children with disabilities

2) South Carolina Supreme Court upheld K-12 ban on mask mandates in Columbia (narrowly applies to city of Columbia): Wilson v. City of Columbia: regarding Proviso 1.108 of the 2021 Appropriations Act which sets forth the intent of the legislature to prohibit mask mandates Act in K-12 public schools; City of Columbia passed ordinances mandating masks in all K-12 public schools in the City of Columbia; court upheld Proviso 1.108 and declared the City of Columbia’s challenge void

3) Creswick v. Univ. of S.C., Op. No. 28053, ––– S.C. ––––, ––– S.E.2d ––––, 2021 WL 3629915 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Aug. 17, 2021) (per curiam): Regarding Proviso 117.190 of the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act: related to public institutions of higher learning, and determined from the language in that proviso that the University of South Carolina was not precluded from issuing a universal mask mandate that applied equally to vaccinated and unvaccinated students and faculty alike
State lawmakers banned schools from requiring masks through a budget proviso.
In September, a federal judge ruled South Carolina schools have the individual right to mandate them. That ruling was appealed by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and Attorney General Alan Wilson; Governor says he will not impose face mask mandates or vaccine mandates
South DakotaNoNo Two districts that previously had mask mandates, have reversed course
TennesseeNoYes (but blocked by the court in several counties- narrowly applies) On October 30, 2021, Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation (including Senate Bill 9014) further limiting COVID-19 protections including “eliminating the ability of six independent health departments in large counties to issue their own preventative health orders during a pandemic” and “Schools that institute a mask mandate must provide N95-equivalent masks for students and staff, and schools would be banned from using state money for any mask requirement”; legislation currently awaiting Governor Bill Lee signature (updated 11/7/2021)Federal judges in Memphis, Knox, Shelby, and Williamson counties have blocked Governor Lee’s mask opt-out provision. The rulings do not apply to other school systems in the state.

1) Class Action: lead plaintiffs Brittany and Ryan Schwaigert: Schwaigert v. Governor Bill Lee– Federal judge temporarily blocked the opt out order- TRO lasted until September 17, or until trumped by another action of the court (preliminary hearing set for September 9);
(Amicus brief in support of Plaintiffs: COPAA and other organizations); On September 27, a Tennessee judge struck down Governor Lee’s executive order allowing students to opt-out of mask mandates imposed at their schools

2) On October 22, A U.S. District Judge extended a ruling blocking a mask opt-out provision in Williamson County
Previously, Governor Bill Lee had signed an Executive Order No. 84 that allows parents to opt out of school mask mandate, even if the school, school system, local health department, or other government entity otherwise require that masks be worn (had run through November 5); order extended on November 5; In some districts, judges have paused or overruled the governor’s order.
TexasNoYesGovernor Greg Abbot has twice issued orders barring school district mandates of masks; Executive Order, GA-38, issued on July 29, 2021Legislature has not passed a law—but there is debate over HB 164 which includes an opt out provision for parentsOn 11/10/2021, a U.S. District judge found that GA-38 (Governor Abbot’s executive order) violates the ADA; reversed on 12/1/2021 as a three-judge panel finds “no concrete, or actual or imminent, injury”The Texas Education Agency reinstated its pre-August 19 guidance banning school mask mandates
U.S. Virgin IslandsYes (lifted indoors, but not in schools)NoPUBLIC HEALTH ORDER No. 2020-002 requires mask coverings in schools
February 28, 2022: Mask mandate stays in place for now;

The Virgin Islands Department of Education will resume in-person learning on Sept. 7 for students in grades PreK-3rd, Special Education self-contained classes, and Career & Technical Education students enrolled in a specific career pathway. Students in grades 4-12 will continue to learn virtually. Parents of students slated to return to campuses may also choose to have their children continue to learn virtually. 
UtahNoYeslocal health departments can issue 30-day school mask mandates with approval from the state or county government and legislature has power to overturn them; (legislation): SB195 limits durations of public health orders to 30 days; the Salt Lake City Health Department issued a mask mandate for students K-6 because they cannot be vaccinated, the city council voted to overturn itH.B. 1007 Face Covering Requirements: prohibits a face covering requirement to participate in or attend instruction, activities, or in any other place on the school campus or facilities after the end of the 2020-2021 school year. While state or local health departments are not restricted “from acting under applicable law to contain the spread of an infectious disease,” the local county governing body has the authority to repeal it.A group of nine parents filed a lawsuit against Governor Spencer Cox and Attorney General Sean Reyes, challenging Utah’s law that bans mask mandates

1) The Salt Lake County Health Department previously tried to issue a mask requirement for schools countywide, but it was voted down by County Council

2) Salt Lake City Mayor had put into place an emergency order for masks in city schools for students K-12

Utah schools will follow new CDC guidance, but will not require masks
VermontNoNo Masks recommended in person until student vaccination rate hits 80%; Vermont school officials urge Governor to mandate masks; On 10/27/21: The Vermont Agency of Education extended a recommendation that schools require students to wear masks
Virginia NoYesOn 1/15/22, Governor Youngkin issued executive orders to end school mask mandate Seven Virginia school boards sue Governor Youngkin as his order to lift the school mask mandate takes effect on 1/24/22Governor Ralph Northam had previously issued a universal
mask mandate for K-12 schools
— new governor, new order
WashingtonNo (ended March 11)NoWashington State Department of Health requires masking for K-12 schools; Previously announced they were ending March 21 ; now set to end March 11
West VirginiaNoNo Allows local school boards to create mandates, but no longer requires a school to quarantine students or staff if an universal mask policy is in place
WisconsinNoNo Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends universal masking K-12
WyomingNoNo Governor pledged not to issue another mask mandate
last updated 4/6/22

1 Some states include mandatory opt out provisions for students to opt out of wearing a mask. Because the result is essentially the same as a mask mandate ban, they will be treated the same in this post.

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