Biden mask mandate: which states don't have a rule?
President-elect Joe Biden has announced his covid-19 task force to tackle the surging spread of the virus and plans to institute a nationwide mask mandate.
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic the wearing of masks has become highly politicized despite proven efficiency at reducing the spread of covid-19. President-elect Joe Biden will begin calling governors and mayors around the US to appeal to them to implement mask mandates in their states.
Joe Biden is also looking to apply a mask mandate in all federal buildings according to a senior advisor that briefed NBC News. This is something that President Donald Trump has failed to do even as new outbreaks are hitting senior members of his administration the most recent ones Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development and his chief of staff Mark Meadows.
On Monday Joe Biden presented his coronavirus task force. Joe Biden's plans include testing, contract tracing and vaccines where there has been a light of hope with the most recent results of the Pfizer vaccine trials being 90 percent effective.
No unified approach to mandates
States and territories that do have statewide mandates, the rules are varying on how it is applied and enforced. The rules can range from only employees to everywhere in public. As well, some governors have applied statewide mandates only for them to be made toothless by the legislature before they can be imposed. This has presented a unique situation where the effectiveness of masks can be scientifically measured.
Wearing face masks works
In Kansas before the Governor could put into effect the statewide mask mandate the Legislature made it have an opt-out option for counties. The Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas was able to do a “natural experiment” on the effectiveness of masks and its results showed that counites that implemented the policy saw 50 percent less spread than counties without mask mandates, and even counties that had partial mandates saw a 30 percent reduction.
States still refuse to require mask wearing
At present 15 states do not have a statewide mask mandate. Currently one of which has none whatsoever, South Dakota. Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be voting this evening to decide if the city will implement an ordinance to require residents to wear a mask in public or face a $50 fine. The debate over wearing masks, just as in Sioux Falls, has divided communities across the US as people feel their freedoms being infringed upon.
Currently four of the top five infection rates are in states that do not have a statewide mask mandate according to the New York Times covid-19 tracker.
Below is a handy list of states that do not have a statewide mandate requiring residents to wear a face mask with some of the varying rules from CNN. You can also check the AARP’s tracker or the Mask4All list which updates daily.