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Mask tracker: State mask mandates are trickling back

After a rollback of mask mandates, some states, such as Louisiana, have reimplemented them, while others, such as Washington, have increased their reach.
Image: Pedestrians fill the sidewalk in Seattle on June 10, 2021.
Pedestrians fill the sidewalk in Seattle. Washington is one of seven states that have implemented mask mandates for those who are vaccinated as well as unvaccinated.David Ryder / Getty Images

Throughout the summer, many statewide mask mandates have expired, causing some cities to create their own. But with schools reopening and the delta variant becoming an increasing concern, some states are now opting to reinstate or strengthen their mask requirements.

Seven states, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have mask mandates for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in place, according to NBC News' count. Another six states have mask mandates for the unvaccinated. In all, that’s six more states with full mask mandates than there were at the end of July.

As mask mandates are reimposed across the country, you can use this map to see how your state compares.

Of those states, three — California, New York and Connecticut — have mandates that don’t apply to fully vaccinated individuals. Nevada’s statewide mandate applies to counties with high rates of Covid transmission.

Illinois’ reinstated mandate went into effect Monday, requiring masks in all indoor settings for residents over the age of 2.

Washington also restored its statewide indoor use requirements last week, with wording that includes a strong recommendation for masks in crowded outdoor settings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance July 27. According to the CDC, indoor mask use is recommended in areas with high transmission rates, regardless of vaccination status.

Still, a majority of states do not have mask mandates in place. Some, such as Florida, have even sought to ban local jurisdictions from enforcing the mandates. The U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether some of the states banning mask mandates are violating students’ rights.