By Valerie Newberg

Executive Summary  

Since March 2020, over half of the states have taken action to implement or limit mask mandates in schools. Seventeen states implemented mask mandates in schools, all of which have expired. Additionally, 12 states banned local school districts from implementing mask mandates. Six of those states are enforcing their bans, while six others are on hold because of litigation – Florida, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. As of Aug. 1, 2022, no states have an active mandate, so existing requirements for the use of face coverings in schools are being enforced at the local or district level. 

Method of Research

CSG conducted a 50-state scan of enacted legislation and executive orders on mask mandates in schools. This scan was conducted by searching key terms including “mask mandates in schools” and “mask mandate bans in schools,” among others. The specifications of state policies implementing or prohibiting mask mandates in schools can be found in the tables below. 

Findings and Analysis  

Seventeen states mandated the use of masks in schools using public health orders and executive orders. The effective period of these mandates spanned from 2020-2022. As of Aug. 1, 2022, all had expired. 

End Date of State School Mask Mandates  

State  Mask mandate end date 
California March 12, 2022 
Connecticut Feb. 28, 2022 
Delaware March 1, 2022  
Hawaii Aug. 1, 2022 
Illinois Feb. 28, 2022 
Kentucky Sept. 9, 2021 
Louisiana Oct. 1, 2021 
Maryland March 1, 2022  
Massachusetts Feb. 28, 2022 
Nevada Feb. 10, 2022 
New Jersey March 7, 2022 
New Mexico Feb. 17, 2022 
New York March 7, 2022 
Oregon March 12, 2022 
Pennsylvania Dec. 21, 2021 
Rhode Island March 4, 2022  
Washington March 12, 2022 

In states that prohibited local districts from enforcing mask mandates in schools, the policy came from executive and public health orders or legislation.

  • Seven states – Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah –enacted legislation.
  • In South Carolina, a Budget Proviso was used.
  • Four states – Florida, Montana, Texas and Virginia – issued executive orders.
  • Pending litigation has prevented the enforcement of these prohibitions in Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Enacted State Legislation and Executive Orders Banning School Mask Mandates 

State  Bans on mask mandates 
Arizona House Bill 2616
Arkansas Act 1002
Florida Executive Order 21-175 
Georgia Senate Bill 514  
Iowa House File 847
Montana MAR 37-960  
Oklahoma Senate Bill 658 
South Carolina Budget Proviso 1.108*  
Tennessee House Bill 9077*  
Texas Executive Order 24
Utah Senate Bill 195  
Virginia Executive Order 2 
* Enforcement pending litigation 

Additional resources: 

Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities State by State School Mask Mandates 

District Administration Mask Tracker

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