Masks and Face Coverings

As of April 19, the CDC order requiring masks on public transportation and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect. However, masks remain an important tool for reducing the transmission of COVID-19, especially with the emergence of more contagious variants. The Department of Health recommends people age five and over wear masks in crowded indoor settings and confined spaces. This page will be updated soon. Thank you for your patience.

Frequently Asked Questions

The decision to make masks a recommendation, and not a requirement, was based on the best science and research available, as well as our experience and preparation to continue combatting COVID-19. Decreasing rates of infection and hospitalizations, and high vaccination rates have allowed us to move into a new recovery phase of the pandemic. Now is a good time to get vaccinated, if you have not already. The vaccines safely help you build protection from COVID-19.

Masks continue to be required in some settings, including health care, long-term care and correctional facilities. Per federal requirements, masks also continue to be required on public transportation and in transportation hubs. Local health jurisdictions, some school districts, and individual businesses may still choose to require masks. If you are in a setting where COVID-19 safety measures are in place, please follow them. The goal of these safety measures is to protect staff, employees, students, yourself, and others. DOH guidance documents provide additional information on where masks are still required.  

Even though masks are no longer required in many places, individuals may want to continue to wear a mask for added protection against COVID-19, including those who are immunocompromised, those living with someone immunocompromised, or simply those who may just feel safer wearing a mask. Everyone should assess their own personal risk when making this decision.

Additionally, everyone should continue to use COVID-19 prevention measures such as staying up to date on vaccination, handwashing,  testing, and staying home when you’re sick. 

Mandates and Orders

There are three public orders that combine to emphasize the importance of wearing face coverings or masks in certain settings: