Mask tracker: Mandates about are expiring in every state but one


Requirements are now coming to an end even in more liberal states where mandates had received the most support.

District Administration

By:Matt Zalaznick

Masks mandates have been dropped in many districts that reinstated them earlier in the year as schools grappled with staff and student absences during the now-receding omicron wave of the pandemic.

The requirements are now coming to an end even in more liberal states where mandates had received the most support. As of early March, Hawaii was the only state that hadn’t set a clear end date for its mask mandate.

Here’s a state-by-state roundup of where masks are mandated and where they are optional:

CALIFORNIA:  California’s statewide mask mandate will be lifted on March 11

COLORADO: Denver dropped its mask requirement for schools on Feb. 25.

CONNECTICUT: The state’s school mask mandate ended on Feb. 28.

DELAWARE: The statewide school mask mandate ended on March 1.

GEORGIA: Masks were optional in Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools as of March 1.

HAWAII: “Masks must always be worn correctly and consistently by all students and staff when indoors,” the state’s Department of Education says on its website.

ILLINOIS: The state indoor mask mandate, which covers schools, ended on Feb. 28.

KANSAS: Topeka Public Schools lifted its mask mandate on March 3.

KENTUCKY: Schools can make masks optional in communities at low and medium risk of COVID spread, state officials announced on Feb. 28.

LOUISIANA: Natchitoches Parish School Board lifted its mask mandate on Feb. 1.

MARYLAND:  Baltimore City Public Schools will drop its mask mandate as of March 14. Masks became optional in Harford County Public Schools on March 1. Masks became optional in Anne Arundel County Public Schools on Feb. 18.

MASSACHUSETTS: The state’s school mask mandate was lifted on Feb. 28.

MICHIGAN: Masks became optional in Grand Rapids Public Schools on Feb. 28.

NORTH CAROLINA: Asheville City Schools will make masks optional on March 14.

OHIO: Cincinnati Public Schools suspended its mask mandate on March 7.

NEVADA: The state’s mask mandate for schools and other public places was lifted on Feb. 10.

NEW JERSEY: The state’s universal mask mandate ended on March 7.

NEW MEXICO: The state dropped its school mask mandate on Feb. 17, allowing districts to set their own requirements. Albuquerque Public Schools immediately made masks optional.

NEW YORK: masks became optional in New York schools on March 2.

NORTH CAROLINA: Masks became optional in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools on Feb. 28. Masks became optional in The Wake County Public School System and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools onMarch 7.

Iredell-Statesville Schools made masks optional on Feb. 14. Gates County Public Schools made masks optional on Feb. 7. Districts in Johnston and Cumberland counties made masks optional, reported. Masks are required in Brunswick County Schools as of Jan. 18. Henderson County Public Schools began requiring masks again on Jan. 11. Thomasville City Schools is again requiring masks, reported.

OREGON: The state’s mask mandate for schools will expire on March 11.

PENNSYLVANIA: The School District of Philadelphia expects to make masks optional on March 9.

RHODE ISLAND: The school mask mandate was lifted on March 4.

TENNESSEE: Memphis-Shelby County Schools lifted its mandate on Feb. 28.

TEXAS: Masks became optional in Dallas ISD on Feb. 28, in Houston ISD on March 1 and Austin ISD on March 7.

VERMONT: Masks will become optional in schools on March 14.

WASHINGTON: The state’s mask mandate will end on March 11.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: District of Columbia Public Schools still requirez students and staff to wear masks inside school buildings.