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Coronavirus: The 17 US states requiring people to wear masks in public

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  • While 46 out of 50 US states have some form of face mask guidelines in place, 17 of those have implemented orders that make it mandatory to wear them in public.
  • In these states, residents are required to wear a mask outside at all times when social distancing isn’t possible, and also face penalties if they don’t.
  • Four states — Iowa, Montana, Wisconsin, South Dakota — have no mask requirements at all.
  • According to official guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) everyone should be wearing face coverings in “public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
  • Scroll down to see which 17 states have mandated the use of face masks in public as the country continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country, more state officials have made the use of masks or face coverings mandatory in public. 

Currently, 46 out of 50 states have some form of face mask guidelines in place, but some are more lenient than others. 

The most strict mask requirements exist in a total of 17 states, where residents are required to wear a mask outside at all times when social distancing isn’t possible, and also face penalties if they don’t abide by the rules.

It differs from the more lenient states that, for example, only make people wear masks in certain businesses. Four states — Iowa, Montana, Wisconsin, South Dakota — have no mask requirements at all.

The official guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that everyone should be wearing face coverings in “public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

A recent study found that the use of face masks has been the most effective way to reduce person-to-person spread of the virus.

The US has seen one of its worst weeks since the start of the outbreak, recording more than 2.5 million cases and 125,539 deaths to date, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.

Scroll down to see which 17 states have mandated the use of face coverings in public.

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