WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With the U.S. tally of confirmed COVID-19 infections at nearly 4 million, 30 U.S. states now have mask orders in place with Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon becoming the latest to announce statewide mandatory mask orders.
Earlier this week, the number of people confirmed to be infected worldwide passed a staggering 15 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world in cases as well as deaths, which have exceeded 142,000.
New York, once by far the U.S. leader in infections and one of the first states to issue a mask mandate, has been surpassed by California in case numbers, though that is partly due to robust testing in a state with more than twice the population of New York.
Here’s the latest list of states with mask mandates in effect:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted out a picture of himself wearing a mask and describing the act as “patriotic.”
“I have no problem with the masks,” Trump said during a Tuesday press briefing. “I view it this way: Anything that potentially can help, and that certainly can potentially help, is a good thing. I have no problem. I carry it, I wear it … and I’ll continue,” he added.
The comments were an about-face for the president, who, for months, resisted wearing a face covering in public. Even as top public health officials, who initially had advised the public not to wear masks, became convinced that face coverings could effectively halt the spread of the virus and begged the public to embrace them, Trump resisted.
On Wednesday, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an executive order making face masks mandatory outside homes.
D.C. officials said the mask requirement can’t be enforced on federal property. Trump, when asked at a Wednesday afternoon news conference if he would compel federal employees to comply with the mask order, said, “We’re going to make a decision over the next 24 hours.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.