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What are other western states doing to limit the spread of COVID-19?

A restaurant worker wears a face covering and gloves for handling takeout orders, with social distancing markings on the pavement and instructions posted, amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 5, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Washington state and across the country, many states are imposing limits on businesses and activities, and enacting various stay home orders, advisories, and mask mandates.

Western states, including those in the vaccine review partnership, all of have some sort of restriction or safety measure in place to help limit the spread of the virus, though it varies by state, and even by county in some cases. Five of the eight states listed below, plus Washington, have a statewide mask mandate in place — Alaska, Arizona, and Idaho do not.

Find a quick rundown of what each state is doing to control the spread of the virus below:


There are not any major business closures and masks are not currently required in Alaska, but the state’s emergency declaration was recently extended. That declaration includes a list of health orders, one of which allows local communities to restrict travel from other parts of the state. 

Find more information here


Masks are not required in Arizona, though there have been public health campaigns to encourage the use of masks or face coverings in public spaces. Physical distancing and enhanced cleaning measures are recommended for all restaurants providing dine-in service and for retail operations. Everyone is encouraged to use takeout or pickup options when possible, especially high-risk groups.

Read more about the rules for retail here, and restaurants here.


With Oregon and Washington, California implemented a travel advisory that recommends any traveler to the state quarantine for 14 days. Each county has its own tier that allows them to open businesses according to the local risk, allowing for some outdoor dining, various entertainment venues, including zoo and museums, and gyms with capacity limits, but the majority of counties are currently under the most restrictive tier. 

Masks are mandatory in California and people are advised to stay home as much as possible. Gov. Newsom recently announced a curfew for counties in the most restrictive tier, which the Associated Press reports will impact 41 of the state’s 58 counties and 94% of the population.

Read more and see a breakdown of the tiers here.


Masks are required for all people 11 or older in any public, indoor space and on public transportation. The state is using a “dial dashboard” to measure the safety of reopening with many areas in the “safer at home” designation, which ranges from cautious to high-risk. What is allowed in each level varies, from full closures of bars, restaurants, and retail in the severe and extreme risk categories, to limited capacity at the lowest risk levels. 

Find more details here.


As many people know, Hawaii requires a negative test result no more than 72 hours before your flight in order to bypass the 14-day quarantine for travelers to the islands. All incoming travelers will also receive temperature checks upon arrival. 

Face coverings must be worn in public spaces, and while most parks and beaches are open, visitors are encouraged to wear a face mask and practice physical distancing. 

Learn more here.


At the end of October, Idaho moved back to “Stage 3” of its reopening process, which allows businesses to be open but requires that they adhere to physical distancing and sanitation requirements. Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy. There is no statewide mask mandate in Idaho, but the recent order says masks are required for visitors at any long-term care facility or campus. 

Read the full Stage 3 order here. Find more general details about Idaho’s reopening process here.


In Nevada, masks are mandatory in any public space. According to a press release from Nov. 12, eight counties were flagged for “an elevated risk of transmission of COVID-19.” Regardless of risk level, however, all residents are to wear face coverings, limit gathering sizes, and limit capacity in businesses. 

Find more information here.


Along with being part of the travel advisory implemented in Washington and California, which recommends a 14-day quarantine for any traveler to the three West Coast states, Oregon is under a two-week “freeze” until Dec. 2. Washington’s neighbors to the south also have a mask mandate, requiring face coverings in all public spaces. 

The freeze is similar to Washington’s current status, including limited get-togethers, takeout and delivery only at eating and drinking establishments, and closed gyms and fitness centers. 

Read more here.

The New York Times published an overview of COVID-19 restrictions in all 50 states here. To learn more about what governors in states across the country are doing to limit the spread of the virus, read this article from the Associated Press.

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