D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to Order Mandatory Masks

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a press conference on May 11
SAUL LOEB/AFP

WASHINGTON (AP) — With coronavirus cases rising, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that she will issue an executive order making face masks mandatory outside the home — an unprecedented step in the nation’s capital.

Bowser said the order would include “enforcement language” detailing possible fines for violations.

After saying they had successfully blunted the infection curve earlier this summer, health officials say the infection numbers have slowly crept upward, reaching triple digits on Wednesday for the first time in weeks.

Health Department Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt says her office is particularly concerned with data that shows most new infections aren’t coming from people already in quarantine or on the contact trace list of an infected person. That, she said, indicates a high level of community spread.

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