D.C. Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate, Forces Boosters for City Employees

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks to members of the press after
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Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is reinstituting an indoor mask mandate in the nation’s capital alongside a slew of other measures, she announced on Monday.

“I will reinstate a citywide mask order,” Bowser said during a press briefing while also making the announcement on social media.

The indoor mask mandate goes into effect on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, through January 31, 2022:

The reinstituted mask mandate comes along with what her office described as a “State of Emergency 2022 Winter Surge” plan, which includes expanded testing, a vaccine and booster mandate for D.C. government employees, testing and vaccination centers, and an extension of District of Columbia Public Schools’ (DCPS) winter break. 

“All employees, contractors, interns, and grantees of DC Government must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and must have a booster,” the mayor’s slideshow presentation reads, emphasizing that there is “no test-out option.” 

“It is critical that all eligible people are getting vaccinated and getting their booster shots,” the slide reads. 

“As transmission rates increase, unvaccinated people are being hospitalized and dying at staggering rates compared to vaccinated people,” it continued, echoing the warning from President Joe Biden, who warned of a winter of “severe illness and death” for unvaccinated Americans. 

The renewed mandates come as public health officials express concern over the Omicron variant. 

Blue states, such as California and New York, are also reinstating forms of mask mandates nearly two years after the start of the pandemic and one year after the rollout of vaccines. 


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