With the CDC again recommending indoor masking, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has said children older than two must mask-up indoors. Throughout the pandemic, Bowser has been one of the most pro-mask politicians in the US.
“Beginning this Saturday at 5AM, I will issue the directive that people over the age of two must wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status,” Bowser announced during a briefing on Thursday.
Muriel Bowser: “Beginning this Saturday at 5AM, I will issue the directive that people over the age of 2 must wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. I know D.C. residents have been very closely following public health guidelines, and they will embrace this.” pic.twitter.com/cMumN0hq7g
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) July 29, 2021
The mayor’s announcement came several days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance recommending that vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike wear masks indoors in areas where Covid-19 transmission is high. The announcement reversed guidance in place since May which stated that vaccinated people do not need to wear face masks.
Explaining the change, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that vaccinated people could still catch the Delta variant of the coronavirus, carry a high load of the virus, and pass it to others, but told reporters that the data backing this up hasn’t been published yet. White House coronavirus adviser Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post that no clinical data existed yet to back up this claim, opining instead that “you can make a reasonable assumption that vaccinated people can transmit the virus just like unvaccinated people can.”
Bowser apparently expects residents of the District to comply willingly with her new mask mandate. “I know DC residents have been very closely following public health guidelines, and they will embrace this,” she said during Thursday’s briefing.
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Throughout the pandemic, Bowser has been one of America’s most stridently pro-mask politicians. Last summer she ordered masks to be worn indoors and outdoors, a mandate that remained in place until this May, when vaccinated people were exempted. The rule was further relaxed in June, and city officials at the time said it wouldn’t be coming back.
Though daily new cases of Covid-19 have quadrupled in the US since June, the weekly death rate is currently lower than it was when the CDC relaxed its masking guidelines. In Washington DC, the seven-day average number of cases stands at 59, and the seven-day average number of deaths at zero, according to data from Johns Hopkins University dated July 26.
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