By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], July 30 (ANI): Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Thursday (local time) that mask mandates are once again in effect indoors in the United States' capital for everyone over the age of two - regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Amid a troubling rise in coronavirus cases and new information on the spread of the delta variant, masks will be required indoors in DC for all people over 2. The new mandate will kick in at 5 am on Saturday (local time), DC Mayor Bowser announced at a press conference.
"We will continue to do what is necessary to keep DC safe," the mayor said.
Additionally, district officials are working to create a vaccination requirement for DC government employees. Inside restaurants, masks will be required whenever someone is not eating. People are encouraged to wear masks outdoors in large settings.
Health Director Dr LaQuandra Nesbitt cited a five-fold increase in July thus far in DC's daily COVID-19 case rate. Virus rates have particularly increased for children age 5 to 14 and young adults age 20 to 34.
Bowser and local health officials announced the changes in DC a day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagged "substantial" community transmission in the District and recommended masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday (local time) that millions of federal workers must show proof of receiving a coronavirus vaccine or submit to regular testing and stringent social distancing, masking, and travel restrictions.
On Tuesday (local time), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance to prevent further spread of the Delta variant in the United States, by mandating vaccinated people to wear masks in certain situations.
The recommendation urges fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors when in areas with "substantial" and "high" transmission of COVID-19, which includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties. (ANI)