Washington, D.C., has reimposed the mask mandate and now requires all individuals over the age of two to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The mandate will begin Saturday, according to Washington Post reporter Julie Zauzmer. The city also announced plans to encourage teenagers to get vaccinated, including offering free AirPods or a $51 gift card to the first 100 teenagers that get the shot at certain clinics. A chance to win a $25,000 scholarship or a prize from their school may also be an option for kids who receive the vaccine.
News: DC will again require masks in all indoor settings, starting Saturday. Mayor Bowser’s order will apply to everyone over age 2, vaccinated or unvaccinated.
— Julie Zauzmer (@JulieZauzmer) July 29, 2021
Other places, including St. Louis and Los Angeles County, have opted to reimpose their mask mandates in order to prevent the spread of the delta variant.
Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said that residents would “embrace” the new policy, according to Zauzmer. (RELATED: House Imposes Mask Mandate Again With New CDC Guidance)
“I know DC residents have been very closely following the public health guidelines and they will embrace this,” the mayor said.
There have been two coronavirus deaths in the city in the past two weeks, along with a 172% increase in cases and a 13% increase in hospitalizations, according to The Washington Post. Fifty-two percent of the total population in D.C. has been vaccinated, including 61% of adults and 75% of people ages 65 and up.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new mask guidance earlier this week. The group recommended mask-wearing in certain indoor settings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people and also recommended masks in all K-12 schools.