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The White House has no plans to follow Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s decision to lift mask requirements indoors.
“The White House is following CDC guidelines that recommend masking in areas of high or significant transmission,” said Kevin Munoz, White House Assistant Secretary Patrick Ward of Fox News on Tuesday.
The decision comes after Bowser announced that the city is lifting the mask requirement for interiors such as offices and retail spaces, ending the rule that has been in place since July 2020. Companies can continue to request masks if they so choose. but is not required by law.
“We are encouraged by the numbers that have now opted for vaccination, some of them by mandate,” said Bowser on Monday of her plans to end the mandate. “There may even be an increase in cases … but what we haven’t seen is an increase in hospital admissions and deaths. That is the promise of vaccination.”
The city will continue to require masks in certain indoor spaces, including schools and childcare facilities, meeting places, and DC government facilities.
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Bowser said that in the future the city will “develop guidelines based on the level of risk and the use of multi-layered mitigation strategies”.
But continuing to demand masks in congregation facilities could also open the city to further lawsuits after it paid $ 220,000 to Capitol Hill Baptist Church earlier this year after the church sued the city over COVID-19 mandates she said had limited personal worship.