D.C. to lift indoor mask mandate Monday as vaccinations increase

Media Credit: File Photo by Dean Whitelaw

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the mandate will remain in effect in certain settings, including residence halls and schools.

The District’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted Monday as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Tuesday.

Bowser reinstated the mask mandate in July in response to a surge of cases driven by the Delta variant, and cases have been in decline since a recent peak in mid-September. At a press conference Tuesday, Bowser said nearly 89 percent of adult D.C. residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Bowser said local businesses will still be able to require vaccinations and masks at their discretion.

“Whether you are a retailer, a restaurant or an office employer, you have the ability to set the rules for your establishment,” she said.

The District’s mandate will remain in effect in certain settings, like residence halls, schools, public transportation and nursing homes.

GW officials had lifted the University’s mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals in June after the District announced its city-wide mandate would be dropped. But when Bowser reinstated mask requirements the following month, University officials implemented their own mandate for all GW buildings.

A University spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Bowser said the District will move away from a blanket mandate, instead encouraging individuals to follow “risk-based guidance” from D.C. Health based on their vaccination status.

She also reiterated her urging for all residents to get vaccinated, including booster shots for those who are eligible.

“If you are not yet vaccinated, now ​is the time to get vaccinated,” Bowser tweeted Tuesday.

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