Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has ended the city’s mandate of masks indoors as of Monday, Nov. 22, but the White House is not going to follow suit, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
”The White House follows CDC guidance which recommends masking in areas of high or substantial transmission,” White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz told Fox News.
Bowser, a Democrat, lifted the requirement to wear masks indoors at businesses and retailers, which had been in place since July 2020. Businesses can still require masks, but they will not be mandated by the city any longer, the mayor announced, pointing to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
”We are encouraged by the numbers that have opted into vaccination now, some of them encouraged by mandates,” Bowser said Monday. ”There may even be an increase in cases … but what we haven’t seen is an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. That is the promise of vaccination.”
Bowser, who was photographed violating her own mask mandate over the summer, added that her city will ”create guidance based on risk levels and the use of layered mitigation strategies.”
People are still required to mask up in schools, childcare centers, congregations and D.C. government buildings.
There could be legal challenges to those, and D.C. has already paid $220,000 to Capitol Hill Baptist Church from a lawsuit against the city’s restriction on in-person worship, Fox News reported.