DC Mayor Bowser considers reinstating mask mandate, just weeks after it was lifted

The Democratic mayor lifted the mandate on November 22, just before the Omicron variant was announced.

Updated: December 17, 2021 - 5:25pm

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she is considering reinstating a mask mandate as COVID-19 case rates begin to climb in the city. 

On Thursday, Bowser announced there were 508 new COVID cases – a district record since the beginning of the pandemic. However, "no one should be surprised that in the winter months cases go up," she said.

"They are going up across the country and they're going up in places in the world," said Bowser, a Democrat.

The mayor said that according to the city's Department of Health guidance, residents should already be wearing masks due to the heightened risk of transmission. But now, she is considering reinstating the city's mask mandate that was lifted less than a month ago.  

"DC, remain vigilant and work together to slow the spread," she tweeted on Thursday, encouraging residents to get tested, get boosted, and stay home if you're sick, among other things. 

"If you feel sick, you need to stay home," Bowser also said. "If you're going to social events, you might want to think about if you need to go or not. Limit those events. Stay in a closed bubble. Wear a mask indoors that includes in public spaces and that includes in private homes and other settings where you're not sure. Figure out how you can get tested before you can go to social events."