Washington, D.C., lifting COVID mask, vaccine mandates but face-covers still required in schools

Neighboring Maryland has suspended similar mandates, yet the state, D.C. and Virginia still require masks in schools

Updated: February 15, 2022 - 10:06am

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Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is lifting the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and will not extend its mask requirement into March.

The Democratic mayor also says that as of Tuesday many businesses in the nation’s capital will no longer be required to check that customers have at least one dose of the vaccine before allowing them to enter. However, they will still be allowed to make such a request on their own, according to dcist.com.

"We are in a much better place now," Bowser said Monday, pointing out COVID cases have decreased by more than 90% and hospitalization rates 95% since the virus’ highly contagious  Omicron variant hit the country in late December. “We put these measures in place. We’ve seen a precipitous drop in case levels. This is where we’ve landed.” 

Masks will still be required in schools, child care facilities, public libraries, and other congregate facilities. In addition, the vaccine requirement for D.C. government workers will remain in place, 

The scaling back follows similar efforts across the country as virus numbers drop. 

Also on Monday, Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he was ending the indoor mask mandate for state buildings as of Feb. 22, He also repeated his request from last week to the State Board of Education to rescind its mask-wearing policies for schools across the state, also according to dcist.com.

Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers are pushing forward on legislation to lift mask mandates for schools in the commonwealth.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is lifting the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate and will not extend its mask requirement into March.

The Democratic mayor also says that as of Tuesday many businesses in the nation's capital will no longer be required to check that customers have at least one dose of the vaccine before allowing them to enter. However, they will still be allowed to make such a request on their own, according to dcist.com.

"We are in a much better place now," Bowser said Monday, pointing out COVID cases have decreased by more than 90% and hospitalization rates 95% since the virus’ highly contagious Omicron variant hit the country in late December. "We put these measures in place. We’ve seen a precipitous drop in case levels. This is where we’ve landed." 

However, masks will still be required in schools, child care facilities, public libraries and other facilities were a lot of people congregate. In addition, the vaccine requirement for D.C. government workers will remain in place.

The scaling back follows similar efforts across the country as virus numbers drop. 

Also on Monday, Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he was ending the indoor mask mandate for state buildings as of Feb. 22, He also repeated his request from last week to the State Board of Education to rescind its mask-wearing policies for schools across the state, dcist.com also reports.

Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers are pushing forward on legislation to lift mask mandates for schools in the commonwealth.