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White House tells agencies to mandate masks in federal buildings in hot spots

EconomyJul 28, 2021 12:39PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman wears a mask against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), following the CDC recommendation that fully vaccinated Americans wear masks as the highly transmissible Delta variant has led to a surge in infections, as she enters the Disney S

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told federal agencies they must mandate masks indoors in federal buildings for all employees and visitors regardless of vaccination status in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on Tuesday that vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transission.

In an email sent to all federal agencies late on Tuesday, Jason Miller, OMB's deputy director for management, said in line with the CDC guidance, "in areas of substantial or high community transmission, agencies must require all federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask inside of federal buildings. As of today, that includes the Washington, D.C., area."

It added that people "not fully vaccinated also need to continue to physically distance consistent with CDC guidance."

The CDC said on Tuesday at least 63% of U.S. counties are considered substantial or high risk.

President Joe Biden's administration on Monday required that all Veterans Affairs staff receive vaccinations, and on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said in a Twitter post all of its 240,000 employees, will need to wear a mask indoors and physically distance, effective immediately and regardless of vaccination status.

As the virulent Delta variant of the coronavirus blazes through parts of the United States and immunizations lag, the federal government is once again racing to contain the pandemic that began more than a year ago, in the hopes of avoiding future nationwide shutdowns.

Biden is expected to announce further mandates for federal agencies on Thursday.

White House tells agencies to mandate masks in federal buildings in hot spots
 

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Comments (2)
Stephen Willis
Stephen Willis Jul 28, 2021 4:14PM ET
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Foolishness, this will not stop the spread of Covid-19
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jul 28, 2021 11:27AM ET
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Forced vaccinations. Does not get more Orwellian than that.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 28, 2021 11:27AM ET
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Nobody is being forced to get a vaccination. Stop lying.
John Klan
John Klan Jul 28, 2021 11:27AM ET
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he's implying that it's coming.
John Klan
John Klan Jul 28, 2021 11:27AM ET
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Federal employees are already forced to get it or be terminated.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 28, 2021 11:27AM ET
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John Klan thats still not forced vaccination. Plus, wouldnt you be happy about less federal employees? All fed deep state beurocrats (etc) are going to do what the commie deepstate tells them, right? Am I doing this “internet conservative” thing right?
Scot House
Scot House Jul 28, 2021 11:27AM ET
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Benjamin McIntire last name Dover?
 
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