D.C. cracks down on mandatory face masks
Washington, D.C. is taking a harder stance on requiring its residents to wear face masks. Mayor Muriel Bowser has now issued an executive order expanding the District’s mask mandate to require residents to wear face coverings while they are outside.
“It’s simple: When you leave home, you must wear a mask,” the mayor’s office said. “Wear a mask. Save lives. Stop the spread.”
In April, Bowser issued an order that required masks to be worn by workers and customers of hotels, public transit and food sellers, and in areas where social distancing was not possible. The new order is much stricter and requires D.C. residents to wear masks any time they are outside their homes. Now the requirement comes with fines attached of up to $1000 for offenders.
The mayor’s office says that the new mandate does not apply to children under the age of three, those exercising outdoors, or eating and drinking.
“Basically, what it says is, if you leave home, you should wear a mask,” Bowser said. “This means, if you’re waiting for a bus, you must have on a mask. If you’re ordering food at a restaurant, you must have on a mask. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in an open office, you must have on a mask.”
As was long expected, Bowser this week also extended the District’s state of emergency as coronavirus cases continue to climb not only in the District but in both of its neighbors, Virginia and Maryland. The two states combined have reported more than 160,000 cases of the virus while D.C. has 11,500 cases.
The mayor’s office says it is also investigating President Donald Trump and staffers who were caught on video violating the district’s mask policy this week while attending a fundraiser at the Trump Hotel.
The new requirement comes during a major heat wave in the nation’s capital with temperatures reaching dangerously high levels. Many people have health conditions that make wearing a mask unbearable already and with the additional heat, some residents are complaining that it’s not safe to be covering their faces.
Scroll down to comment!