COVID-19 rules are relaxing around the DC region. Here’s what you need to know.

Several COVID-19 rules and regulations will be lifted or amended across D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Most of these changes follow a national shift toward an “endemic phase” in the pandemic, changing case rates across jurisdictions, expected coronavirus-related protests and continued vaccine hesitancy.


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Here’s what you need to know if you are navigating mask mandates, vaccine card requirements and pandemic precautions in the D.C. area.

D.C.

Though a COVID-19 omicron subvariant remains under D.C. Health’s watch, the District’s mask mandates and other precautions are already beginning to slip away — most notably the citywide proof of vaccine requirement for some venues that ended on Feb. 15.

  • By March 1: The D.C.-wide indoor mask mandate will officially end.
    • Masks will still be required in schools per a city rule and on public transportation as federally mandated.
    • Masks will also be required to enter some government facilities, medical facilities, shelters and libraries.

KN95 masks remain available to D.C. residents at the city’s COVID centers.

Maryland

Masks mandates have been up in the air for weeks — hearkening back to Montgomery County’s shift away from, and then quick return to masking indoors. Those issues, however, are becoming past, not present, problems.

Virginia

A contentious gubernatorial election and several county-level fights marked the beginning of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s first term in Virginia’s highest office.

His campaign’s focus on educationCritical Race Theory, masking and parental involvement — has had some significant impacts on mandates (and the timbre of conversation) in the state.

  • On Feb. 26:  Loudoun Co. announced that its mask requirement inside of all county facilities would end based on the CDC’s new COVID-19 guidance.
  • By March 1: All public schools must allow Virginia parents to opt students out of wearing masks.

Locally, some jurisdictions like Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun have held mask mandates or other face-covering requirements. However, there is no statewide requirement for mask use in Virginia.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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