DC-region leaders still urging caution despite new CDC guidance

Leaders across the D.C. region are reacting to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that eased mask-wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

The head of the Maryland Department of Health said they “definitely welcome the news” but indicated the state will stick with its own indoor mask mandate until 70% of all adults are vaccinated.

“We have to be real careful not to get out ahead of ourselves,” Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said.

Although there is good progress returning to normal, the “most important issue is breaking the transmission chain” through vaccinations, Schrader said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued her own statement on Twitter, suggesting city officials want to discuss the recommendations before making any calls.

“Consistent with past practice, we are immediately reviewing the CDC guidance and will update DC Health guidance accordingly,” said Bowser, who is also focused on the current vaccination effort.

“It is critical that every resident, worker and visitor get vaccinated to help us crush the virus,” Bowser said. “The vaccine is safe, free and accessible. Don’t wait to be vaccinated.”

And Virginia’s message was similar, with a primary focus on inoculating residents while looking over the new federal recommendations and providing “more updates soon.”

“Ultimately this reinforces the importance of getting vaccinated,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s office said in a statement. “Vaccines are our pathway out of this pandemic, and they are how we can all get back to doing what we love.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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