Prince George's County extends mask mandate to January 2022 The mandate was set to end in a week and a half, but the county says it needs to remain vigilant.
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Prince George's County extends mask mandate to January 2022

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An indoor mask mandate and other COVID restrictions will stay in effect in Prince George's County until at least January 23.

They were set to expire on December 9, but the county's council unanimously voted Monday to extend the provisions for the 15th time during the pandemic. WTOP was first to report the news.

It comes as the new Omicron coronavirus variant is putting health officials on alert. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heightened its call for booster shots, saying all adults should get a booster, instead of its previous suggestion to do so. Prince George's County is experiencing "substantial" spread of the virus, according to the CDC, and about 77% of its population 12 and older are vaccinated.

The resolution says it's "necessary that the County remain vigilant and cautious with its re-opening planning." The mask mandate is in effect indoors, regardless of vaccination status and even if a person is able to maintain six feet of distance from other people. It applies to those age two and older.

The county previously lifted its mask mandate on May 5 when it appeared cases were decreasing as vaccines became more available, but then returned in early August as the Delta variant started spreading.

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Various local jurisdictions have changed their coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks. In the District, despite strong opposition from several members of the D.C. Council, Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted the mask mandate just before Thanksgiving. The same week, in Montgomery County, officials revived the local indoor mask mandate, citing seven consecutive days of "substantial" transmission. Nearby Arlington and Fairfax counties, meanwhile, require masks in certain settings, including government buildings.

This story is from DCist.com, the local news website of WAMU.

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