White House staff and reporters covering the White House must now wear masks inside the complex at all times regardless of vaccination status after the newest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the District of Columbia in an area of “substantial” spread.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported a note went out to White House staff informing them of the change Tuesday afternoon.
The White House Correspondents Association president Steven Portnoy sent an email to WHCA members informing them of the change.
“With a 7-day moving average of 52 cases per 100,000 as of this afternoon, the CDC website now indicates that the District of Columbia is an area of 'substantial' spread. As a result, and in keeping with guidance being issued today to White House staff, the WHCA is reimposing its mask requirement for all indoor spaces at the White House,” Portnoy’s email read.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CDC updated its guidance to indicate that fully-vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas of “substantial” and “high” spread of Covid-19.
Asked during Tuesday’s briefing if the White House plans to reimpose a mask requirement for staff, press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration would follow the CDC’s guidance.
“First we will of course be abiding by every aspect of the CDC guidelines on masking that they will provide this afternoon. And that does mean, as you conveyed, that we will be looking at the rates in different areas where the President may visit, and also the rates as they, if they move in Washington, DC, and we will apply guidance accordingly,” Psaki said.