16 cities, 8 states now mandate masks due to COVID surge

(NewsNation Now) — The nation’s capital reinstated its indoor mask mandate on Tuesday as the region and country grapple with a fresh surge in COVID-19 infections.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that she would declare a state of emergency and urged Washingtonians to get vaccinations and booster shots, and limit their social activities over the holidays.

“Choose your activities wisely and you may even consider bowing out of some social events,” she said. “I’m tired of it. We’re all tired of it. But we have to pay attention to what’s happening in our city and our nation.”

The new indoor mask requirement kicked in at 6 a.m. and will continue through the end of January — at which point it will be reconsidered.

There are currently eight states with mask mandates in place regardless of vaccination status.

A mask mandate for shops and other indoor spaces in New York state took effect last week as officials confront a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that masks would be required in all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. The rule will last at least until Jan. 15, and enforcement is in the hands of local counties.

California, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Washington — all require residents to wear masks in indoor public places, whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The majority of cities with individual mask mandates are not covered by statewide mandates, and they have their own requirement.

The cities range from Boston, Massachusetts, to Lincoln, Nebraska, to Columbus, Ohio.

Masks are also still required by the federal government on all public transit, trains and planes.

A recent Axios/Ipsos survey found that 64% of people support state and local mask mandates.

Watch the video in the player above for the full Smart Board report.


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