Skip to content

DC mayor to order mandatory masks as infections rise again

wx303-720_2020_152657
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser wears a face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, as she speaks at a news conference on the coronavirus and the District's response, Monday, July 20, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — With coronavirus cases rising, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that she will issue an executive order making face masks mandatory outside the home — an unprecedented step in the nation's capital.

Bowser said the order would include “enforcement language” detailing possible fines for violations.

After saying they had successfully blunted the infection curve earlier this summer, health officials say the infection numbers have slowly crept upward, reaching triple digits on Wednesday for the first time in weeks.

Health Department Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt says her office is particularly concerned with data that shows most new infections aren't coming from people already in quarantine or on the contact trace list of an infected person. That, she said, indicates a high level of community spread.

Ashraf Khalil, The Associated Press