NO TEST-OUT OPTION: District of Columbia Reinstates Vaccine Mandate

Mayor Bowser, the mayor of the District of Columbia, has reinstated the indoor mask mandate and vaccine mandate. The vaccine mandate, including boosters, applies to all employees, contractors, interns, and grantees, in the District of Columbia with no test-out option.

Although the District of Columbia is having their largest spike in homicides since 2003, Mayor Bowser is only calling a state of emergency over the spike in people testing positive for coronavirus. Only one person has died from coronavirus in the last week.

The indoor mask mandate is set to begin Tuesday December 21, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. and will continue until at least January 31, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. The District of Columbia had originally lifted their previous mask mandate less than a month ago on November 22, 2021.

Whereas workers that did not want to get the vaccine were able to participate in weekly testing before, now they are required to be fully vaccinated and have received their booster.

District of Columbia schools will not have school January 3 or 4 so families and staff members have the opportunity to pick up at-home coronavirus testing kits. “Every school will receive enough rapid tests for every student, teacher and staff member,” Lewis Ferebee, the chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools said. “The expectation will be that all families will participate, but it’s not a requirement.”


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Although differences in vaccination rates have begun closing over time, there is still a disparity among races. In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the black community is the least vaccinated group in the District of Columbia. Mayor Bowser’s mandate for all workers in the area will affect those that opted into the coronavirus testing option.


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Kylie Thomas