House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that masks must once again be worn in the House, mirroring updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The chair wishes to inform all members and staff that masks will be once again be required in the Hall of the House. However, members will be permitted to remove their masks temporarily while under recognition,” Pelosi said.
.@SpeakerPelosi updates U.S. House mask policy: "The chair wishes to inform all members and staff that masks will be once again be required in the Hall of the House. However, members will be permitted to remove their masks temporarily while under recognition." pic.twitter.com/KDmBsf61mL
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 28, 2021
“To be clear, for meetings in an enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space, masks are REQUIRED,” a memo from the Capitol physician, Brian Monahan, states.
“For the Congress, representing a collection of individuals traveling weekly from various risk areas (both high and low rates of disease transmission), all individuals should wear a well-fitted, medical-grade filtration mask (for example an ear loop surgical mask or a KN95 mask) when they are in an interior space,” Monahan wrote.
Pelosi made her announcement a day after the CDC recommended that some people vaccinated for Covid-19 should resume indoor mask-wearing in parts of the country that have seen a surge in cases. The recommendation marks a reversal of a policy announced just two months ago and comes amid more reports of breakthrough infections with the Delta variant of the virus in people who were fully immunized.
Federal officials met on Sunday evening to discuss reversing their policy, which previously said people fully protected from the coronavirus could go mask-free indoors in most scenarios (and recommended that the unvaccinated should still wear masks).
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.