(PatrioticPost.com)- Reporters at the White House will still be feeling as if the United States is back in the height of the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the White House Correspondents’ Association told its members that all reporters would need to wear a mask while in the White House briefing room once again.
The newly re-installed mask requirement will apply to the entire press pool for all indoor spaces located at the White House. All White House staff will also be mandated to wearing masks indoors once again.
The Biden administration said the impetus behind the decision was that it is following the updated guidance that was put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week.
The new guidance says that even people who are fully vaccinated should now wear masks when they are in “public, indoor settings” in parts of the country that have “substantial” or “high” levels of COVID-19 transmission. As the CDC reported, Washington, D.C., is considered one of these areas that has “substantial” virus spread.
In announcing the new change for the White House press pool, an official with the White House said:
“We follow CDC guidance, and this afternoon, Washington, D.C., was classified as having a substantial level of community transmission.”
The WHCA said it would be placing signs in the White House briefing room that notified people who entered of the new mask requirements.
This means that reporters only had the freedom of not wearing a mask in the briefing room for about two months. On May 24, reporters who were fully vaccinated were allowed to remove their masks.
That month, the total capacity for the room increased to 50%, after only having a limit of 14 people for months since then. In the weeks following, the briefing room re-opened to full capacity.
Now, it’s taking a step back again because of the CDC updating its indoor mask guidance for fully vaccinated people.
The White House isn’t the only body that’s re-instating a mask mandate, either. The House of Representatives will be re-instating its mandate as well.
On Tuesday, Brian Monahan, the Capitol attending physician, said there would be fines issued for people who violated the new mask mandate in the lower chamber.
In a letter he sent to all congressional staffers, Monahan wrote:
“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.”
This would apply to all committee meetings, all office buildings in the House as well as the House chamber itself. Monahan said the only exceptions to the mask mandate would be when a member was seeking recognition from a chair of a committee hearing, or if people are alone in a room by themselves.