White House: States and Local Governments Don’t Need to Reimpose Mask Mandates for Omicron Variant

Following the discovery of Coronavirus omicron, the White House said on Monday that states, cities, and counties that have withdrawn mask regulations need not reinstate the virus mandate again.

Jen Psaki clarified the matter shortly after President Biden, following remarks to the nation at the global rise of omicron, she encouraged “everyone to wear a mask when they’re indoors, in a crowded circumstance like we are right now, and unless you’re eating or speaking at a microphone.”

“If people are vaccinated and wear their masks, there’s no need for lockdowns,” she said, declining to answer straightforward questions about whether municipalities, who dropped restrictions under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, need to reinstate mask requirements.

“The guidance from the CDC has not changed, right, which the district — which D.C. is abiding by, and other localities are abiding by,” Psaki said in his briefing on Monday.

“Our advice continues to be to follow the advice and counsel of national public health experts from the CDC and others.”

“Of course, they’re continuing to assess, as you saw by our announcement over the weekend, our health officials are, any additional steps that need to be taken,” she added.

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“So our advice and recommendations continue to be to watch that closely and follow that in order to protect our communities.”

This particular Covid-19 variant originated in South Africa and takes its name from the Greek letter 15.
World Health Organization in May announced a naming system that would make public communication about variants easier and less confusing.
Two Nigerian travelers have been diagnosed with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Canada; this has led to travel bans being issued.
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