WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) – Numerous U.S. federal agencies on Wednesday mandated masks at federal buildings in COVID-19 hot spots in line with instructions issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to an OMB email seen by Reuters.
The move followed guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday that vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission.
The White House said masks are required indoors in federal buildings for all employees and visitors, whether or not vaccinated, in those areas.
On Wednesday, CDC said nearly 67% of U.S. counties were at those substantial or high transmission rates, up from 63.4% on Tuesday.
The federal government is racing to contain the pandemic in the hope of avoiding future nationwide shutdowns, as the virulent Delta variant of the coronavirus blazes through parts of the United States and immunizations lag.
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