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Here's where mask mandates are in effect in DC, MD and VA

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the District's mask mandate is coming to an end in March. Here's where other mask mandates stand in the DMV.

WASHINGTON — As COVID-19 case rates are coming back down in the D.C. area, many local jurisdictions are beginning to relax their mask mandates.

The CDC has also updated its guidance on mask-wearing, prompting more schools and jurisdictions to make mask-wearing optional.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced at a press briefing on Monday that the District's mask mandate expires on Feb. 28 and she plans to relax the mask-wearing requirement in most indoor places beginning on March 1. 

Both Virginia and Maryland have lifted their statewide mandates several months ago, but some local jurisdictions still require mask-wearing. 

For people who live in the DMV area, it can be difficult to remember when to wear a mask indoors and when you can go without one, so here's a guide to help you remember where masks are mandated and where they are not. 

D.C. - Masks on or Masks off?

Bowser has lifted the proof-of-vaccination requirement at establishments in the District but masks are currently required to be worn in indoor settings through Feb. 28. 

Starting March 1, here's what to know about masks in D.C.:

  • Keep masks on: If private businesses require them; in schools, libraries and childcare facilities; in congregate facilities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities, shelters, dormitories and correctional facilities; on public transportation and in rideshare vehicles; in all D.C. government facilities where there's direct interaction between employees and the public such as DMV and DHS service centers.
  • Masks can be off: In restaurants and bars; sports and entertainment venues; gyms, athletic facilities and recreation centers; places of worship; businesses; grocery stores and pharmacies; retail establishments and D.C. government facilities where there isn't any interaction between employees and the public.
  • What's the deal with schools? Students and staff are still required to wear masks in school buildings.

RELATED: DC's proof of vaccination mandate ending, indoor mask mandates changing

Maryland - Masks on or Masks Off?

Gov. Larry Hogan announced that effective Feb. 22, masks are no longer required for employees and visitors in state buildings. The statewide mask mandate has been lifted since May. 

Here's where masking stands in Maryland's largest counties:

  • Prince George's County: Masks will be optional in all indoor facilities (except schools and on public transit) starting Monday, Feb. 28.

RELATED: Indoor mask mandate ends Monday in Prince George's County

  • Montgomery County: The indoor mask mandate has ended in all indoor facilities except
    • businesses that require visitors to wear face coverings;
    • Montgomery County Public School and Montgomery College buildings;
    • City of Gaithersburg facilities (see order); and
    • City of Rockville facilities (see order)

RELATED: Montgomery County mask mandate to expire Monday

  • Frederick County: The mask requirement was lifted on Feb. 12, so take those masks off if you so choose. 
  • City of Frederick: On March 1, the City of Frederick announced that the public is not required to wear masks inside city facilities. Additionally, employees will no longer be required to wear masks unless the employee is in isolation or quarantine protcol. The city continued to state that the employees that are in isolation or quarantine protocol are still equired to wear a KN95 masks around others and are recommended to social distance. 
  • What's the deal with schools? The Maryland State Board of Education voted Feb. 22 to rescind the emergency mask mandates in public schools. This vote requires a legislative committee to approve the decision and determine the date when the mandate would be lifted. 
    • Montgomery County Public Schools: Masks are still required for students and staff, but the district released a statement over the weekend, saying the board will likely vote to make masks optional at its March 8 meeting. The school system also is reducing its 10-day quarantine and isolation period to 5 days, if certain health conditions are met.
    • Prince George's County Public Schools: Masks are still required for students and staff. CEO Monica Goldson said she will be able to remove the mandate once the county reaches 80% full vaccination, per one of the state board's off-ramp metrics.
    • Charles County Public Schools: Effective immediately, the school system is making masks optional for students and staff in buildings and on buses.
    • Anne Arundel County Public Schools: Masks are no longer required for students and staff in schools or on buses.
    • Private schools: The Archdiocese of Washington announced that starting Feb. 21, masks will no longer be required in its Maryland schools.

RELATED: Maryland State Board of Education votes to remove mask mandates in schools

Virginia - Masks on or Masks Off?

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed into law a bill that requires schools in the Commonwealth to make mask-wearing optional by March 1. 

City of Alexandria

  • What's the deal with schools? Parents can "opt their children out of mask wearing" starting March 1 in Alexandria City Public Schools. Staff, however, are still required to wear them. And, ACPS' strategic plan highly recommends mask wearing "during periods of high or substantial transmission," which is the city's current level.

Arlington County

  • What's the deal with schools? Beginning March 1masks are optional for students and staff in Arlington County Public Schools and on buses, according to a statement the school system shared on February 28. The district says the CDC’s new guidance says masks should be optional in communities with a low level of COVID transmission, which is where the center currently lists Arlington's transmission.
  • Where they are required still: Masks are still required in county facilities.
  • Where they are not required: Masks are not required in private businesses like restaurants and groceries, but businesses can set requirements on their own.

Fairfax County

  • What's the deal with schools? Fairfax County Public School Superintendent Scott Brabrand said in a statement that starting March 1 masking will be optional. FCPS also said that masking on buses is now optional, because community transmission levels are low. The district is also going to stop contact tracing for individual COVID cases, because the VDH now only requires schools do so for outbreaks.
  • Where they are required still: Masks are still required on public transportation, indoor government facilities, healthcare settings, (including clinics operated by Fairfax County Health Department and Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board) and congregate settings (jails, shelters and group homes).
  • Where they are not required: Masks are not required in private businesses like restaurants and groceries, but businesses can set requirements on their own.

Loudoun County 

  • What's the deal with schools? Neither students nor staff are required to wear masks in school facilities.
  • Where they are required still: Inside all county facilities and on public transportation, in healthcare facilities, detention centers and in congregate care facilities.
  • Where they are not required: Masks are not required in private businesses like restaurants and groceries, but businesses can set requirements on their own.

Prince William County

  • What's the deal with schools? Prince William County Public Schools announced that starting Feb. 22, masks will be optional.
  • Where they are not required: Masks are not required in private businesses like restaurants and groceries, but businesses can set requirements on their own.

After the CDC updated its mask guidance, there was some confusion about whether or not masks were still required on school buses. WUSA 9 has confirmed with both the CDC and the Department of Transportation that mask wearing is no longer required on school buses.

    

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