Washington, D.C. is following in the footsteps of other major cities in upping COVID-19 vaccine mandates for participation in indoor activities like dining and gyms.
Every resident age 12 and older will be required to have one dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines by January 15, and the second doses, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson version, by February 15 of next year.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the mandates on Wednesday, saying the requirement will affect multiple city landmarks, as well as all indoor dining and even the Capital One Arena. The arena is home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the owners have said that all staff are already vaccinated.
The city joins New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans, and Boston in raising vaccine mandates to cover indoor activities.
Hawaii is now leading the nation in the rate of increase in coronavirus cases, as the omicron variant is pushing a surge in cases across several states. New York, Georgia, and Texas are seeing considerable rise in new infections, which are up over 100 percent in the past two weeks in those states.
Of all new cases nationwide, 73 percent have been identified as the omicron variant, and the rapidly spreading strain has accounted for over 90 percent of cases in New York, New Jersey, the Midwest, the Southeast, the Northwest, and the Gulf Coast.
The United States is currently averaging 148,384 new cases for the past week, which represents a 23 percent increase from just two weeks ago.
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