Jan 28, 2022 - News

D.C. begins distributing KN95 masks to residents

Employees at a D.C. COVID-19 center provide guidance on vaccinations and testing.
Mayor Bowser visits D.C.'s COVID-19 center in Ward 7. Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

D.C. is now distributing free KN95 masks at its new COVID-19 centers.

Why it matters: Even as cases decline sharply in D.C., officials said last Thursday that they remain higher than during last winter's surge.

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser has extended the indoor mask mandate to run through Feb. 28.

How it works: As of last Friday, D.C. residents can pick up two free KN95 masks at the COVID-19 centers, where walk-up vaccinations and testing are also available.

  • The centers are now open in all eight wards except Ward 3, where a site will soon open, the mayor said.

Of note: Maryland's Montgomery County is also handing out free N95 masks.

Meanwhile, a Feb. 15 deadline is looming for D.C. government employees to provide their proof of full vaccination status, which includes receiving a booster dose when eligible.

  • About 1,500 out of the government's 40,000 workers have not shared their vaccine status at all, said deputy mayor Kevin Donahue.
  • When it comes to discipline, Donahue said the city will first target those who haven't reported their status by the deadline.

Between the lines: 89% of the government's workforce is fully vaccinated.

  • "The vast majority of our workforce has embraced vaccination," Donahue said last Thursday at a press conference.
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