DC now at ‘substantial’ risk of COVID-19 transmission, prompting CDC guideline change on masks

The District is now categorized as an area of "substantial" risk of transmission for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control – prompting the agency’s mask guidelines to change for the nation’s capital.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases climb across parts of DC region as CDC changes course on mask guidance

The CDC’s new guidance recommends that any region rated "substantial" implement mask wearing indoors, as cases surge nationwide.

The agency released the guidelines along with a map indicating the transmission risk for each state and county.

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D.C. officials have not indicated whether they will restore mask mandates in light of the new guidelines.

Initially the CDC said those who are vaccinated could refrain from wearing masks indoors.

But the surge – primarily among the unvaccinated – has prompted the agency to reverse course.

READ MORE: Fairfax County public schools to require masks this fall

Nearby Loudoun County and Stafford County in Virginia are also categorized as "substantial." Spotsylvania is categorized as "high."

The state of Maryland remains at a "moderate" risk.

A number of schools districts in the region – including D.C. and its suburban Maryland suburbs, along with Fairfax County public schools – have announced that they will require masks for students and staff when they return to the classroom this fall.