DC Mayor extends public health emergency and indoor mask mandate – NBC4 Washington
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday extended a limited public health emergency and indoor mask requirements.
Bowser released the public health emergency earlier this month to help hospitals manage a surge in COVID-19 cases. The extension runs until February 15.
The mayor’s office also extended the indoor mask requirements until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28.
An influx of COVID patients, a crush of people going to the emergency room with mild symptoms and staffing shortages have put additional pressure on local hospitals.
Some hospitals have experienced 25% staffing shortages related to COVID-19, preventing them from using their full capacity, Bowser’s previous order said.
The order gives DC Health the power to quickly change procedures, timelines and standards in response to COVID-19, as needed. DC Health must issue an administrative order to specify specifics, such as whether crisis care standards or liability protections are in place.
The hospitals also asked DC to implement crisis care standards, allowing hospitals to reduce the staff-to-patient ratio, continue to use out-of-state medical licenses, and allow liability protections.
According to a letter from the DC Hospital Association, the strain on the district’s health care system is greater now than at any time since the pandemic began.