Greg Nash

All employees at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be required to wear masks indoors and physically distance beginning on Wednesday, regardless of their vaccination status, Reuters reported.

The new mandate was issued a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidance to say that fully vaccinated people should wear face coverings in “public, indoor settings” in parts of the country with “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission.

The CDC guidance, which contrasts with the agency’s May announcement that fully inoculated people do not have to wear masks or maintain physical distance when indoors, comes as the highly infectious delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S.

It also follows news that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas would be working from home this week after coming into “close contact” with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. He is quarantining at home.

DHS spokesperson Marsha Espinosa said Tuesday that Mayorkas had tested negative for COVID-19 twice and was not showing any symptoms.

Mayorkas, who is fully vaccinated, recently postponed a “State of Homeland Security” speech he was slated to deliver Thursday, an administration official told Politico.

Additionally, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reportedly postponed a key business meeting Wednesday because of possible COVID-19 exposure, according to The Washington Post. The committee was scheduled to consider President Biden’s nominee for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Coronavirus COVID-19 DHS fully vaccinated Joe Biden mask mandate Pandemic
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