How convenient for Dems! Capitol physician changes safety measures for SOTU

Just in time for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Congress’ attending physician announced that face masks are no longer required in the Capitol.

In what Democrats will certainly see as a victory in optics, Capitol physician Brian P. Monahan said that “individuals may choose to mask at any time, but it is no longer a requirement,” citing new guidance from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The Washington DC region is now in the ‘green level’ or low level in this new CDC schema allowing for reduction in coronavirus prevention measures such as coronavirus testing frequency and indoor mask wear,” Monahan advised staff Sunday in an update. “Coronavirus circumstances, the COVID19 Community Level, may change to a ‘medium or yellow’ level where select individuals resume interior mask wear and weekly serial testing while a ‘high or orange’ level would prompt resumption of the indoor mask wear requirement for all.”

The test positive rate at the Capitol testing center has dropped from 13% at the beginning of this year to a 7-day average of 2.7%, according to Monahan.

“Business processes such as committee hearings and other meetings should revise signage or operating statements to reflect interior space mask wear is optional and not required at this time,” he wrote in his memo. “Coronavirus circumstances, the COVID19 Community Level, may change to a ‘medium or yellow’ level where select individuals resume interior mask wear and weekly serial testing while a ‘high or orange’ level would prompt resumption of the indoor mask wear requirement for all.”

“KN95 or N95 mask wear is no longer required and mask wear is now an individual choice option,” Monahan said in guidance that will certainly affect the president’s upcoming SOTU speech.

Though Monahan advised that “COVID19 layered protection measures such as vaccination emphasis, and daily home health screening inventory prior to coming to work should continue,” the perfectly timed announcement just ahead of Biden’s address to Congress was noted by many on social media.

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