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By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told federal agencies they must mandate masks indoors in federal buildings for all employees and visitors regardless of vaccination status in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 community transmission, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on Tuesday that vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission.

In an email sent to all federal agencies late on Tuesday, Jason Miller, OMB’s deputy director for management, said in line with the CDC guidance, “in areas of substantial or high community transmission, agencies must require all federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask inside of federal buildings. As of today, that includes the Washington, D.C., area.”

It added that people “not fully vaccinated also need to continue to physically distance consistent with CDC guidance.”

The CDC said on Tuesday at least 63% of U.S. counties are considered substantial or high risk.

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