**FILE** Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
**FILE** Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich

Montgomery County will reinstate its requirement for indoor face coverings Saturday amid an uptick in coronavirus cases, but neighboring D.C. will soon end its own mask mandate — and that has Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich concerned.

Elrich warned such moves could accelerate the virus’s spread with winter approaching and the vaccinations of children ages 5 to 11 still in the early stages.

“Not just the holiday, it’s getting colder so everything becomes an indoor activity,” Elrich said, WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported. “I do think it is premature and I would feel a lot better about this if we had our kids vaccinated.”

The county’s first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine, totaling 39,000 doses, was split between the health department and private providers. The department has already distributed its half of the vaccines, but whether more are forthcoming this week is uncertain, WTOP reported

Montgomery County will reinstitute its indoor mask policy Saturday after posting seven consecutive days of “substantial” coronavirus transmission.

Meanwhile, the District’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted Monday, though city residents, workers and visitors are advised to keep following risk-based guidance that considers a person’s health metrics and vaccination status.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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