Rhode Island’s capital city is imposing a mask mandate for anyone entering municipal buildings, starting Tuesday, and will require most city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1 or undergo weekly testing.
Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office announced the guidance Monday as the delta variant drives up cases in the state.
“In light of the delta variant and increased spread of COVID-19 in Providence, today we are announcing a measured approach that prioritizes the health and safety of our residents and employees,” Elorza said in a statement. “It is important now more than ever that everyone wear their masks, watch their distance and sign up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.”
Employees of the Providence school system won’t fall under the new guidelines, which will affect about 1,000 other city workers, officials said.
The new restrictions come as Rhode Island’s positivity rate climbs despite generally robust vaccination rates.