WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans could be required to wear masks and face coverings into 2022.
Fauci made appearances on Sunday news shows on Feb. 21. He is President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fauci told CNN and other outlets on Sunday that he was not sure when state and federal mask mandates could be relaxed.
Biden has issued a federal COVID mask mandate that piggybacks on state orders. The federal order is being enforced on flights as well as at airports and train stations.
Biden originally said he wanted the national mask for the 100 days of his administration but has said that order could be extended to the end of 2021.
Fauci — who has served under multiple administrations including former President Donald Trump — said Sunday the need to wear masks could extend into next year.
This comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control came out with new recommendations to wear two layers of masks to help curb COVID-19.
It also comes as coronavirus metrics in Maryland and across the U.S. improve.
In Maryland, hospitalizations are below 1,000 statewide for the first time since November.
That mirrors national trends.
Still, Fauci said Sunday that the need to wear masks could extend longer depending on COVID numbers.
Maryland and other states already have mask mandates. Gov. Larry Hogan has dispatched state police troopers to help enforce COVID masks and social distancing orders along with local police and health departments.