ANNAPOLIS, Md — As COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, Anne Arundel County executive Steuart Pittman has announced an Indoor Public Mask Mandate that will go into effect on December 31.
The mandate, which will apply to all indoor public locations, will expire on Friday, Jan. 7 unless the County Council votes for an extension.
“I had hoped we were done with government mandates in our response to COVID, but the current rate of spread and hospitalization is not sustainable, for our hospitals, our schools, our public safety agencies, or our businesses. Masks slow the spread, and it’s time to put them back on,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said.
County hospitals on Wednesday reported a record 191 COVID hospitalizations, while the County’s case rate hit 109 cases per 100,000 residents per day, also a record. The County’s test positivity rate on Wednesday reached 21% which is the first time the positivity rate had eclipsed 20% since April, 2020.
“Our hospitals are implementing crisis standards of care because they’re taking care of the highest number of Covid patients since the pandemic began. Masks are critical in slowing the spread of Omicron and this order will ensure that everybody is following the same steps to decrease the spread,” Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said.
The executive order mandates all public facilities and goes into effect at 12:00pm on Dec. 31, and will expire at 12:00pm on Jan. 7, pending Council action.