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Howard County brings back indoor mask mandates as COVID-19 cases multiply

Studies Find Areas With Mask Mandates Have Lower COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates
Posted at 7:48 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-03 12:48:26-05

ELLICOTT CITY, Md — Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced a county wide mask mandate as the number of positive cases increase. The requirement will go into effect Sunday, December 26, at 5:00 p.m.

“With the rapidly multiplying number of COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron and Delta variants, positivity rates in double digits, and increases in hospitalization, this is a necessary step to further protect our residents,” said Ball. “Being vaccinated, getting a booster, and wearing a mask are the three best ways to protect yourself and those around you.”

Maryland’s testing positivity rate has climbed to 12.8 percent, and statewide hospitalizations have surpassed 1,500.

"Masks are a simple and effective tool we can all use to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community as we continue to observe an increase in cases across Howard County," said Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman. "The contagious nature of the Omicron variant has increased the need for everyone to practice basic prevention techniques, like getting vaccinated including a booster, wearing a mask, and staying home if feeling ill.”

Only 74 percent of Howard County residents ages 65+ have gotten a booster. Currently, 52 percent of all eligible residents have received a booster. Vaccination and boosters may be scheduled through the County’s website.