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Anne Arundel County Health Officer issues public safety order continuing mask mandate

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Jan 07, 2022

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman has issued a Public Safety Order in accordance with state law to require face coverings in indoor public areas and outdoor public settings where distancing isn't feasible.

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“Masks and masking requirements have been demonstrated to be effective at decreasing COVID transmission and hospitalizations,” Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said. “When the collective impact of individual decisions ripples out, we have to take collective action. That’s why a time limited mask requirement is essential in decreasing the crushing burden we are placing on our hospitals.”

The issuance comes after the Anne Arundel County Council declined to extend the County Executive’s Executive Order requiring face coverings.

That order, which was issued at the end of last year, expired at noon today.

The new public health order will take effect immediately and require all individuals over the age of two to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible in Anne Arundel County.

The order expires on January 31, 2022.

The order includes, but is not limited to: retail establishments, recreational establishments, houses of worship, and at any location or area where members of the public are generally permitted.

Individuals will not be required to wear a mask if:

  • Eating or drinking while seated at food service establishments. Face coverings are still required when otherwise moving in or about a restaurant or bar premises.

  • A face covering cannot be worn due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.

  • Wearing a face covering would subject the person to an unsafe working condition.

  • A person is swimming or engaging in other physical activities where the use of a face covering is likely to pose a bona fide safety risk.

  • Wearing a face covering would make it impossible to receive certain services, including dental care, shaving, and facial treatments.