BALTIMORE — Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott did not mince words when he spoke during a news conference Thursday to announce the city will reinstate its indoor mask mandate.
“I really need Baltimore to hear me when I say that people will continue to die if we do not get more people vaccinated. More people will die," he said. "This is not fear mongering. This is reality. We lost so many and we will continue to lose more if people do not get vaccinated.”
The mayor said new virus cases in Baltimore increased 374% over the last four weeks. The city attributes the rise in cases to the more contagious delta variant and people refusing to take the vaccine.
To slow the spread, the mayor said everyone, regardless of your vaccination status, will have to wear a mask indoors starting on Monday at 9:00 a.m.
Rachel Cooper from Brightside Boutique in Hampden agrees with the mayor’s decision. She said it’s a necessary step due to the delta variant that now accounts for nearly all new cases in the state.
“I hope people are receptive of it," she said.
Cooper said she hopes people will be respectful and abide by the mask mandate. Back in May, one of their employees was nearly attacked by a customer who refused to put one on.
“We want customers to really respect what the mandate is and we are going to have a sign posted and we hope people respect and not compromise the safety of our employees or our customers," she said.
Tony Helfer said he does not support the mayor's decision. He believes it should be a personal choice.
Helfer also the mandate will drive people to the county.
“The city loses money because of some people not wanting to wear their mask so if there’s a place where you can that you don’t have to wear a mask, they’re going to go there," he said.
Baltimore isn’t the only area in Maryland to reinstate its mask mandate.
Prince George’s County also announced it will do the same effective on Sunday.
Information on where to find a clinic in the city to get the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.