Face mask mandate reinstated by Annapolis rulers Anne Arundel

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Citing an alarming and rapid increase in hospitalizations and COVID cases over the past week, Steuart Pittman, County Director of Anne Arundel, reinstated an emergency indoor mask warrant that came in in effect countywide on Dec. 31.

The city of Annapolis has joined with the county in implementing a seven-day mask mandate in indoor public facilities including retail stores, gymnasiums, places of worship, restaurants (except during meals) with the aim of further slowing the spread of the coronavirus in the community. The current rate of spread is affecting hospitals, health care and public safety workers, according to a press release from the city.

The county’s mandate, which will apply to all indoor public places, will expire on Friday, January 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, schools, public safety agencies or Our businesses. The masks are slowing the spread and it’s time to put them back on, “Pittman said in a press release.

County hospitals on Wednesday reported a record 191 hospitalizations for COVID, while the county’s case rate reached 109 cases per 100,000 population per day, also a record. The county’s test positivity rate hit 21% on Wednesday, the first time the positivity rate has exceeded 20% since April 2020.

“Our hospitals are implementing crisis care standards as they support the largest number of Covid patients since the start of the pandemic. Masks are essential in slowing the spread of Omicron and this order will ensure that everyone will take the same steps to decrease the spread, ”Anne Arundel County health officer Dr Nilesh Kalyanaraman said in a statement.

The decree, found here, requires all public facilities – retail stores, gyms, places of worship, restaurants (except during meals) and other venues – to require customers, guests, and staff to wear face coverings. inside. The order went into effect at noon on December 31 and will expire at noon on January 7, pending council action.

“It takes five votes for the county council to extend this term beyond seven days, and we have the support of at least four,” County Director Pittman said. “I and many affected residents will do our best to convince others that this is a necessary step to keep our children in school and our businesses to operate safely. “

To schedule a vaccination or booster appointment, go to www.aacounty.org/covidvax.

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