Frederick Co. brings mask mandate back

Frederick County, Maryland, is the latest municipality to bring back its mask mandate amid exploding COVID-19 cases.

Everyone 5 and up in the county is required to mask up in public indoor spaces starting Friday at 5 p.m.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner called for an emergency health meeting and voted to reinstate the mask mandate Thursday night.

The three Republicans on the board voted against the measure.

“We are at the beginning of what is predicted to be a dramatic surge in cases,” Gardner said. “I think it is important for us to protect our health care system and our hospital and they have asked us to do so.”

The County’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kathy Weishaar told the council that emergency rooms are currently overwhelmed and that she supported the mask mandate.

Gardner says as many as 15% of county residents may get COVID-19 during this surge.

“I do think businesses are going to struggle to stay open and to maintain operations because they will have employees who are sick,” Gardner said. “So I actually think this action helps to protect our businesses and to support them to stay open.”

Luke Garrett

Luke Garrett is a D.C. native dedicated to journalism. He joined the WTOP newsroom in 2020 after graduating from the University of San Diego, where he studied physics and philosophy.

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