Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the COVID-19 state of emergency will end on Thursday, July 1.
Masks will not be required in “any settings, anywhere,” Hogan said during a news conference Tuesday. This includes schools, day camps and child care facilities.
Private businesses will still be able to implement their own safety precautions and mandates.
Hogan said there will be a 45-day grace period between July 1 and August 15 to help Maryland residents transition out of the state of emergency. Eviction moratoriums will be extended until Aug. 15, and drivers with expired licenses will have those additional 45 days to renew.
Health officials will use that period to transition out of emergency operation protocols.
Hogan said that lifting the state of emergency would not impact the state’s access to federal funding.
Seventy-two percent of Maryland adults have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Hogan told reporters, and the positivity rate has fallen below 1%.
The governor made the announcement as health metrics continue to improve in the state. In January, hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Maryland nearly reached, 2,000, but on Tuesday they were below 200 — the lowest since March of 2020.
“Every day now, we are seeing amazing declines in all of our health metrics across the board and across the state,” Hogan said.
But while the state has “finally reached the light at the end of that long tunnel,” Hogan said, lifting the state of emergency does not mean “mission accomplished.”
The state is still actively encouraging and incentivizing residents to get vaccinated.
As part of the state’s GoVAX campaign, there will be vaccination clinics set up at Camden Yards this upcoming weekend. Anyone who gets vaccinated at the site will receive two free lower-level Baltimore Orioles game tickets.
Maryland’s lottery prize program is still ongoing, with vaccinated residents eligible to win cash prizes of $40,000 daily until the Fourth of July, when a grand prize of $400,000 will be awarded.
“There is simply no excuse for not getting vaccinated,” Hogan said.
Hogan said he hopes the infrastructure put in place to vaccinate residents against COVID-19 will be helpful if booster shots are needed and for the upcoming flu season.
Maryland reported on Tuesday that 9,472 people have died from COVID-19 in the state during the pandemic.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced last week that its state of emergency won’t be renewed when it expires June 30. And in D.C., the council has given Mayor Muriel Bowser the authority to extend the public health emergency as far as July 25, but it’s unclear whether she will do so.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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