Hogan: ‘We’re not talking about’ bringing back statewide mask mandate

Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that he is not considering reinstating a mask mandate for Maryland amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“We had a lengthy meeting with our entire COVID team yesterday with all of our public health doctors and experts,” Hogan said during a news conference in Baltimore. “We’re watching it very closely to see. We’re really pleased with where we are.”

The governor said Maryland was “one of the best” in the U.S. when it comes to vaccinations, with 70% of all adults fully vaccinated.

“We’re not talking about reinstating a mask mandate,” Hogan said.

According to WTOP data, Maryland’s seven-day average case rate is up more than 200%.

Hogan said the state is “very concerned” about the surging delta variant and urged those who are unvaccinated to get the shot.

“If you want to stay out of the hospital and you want to avoid dying, then you should get vaccinated,” he said.

While Hogan said a statewide mask mandate isn’t on the table, Anne Arundel Co. is mandating masks in county buildings. And the Montgomery County Council will meet Thursday to consider what would trigger a mask mandate there. Rockville and Gaithersburg have both announced that masks will be required in city buildings.

D.C. — which has 65% of all adults fully vaccinated — reimposed its mask order over the weekend. Masks are again required indoors, regardless of vaccination status for everyone older than 2 years old.

In Virginia, which also has 65% of adults fully vaccinated, Gov. Ralph Northam is recommending — but not requiring — Virginians to “consider” wearing masks indoors in areas where there is an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission as he continued to urge vaccination as the “surest way” to end the pandemic.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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