Hogan asks Md. board of education to end mask policy

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday asked the state board of education to dump its mask policy, citing improved health metrics and vaccine availability for kids.

In a statement, Hogan claimed there was “growing consensus among medical professionals, parents and bipartisan state officials” for dropping the policy.

“In light of dramatic improvements to our health metrics and the widespread availability of vaccines, I am calling on you to take action to rescind this policy,” Hogan said.

Hogan’s request comes as he says COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland have dropped below 1,000.

According to a news release, hospitalizations have dropped by 71% since peaking in January. Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped by 82% to 5.12%.

The release also said the state continues to report the lowest COVID-19 case rate in the country.

The full text of Hogan’s letter is online.

In response to Hogan’s letter, the state board of education said it is “watching with optimism as COVID-19 metrics improve.”

The statement continues: “As Board President Crawford said at the time the emergency regulation was considered by the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review, at each meeting the State Board will continue its practice of reviewing current COVID-19 metrics in the State to assess the need for  the continuation of the regulation. Our commitment has not changed. The emergency regulation does provide research-based off-ramps for local school systems and schools based on vaccination and transmission rates. The State Board has and continues to rely upon science, research, and guidance from public health experts, including the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health in its efforts to ensure schools remain safely open. We look forward to the day when this dark COVID cloud has been mitigated. We will continue to listen and work with our State and local partners in continuing this work.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor 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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