Gaithersburg, Rockville to require masks in city buildings

As COVID-19 cases rise in Maryland, Gaithersburg and Rockville, in Montgomery County, are again requiring visitors and staff in city buildings to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

“Masking has proven very effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” Gaithersburg City Manager City Manager Tanisha Briley said in a statement.

“We encourage everyone to get vaccinated, and we will continue to do our part to reduce transmission by requiring indoor masking and physical distancing until such time as it is safe to remove these restrictions.”

Rockville City Manager Rob DiSpirito announced the policy Tuesday “out of an abundance of caution for health, safety and better peace of mind for all.”

The Montgomery County Council will hold a virtual public hearing and vote on regulations that would be consistent with CDC guidance at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that he is not considering reinstating a mask mandate for Maryland.

“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%.

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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