Prince George’s County recommends mask-wearing in indoor public spaces

The health department in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is recommending mask usage in indoor public places as COVID-19 cases remain on the rise.

“COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising in Prince George’s County and the state over the last six weeks,” the department said in a statement Thursday.

It issued the recommendation “out of an abundance of caution,” while transmission and hospitalizations in the county remain low, in hopes that the county doesn’t rise into what the CDC defines as medium transmission — 200 or more cases per 100,000 residents over any seven-day span.

“We have to remind everybody that the pandemic is not over,” Dr. Ernest Carter said during a call with reporters Thursday. “We’re dealing with a really highly contagious omicron subvariant right now.”

He said cases have been steadily going up since March, “we’ve been keeping an eye on it.”

Carter noted that, as the county’s health officer, it’s his job to “tell people what to do to avoid getting ill, and especially when it comes to a contagious virus like this” — especially if it keeps people out of the hospital.

“Weekly, we have about four hospitalizations per 100,000,” Carter said. “And the percentage of people who are in the hospital right now with COVID is about 2%, which is which is great. So I’m trying to keep those numbers right there if I can.”

Masks are still required in county public schools and libraries, as well as congregate health care settings, the health department said. Businesses can require masks if they want to.

You can check the county numbers on the health department’s website.

WTOP’s John Domen and Will Vitka contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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