ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that an emergency indoor mask mandate will go into effect across the county on New Year's Eve due to surging COVID-19 cases.
The mandate will apply to all indoor public locations from 12 p.m. on Friday, December 31 to 12 p.m. Friday, January 7 unless an extension is passed.
"I had hoped we were done with government mandates in our response to COVID, but the current rate of spread and hospitalization is not sustainable, for our hospitals, our schools, our public safety agencies, or our businesses. Masks slow the spread, and it's time to put them back on," Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said in a statement.
On Wednesday Anne Arundel County hospitals reported 191 COVID hospitalizations and the case rate reached 109 cases per 100,000 residents per day – both records, Pittman said. The County's test positivity rate on Wednesday reached 21 percent ? the first time it climbed over 20 percent since April, 2020, Pittman added.
Pittman said the mandate applies to all public spaces including retail shops, gyms, houses of worship, and restaurants except while dining.
Vaccination and booster appointments can be scheduled online at aacounty.org/covidvax