Effective February 22nd, Maryland will lift its mask and face covering requirement for all state buildings.
Governor Larry Hogan announced the decision yesterday, Monday, February 14th, citing improved COVID-19 metrics across the state. The Governor discussed the change in policy in a press release:
“Given the dramatic declines in our health metrics, we are now able to take another step toward normalcy in state operations,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition, we continue to offer paid leave for state employees to get their booster shots, which provide critical protection against the virus and its variants. I want to thank all of our dedicated state employees for their tireless efforts that have helped make Maryland’s COVID-19 response a national model.”
Regardless of the mask requirement being lifted, masks will continue to be strongly recommended for employees and visitors who are unvaccinated. As mentioned by Governor Hogan, the state will also be encouraging its employees to get a COVID-19 booster shot, providing two hours of paid leave.
As of this morning, the Maryland Department of Health reported the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate had dropped to 3.78%. Additionally, the number of intensive care unit and acute care unit hospital beds had dropped from a high of 3,462 to 715.