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Hogan Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate

Rachel Baye
Gov. Larry Hogan

With Maryland’s coronavirus numbers dropping and vaccination numbers rising, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he is lifting the requirement to wear masks outdoors.

He said in a late afternoon news conference his decision was in line with CDC guidance issued Tuesday and follows the advice of national health experts, “all of whom agree that the risk of transmission outdoors is very low, especially for those who have been vaccinated.”

Hogan warned, however, those who haven’t been vaccinated should continue to wear masks and that face masks are still required at large ticketed venues, indoors or out, private businesses and on public transportation.

He said he could take these steps because Maryland has administered more than 4.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine and because case rates and testing positivity rates have dropped sharply.

According to state data, Maryland’s case rate has dropped by 33% per 100,000 over the last two weeks and the positivity rate has dropped to 3.89%, down from 9.43% in January.

In addition, Hogan announced restrictions on outdoor dining would be lifted effective Saturday, but until more people are vaccinated, he said, the restrictions for indoor dining will remain in place.

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.