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Officials recommend masking amid massive COVID-19 spike

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The number of COVID-19 cases in Baltimore City has more than tripled in the last 28 days and the number of hospitalizations has increased by 28%, according to city health commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

Yet, Dzirasa said in a news conference Tuesday, the numbers still aren’t severe enough to require another mask mandate.

According to Dzirasa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still deem the city’s community impact level to be low enough to go without a mandate, but it is on the cusp.

“We're at low,” Dzirasa said, “but heading towards moderate and we'd have to hit the high point for us to then begin to make that recommendation that a mask order be put back in place.”

Dzirasa said in light of the startling uptick, even the fully vaccinated should take extra precautions.

After consulting with the senior advisory board, Dzirasa said the best way to proceed is to encourage even vaccinated individuals to mask up while indoors in public and to motivate vaccinated people to get boosted. This is “the best way to slow transmission, protect our vulnerable residents, and begin to reverse this uptick in new cases,” she said.

Roughly 82% of city residents 12 or older have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.