ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As coronavirus cases surge again, with more than 1,100 new infections reported statewide Friday, Governor Larry Hogan’s expanded mask mandate went into effect across Maryland Friday evening.

Effective Friday at 5 p.m., Marylanders ages five and older must wear a mask or face-covering in public areas of businesses and buildings and in outdoor public areas when it is not possible to maintain social distancing.

The face covering order was first issued on April 18. The expansion follows the orders made in Baltimore City and Baltimore County last week.

READ THE FULL ORDER HERE

“This expansion of the masking order is an action that is both fact-based, apolitical, and soundly grounded in science,” Gov. Larry Hogan said during a press conference Wednesday.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

Baltimore County now requires all residents ages two and up to wear masks indoors, but the mandate does not include further restrictions on outdoor mask-wearing like in Anne Arundel County, where people are required to wear masks outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.

Baltimore City implemented a similar order and issued another pausing indoor dining.

Masks are also now required for anyone age five and older from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Ocean City’s boardwalk following intense debate among council members. There are exceptions for those eating and drinking and people who have medical conditions.

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“In order for things to get back to normal, we have to do our part one by one,” Jeremy Jimenez told WJZ after getting tested Friday at the Baltimore Convention Center. “It starts with us. Everybody has to do their part in getting rid of this disease.”

Infectious Disease Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins Medicine said messaging early in the pandemic was geared toward freeing personal protective equipment for frontline workers.

“This guidance will change because we’re all learning about this virus in real-time,” Adalja said. “Then the data started to emerge on these pre-symptomatic individuals and that changed the guidance.”

Adalja said the evolving messaging may have led some to be skeptical of wearing masks and their importance.

“Hopefully, the politicization of this issue starts to decrease, so we can actually have arguments about the data,” he said. “We don’t have the ability to know who’s infected and who’s not infected, so this is one way where people can have some surety that, when they go out, they’re not exposing themselves or others to the virus.”

The Maryland Department of Health this week announced it would be distributing masks at certain state-run sites in a targeted manner through the end of the summer.

“The only way we’re going to be able to live with this virus and reduce the harm that it causes is to be equipped with the tools to be able to mitigate that risk,” Adalja said.

Adalja said he does not believe shaming people for not wearing masks is effective. He recommends continued education and broad mask use among as many in the public as possible.

WJZ reporters Mike Hellgren and Paul Gessler contributed to this story.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler

Comments (4)
  1. chrissfarmer says:

    You want to keep masks on people, have high mandatory fines no warnings. By now people should know better. If the trumpers & partying people refuse to wear them, arrest them! If Trump sets foot in Maryland w/o one, arrest him! Contrary to what he may think, he is not above the law.

    1. King Julian says:

      i agree with masks, but saying to arrest them, they won’t even arrest the POS rioters and all someone has to do is say “I have a medical condition” whose going to check.

  2. Hep Katt says:

    I have a medical condition, a letter from my doctor would prove it in court. It has nothing to do w/ masks but people w/ legitimate medical problems can prove it.Those w/o can’t pay high fines for endangering the public needlessly. Rioters? Protests are a Constitutional right. Looting is not but most demonstrations are peaceful and those committing crimes are not involved in them Get use to “rioters” at least until Biden takes office & makes changes.Trump is causing most of them-over 1000 Americans a day die and Trump plays golf & does not wear a mask and has peaceful protesters gassed and shot at when the Constitution (Trump has never read it) says we have a right to protest and say BLACK LIVES MATTER

  3. Hep Katt says:

    and for you Trumper Kings, remember that your Klan hoods do qualify as masks!!! wear them everyday not just a Trump rallys

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