EASTON, Md. (WJZ) — Anyone who refuses to wear a face mask in Talbot County, Maryland could be fined up to $1,000 for failing to do so.

The Talbot County Council voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to reinforce Gov. Larry Hogan’s expansion of the statewide coronavirus mask mandate, adding a hefty fine to the mix. This fine also applies to businesses that violate the governor’s directives.

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“These measures take effect immediately,” Council President Corey Pack said. “We are working to keep everyone as safe as possible and are continuing to closely follow the governor’s Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery.”

The council also considered other legislative measures that could address the county’s escalation number of COVID-19 cases.


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Talbot County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley recommended council consider limiting the number of people allowed at both indoor and outdoor gatherings and empower the liquor board to suspend liquor licenses of violators.

“When you are talking about a virus like COVID-19, there is no safe number,” Dr. Wadley stressed. “It’s where do you want to set the number?”

But council members couldn’t come to a consensus about an acceptable number.

“As much as we all want to wish the virus away, that won’t happen,” Emergency Services Director Clay Stamp said. “This fight is akin to riding a roller coaster. Its ups and downs, twists and turns make it difficult to maintain a balance. Yet we know that those in our community who are engaged in leadership are committed, engaged, and open. We can and we will prevail if we commit each day to work together and to care for each other.”

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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.