TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — All people in Baltimore County offices and facilities will be required to wear masks effective Friday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Thursday.

“This commonsense step will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our workforce and visitors to our buildings and facilities,” Olszewski said in a statement. “I thank our dedicated employees for helping us keep each other, our loved ones, and our community safe. We continue to closely monitor key metrics and the advice of scientific experts and remain committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to protect public health.”

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County officials said the new rules align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends that everyone, whether vaccinated or not, should wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high community transmission. Baltimore County’s case rate puts it in the zone of what the CDC would call substantial transmission, or 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 residents.

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“We must use all the tools in our arsenal to defeat this deadly virus,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch. “We are working to get the vaccine into the arms of all of our eligible residents. Until that is accomplished, wearing masks inside county facilities will go a long way toward decreasing the spread.”

More than 72% of county residents 12 and up have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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.
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CBS Baltimore Staff