BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — Masks will be required for visitors in Harford County buildings and for county government employees who interact with the public, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said on Monday.

The mandate will be effective Tuesday at 9 a.m. and will continue until further notice.

READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Another Round Of Winter Weather Is On The Way

This move comes in response to a recent surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, with nearly 27% of Marylanders testing positive.

READ MORE: Hogan Extends Open Enrollment On Maryland Health Connection, Pledges Boosts In Health And Human Services Spending

This decision is in line with Gov. Hogan’s monday announcement that masks are now mandatory inside state buildings.

MORE NEWS: Man Charged With Arson In Reisterstown Apartment Fire, Authorities Say

“Harford County businesses continue to have the option of requiring masks in their facilities,” said Glassman. “Citizens are encouraged to manage their risk by following best practices, which include wearing masks and social distancing in crowded indoor settings. Citizens are also encouraged to get the vaccine and the booster if they are eligible as one of the best ways to avoid serious illness and hospitalization.”

CBS Baltimore Staff