By Paul Gessler

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge will decide Wednesday on a temporary restraining order regarding the county’s emergency mask order.

Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said Tuesday he does not expect to extend the order past Jan. 31, when the order is set to expire.

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“(Declining case rates and hospitalizations) was what we were keying into,” Dr. Kalyanaraman said.

He pleaded with county residents to get vaccinated and boosted following 39 COVID-19 deaths in the county last week, the highest total during the pandemic.

“The vast majority who are hospitalized are either not vaccinated or vaccinated, but not boosted,” Dr. Kalyanaraman said.

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Meanwhile, testing resumed Tuesday at Ripken Stadium’s testing site in Aberdeen.

“It sucks. I dodged it for two years and it finally caught up with me,” Chris McMahon said after receiving a positive rapid antigen test. “Body aches and fever. I have a fever.”

People tested Jan. 10 did not receive PCR results after saliva samples expired. The samples were taken to a lab in New Jersey that had staffing shortages due to a COVID outbreak. By the time they arrived at a backup lab in Texas, samples had expired.

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“It happens,” Jerry Candelaria, who tested negative at the site Tuesday. “Nothing is perfect, right?”

Paul Gessler