BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A mask mandate in the Maryland State House and offices of the Maryland General Assembly will end on Monday, legislative leaders said.

Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones announced the decision Thursday in their respective chambers.

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Under new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the jurisdictions in the state are green, meaning there’s a low level of transmission and face coverings are no needed to slow the spread of COVID-19, Ferguson said.

Masks will be “encouraged but not required,” he said.

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Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has fallen below 2% for the first time in seven months, and hospitalizations are down to 345, according to data released Thursday by the Maryland Department of Health.

“There are folks that are still very nervous about the environment and are encouraged to continue wearing their masks,” Ferguson said.

Both Ferguson and Jones asked lawmakers and staffers to respect the decisions of people who choose to keep wearing a face covering.

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“This is the most uncertain time in the last hundred years, so everybody’s trying to navigate it,” Ferguson said. “Everybody has different feelings about it.”

CBS Baltimore Staff