What’s happening?

Baltimore County has mandated a COVID-related state of emergency that went into effect on December 29. It requires that people 5 years and older wear face coverings at indoor spaces that serve the public such as restaurants, retail stores, and churches. 

Why are they taking this step? 

As the Omicron variant spreads, cases in Maryland continue to rise while patients overwhelm hospitals. There were more than 25,000 new COVID cases in the state between last Thursday and Sunday alone, according to The Baltimore Sun. 

“Unfortunately, too many people have selfishly chosen to not get vaccinated. As a result, Baltimore County must now take this additional action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, reduce the burden on our health care system, and save lives,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., who tested positive for the coronavirus last week. 

According to state data, more than 64% of Baltimore County’s population has been fully vaxxed. 

Anything else I should know? 

The County’s Council is scheduled to meet on January 3 to vote on extending the order until January 31. 

You can read more here