Mayor Scott Reinstates Indoor Mask Requirement in Baltimore City
Thursday Aug 5th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, August 5th) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a new local health ordinance that reintroduces an indoor mask requirement for all Baltimore City residents and guests, regardless of vaccination status. This Health Order, issued by Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, aligns Baltimore City with the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance regarding jurisdictions seeing substantial case transmission. The Order will take effect at 9:00 a.m., Monday, August 9th.
“This pandemic is not over and we must all do our due diligence to protect ourselves and our neighbors,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “While we know that masking is a sure way to slow the spread of COVID-19, we cannot stress enough the importance and urgency of getting vaccinated so that we can beat COVID-19 for good.”
In line with recent CDC guidance to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, CDC has recommended that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in public, in areas of substantial or high transmission. According to CDC data, Baltimore City is now in the “substantial” risk category, with approximately 50.89 cases per 100,000 residents, over a 7 day average for the time period between July 27th and August 2nd.
“The Delta variant is here, and it poses a serious threat to our unvaccinated residents,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “I’m speaking to you not just as the Health Commissioner but as a mother of a child that is too young to be vaccinated. We have the ability to slow the spread COVID-19 and the actions we all take collectively will protect the most vulnerable among us.”
As of August 4, 2021, the percentage of new COVID-19 cases has increased approximately 374 percent in the last four weeks and positivity has increased by 364 percent in the past four weeks, indicative of rapidly increasing virus transmission and the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (“Delta”) coronavirus variant’s presence in Baltimore. The Delta variant continues to spread at a rapid pace, and represents the dominant strain in Maryland. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant is different from previous strains, being nearly twice as transmissible, and concerningly transmissible to others from both vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated individuals, leaving open the possibility of more community spread despite vaccination.
The reintroduction of a mask mandate indoors, combined with ongoing community vaccination efforts will help to limit further increases in new cases. To meet this new challenge posed by the emergence of the Delta variant, alongside clinical partners, the Baltimore City Health Department is operating dozens of vaccination clinics each week, including clinics held during evening and weekend hours.
More information about vaccination efforts can be found by visiting baltimorecity.gov/bmorevax, or by calling 443-984-8650. If you are unable to leave your home, you can also register for a vaccination at home by calling 443-984-2273 or visiting covax.baltimorecity.gov.
For more information about Baltimore City’s COVID-19 response, visit coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov.