The following was posted on social media from “David Yungmann District 5 County Council” on February 16th:
It’s time to remove the mask mandates in our schools and county buildings. The residents of Howard County stepped up in a big way when we were asked to stay home, accept virtual school, shut down our businesses and distance from everyone including friends and family. But most of all, we stepped up and got vaccinated, many of us before we were 100% comfortable with the vaccine for our children or ourselves. Through those efforts we have led the way in vaccination rate and many other metrics, yet we now watch adjacent counties move to mask optional status before us. It’s demoralizing to see our collective and personal efforts not allow us to even keep pace with the growing list of adjacent counties unmasking, much less lead as we are so frequently willing to do. I urge county government and the Board of Education to lift all remaining mask mandates in our schools and county buildings immediately.
Looking at other area schools:
Anne Arundel schools became the first school system in the state to remove the mask mandate (starting February 18th)
Howard County has met one of the state “off-ramps” but has decided (for now) not to remove the mask mandate: https://www.wbaltv.com/article/end-mask-mandate-rally-in-howard-county-public-schools/39040150
“As the school board met Thursday, they discussed that the county met a threshold that would allow the board to end masking because 80% of county residents are vaccinated. They chose not to exercise that option because of concerns about the transmission rate.”
“Instead, the Howard County superintendent asked the board to endorse another option. It would allow him to end masking in schools if the county maintains a low or moderate transmission rate for 14 consecutive days…”
Happening in Carroll County:
Letter from Carroll County Public Schools to parents and employees on mask resolution from February 9th: READ HERE
Masks will become optional in Carroll County Public Schools immediately upon any one of the following legal conditions being met: (it is a long list…but here are the big two to me)
- The Maryland State Board of Education rescinds the mandatory face covering requirement
- The Governor issues a formal executive order providing local boards of education the full authority to regulate the wearing of face coverings as they deem appropriate for their local school communities;
Maryland State Board of Education is scheduled to meet on February 22nd. It is expected that the current statewide mask mandates will be discussed.
Looking at government buildings:
Masks will no longer be required inside Maryland’s state buildings starting on Feb. 22.
Harford County and Carroll County got rid of the mask mandate for government buildings in early February.
Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County will drop the mandate for government buildings by the end of February.
Recent COVID Data from the state as of February 16th:
- State: 3.51%
- Howard County: 4.23%
Case Rate per 100K:
- State: 11.92
- Howard County: 14.74
(Case Rate per 100K would need to be lower than 7 for 14 consecutive days to meet the “low or moderate transmission rate” requested by the Howard County Superintendent to consider removing masks in schools)
- State: 677
- Howard County: 28 (reported on February 14th)
Vaccination rates (fully vaccinated):
- Maryland: 73.503%
- Howard County: 81.55%
See more data from the state here: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/