Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced he is lifting the indoor mask mandate for most Howard County Government buildings, effective Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022. Masks will still be required on public transit and at the Howard County Detention Center. Howard County has seen significant decreases across all COVID-19 metrics, with a current 3.8% positivity rate and a seven-day average case rate of 13 per 100,000 residents.
“With our COVID-19 metrics decreasing and one of the highest vaccination rates in the state, we are able to relax our mask mandate within government buildings,” said Ball. “Vaccination continues to be our best line of defense against severe disease and death. I strongly encourage our residents who have not received their initial shots or booster, to go roll up their sleeves.”
Howard County has seen a 93% decrease in its positivity rate and 87% decrease in its case rate since their peak in early January. In Howard County 89.6% of resident 5 and older are fully vaccinated, and 65.9% of eligible residents have received their boosters. Approximately 95% of resident 65 and older are fully vaccinated, and 81.6% have received their boosters.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that anyone above the age of two who is not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations wear a face mask when indoors in public buildings. Residents should still use caution in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Due to Omicron’s virulence, officials recommend the use of high-quality masks, such as N95s and KN95s especially for residents who may be at higher risk.