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After Council Votes Against Renewing Policy, A.A. County Health Officer Restores Indoor Mask Mandate

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Hours after the council voted not to renew Anne Arundel county's indoor mask mandate, County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman issued a masking mandate for both indoor and outdoor public areas where distancing isn't possible, County Executive Steuart Pittman announced on Friday.
The new mandate goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday until Jan. 31.
Earlier Friday the council voted not to extend Pittman's countywide mask mandate, which ended at noon. The council voted 4 to 3 to extend the mandate, but the extension needed a supermajority to pass.
Four Democrats voted for extending the mandate, and three Republicans against it.

"Dr. Kalyanaraman's decision to issue this order is a necessary step to protect the health and safety of all Anne Arundel County residents," Pittman said. "Wear the damn masks. Get vaccinated and boosted. Take these steps because they protect you and the people around you – the doctors and nurses overwhelmed by hospitalizations, the small business owner worried about customers staying away because of COVID transmission, the parents trying to protect their children from this deadly disease."

The order includes, but is not limited to: retail establishments, recreational establishments, houses of worship, and other locations open to the public.

Individuals will not be required to wear a mask if:

  • Eating or drinking while seated at food service establishments. Face coverings are still required when otherwise moving in or about a restaurant or bar premises.
  • A face covering cannot be worn due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.
  • Wearing a face covering would subject the person to an unsafe working condition.
  • A person is swimming or engaging in other physical activities where the use of a face covering is likely to pose a bona fide safety risk.
  • Wearing a face covering would make it impossible to receive certain services, including dental care, shaving, and facial treatments.
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