BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Friday said a mask mandate will be lifted next week in "most" government buildings.
Face coverings will still be required on public transit and at the Howard County Detention Center, the county executive said.
Starting Tuesday, Feb. 22, the mandate will be lifted in all other county buildings and facilities.
Ball said the county has seen "significant decreases" in its COVID-19 metrics, with the positivity rate now at 3.8% 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," he said. "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."
Ball said 89.6% of resident age 5 and older are fully vaccinated, and 65.9% of eligible residents have received their booster shots.
In a tweet, Ball encouraged residents who still haven't gotten all their shots to schedule an appointment at a vaccination clinic.
"Vaccination continues to be our best line of defense against severe disease and death," he said.
Face masks are still recommended indoors for people age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated, the county executive's office said, and "[r]esidents should still use caution in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status."
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