BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- At this very moment, the United States is approaching a very grim milestone of one million deaths due to COVID-19.
Maryland had more than 2,400 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and if cases continue growing, some jurisdictions may be forced to re-implement mask mandates.
Tuesday, Baltimore's health commissioner requested that people voluntarily wear masks at in-door public spaces. The city's COVID-19 level was recently moved from "low" to "medium" and if it moves to "high," then the health commissioner said masks will become mandatory.
"We're asking people again, to really take heed to the guidance to voluntarily put that mask on when you go indoors. I understand that we're all over the masks, but please don those masks again so that we don't find ourselves in a position again, where they're mandatory," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa said.
Just two months ago, Maryland's positivity rate was at 1.5-percent, it's now higher than 6-percent.
The sharp increase in cases is also affecting schools that are experiencing outbreaks.
WJZ obtained an email that was sent home to THE parents of Worthington Elementary students in Howard County. The letter said 27 people in the school tested positive for COVID-19. The people impacted are currently in isolation.
Roland Park Elementary-Middle school in Baltimore had an even larger outbreak after an off-campus weekend event.
About 30 people at the school were affected and sixth-grade classes had to go virtual.
Anne Arundel County officials say they've also experienced COVID-19 outbreaks.
Bob Mosier with Anne Arundel County schools said about 30 days are left in the year and families need to remain cautious.
"Be reassured that our school system in conjunction with our county department of health is continuing to have conversations about ways to best mitigate this issue in our schools so that we can keep our schools open for all of our students as safely and as prudently as possible," Mosier said.
The United States is approaching a grim milestone of a million COVID-19 deaths. Those aren't just numbers, but they are stories about the people next door.
"We know people have lost their parents and their children, and we now have the tools to protect all of us—our vaccines and getting boosted in wearing masks in high-risk settings," Dzirasa said.
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