BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Marylanders will start to see significant changes with mask policies across the state this week.
Starting Tuesday, the state and several counties will no longer require masks in government buildings.
Many mask mandates for businesses had already expired.
As of Feb. 22, 2022, the state of Maryland, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, and Montgomery County will no longer require masks in government buildings.
In Howard County where officials say COVID-19 cases are down about 90 percent from the peak, County Executive Calvin Ball says it's now safe to lift the indoor mask mandate.
"I'll probably be wearing my mask here and there, but I want to make sure that people have the choice and I still encourage people when they want to, they should wear their mask," says Ball.
Baltimore County will lift its indoor mask mandate for government buildings on Feb. 28, 2022.
Harford and Carroll Counties have already dropped the mandates.
Some Marylanders are optimistic but cautious.
"I think it's probably wise," Ken Estes of Howard County said. "I think things are pretty much over but I'll probably continue just for my own preference."
Baltimore City is the exception. The city will continue to require masks until transmission reaches the CDC's accepted level of low to moderate. According to the CDC, as of Monday, Baltimore's transmission rate is still "substantial."
This week, parents who don't want their kids to wear masks in schools could get an update from the Maryland State Board of Education, which meets on Tuesday. The board has vowed to make a decision about masks in schools based on the metrics that health officials deem acceptable with regards to removing school mask mandates.
Regardless of the decision that the board of education makes, some parents say they will continue to send their kids to school with a mask.
"They will continue wearing the masks," Surya Ve of Howard County said. "We tell the kids to wear the masks all the time."
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