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Outdoor Face Covering Order Still In Place In Baltimore, Maryland While They Weigh CDC Guidance

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — So, what does the new mask guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mean?

For Baltimore, Mayor Brandon Scott said no final decision has been made on whether or not to change anything, and that he's waiting for Gov. Larry Hogan to make the first move before lifting any restrictions or issuing new guidance.

He said one of the biggest challenges moving forward is not being able to tell who is vaccinated and who is not.

"I think it's exciting," said Baltimore resident Krista Crawford.

It's a feeling of relief, after the CDC announced new mask guidelines.

"It's very reassuring to be fully vaccinated now and hear that it's reasonably safe to be out in the open in low density situations without the mask," said John Smith, of Baltimore.

Right now in Maryland, anyone over six years old must wear a mask when inside public places, and outside when social distancing is not possible.

But in Baltimore City, Mayor Brandon Scott upholds the state's strictest mask orders, requiring residents to wear one at all times in public, both inside and outside.

"As always we're going to be following the CDC, talking with our local health commissioner but also understanding, looking at the Maryland Department of Health and what they are going to do," Mayor Scott said.

The city health commissioner said right now, only 25% of the city is vaccinated, and that could pose a few challenges.

"Three out of four people in the city you come in contact with are not yet fully vaccinated, so out of an abundance of caution, you should still be putting in some appropriate protective measure to keep yourself and your family safe," said Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

"You have to be as safe as possible until we reach the level of vaccinations of herd immunity and we have not reached that yet," Mayor Scott said.

Some neighbors agree, they are not ready to ditch the mask just yet.

"Being fully vaccinated makes a big difference," said Krista Crawford, of Baltimore. "If it's a tight situation, I keep my mask with me at all times."

The city says they will be making an announcement soon on their decision. On the statewide level, Gov. Hogan is expected to give a coronavirus update Wednesday at 4 p.m.

His office said Tuesday night the outdoor face covering order is still in place while they review the CDC's guidance with their public health officials.

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