Breaking News
More () »

Indoor mask mandate ends Monday in Prince George's County

Per current CDC guidelines, masks will still be required on all public transit systems, including the Metro and city buses, and in schools.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Prince George's County residents will soon be able to go maskless in many indoor settings. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Friday that she would be lifting the indoor mask mandate effective Monday.

"I have waited a really long time to say that it is safe for us to do this," Alsobrooks said. 

The previous mandate for the county was slated to end March 9, but Alsobrooks said the county's health data indicated it was safe to end early. Per current CDC guidelines, masks will still be required on all public transit systems, including the Metro and city buses, and in schools Alsobrooks said.

Alsobrooks said the change comes after the county's COVID data saw major positive changes. According to Alsobrooks, Prince George's County has the lowest transmission rate in Maryland, as the only county in the state in the "moderate" category for transmission, according to the CDC. She added that COVID hospitalizations have decreased by 36% in the last week, and that the county's positivity rate -- 2.29% -- is the lowest she's seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

"Prince Georgians have totally crushed COVID-19," Alsobrooks said. "From the very beginning of the pandemic, I promised you we would make all of our decisions based on science and medicine and we would be guided by data. Accordingly, everyone's collective efforts have now caused us to be in a place where we are trending in the right direction."

While Alsobrooks said almost 92% of residents ages five and older have at least one dose of vaccine, the county executive noted that she had heard from many residents who do not feel ready to ditch the masks, and urged everyone to be respectful of the choices of others regarding the masks. 

"Today's announcement signals a transition into the next phase of or fight against COVID-19, but it does not mean COVID-19 is gone from our community," Alsobrooks said. "If you are still hesitant about removing your mask in public, I want you to know we all support and respect it. You can continue to wear your mask as long as you feel comfortable."

RELATED: Here's where mask mandates are in effect in DC, MD and VA

Under current CDC guidelines, masks are recommended for people residing in communities of substantial or high transmission.

But according to multiple sources, the CDC is expected to loosen its mask-wearing guidelines, particularly when it comes to the metrics used to determine whether an indoor mask policy should be in place. Sources say the new metrics will be less about case counts and more about hospitalizations and capacity. 

It is not clear how the new CDC guidance may impact federal rules for transportation. 

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out