ANNAPOLIS, Md. — As hundreds of people across the country are being vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some may be wondering, "How long everyone will have to keep wearing masks?"
When asked during a news conference Tuesday afternoon about lifting any restrictions or the state's mandatory mask mandate, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said he doesn’t see the state lifting any masking orders "anytime soon."
The governor said while Maryland has nearly 100% of its businesses open, some orders when it comes to slowing the spread of the virus will not be changing due to some residents worrying about the variances now present in the state.
“Our metrics could not be going any better. We’re down to the October levels, we got past the holiday surge. And this has been consistent now for, in many cases, six, eight weeks," Hogan said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
In part, Hogan said Marylanders have been following the state's public health advice but warned people to not get too "complacent" with the relaxation of the state's COVID restrictions as they progress in the state's reopening plan.
“What we don’t want to do is have everybody get complacent and have these crazy variants out there that you know, there’s, there’s kindling out there still, there are embers, and we don’t want it to flame back up again,” Hogan said.
Governor Hogan during Tuesday's news conference also announced new restrictions pertaining to masks, saying that everyone over the age of five will be required to wear masks in classrooms and any other “school setting where interaction with others is likely."
Hogan signed a new executive order that will require masks to be worn in all Maryland classrooms, cafeterias, hallways, auditoriums and gyms.
"I'm looking forward to visiting school systems all across the state in the coming weeks to thank all the teachers, staff and administrators who are working so hard to get our kids back in the classrooms," Hogan said.