PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Effective immediately, masking in Prince George’s County is no longer required for most outdoor activities.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Friday that at the advice of county health officials, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that masks for outdoor activities aren't required.
“We will follow CDC recommendations that say those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask when outdoors walking, running, hiking or biking, or in small gatherings with members of their household or other fully vaccinated people,” Alsobrooks said in a release to WUSA9.
Alsobrooks said that while this may be a victory for the county, social distancing and getting vaccinated are both still encouraged for all county residents.
“While this is exciting news for those fully vaccinated, we still urge caution and we encourage those who are not vaccinated, to take the vaccine and join the growing number of Prince Georgians who are Proud to be Protected from COVID-19," Alsobrooks said.
Masks are still required in crowded outdoor venues such as sports stadiums or outdoor concert venues. Unvaccinated residents are strongly encouraged to continue wearing their masks outdoors until they are fully vaccinated, county officials said.
In addition, masks are still required in all indoor venues and while on public transportation.
All other COVID-19 safety guidelines and requirements throughout Prince George's County remain in place at this time — including capacity restrictions for businesses.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made major COVID protocol changes Wednesday when he announced the state would no longer require masks to be worn outdoors, and that all capacity and distancing restrictions would be lifted for outdoor dining starting May 1. Face masks and coverings are still required indoors as indoor dining restrictions are to remain in the state.
According to Gov. Larry Hogan, more than 4.5 million vaccines have been administered across the state and 85% of Marylanders age 65 and older are either fully or partially vaccinated. The governor said they were able to lift the mask mandate outdoors in part due to the decline in metrics along with what he said was a high vaccination pace.
As has been the standard for the duration of the pandemic, local jurisdictions have the final say in whether they will lift COVID protocols in their own regions. Following Hogan's announcement, Montgomery County leaders promptly responded that the county would not fall in line with the governor's guidance.
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