Montgomery County has decided to take a more cautious approach to rolling back COVID-19 mask requirements and restaurant rules than the state of Maryland.
Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced the cancellation of statewide regulations, urging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves against COVID-19. Most exterior mask requirements are lifted and restrictions on eating out will end on Saturday.
However, Montgomery County will maintain stricter local restrictions.
Director Marc Elrich says lifting the outdoor mask mandate goes too far.
“County residents should continue to follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Elrich said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most people can skip masks when they are outdoors and socially distant, but still recommend that unvaccinated people cover their faces in many situations.
Montgomery County officials have said they will forgo restaurant changes this weekend.
âWe learned of Governor Hogan’s order when it was publicly announced so that our staff would review the state’s order to determine any potential impact on Board of Health regulations,â Elrich said.
Montgomery County is changing its approach to reopening. Instead of relying solely on virus indicators, the lifting of restrictions will depend on the percentage of people who have been vaccinated. In a unanimous vote Tuesday afternoon, county leaders approved a new three-phase reopening plan. News4’s Cory Smith explains the changes.
The county this week announced a phased approach to reopening tied to the percentage of people vaccinated. The county would follow state guidelines once half of the residents were fully immunized.
NBC Washington has contacted Prince George County to see if it plans to follow the new order, but has yet to receive a response.