Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that the state will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lift the indoor and outdoor mask mandate in most settings.

The only exceptions, Hogan (R) said, will be public transportation, health care settings and schools. Earlier this week, Hogan said he wouldn’t lift the mask mandate until at least 70 percent of the state’s adult population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Businesses will still be able to enforce their own mask mandates, the governor said. He urged everyone who hasn’t done so to get vaccinated, as it’s the easiest way to be protected against the coronavirus.

Vivian Laxton, communications director in County Executive Jan Gardner’s (D) office, said in an email county officials will follow Hogan’s lead regarding the mask mandate.

“The Frederick County Board of Health’s order concerning large gatherings remains in place,” Laxton wrote. “A responsible party must be designated for all gatherings of 100 or more people. The person’s name and contact information must be filed with the Frederick County Health Department at least one week prior to the event.”

Frederick County reported 17 new COVID-19 cases and no related deaths Friday. The county’s positivity rate is 2.5 percent, just under the statewide mark of 2.6 percent. Seventeen people with the virus in the county were in the hospital, with three of those in intensive care.

Since the pandemic began, Frederick County has seen 19,631 cases and 313 deaths.

The state reported 512 new cases and 12 deaths in the last 24 hours — bringing the statewide total to 455,257 and 8,716 respectively.

After Hogan described the state’s health metrics trending in the right direction, he summarized perhaps what many Marylanders felt as the mask mandate was lifted.

“Today is the day that so many of us have been waiting for and working towards: We finally do clearly see that light at the end of the tunnel,” the governor said.

The state of emergency remains in place, he said, even though business restrictions have been lifted. He urged those who haven’t been vaccinated to continue to wear masks. He added state officials wouldn’t be checking to see whether people had gotten their shot.

“There’s no way to put that into some kind of an order to say how are we ever going to find out who is or who isn’t,” Hogan said. “Nobody is checking vaccine IDs.”

Along with the mask mandate, business restrictions will be lifted in the county Saturday. But business owners will still have the ability to require masks for customers, employees or both.

Mike Clements, owner of Idiom Brewing on East Patrick Street, said the brewery will probably allow customers to forgo masks if they’re comfortable. He said his staff is almost entirely vaccinated, but he will probably have them continue to wear masks until people feel more comfortable.

“I mean the majority of folks in Maryland have been vaccinated … so we’re pretty comfortable with it,” Clements said.

Other businesses are holding off on lifting the requirements, however. James Smith, owner of Jerk N’ Jive Caribbean Kitchen with locations on East Street and Prospect Boulevard, said he wants to make people feel as comfortable as possible when they come to eat at the restaurant. While he acknowledged that a majority of Maryland residents 16 or older have been vaccinated, he doesn’t want to jump too soon.

“We still have customers who come to the door, look, and order carryout,” Smith said. “So if I can sort of ease their fear a little bit by continuing with the masks, continuing with the 6 feet apart, continuing with every other booth, we’ll do that for at least 30 days.”

Staff writer Erika Riley contributed to this report.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(50) comments

jth7100

You are finally stating that Trump actually won but it was stolen? Finally. I did not want Clinton to run for president so shove that. Biden's polling is easily looked up, so you can see yourself. TDS is real and you have it. Inject bleach and it will go away like a miracle. Enjoy the next 3 plus years, [lol][lol][lol][lol

Asjessee

Sorry new to this, please forgive, so I’m just wondering how many people supporting the former President on here will be donating to his re-election fund?

Asjessee

This is my wife’s account so

jth7100

Don't waste your time with Bosco or CD. They are just straight up angry and irrational that their guy lost. Or did he? See if they can tell you if Trump lost fairly, or was the election stolen from him. It's telling that they can't answer it. Meanwhile Biden is polling higher than Trump ever did among the population and they're reduced to ankle biting which is kind of fun to watch.

C.D.Reid

Still can't get over that TDS, can ya jth? Ever think about my suggestion of a nice, long rest out in the country? At least until the TDS vaccine is approved, that is. By the way, how is Beijing Joe's polls on his handling of the crisis he created at the southern border, did you factor that into your poll claim? As far as "ankle biting," goes, even if we were, that still wouldn't be as bad as the safe spaces you people retreated into when Trump beat your queen in '16. You keep talking about us not liking a crooked election that resulted in a senile, dementia ridden idiot moving into 1600 Penn. Ave., but you still can't get over Trump. How ridiculous is that? Or are you just scared that he isn't really gone after all? [lol][lol][lol]

bosco

Did jth say something, CD?

C.D.Reid

Nothing worthy, bosco, just more of his inherent TDS babbling. [yawn] Zzzzzzzzzzz...........

Awteam2021

Biden’s approval rating is 63% while Florida officials are preparing 'contingency plans' for a Trump indictment from New York within the next couple of weeks. Trump can’t leave his compound in fear of being arrested. Wouldn’t that qualify as “post TDS?” Or is that the TDS vaccine coming for Trump?

You think they’ll put Trump on a vegan diet in jail? Like you, he’s clearly full of ‘it.’ Or would that be “cruel and unusual punishment”?🤔

Awteam2021

If you put a pig in a plane they do.🤷‍♂️

PeteRefer

Funny how they take these polls but no one really knows who is giving the answers. I give you a poll of how many people in my house trust national polls... 0%.

JerryR

Ever see those polls folks? They are meaningless and usually performed by groups that advocate the party of late. The sample the pollsters take is also statistically insignificant. Anyone can pick and chose who they sample to get the desired result. If you actually believe brain-dead Joe is at 65% nationally, think again.

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup] C.D.Reid, they'll never let go of their sickening TDS. [smile]

Comment deleted.
Greg F

Trump f’d things up royally but you continue to fail to see that.

threecents

This is weird - eight Yankees players tested positive for Covid, even though all were vaccinated, and one had actually had Covid before. Only one of them has symptoms, so that is reassuring, but these are athletes. The India "double mutant" variant is likely the cause. I really wish masks and distancing - like so many other science issues - had not become politicized. Now it is going from a government mandated issue toward personal choice, but personal choice is too often determined by what party you belong to. Which brings me to Liz Chaney's demotion because she would not walk in lockstep with the rest of the House Republican leadership. That is what is wrong with the House and what is wrong with the country. Think for yourself - and that is not likely to happen if you listen to cable news/talk radio - whose main function is make money from dividing America.

Dwasserba

A lucid, sensible comment. Yes the concerning question so far unanswered about the ballplayers AND Bill Maher is, were they able to infect vulnerable others. Because if you had your second shot but are part of a vulnerable population, you need to still be cautious, the vaccine is not 100%. We are seeing it is not, in healthy people. God help their grandmas they hugged after a long break.

Comment deleted.
threecents

Thanks for the news from Bosco Manor Psyche Ward.

Comment deleted.
sevenstones1000

You’re in pain, bosco. Watching the GOP descend into a freak show can do that to a man, I guess.

Greg F

Thanks, but no thanks....will keep mine on....for the foreseeable future. Too many unvaccinated adults and kids still....and new variants to come thanks to them and the worldwide pandemic still ongoing.

Comment deleted.
public-redux

maranick does. He said he will mock people who wear a mask. He must care a lotto do that.

Dwasserba

I just heard Bill Maher isn’t on tonight because he got covid. Asymptomatic, routine testing caught it. Here would be the problem with, “I’ve had my second shot, I’m ready to visit maskless with friends who had theirs.” Just guessing because I know that’s happening. Hope he hasn’t encountered anyone immunocompromised.

MrSniper

Yeah. Eight members of the New York Yankees too. I’m glad they are asymptomatic but they were fully vaccinated. Maryland’s 70% mark refers to residents that have received the 1st shot. Many residents (including me) aren’t fully protected yet. I still have 2 more weeks before I can receive the 2nd, plus another week for the full effect. Gov. Hogan opened things up too soon. I’m not surprised. Republicans are all about the $$$.

Greg F

I hear you on that and think this is too early. What I don’t feel is sympathetic towards unvaccinated folks that chose not to get one that get sick when they go out unmasked. Saw a tween out yesterday in Wegmans without and obviously is not fully vaccinated since they were only eligible days ago. When he gets sick, I really don’t care. I will continue wearing for now even being fully vaccinated out of consideration for others. In seriously doubt many of the conservative trolls on the FNP comment section would do the same.

Crab0721

I also have 2 more weeks until I can get my second shot and I have not gotten my child in to receive their shot. One of my children has had the shots due to being in college. I am going to keep wearing my mask because I take a chemotherapy drug and an immunosuppressant so I can't trust people.

sevenstones1000

They were asymptomatic because their viral load was so low it couldn't even sicken them a little but. The load was too small for them to be able to transmit it to another. That’s how vaccines work.

Vaccinated people will not infect others.

bosco

If the vaccines work, why is Biden still mandating that masks be worn on public transportation? Planes and trains?

Awteam2021

I would guess, we still don’t know who has or hasn’t been vaccinated. As long as the virus is out there and we haven’t reached herd immunity, the virus can still mutate 🤦‍♂️. Potentially leading to a variant that the vaccine won’t repel.

tatt2ed

Mr Sniper...

2 weeks until your second shot (I assume Pfizer), then 2 additional weeks until you are considered "fully vaccinated". Partial protection is afforded those with 1 shot, but not the full effect.

threecents

Bosco, Geesh. (1) The vaccines work about 90%. (2) There are many people who are immunocompromised, so the vaccines don't work as well on them. (3) Many people have not had their second shot yet. (4) There are still a lot of people with Covid infections. The number hospitalized in Frederick finally went below 20, but I think it was ever above 80 or so. (5) Kids are not vaccinated yet, and though they generally don't get sick, some of them do get very sick and die or have chronic illness. (6) Is it really so hard for you to wear a mask occasionally? (7) Viruses are very easily spread in public transportation. (8) The virus continues to mutate. It actually mutates within every host. Every host provides a chance for the virus to mutate to become vaccine resistant.

bosco

threecents, thanks for your list of 8 "what ifs", "maybes" and "might happens". I would advise you to keep wearing your mask as long as something might happen. As for Bosco Manor, we are vaccinated and following the science and the data - and not the politics of fear and control. We might get hit by a chunk of blue ice as an airplane flies over or maybe lighting will strike, but we still go outside.

sevenstones1000

Those who cannot get vaccinated because they are immunosuppressed must continue to take extra care and wear a mask or, possibly, stay home. But we cannot base public health decisions on rare cases of exceptionally fragile individuals.

bosco

Agree, sevenstones. As I've mentioned before, I have had just about every vaccine known to man because of international travel. I have little sympathy for the anti-vaxxers who would rather take their chances with a disease - however I have lots of sympathy for somebody who cannot take a vaccine for one reason or another and would advise them to protect themselves and keep wearing that mask.

Dwasserba

You say vaccinated people can’t infect others, I hope you are right, but what I’ve heard is, we don’t really know yet, it depends on whom you encounter. Bill Maher didn’t do his live show Friday on short notice - we were surely safe - he had no symptoms - I’m assuming this reflects the uncertainty about the possibility of transmission.

PeteRefer

From the CDC... its ok...its ok.

The risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus. Vaccinated people could potentially still get COVID-19 and spread it to others. However, the benefits of relaxing some measures such as testing and self-quarantine requirements for travelers, post-exposure quarantine requirements and reducing social isolation may outweigh the residual risk of fully vaccinated people becoming ill with COVID-19 or transmitting the virus to others.

threecents

PetRef[thumbup]

Crab0721

That is exactly what I am worried about. People think that kids can't get Covid-19 or they are not high risk well they are carriers. Im worried about school in the fall I really hope that they at least keep the mask on since they are not social distancing the children. I can't home school or send my child to another school. So don't even say that. Also I don't want her to remain virtual either.

bosco

Will you be continuing your Mask Patrols, Doctor Fed Up GregF? And by all means, you keep wearing your mask as long as you feel the need to.

Aslan19

Bosco, he probably will continue to do his whining and complaining in here, so we can continue to ignore him. I am just glad he can't report people anymore for living their own life. 🤬

threecents

Asian, Does occasionally wearing a mask prevent you from living your life?

Awteam2021

Aslan was devastated when denied service to a business without shirt and shoes, screaming “let me live my life.” Still going through recovery theory over not being able to run the streets in his birthday suit. 🙇‍♂️

Crab0721

Bosco wearing a mask has nothing to do with fear or control. It is called common decency and respect for others.

bosco

crab, what I said was "we are vaccinated and following the science and the data - and not the politics of fear and control." Following the science and the data! Mandating that people wear masks when the science and the data indicate that vaccinated people do not spread the virus is not common decency, it is fear and control.

People who are afraid should continue to wear a mask - everywhere.

Dwasserba

I was just thinking how politely phrased this was, but Aslan had to pile on below. 🙄 I don’t get smarter. There is no cure.

threecents

Crab[thumbup][thumbup]

threecents

Bosco, I think you misunderstood Crab0721's comment.

Welcome to the discussion.

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