Health worker issues public safety order to maintain requirement to cover face
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER DR. KALYANARAMAN ISSUES PUBLIC SAFETY ORDER PURSUING THE REQUIREMENT OF FACE COVERAGE UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2022
Annapolis, Maryland (January 7, 2022) – Today, as Anne Arundel County continues to experience a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths amid the highly contagious omicron variant, Dr Nilesh Kalyanaraman, head of health for Anne Arundel County, declared a public safety order under state law to require face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoor public places where distancing does not occur. is not possible.
“Masks and masking requirements have been shown to be effective in reducing COVID transmission and hospitalizations,” said health officer Dr Nilesh Kalyanaraman. âWhen the collective impact of individual decisions reverberates, we need to take collective action. That’s why a time-bound mask requirement is essential to reduce the overwhelming burden we place on our hospitals. ”
The issuance of a public safety decree comes after Anne Arundel County Council refused to extend the county executive’s decree requiring the face covering. This order, issued on December 31, 2021, expired today at noon.
âDr. Kalyanaraman’s decision to issue this order is a necessary step to protect the health and safety of all residents of Anne Arundel County,â County Director Steuart Pittman said. âWear those damn masks. Get vaccinated and boosted. Take these steps because they protect you and those around you – the doctors and nurses overwhelmed with hospitalizations, the small business owner worried that customers will stay away. cause of transmission of COVID, parents trying to protect their children from this deadly disease. “
This week, Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and a catastrophic health emergency that will last for 30 days in response to the growing number of hospitalizations in the state as the number of people hospitalized for COVID has risen to more than 3 000, more than 50% more than the previous record of 1952. The Anne Arundel Medical Center declared a standard of crisis care. Baltimore Washington Medical Center has declared a crisis care standard. Since December 5, hospitalizations for COVID have increased from 53 to 236, an increase of 345%.
the The new public health order will take effect immediately and will require all people over the age of two to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible in County of. Anne Arundel. The order expires on January 31, 2022.
“The Public Safety Ordinance issued today by Dr Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the County Health Officer, is issued in accordance with the authority given to the County Health Officer by the General Health Section. of the State Code and Maryland Code Regulations, âcounty attorney Gregory J. Swain said. “This decree does not require a state of emergency or a state of local emergency and is part of the statutory and regulatory authority of the health official under state law to combat infectious and contagious diseases in the county.”
The order includes, but is not limited to: retail establishments, recreational establishments, places of worship and other places open to the public.
People will not be required to wear a mask if:
- Eat or drink while sitting in catering establishments. Face coverings are always required when moving in or near a restaurant or bar.
- A face cover cannot be worn due to a medical condition, mental health issue, or disability.
- Wearing a face cover would subject the person to hazardous working conditions.
- A person swims or engages in other physical activities where the use of a face covering is likely to pose a good faith safety risk.
- Wearing a face cover would make it impossible to obtain certain services, including dental treatment, shaving and facials.
The order follows a recommendation made to Maryland Secretary of Health Dennis Schrader in a joint letter signed by the Maryland Hospital Association, MedChi, Maryland State Medical Society, League of Life & Health Insurers of Maryland, Inc. ., Health Facilities Association of Maryland and LifeSpan Network on December 24, 2021:
âIn light of the current increase in the number of cases, we believe it is time to consider changing the policy on maskingâ¦ The science we have on masking has been hard won by human lives. Given the current figures, it seems wise to consider taking urgent action. “
All residents are encouraged to continue taking precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or booster injection, please visit www.aahealth.org / covidvax or by contacting your local emergency department, pharmacy or primary care provider.