The Perfect Enemy | CDC: 4 Baltimore-area jurisdictions have high COVID-19 community transmission
July 1, 2022

CDC: 4 Baltimore-area jurisdictions have high COVID-19 community transmission

CDC: 4 Baltimore-area jurisdictions have high COVID-19 community transmission  WBAL TV Baltimore

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Four of Maryland’s biggest jurisdictions are now areas of high community transmission for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|| COVID-19 updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Get tested | Vaccine Info ||While most elected leaders and health officials in those jurisdictions said they will not reinstate face mask mandates, one remains a “maybe.”The CDC is now recommending the public wear face masks indoors and on public transportation across the heart of the Baltimore metro region.The CDC cited rising COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations that have pushed Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties into the category of high community transmission.So, what does this mean at the local level? Are mask mandates coming back?The answer was a solid “maybe” from Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, who said she’ll issue advice after the next batch of data comes in next month.”Dr. Dzirasa let me know late last night about that. (She) and I will be meeting and discussing what plan of action we will be taking,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said. “As always, we’ll be talking with Dr. D, our hospital partners, everyone that we’ve been taking advice from around COVID so far.”| RELATED: Baltimore-area health officials prepare for uptick in children’s COVID-19 vaccinesBut it was a resounding “no” from the other three jurisdictions.The Howard County Health Department told 11 News: “We are not going to be reinstating a mask mandate.”Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch issued a statement to 11 News that read, in part: “We will not be going to a mask mandate.”And, there are no revived mask rules on tap in Anne Arundel County either, according to Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman.”So, we’re not talking about a mandate at this time,” Kalyanaraman told 11 News.| RELATED: New CDC research: Majority of Americans have had COVID-19 in recent monthsKalyanaraman, like his counterparts in neighboring jurisdictions, endorsed the CDC guidance, underscoring the importance of wearing a mask indoors during elevated community transmission.He also explained why this wave is different, saying: “While we’re seeing high community levels, (that) means that there’s both a lot of spread and some increase in hospitalizations. We’re not seeing the same level of hospitalizations that we did just six months ago. And so, it is a different situation. And, we do have the tools to better manage this, including oral treatments, which we didn’t have six months ago.”The CDC recalculates community transmission every Thursday based on case rates, hospital admissions and the percentage of COVID-19 inpatients.

Four of Maryland’s biggest jurisdictions are now areas of high community transmission for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

|| COVID-19 updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Get tested | Vaccine Info ||

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While most elected leaders and health officials in those jurisdictions said they will not reinstate face mask mandates, one remains a “maybe.”

The CDC is now recommending the public wear face masks indoors and on public transportation across the heart of the Baltimore metro region.

The CDC cited rising COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations that have pushed Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties into the category of high community transmission.

So, what does this mean at the local level? Are mask mandates coming back?

The answer was a solid “maybe” from Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, who said she’ll issue advice after the next batch of data comes in next month.

“Dr. Dzirasa let me know late last night about that. (She) and I will be meeting and discussing what plan of action we will be taking,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said. “As always, we’ll be talking with Dr. D, our hospital partners, everyone that we’ve been taking advice from around COVID so far.”

| RELATED: Baltimore-area health officials prepare for uptick in children’s COVID-19 vaccines

But it was a resounding “no” from the other three jurisdictions.

The Howard County Health Department told 11 News: “We are not going to be reinstating a mask mandate.”

Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch issued a statement to 11 News that read, in part: “We will not be going to a mask mandate.”

And, there are no revived mask rules on tap in Anne Arundel County either, according to Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman.

“So, we’re not talking about a mandate at this time,” Kalyanaraman told 11 News.

| RELATED: New CDC research: Majority of Americans have had COVID-19 in recent months

Kalyanaraman, like his counterparts in neighboring jurisdictions, endorsed the CDC guidance, underscoring the importance of wearing a mask indoors during elevated community transmission.

He also explained why this wave is different, saying: “While we’re seeing high community levels, (that) means that there’s both a lot of spread and some increase in hospitalizations. We’re not seeing the same level of hospitalizations that we did just six months ago. And so, it is a different situation. And, we do have the tools to better manage this, including oral treatments, which we didn’t have six months ago.”

The CDC recalculates community transmission every Thursday based on case rates, hospital admissions and the percentage of COVID-19 inpatients.