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Gov. Hogan Critical Of Mayor Scott’s Decision To Keep Baltimore’s Indoor Mask Mandate

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Baltimore City will continue to require masks indoors and at outdoor venues like stadiums—while the state no longer requires masks outside and indoors in many cases.

Video Transcript

- To Maryland's fight against covid-19. Today, the state reported its lowest number of new cases since March of last year. Just over 200 in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate is also down to 2.51%, tying the lowest level on record.

- And despite the positive metrics, Baltimore City will continue to require masks indoors and Governor Hogan is not happy about it.

- Mayor Scott says that too few people have gotten vaccinated in the city and it is too risky to drop the mask mandate right now. WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren is live at City Hall. He has more on the controversy, Mike.

MIKE HELLGREN: Denise and Rick, the Governor and Mayor were cordial after meeting last week. But today, Governor Hogan lashed out at Mayor Scott over the policy. And we are still awaiting a response from the mayor's office.

- If you want that mask mandate to go away, get vaccinated.

MIKE HELLGREN: You still have to wear your masks indoors in Baltimore City and at outdoor venues like stadiums. While the state no longer requires mass outside and indoors in many cases.

- Two out of three people you pass on the street are not yet vaccinated.

MIKE HELLGREN: Governor Hogan blasted Mayor Scott's decision to keep requiring masks.

- This doesn't make any sense to me. But you know, I think the mayor might have that authority to do that. I know I saw him at the Preakness on Thursday night both indoors but redefined with a mask. So if he's not going to do it any other people do.

MIKE HELLGREN: The city plans to mandate masks until 65% of adults receive one dose of vaccine. Right now, Baltimore is at 42%. And only 33% of those 65 and older are fully vaccinated. Baltimore has seen double digit declines in cases the positivity rate and deaths.

- As great as our mass vaccination sites are, we know that they're stationary, they're fixed. They have fixed hours. And so we've really tried to create a strategy that involves bringing the vaccine for people.

MIKE HELLGREN: Maryland is one of the few Northeastern states that no longer requires mass indoors. Although, you still must wear masks and health care settings schools and on public transit. The governor celebrated a record low reported positivity rate on Monday and the smallest number of new infections since late March of 2020.

- It really is-- I would say the beginning of the end.

MIKE HELLGREN: Private businesses can still require masks. Mayor Scott says he'll provide support for those establishments that get pushed back.

- We'll make sure the police and other agencies are there to support, but we also have to again, remind ourselves that this is not over.

MIKE HELLGREN: Now if you're outside in the city, like I am without people around you. You do not have to wear your masks. And Dr. Terraza told me they started going door to door to target people who are homebound for vaccinations. Reporting live at City Hall, Mike Hellgren, WJZ.