Maryland Announces Phased Closures Of Mass Vaccination Sites

Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday that Maryland will start a phased demobilization of the state's mass vaccination sites.

Video Transcript

- Maryland hits another big step forward in the fight against COVID. For the first time, our daily positivity rate drops below 1%, with the seven-day average just now 1.39%. WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren live at M&T Bank Stadium tonight where, Mike, they are winding down operations now.

MIKE HELLGREN: And Rick, it is not just here, but all of the state's mass-vaccination sites will be closing up shop soon, most of them by the middle of July.

Maryland is winding down its mass-vaccination sites, with M&T Bank Stadium set to give its final second-dose shot on July 2. The governor has said for months the sites would eventually close.

LARRY HOGAN: Since we first opened our first mass-vax site, my goal was to put ourselves out of business.

MIKE HELLGREN: Maryland is one of a handful of states where more than 70% of adults have received one shot. The focus will now move to mobile and smaller community vaccination sites.

BRYAN MROZ: So we're going to bring vaccines as close to people as possible. We're going to make it as easy as they can.

MIKE HELLGREN: Ripken Stadium has already given out its last first dose, with second doses available until June 19. The mall in Columbia will give out first doses until June 12, with state operations ending on July 3, the same as Navy Stadium in Annapolis. No decision has been made to close the Baltimore Convention Center for vaccinations.

BRYAN MROZ: But we are looking at sort of how that will be used to support Baltimore City over the next few months.

MIKE HELLGREN: The National Guard members helping run the sites will return to their regular duties. And any leftover vaccine will be transferred to other vaccination providers.

BRYAN MROZ: There are not large numbers of vaccines at these mass-vax sites sitting there.

MIKE HELLGREN: While life is returning to normal, in Baltimore City, you still must wear masks indoors. The city health department says that won't change until 65% of adults get one shot. Baltimore's at 55% now. Masks are still mandated in schools statewide.

In Carroll County, some school board members wrote the governor asking that students and teachers be given the option of taking off their masks. The health officer there said recently it's too early, despite the low transmission rate.

ED SINGER: I'd encourage you to wait till the end of the school year. I think next year, we're going to probably be mask free just about everywhere.

MIKE HELLGREN: And right now in Carroll County, students do not have to wear their masks when they're outside of the classroom. By the way, if you're coming down to get a mass-vax-- to a mass-vaccination site, no appointment is necessary. Live at M&T Bank Stadium, Mike Hellgren, WJZ.