Governor says progress has been made in testing and vaccinations.
Annapolis, Md (KM) It’s been one year, three months and ten days since COVID-19 was first detected in Maryland, and a state of emergency was declared to battle this virus. But all of the progress in testing and vaccinating against COVID-19 has made a difference, according to Governor Larry Hogan. “Today I am announcing the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency in Maryland,” said the Governor during a news conference on Tuesday in Annapolis. “On Thursday, July 1st, any and all emergency restrictions and mandates of any kind will end.”
Hogan said that includes mask requirements. “Masks or face coverings will not be required in any settings anywhere, including schools, camps and child care facilities,”:; he said. Businesses can still require employees and customers to wear face coverings when on the premises, he said, but it will no longer be a state requirement.
The Governor also announced on Tuesday that July 1st will start a 45-day administrative grace period, where certain regulations will be relaxed as Maryland emerges from the pandemic. He said anyone who was unable to renew their driver’s licenses during the pandemic will have an opportunity to do so. “We’re also granting an additional extension of the moratorium on evictions related to COVID-19 through August 15th,” Governor Hogan said. “And health officials will have that 45-day period to transition from emergency operations.”
He called this good news “the light at the end of a long tunnel.” But the Governor reminded citizens that the COVID-19 virus is still out there. :”If you have been vaccinated, you are safe. But those who have not gotten vaccinated will continue to be at risk,” Hogan said.
It is good news that the restrictions are coming to an end, but the Governor also reminded Marylanders not to forget those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. “It is truly a time for celebration. But I ask that you take a moment to remember those 9.472 lives that we lost,” he said.
“And that we give thanks to the health care heroes who saved so many other lives,” he continued. . “And the citizen-soldiers of the Maryland National Guard who answered the call.”.
By Kevin McManus