Sunday, February 27, 2022

Maryland, My Maryland

 Da Sun, Maryland lawmakers rescind school mask mandate

Maryland lawmakers voted Friday to rescind a statewide emergency regulation that had mandated the use of face masks in schools since August.

The General Assembly’s joint administrative, executive and legislative review committee gave the final approval in a 17-1 vote Friday to lift the mandate at the request of the State Board of Education and Maryland Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury. Local counties and school boards may shift to a mask-optional policy as early as Tuesday, or continue to maintain masking until a later date.

“We can’t mask our kids forever,” Choudhury said after citing the availability of vaccines, rapid testing and improving health metrics. “This is the time to do it.”

The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to rescind the regulation, which recently was expanded to include “offramps” that would allow school systems to lift masking requirements if they reached specific health metrics.

Less than an hour after the hearing adjourned, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated masking guidelines that say healthy people, including students in schools, can safely take a break from wearing masks in counties where the coronavirus poses a low or medium threat to hospitals.

At least four school systems — Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery — already have qualified to lift their masking requirements under the state regulation’s new “offramps,” Maryland State Department of Education officials said this week. Face coverings are optional in Anne Arundel, Carroll and Frederick county schools; Howard County schools announced that they would make masks optional next week.

Baltimore County school leaders said masks will become optional on Tues. March 1, according to a tweet from the school system.

Time to drop the mask mandates, all of them. WuFlu is effectively over for now in Maryland: 

Linked as Blog of the Day at Pirate's Cove in If All You See….

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