2021 | Government

County ends mandatory mask use in most of its buildings

Masks still ‘highly encouraged’ for unvaccinated people

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Montgomery County ended its mask requirement for most county facilities and buildings Monday, as health metrics associated with the coronavirus pandemic continue improving.

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, posted on Twitter on Monday a notice from the county’s Office of Human Resources that masks are still “highly encouraged” for unvaccinated county employees and visitors at most county facilities.

As of Monday, 60.1% of county residents have been fully vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Mask wearing is still required in some facilities countywide, including:

  • Child care settings
  • Correctional facilities
  • Health care settings, like the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) crisis center; HHS dental, HIV and TB clinics; and the occupational medical services and fire and rescue occupational medical services clinic
  • Homeless shelters
  • Public transportation
  • Schools
  • Summer camps

Mary Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed the list in an email Monday to Bethesda Beat.

“Masks are highly recommended in County buildings for those who are unvaccinated — since it’s not mandatory, there will be no checking of vaccination records,” Anderson wrote to Bethesda Beat.

Earl Stoddard, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said last week that mask wearing would remain in place at some locations because of state law and the types of populations in those settings.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com