Maryland drops COVID mask mandate just in time for summer

As the number of vaccinated individuals continues to grow, many members of the Centennial community are gearing up for a “maskless” summer vacation

In accordance with new CDC guidelines, Governor Larry Hogan announced on May 14 that Marylanders are no longer required to wear masks in nearly all settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This does not extend to schools, health care facilities, public transportation, nor private owned businesses. 

“We finally do clearly see the light at the end of that tunnel,” Hogan stated. “Our long, hard-fought battle over the worst of the global pandemic in nearly a century is finally nearing an end.”

Despite new regulations, Hogan still encourages individuals who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks both indoors and outdoors for the health and safety of themselves and those around them. 

At this time individuals ages twelve and up are eligible to be vaccinated––many students across the Howard County School System have already received their vaccinations, or are scheduled to do so. Although masks are still required to be worn in classrooms, the school system has taken countless steps towards ensuring this year ends on a high note. With only a few weeks of classes remaining, activities such as the performing arts and spring athletics have begun to return in full swing. Even sports spectators are permitted in the stands sans masks.

It is safe to expect that this summer will be much more eventful than the last; the vaccine combined with the new mask regulations permitting plans to go to concerts, to travel, and to even hold large gatherings to resume once again. Members of the Centennial student body are excited to take part in summer activities now that the mask mandate has been lifted. Rising seniors Andrew Pavuk and Zoë Worthy have already made vacation plans. “For my summer plans, I’m going camping and spending a week in Maine with my cousins,” Pavuk explained.

Heeding Hogan’s advice, several individuals still plan to bring their masks along to their summer plans. “My family is all vaccinated so that’s good. I’m just worried about going somewhere where COVID wasn’t or isn’t taken seriously,” Worthy expressed. “I’ll definitely still wear my mask around wherever we go just as an extra precaution.”

Regardless of whether students decide to ditch their masks, the updated CDC regulations are a step in the right direction. In reference to Governor Hogan’s announcement, Worthy summarizes the general spirit of students in saying, “Overall I’m really happy with it and super excited to finally have some normalcy.”


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