Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott blamed unvaccinated people for taking the city back to the indoor mask mandate that will go into effect starting Monday.
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott reinstated face mandates© Alex Wong / Staff Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott reinstated face mandates
"For anyone that's frustrated about wearing a mask and you're not vaccinated, then look in the mirror. It's your fault that we're going back to having an indoor mask mandate," Scott said during a news conference on Friday, according to WBAL-TV 11.
"Make sure that folks get vaccinated. If you're not vaccinated, shut up, don't complain. Folks need to wear a mask to protect themselves, to protect the people around them."
Scott announced on Thursday that he is reinstating the mask mandate in Baltimore in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. He previously said that he wouldn't hesitate to reinstate the face mask mandate if science requires it.
In line with @CDCgov guidance, I am reinstating the indoor mask mandate for all residents and guests in Baltimore. As we continue to encourage vaccination, wearing masks helps maximize protection from the Delta variant and halt its spread.
Release: https://t.co/ArBWTRr3CP pic.twitter.com/YJGoRl8tVl
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) August 5, 2021
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Besides reinstating the mask mandate in the city, Scott and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa urged people to get vaccinated.
"While we know that masking is a sure way to slow the spread of COVID-19, we cannot stress enough the importance and urgency of getting vaccinated so that we can beat COVID-19 for good," Scott said, according to a press release by the mayor's office on Thursday
The CDC recently updated its guidelines to urge fully vaccinated people in areas of the country with "high" or "substantial" coronavirus transmission levels to resume wearing face masks.
During the period from July 30 to August 5, Baltimore City and 13 of Maryland's counties fall under the CDC's "high" or "substantial" COVID transmission level, according to the agency's data.
"The Delta variant is here, and it poses a serious threat to our unvaccinated residents," said Dzirasa, according to the mayor's office in a press release. "I'm speaking to you not just as the health commissioner, but as a mother of a child that is too young to be vaccinated. We have the ability to slow the spread COVID-19 and the actions we all take collectively will protect the most vulnerable among us."
COVID cases have increased around 374 percent within the past four weeks as of Wednesday, according to the mayor's office, with over 50 cases per 100,000 residents during a seven-day average for the period between July 27 and August 2.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Thursday he will not impose a new mask mandate or order businesses to close even as the Delta variant of the coronavirus surges through his state.
"Mask mandates and shutdowns will not be able to eradicate the threat of the virus, of this Delta variant," Hogan said during a news conference. Instead, he said, vaccines are the most effective weapon in the battle against the virus and COVID-19.
The state's seven-day average of coronavirus cases is up by more than 200 percent in recent weeks, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health. Nearly all the new cases are suspected to have been caused by the Delta variant.