Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Urges State Board To Lift Mask Mandate in Schools

Gov. Larry Hogan does not believe masks should be required in Maryland schools.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Virginia Bates, Copy Editor: Joshua Nunez

In recent years, Maryland has done a good job of dealing with coronavirus, with only a few outbreaks. Businesses, hospitals, schools, and other facilities have received the necessary warnings to ensure everyone’s safety. Everyone seems to have accepted the new normal, and wearing a mask has become our daily routine.

Beginning in late 2019, the coronavirus has been surrounding the news that affects our lives for years. However, the question remains as to when we will revert back.

On Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan urged the Maryland State Board of Education to revoke the school mask mandate.

“A growing number of medical professionals, parents, and bipartisan state officials throughout the nation are calling for an end to school mask requirements,” Hogan wrote in a letter to the state school board. “In light of dramatic improvements to our health metrics and the widespread availability of vaccines, I am calling on you to take action to rescind this policy.”
Hogan revoked Maryland’s indoor face-covering order last May. Maryland has since battled the highly contagious delta and omicron variants of the coronavirus.

During the omicron spike, the governor declared a state of emergency, but he never issued a new statewide mask mandate. Some counties reinstituted their own face-covering orders to battle the winter wave, as schools have seen.

Maryland’s case rate has dropped to 18.2 new infections per 100,000 people per day. There have been 986 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland. This is down from a high of 3,462 patients on January 11. The state’s positivity rate has dropped to 5.12 percent, down from a high of 29.98 percent. Hospitalizations are still up from the recent low of 490 on November 14, 2021, and the all-time low of 97 on July 1, 2021.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

A total of 4,426,122 Maryland residents have received all of their vaccines. Approximately 97.99 percent of seniors, 95 percent of adults, and 89.5 percent of residents aged 5 and up have received the coronavirus vaccine. Since they were cleared for immunization in October 2021, 43.25 percent of children aged 5 to 11 have received their first injection.

The infection and vaccine statistics for Maryland are updated on a daily basis at

Infections have significantly slowed. The 30-day state of emergency ended on February 3 after a few jurisdictions rescinded their mandates. However, masks are still required in schools. Is it a good idea to get rid of the mandate that has kept students and teachers safe for so long?

“We have seen the harmful effects of prolonged school closures on the education, health, and emotional well-being of Maryland students.” Hogan said. “The consequences include failing grades, regressed social development, and increased mental health challenges. If these trends are not reversed quickly, we face the unthinkable prospect of a generation left behind, both academically and socially.”
Schools were closed for most of 2020. Many will reopen for optional hybrid classes in early 2021. They resumed a full schedule of in-person instruction at the start of the 2021–2022 school year.

The governor praised the state school board for its efforts to keep schools open during the recent surges, but he encouraged them to go even further.

“Now, it is critical to move toward normalcy for students and families by rescinding the school masking policy that was adopted by the State Board of Education in December 2021,” Hogan said, noting that Maryland has the best case rate in the country. “We must all learn to live with this virus, not in fear of it.”