Anne Arundel County employees will have to prove their vaccination status if they want to go maskless inside county buildings, County Executive Steuart Pittman said Tuesday.
The county is considering whether to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in county-owned buildings for the public, Pittman said.
Pittman lifted the county’s mask mandate along with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Saturday, May 15, but the few county buildings that have opened to the public still require masks inside for unvaccinated people. County senior centers require masks regardless of vaccination status. Private businesses have been given flexibility in how they implement masking policies. Masks are still required on public transit, in schools and in health care settings.
Residents looking for an easy way to digitize their vaccination ID card can use a state website to get a digitized “certificate of COVID-19 vaccination,” Pittman said.
Residents can go to the site, md.myir.net, to pull up their own immunization history and download a certificate proving vaccination against COVID-19. Go to the site and put in identifying information to pull up your own vaccination history. It takes about a minute to register and download the certificate.
The Anne Arundel County Council chambers have remained closed. Despite gathering restrictions being rescinded, construction will delay a return to that room until June at the earliest, officials have said.
Pittman’s announcement comes as he is getting some pressure from Councilwoman Jessica Haire, R-Edgewater, to reopen county buildings to the public after hearing some constituents’ frustrations dealing with county business over the phones and internet. Haire has filed a resolution, which doesn’t have the authority to force Pittman’s hand but its passage could sway public opinion.
With appropriate safety guidelines in place, the county should be open and available to work face to face with its residents, she said in a previous interview.
Anne Arundel Administrative Officer Matt Power said Pittman has directed agencies to plan for reopening months ago and the process is underway. Council members will be kept informed as the work continues, but the county plans to communicate with staff and “do this right,” he said.
The county COVID-19 case rate dropped below 5 cases per 100,000 residents on Saturday for the first time since July. Anne Arundel recorded only 20 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, but of those who previously caught the disease, four more died. In all, 606 Anne Arundel residents have died from COVID-19.