After lifting their indoor mask mandate a few months ago, Prince George's County, Maryland, is now recommending that residents again wear masks inside public spaces. The new suggestion from the county's health department comes as the county is seeing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases.
Shoppers in the parking lot of one Prince George's grocery store looked like they did at the height of the pandemic, with many choosing to keep masks on, even outside.
"No matter what the next person thinks, you should try to stay safe for yourself," said shopper Mike Hawkins.
Students are still masked, and many Prince George's residents have chosen to continue wearing them, so it wasn't too alarming when the county health department released a statement recommending wearing masks again inside public spaces.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
"The age group that is mostly affected is less than 40 years of age, usually in that 20- to 30-year-old age group; that's where you see most of the spread," Prince George's County Health Officer Ernest Carter said.
County officials say that while positive cases and hospitalizations are still low, at about 140 infections per 100,000 people, the county is recommending masking to keep it low.
"I'm trying to be sure that everybody stays healthy," Carter said. "This is sort of our new norm, and so we have to keep ourselves vigilant."
Prince George's County
Prince George's County, Maryland, news updates, events and information
Residents who spoke with News4 said they agree.
"The pandemic is still here, and it's not going away, and masks have proven to be successful," said resident Edward Trowell.
Arthelia Seymour, another county resident, said, "Numbers are still rising; COVID cases are still happening. And as for me and my family, we are keeping our masks on."
County officials say they are still following CDC guidelines when it comes to mandates. The good news, they said, is that Prince George's is far from needing to make masks mandatory indoors again, but officials are hoping everyone takes their advice to wear them.