PANDEMIC STATE OF EMERGENCY ENDS JULY 1: Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes that Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Tuesday that with record low coronavirus positivity rates and more than 70% percent of Marylanders at least partially vaccinated, the 15-month pandemic state of emergency will come to an end on July 1.
- The state’s mask order — which requires face coverings indoors at schools, day care centers, medical settings and on mass transit — will expire the same day. A federal order requiring masks on planes, subways, buses and other mass transit remains in effect. Hogan said businesses can set their own rules on mask-wearing, Alex Mann and Pamela Wood of the Sun report.
- The Post’s Ovetta Wiggins reports that Maryland’s moratorium on evictions related to the pandemic and flexibility on driver’s license renewals are among a small number of policies that will remain in place until Aug. 15. “It is not mission accomplished; the battle is not over,” Hogan said. “But it is a very hopeful point.”
- “If you have been vaccinated, you are safe, but those who have not gotten vaccinated will continue to be at risk,” Hogan said. The governor made the announcement as health metrics continue to improve in the state, Brian Witte of the AP reports.
- It wasn’t immediately clear whether local school systems will be able to maintain stricter mask requirements, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters.
- The announcement represents a downgrading of the pandemic for Hogan and state agencies. At one point, Hogan seemed to get emotional about the announcement, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. “It’s great to be able to move it into, now it’s an important operation rather than the thing that consumes all of our time and effort,” said Hogan, who credited the hard work of state agencies and local governments.
- Colin Campbell of the Sun offers an explainer on exactly what lifting the state of emergency will mean.
ANNAPOLIS TO END STATE OF EMERGENCY ON JULY 31: Annapolis will end its COVID-19 state of emergency on July 31, 30 days after the statewide emergency order expires, and won’t require proof of vaccination at City Council meetings, Brooks DuBose of the Annapolis Capital reports.
CITY ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY; MASKS LIKELY AT BA CO SUMMER SCHOOL: Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott plans to “deliver a path forward” during his press conference Wednesday, according to spokesman Cal Harris. In Baltimore County, masks will likely be required during summer school, which begins July 12, said Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman Charles Herndon, Rachel Baye reports for WYPR-FM.
VOTING IN MARYLAND TO BECOME MORE ACCESSIBLE: Election reform had momentum heading into Maryland’s 2021 legislative session after voters overwhelmingly embraced absentee ballots, early voting and ballot drop-off boxes during the state’s highly unconventional 2020 election cycle, Bennett Leckrone reports in Maryland Matters.
FAMILIES SAY OC POLICE ESCALATED SITUATIONS: Family members of the young men who were roughed up and arrested by Ocean City Police over the weekend for vaping along the boardwalk are saying that the police escalated the situations. One young man was tasered when he apparently had his hands up, Tim Prudente, McKenna Oxenden and Jessica Anderson report in the Sun.
- Two of the young men arrested over the weekend by Ocean City police said they prayed for their lives. Cellphone video shows four officers pinning Brian Anderson, 19, down and a fifth officer kneeing him in the side. Anderson’s high school friend, Gage Patterson, said he was tased during the encounter with police, Deborah Weiner of WBAL-TV reports. Anderson said he was locked up for about 15 hours, and his friends, who waited in their car for him and fell asleep, said they were ticketed for falling asleep in their vehicle, each fined $250.
HOGAN CALLS OC VIDEO ‘DISTURBING:’ Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that he had watched one of the viral videos of police officers in Ocean City using a Taser and kneeling on a teenager’s leg while enforcing a vaping ban this weekend and found it “disturbing,” reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post.
- Sun columnist Dan Rodricks asks: “What part of excessive force do police not understand?”
CARROLL CONTINUES DECLINE IN COVID CASES: Last week marked the sixth consecutive weekly decline and the ninth time in 10 weeks that Carroll County has seen a decrease, plunging from 229 cases at the beginning of that time frame, Bob Blubaugh writes for the Carroll County Times. The county had seen at least 100 cases of COVID-19 for 28 consecutive weeks before the week of May 9 with at least 200 cases in 16 of those weeks, including a record 534 the week of Jan. 3.
IG REPORT: B’MORE HELD BACK AUCTION PROPERTIES FOR NONPROFIT: A new report from Baltimore’s Inspector General questions the city’s handling of properties that are supposed to be sold at public auction, Jeff Abell reports for WBFF-TV. The report reveals that the city’s Housing Department withheld a portion of the thousands of properties from a tax sale at the request of a nonprofit community organization. According to the report, the unnamed organization then found developers for the properties charging them a fee and requesting a percentage of their profits.