VACCINE MANDATES COULD BE DIFFICULT, HEALTH EXPERT SAYS: While mandating masks in schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has garnered some criticism, mandating vaccines for students and staff could very well turn out to be quite another ballgame, one of Maryland’s leading public health officials told a panel of state lawmakers on Monday afternoon, writes Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record writes that Dr. Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “I think the argument for teachers is more compelling than it is for children, both because it is a workplace issue and therefore a requirement for employment versus a child who is in a vulnerable population.”
- However, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports, mandating masks is a low-cost way to reduce COVID-19 transmission rates, said Tara Kirk Sell, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
HOGAN WON’T RUSH ASSEMBLY VOTE ON SCHOOL MASKS: As hundreds of thousands of Maryland children returned to public schools Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan said he won’t speed up a key vote on requiring masks inside school buildings to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Pamela Wood reports in the Sun.
- “Ninety-five percent of all kids in Maryland are already covered by local mask orders, this only impacts four or five counties and 5% of kids,” Hogan said Monday. Mikenzie Frost of WBFF-TV reports that Carroll, Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties do not have mask requirements for schools while the remainder of the districts have implemented them.
CARROLL TO WAIT ON PANEL OK FOR MASK ORDER: Carroll County’s school board voted Monday evening to hold off implementation of the state school mask order until after it is approved by a General Assembly committee, Kristen Griffith of the Carroll County Times reports.
HOUSE GOP PUSHES AGAINST MASK MANDATE: House Republicans in Annapolis issued a statement saying they have “serious concerns” about the State Board of Education’s move to require masks in all 24 of Maryland’s school districts, Kate Ryan reports for WTOP-FM.
MO CO STUDENTS RETURN TO CLASS: After 18 months of widespread school closures and criticism of a slow return to in-person classes, Montgomery County Public Schools officials were clear on the first day of classes Monday: The main objective is to “do whatever it takes” to safely keep buildings open as 160,000 returned to school, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.
JUDGE SIDES WITH DEVELOPER ON MAGLEV: In a victory for the firm behind an ambitious waterfront development in South Baltimore, a judge on Monday rejected a lawsuit filed by Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, backers of a controversial “super-conducting magnetic levitation train” known as maglev, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.
BA CO OKs STATE OF EMERGENCY: Baltimore County Council approved County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s local state of emergency order by a 4-3 vote during a hearing Monday, giving the county the power to reinstate restrictions enacted earlier during the coronavirus pandemic to stem the spread of the disease, Phil Davis of the Sun reports.
- Councilman Todd Crandell led the three Republicans opposing it. He said the state of emergency is unnecessary, takes away people’s freedom and allows Olszewski to choose winners and losers, John Lee reports WYPR-FM.
FIRST GARRETT COVID DEATHS IN 4 MONTHS: Two Garrett County residents have died from COVID-19, the first reported since April, the Garrett County Health Department said Monday. The county death total stands at 67 and officials preliminarily attributed the cause of the deaths to the delta variant of the virus, the Cumberland Times-News reports.
COURT: MD LAW PROTECTS AGAINST HIGH INTEREST RATES: Maryland law protects debtors not only against debt collectors who resort to harassment but also those who knowingly or recklessly seek amounts or interest rates beyond that permitted by statute or court decision, the state’s top court ruled Friday in a broad reading of the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.