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Anne Arundel to require masks in some outdoor public spaces

Maryland’s Anne Arundel County will be requiring people to wear masks in public outdoor spaces where 6-foot social distancing isn’t possible, County Executive Steuart Pittman announced Thursday.

The requirement will take effect Friday at 5 p.m.

It’s part of two new initiatives he announced that are designed to protect residents from the coronavirus and address economic hardships the virus is creating. Another part of the health initiative aims to test 2% of the county population each week, or about 11,600 people. A third component of the safety initiative will increase complaint-driven enforcement activity to ensure safety protocols in bars and restaurants in the evening.

The measures are being taken to prevent a new surge of COVID-19 cases and avoid any reversal of the county’s reopening actions.

The second initiative includes a series of workforce assistance programs designed to help laid-off workers and connect them with job training and placement support.

The county’s seven-day rolling average for percent positive testing on Thursday was 3.47 percent, more than a point below the statewide average of 4.53 and the lowest of the six largest Maryland counties with a population over 300,000.

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