COVID-19 Update graphic

As you may have heard, Baltimore City will lift its mask mandate as of March 1. UMB continues to have its mask mandate in place for the time being and will continuously evaluate. 

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to drop across the United States and Maryland. In fact, Maryland has one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in the country. Our COVID-19 vaccines continue to prove effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, and new, effective treatments are now available. This is great news and reason to celebrate.

But we realize some people may be apprehensive about relaxing COVID-19 safety measures. That is OK. There are still very effective actions you can take to lower your personal risk of getting COVID-19. They are:

  1. Get vaccinated and boosted. The research clearly shows that people who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine and booster are much less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. Hence, the foundation of your personal COVID-19 safety strategy should always be to get and keep up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. Wear a high-filtration mask. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that consistently wearing a N95 or KN95 mask in indoor public settings reduced the odds of getting COVID-19 by 83 percent. The study included settings where the person interacted with others who were NOT wearing a mask. So, wearing a N95 or KN95 provides an excellent level of protection even if people around you are unmasked.     
  3. Maintain a supply of at-home test kits. Make sure you have a supply of at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate and test yourself as outlined in your test kit directions. This is important for two reasons. First, if you test positive, you can alert anyone you recently had close contact with to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and consider testing themselves. Second, if you test positive, you should immediately contact your health care provider. A health care provider can provide directions on next steps including whether you need one of the new, effective treatments for COVID-19. If treatment is indicated, it is important to start as soon as possible since these treatments are much more effective when started early in the course of the disease.
  4. Keep up to date on your routine medical appointments and tests. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented people from visiting their health care provider on a regular basis. Thus, we are seeing people suffering from illnesses that would have been more treatable if caught earlier. Make sure to get back on track with your routine health care visits.
  5. Talk to your provider about health conditions that put you at greater risk if you contract COVID-19. People with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19 should talk to their health care provider about additional measures they should take to protect themselves. Information on conditions that increase risk are at this link.


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