Maryland expands mask-wearing requirements to all indoor public spaces

Maryland has expanded its mask-wearing rules as the number of coronavirus cases in the state rise.

On Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan issued orders that require anyone older than age 5 to wear a face-covering in all indoor public areas of businesses and buildings.

That includes churches, offices and restaurants. Masks will also be required in outdoor spaces when it is not possible to maintain social distancing.

The order takes effect on Friday at 5 p.m.

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At a news conference, Hogan said the new rules are “fact-based, apolitical and solidly grounded in science,” according to The Baltimore Sun.

“While it can be an inconvenience, especially in the heat, wearing a mask is the single best mitigation strategy that we have to fight the virus,” Hogan added.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks about the state's response to coronavirus during a news conference in March in Annapolis, Maryland. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks about the state's response to coronavirus during a news conference in March in Annapolis, Maryland. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

As of Wednesday, Maryland had 86,285 coronavirus cases. According to the state’s website, that’s an increase of 761 cases in a 24-hour period.

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Hogan also urged residents to avoid visiting some states with rapidly increasing cases of coronavirus infections.

The travel advisory applies to states with positive test rates of or higher than 10 percent. Those states include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas, The Sun reported.

Hogan said if people must visit those states, they should immediately be tested upon returning to Maryland and quarantine themselves until learning the results.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.