**FILE** Courtesy of Anne Arundel County Department of Health via Twitter

Anne Arundel County’s mask mandate will remain in effect after a circuit court judge shot down a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction against the order.

The judge ruled Tuesday that the Jan. 7 order by county Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman was within his power and the interest of Anne Arundel residents.

The judge said that the plaintiffs, a pair of business owners in the county, failed to show they were harmed irreparably by the mandate, WJZ-TV in Baltimore reported.

County Executive Steuart Pittman said Kalyanaraman’s order, which expires on Jan. 31, successfully helped the county in “flattening the curve of the omicron wave during a critical moment for our hospitals and health care workers.”

“I want to thank the court for again recognizing Dr. Kalyanaraman’s authority to issue this order under his powers as our health officer,” Pittman said in a statement.

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