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Maryland now requires face masks to be worn inside government and municipal buildings as the state reels from the most recent surge of COVID-19 cases.

Face coverings are also now mandated inside “leased space in all public or shared spaces,” WTOP reported.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said Monday that two hours of paid leave will be given to state employees who plan to get or have gotten a coronavirus booster shot.

“All employers are encouraged to offer paid leave for vaccinations and booster shots,” the governor’s office said, WTOP reported.

As of Tuesday, COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Maryland were above 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic’s outset, according to state health department data.

The state’s seven-day average daily positivity rate increased to 27.44%, also a record high, according to the data. By comparison, the average rate was 0.54% on June 28, roughly six months after coronavirus vaccines were introduced to the general public.

So far, about 86% of Maryland residents who are eligible for a coronavirus vaccination had received at least one dose of a vaccine, while roughly 4.3 million are fully vaccinated, according to a state-run dashboard.

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