Reopen Charles County, a several hundred-member group will hold its fifth peaceful demonstration to rally opposition to a proposed mask mandate in Charles County. On Wednesday, December 15, at 5:30 pm, supporters will gather at 200 Baltimore St. in La Plata (the parking lot of the Charles County Government building) to testify against the return of a mask mandate for indoor private businesses, churches, restaurants, and gyms. Following pressure from Reopen Charles County in the form of a lawsuit, the Charles County Commissioners had previously rescinded the mandate last month.
On November 30, citing favorable case counts and data, the Charles County Board of Commissioners voted to end the mask mandate enacted in August but immediately motioned to hold a public hearing to bring it back. This procedural move is an attempt to codify the mask mandate into a quasi-legislative remedy for the many defects present in the previous state of emergency and health ordinance sustaining the mandate for so many months. The community, led by the efforts of Reopen Charles County, has an opportunity to make public the strength of opposition to a return to mandatory face coverings right before Christmas.
“The Commissioners have an opportunity to hear and respond to the overwhelming will of the people who say no more masks. After nearly two years of organized opposition to COVID-19 restrictions, we are ready to end these mandates and restrictions for good so we can start the hard work of rebuilding our community and healing our divisions,” says Ali Rak, the group’s founder. “We oppose mask mandates for their lack of measurable efficacy, the politicization of their use, the fear they continue to foment in the community, the division the enforcement causes, and the personal cost to the individual in ways that cannot possibly be legislated fairly.”
This event will be the fifth organized public demonstration for Reopen Charles County and will feature state delegates from St. Mary’s and Calvert counties as speakers. There will also be an opportunity to testify at the virtual hearing running concurrently, please contact Ms. Rak for information on signing up to testify. Those opposed to mask mandates are not only encouraged to attend the rally, but submit a public comment on the county government page.
Reopen Charles County invites those who are weary of the mask mandates to express their displeasure in a constructive way by joining the rally on Wednesday, December 15 at 5:30 pm in La Plata. For more information, please go to tinyurl.com/nomaskscharles.