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CUMBERLAND, Md. — A mask and social distancing requirement took effect Tuesday at Cumberland’s City Hall, regulations instituted in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In a news release Monday, city officials said the mandate applies to all visitors to the building, regardless of vaccination status.

Allegany County had one of the lowest vaccination rates and highest case rate in Maryland on Tuesday. The state health department reported 106 new coronavirus cases in the county Tuesday morning, and a case rate per 100,000 people of 68.77, more than three times the state average 18.63.

The Allegany County Health Department had reported 65 weekend cases Monday, as well as the county’s 220th coronavirus-related death. The county has recorded 8,233 cases since the start of the pandemic.

City Hall changes

The public will be allowed in City Hall from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. to make Tax and Utility Department payments or to conduct business with the Community Development Department, city officials said. No more than four people will be allowed in the rotunda at one time. Admittance to other offices will be by appointment only.

Vaccine urged

Allegany County health officials continue to urge unvaccinated residents to get the shot as soon as possible.

Studies released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that unvaccinated people stricken by the virus were 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die, The Associated Press reported.

Just 43% of Allegany County residents are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data released Tuesday, while 63% of Marylanders are.

A walk-in vaccination clinic will be held Wednesday at the county health department. From 9 a.m.-noon, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered to those 18 and over. From 1 to 5:30 p.m., the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to those 12 and older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Drive-thru testing is available at the Allegany County Fairgrounds on Mondays from 2-7 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. No appointment is required, but preregistration, which helps reduce wait times, is available at health.maryland.gov/allegany.

Mineral reports 93rd death

Mineral County, West Virginia, health officials reported Monday 78 new virus cases since Friday, as well as the county’s 93rd coronavirus-related death, an 81-year-old man.

The county had 498 active cases Monday and 3,627 since the start of the pandemic.

Keyser Middle School was to remain on remote learning through Friday due to quarantines and lack of staffing, Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft said in a social media post Monday.

Most students at Keyser Primary School returned to class Tuesday after learning remotely Monday, though some classrooms were to remain closed because of quarantines and lack of staffing, Ravenscroft said.

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