ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan said effective Wednesday at 5 p.m., indoor dining at restaurants and bars will go back to 50% capacity.
The indoor operations for bars and restaurants must be for seated and distanced serving only, he said.
The governor said the Maryland Department of Health has also issued a new public health advisory strongly warning against indoor gatherings of 25 people or more.
He said since he spoke last week, the state is seeing widespread community transmission. Maryland’s case rate has risen to 19.8 per 100,000, a 36% increase in the past week. The case rates are above 10 per 100,000 in 18 jurisdictions and above 20 per 100,000 in seven jurisdictions.
Gov. Hogan said those who violate the new restrictions could face fines and/or jail time.
He said Maryland has been moved to the Red Zone by the federal government.
Baltimore City is one of the 11 jurisdictions that have surpassed the 5% positivity rate benchmark.
The state’s contact tracing data continues to indicate that family gatherings are the most common activity among those recently infected. There is also a marked increase in the number of people infected who recently dined indoors at a restaurant and among those who have traveled out of state.
He added too many businesses are failing to comply with state regulations and orders.
He said the virus has returned to Maryland in a big way.
“We cannot afford to ignore these trends and patterns,” he said, adding warning lights are starting to blink on the dashboard last week.
He said we have now crossed over into the “danger zone”
“We do not want to take actions that will further burden our struggling small businesses, or actions to shut down our economy. Our primary goals continue to be keeping our hospitals from overflowing and stopping more Marylanders from dying,” he said.
WJZ is live on air and on WJZ.com
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.