Anne Arundel County imposes limits on hours of bars, restaurants, social gatherings, increases fines for violation – CBS Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) – Anne Arundel County is enforcing new COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to rise in the region.

County executive Steuart Pittman has announced he will sign an executive order that will limit late-night indoor hours at bars and restaurants, reinstate gathering limits for indoor and outdoor social events, shut down rest areas in shopping center food courts and will establish new, stricter penalties for violations.

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The order will come into effect Friday at 5 p.m.

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“Infection rates are a direct function of our behavior,” County Director Pittman said. “Two weeks after the last reopenings, our rates have climbed to a level that could eventually require a devastating halt in economic and personal activity.

“We need to keep Anne Arundel open, so we need to respond to our data immediately,” he added. Please help us get our people back to work and our students back to classrooms wearing your mask and respecting physical distancing. “

It comes after the county’s infection rate fell from 0.80 on June 19, when the most recent restrictions were lifted, to 1.25 on July 22, according to state data.

The county executive said that although the positivity rate in the county remains below five percent, it and hospitalizations have tended to increase.

The order dictates that restaurants, bars and other eating establishments must close their operations indoors before 10 p.m. every night. Indoor social gatherings of more than 25 people and outdoor social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.

Social gatherings under the ordinance include parties, barbecues, concerts or performances, parades, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and other gatherings not associated with operating or attending. a company.

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Social gatherings do not include retail stores, offices, restaurants, fraternal social clubs, youth sports or casinos, and gatherings for religious or spiritual purposes.

It also requires food courts in indoor malls to be limited to take-out service only.

Those who do not comply will be fined $ 500 for the first violation, and the health worker can suspend or close a facility that breaks the rules.

Owners of restaurants like Bill Shoe at Primo Pasta in Pasadena said it was a decision he felt was coming.

“We can’t say we were terribly surprised,” Shoe said. “We knew that by paying attention to current events there was a lot of fear and we saw it in our dining room.”

Jenna Von Sas of Stoney Creek Inn said it was important to follow restrictions to keep the county open.

“I think it’s so damaging that small businesses are giving the opportunity to show that we can handle this,” she said.

The Arundel Olympic Swimming Center in Annapolis and the AQquatic North Arundel in Glen Burnie, both currently closed due to positive COVID-19 tests among customers or staff, will remain closed until further notice.

“We are all in the same boat,” said Dr Kalyanaraman. “Each of us is responsible for doing the right thing, which includes using a mask, distancing and washing our hands. Today’s actions are necessary because not everyone practices these behaviors and we are seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations. Our goal is to open schools and adhering to these new guidelines is key to making this happen in the fall. “

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For the latest information on the coronavirus, visit the Maryland Department of Health website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage at coronavirus in Maryland here.

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