Theaters and performance venues across Anne Arundel County, Maryland, are set to resume operation on Friday, Sept. 25, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said that when the state decided to move forward with reopening theaters in the first week of September, the county was still seeing an increase in cases.
“When Governor Hogan authorized limited re-opening of theaters earlier this month, our county’s coronavirus numbers were rising,” said Pittman.
Both indoor and outdoor theaters, where live performances take place or movies are shown, can reopen to the public at 50% capacity or 100 people per auditorium — whichever is less.
“We chose a cautious approach. Since then, we have carefully reviewed the protocols developed by the industry, monitored the impact in counties that took the action before us, and considered potential impacts on community spread with our health officer, our recovery work group, and others,” said Pittman in a news release.
Those going to a theater will be asked to wear their mask and remain safely distant from those not in their group.
The decision to reopen came after a meeting with Pittman’s Recovery Work Group on Thursday, reviewing the trend of COVID-19 cases in Anne Arundel County.
“Like all other openings, this one has the potential to increase the spread of coronavirus at a time when we must reduce case rates to meet the school reopening metrics set forth by the state,” Pittman said.
Pittman is expected to sign an executive order in the coming days to make the change.
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