Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman signed an executive order Thursday that will ease some of the county’s COVID-19 restrictions to align them with Maryland’s regulations.
The county experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases during the “deadly winter surge,” a county statement said Thursday, but cases and hospitalizations have since decreased to “pre-surge” levels.
Some of these changes include:
- Establishments that were limited to 25% capacity can now operate at 50% capacity;
- Religious establishments can operate services outdoors with a 250-person maximum;
- Organized outdoor events are allowed with a maximum of 100 people;
- Indoor theaters can operate at 50% capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is less;
- Outdoor entertainment venues can operate at 50% capacity, or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is less;
- Outdoor sporting venues can operate at 50% capacity, or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is less.
However, the county decided to keep its restriction on social gatherings. Indoor gatherings will remain at a maximum of 10 people, and outdoor gatherings will remain capped at 25 people.
“Today’s loosening of restrictions are minor, but they simplify compliance and enforcement by aligning us with Maryland’s minimum standards,” Pittman said in a statement.
The statement also said that COVID-19 rates in the county have declined for more than seven weeks in a row — the “longest decline since COVID cases were first identified in the county.”
As of Thursday, the case rate is 13.6 cases per 100,000 residents, and there are 59 COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the county, according to the statement.
Many other Maryland counties are already allowing indoor restaurant dining and fitness centers to operate at 50% capacity, including Calvert, Charles, Howard and Frederick counties.
On Monday, an order by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner that temporarily limited operating hours and alcohol sales at restaurants and bars, was allowed to expire.
But a few places in Maryland are keeping tighter restrictions on indoor restaurant dining and fitness centers in place for now. Such businesses are limited to 25% capacity in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well as in Baltimore City.
WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.
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