Anne Arundel, Howard counties align with Maryland order lifting capacity limits

Anne Arundel and Howard counties will align with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order and loosen COVID-19 capacity limits at the end of the week. But Anne Arundel County is keeping some coronavirus restrictions not required by the state.

“Gov. Larry Hogan’s order yesterday lifted capacity limits and also revoked local jurisdictions’ authority to issue more restrictive local orders under the state’s authority, rendering the county’s most recent executive order #43 null and void as of 5 p.m. Friday, March 12,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said in a statement.

But Pittman said Wednesday that he will sign a new executive order that keeps social gathering limits at a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Anne Arundel County will continue to limit third-party food delivery companies from charging fees higher than 15%, as well.

Meanwhile, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said his county will follow Hogan’s order and lift its previous limits on indoor or outdoor social gatherings.

“We will continue watching our data very closely over the next two weeks, and if aligning with the Governor’s decision is detrimental to the health and welfare of our residents, we will not hesitate to reimpose restrictions,” Ball said in a statement.

Mask mandates and physical distancing requirements in both counties remain in place.

Saying “The time is right,”  Hogan announced Tuesday in a news conference that capacity limits on dining will be lifted at 5 p.m. Friday.

Limits on retail businesses, religious facilities, fitness centers, personal services and indoor recreational establishments, as well as quarantine requirements and other out-of-state travel restrictions, are being lifted as well.

“While I believe there is a risk to lifting capacity limits at this time, we are putting our faith in local business owners, operators and customers to continue abiding by the distancing and mask requirements that have pushed our case rates down. State regulations will continue to be enforced,” Pittman said.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said that Hogan’s push to reopen “will trigger another spike,” Maryland Matters reported.

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will have news conferences Thursday.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University and a master’s degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.

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