Why officials say proposed coronavirus restrictions are necessary in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Maryland, Executive Marc Elrich has issued a statement explaining his latest order ending indoor dining and restricting retailers from having any more than one person per 200 square feet in their businesses.

Elrich said in the statement released Thursday night, “Even as we increase restrictions in Montgomery County, COVID knows no boundaries. That is why yesterday, I joined the county executives of the seven largest counties in Maryland and the mayor of the City of Baltimore to call for a united effort to stop the spread.”

The executive order Elrich issued also limits gatherings of indoor sports to 10 people.

The Montgomery County Council has to clear the order with a vote. It will take up the issue in its regular Tuesday session.

Tom Hucker, president of the County Council, was asked if the nine members will approve the order.

Saying he hadn’t discussed it with the eight other members, Hucker said, “So far, in the other eight executive orders, we’ve approved them.”

Hucker also said that historically, the council has followed the advice of the chief medical officer.

“We’re not doctors ourselves, or medical professionals. We rely on the data to guide us,” Hucker said.

If approved by the county council, Elrich’s executive order would go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The fact is our case rates are through the roof,” Hucker said.

On Thursday, Maryland reported 3,202 new cases of COVID-19 and 49 deaths.

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.

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