Indoor Dining to be Eliminated Next Week Under New Executive Order

Indoor dining at restaurants would be eliminated under the terms of a new executive order issued yesterday by County Executive Marc Elrich.

Executive Order 139-20 would still permit outdoor dining, carry out, delivery and drive-through food service. Outdoor service is not permitted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. under an existing order from Governor Larry Hogan.

The new county order also limits indoor sports gatherings to 10 people, and lowers the maximum capacity in retail establishments to one person per 200 square feet (with a maximum of 150 people).

“We have been experiencing weeks with our daily case counts up dramatically,” Elrich said in a press release. “Our cases per 100,000 are now at 41, and 78 percent of our hospital beds are full. All the data and trends indicate that we are heading toward more difficult times and it is imperative that we take action now. We cannot wait for our hospitals to be overflowing.”

According to yesterday’s state statistics, the county has had more than 37,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 956 deaths.

The order has been sent to the County Council for its approval. The council plans to introduce, hold a public hearing and vote on the order at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15. If approved, the order would go into effect at 5 p.m. that day.

Image from Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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