Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman joined local leaders throughout Maryland Thursday in announcing new restrictions aimed at tamping down the increase in COVID-19 cases.
He complemented Gov. Larry Hogan for taking steps earlier this week, but said he didn’t go far enough. For example, Pittman said, the governor’s limit of 25 people at a social gathering wasn’t strict enough.
“My house is not all that big and I can’t imagine inviting 25 people over and hanging out in my living room in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.
He announced a limit of 10 people, starting at 5 p.m. Friday.
“Unlike businesses where we have somebody in charge who can implement best practices and enforce them, we don’t have that at social gatherings," he explained. "And unlike businesses, when we limit social gatherings we’re not putting people out of work.”
Pittman also cancelled Anne Arundel’s winter youth sports programs.
And while Hogan said restaurants could operate at 50 percent of capacity, Pittman reduced that to 25 percent in the county, starting next Friday.
He said he knows that may force some restaurants to close, but that he hopes there won’t be too many of them.
“I hope that the residents of this county step up and do take out,” he said. The restaurants “get just as much money and you can tip generously.”
And he likened the fight against the virus to a war.
“This is a war where everybody’s enlisted,” he said. “And we cannot afford to abandon our posts. We cannot afford to desert in the middle of this.”