The day after Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced new COVID-19 related restrictions, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman issued new restrictions for his county.
Like Scott, he ordered bars and restaurants closed, but will allow carry-out, delivery and curbside pick-up. Unlike Scott, he said he wouldn’t impose the closings until 5 p.m. next Wednesday to give those establishments time to sell food they have already purchased.
To help struggling restaurants, he said, those that have already received a grant from a $10 million county program, will get an additional $7,000.
His restrictions on social gatherings—10 persons indoors, 25 outdoors—will remain in place. Retail establishments, gyms and outdoor recreational facilities will be restricted to 25% of capacity, while religious facilities will be restricted to 33% of capacity.
Bowling alleys, skating rinks and the like will be closed.
In November he suspended all organized sports play or practices on county fields and facilities and today extended that to include private and public schools and church gyms.
Pittman said he was sorry to impose these restrictions, but that they are necessary.
“At the end of the pandemic we’re going to look back on this time and we’re going to ask ourselves whether there was more that we could have done to save lives,” he said. “And I don’t want to be in a position of wishing that we had done more.”
The new restrictions are to remain in place until January 13 but could be extended if the surge in new COVID-19 cases continues.