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Maryland Needs Phase 1 Restrictions Again, MoCo Exec Says

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said Monday that Maryland needs to revert to Phase 1 of its coronavirus pandemic response as the recent surge in cases continues, calling the state’s latest restrictions inadequate for stemming the tide.

“Need to go back to Phase 1,” Elrich tweeted shortly after midnight. “We’re in danger of overwhelming hospitals, the projections for MD aren’t good — small steps won’t bend the curve in the right direction. We need the new Admin to get real assistance to businesses that bear this load. It’s not blue or red, it’s all of us.”

Going back to the Phase 1-level restrictions would again prohibit residents from leaving home other than for essential work, travel or errands.

Elrich made his comments in the wake of Gov. Larry Hogan ordering new restrictions statewide, which went into effect Friday.

Bars, restaurants and other establishments now must end in-person service by 10 p.m., while indoor capacity is limited to 50% for retail businesses, organizations, religious institutions, personal services, bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, skating rinks, fitness centers and social clubs.

Montgomery County implemented its own new restrictions this month, ordering establishments such as bars, restaurants, salons, bowling alleys and houses of worship to operate at 25% capacity — down from 50%. Additionally, gatherings have been limited from 50 people to 25 people.

As of Monday, the county has more than 31,389 coronavirus cases and 890 related deaths, according to a county government tracker.

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