**FILE PHOTO**

The Society Lounge and the Republic Garden in Silver Spring, Md., have been shuttered for not keeping adequate social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Montgomery County health officials on Sunday suspended the liquor licenses for the two lounges, both located on Georgia Avenue, WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.

The health department said neither will be allowed to reopen until a safety requirement plan has been submitted and approved by the agency.

The action comes as Gov. Larry Hogan encourages local leaders to increase their enforcement of social distancing as the state’s coronavirus statistics edge upward.

In a letter Tuesday, Hogan said local inspectors should warn or close businesses that are “flagrantly violating the law and endangering public health.”

“We cannot allow a small segment of willful violators to squander the collective efforts of the overwhelming majority of Maryland citizens and businesses,” Hogan wrote, WRC reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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