This morning WBAL reported the following story: Local Counties Want Gov. Hogan To Tighten COVID-19 Restrictions Again. In that story was the following letter:
Good morning and thank you for your leadership and support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We are writing to share our concerns regarding the recent increase in daily cases across the state and impact of the virus over the past week. This has been evidenced throughout many of our jurisdictions by increased daily case totals, increased rates of transmission (Ro), and increasing Covid related hospitalizations and critical care usage. We are writing to ask that the state take action to curb these trends, including revisiting the activities allowed under the current Phase 2 Executive orders. Our respective jurisdictions are considering a range of revisions to address these trends, including, but not limited to (recognizing we all have different provisions as a part of our current Phase 2 provisions):
– Restrictions on gathering sizes (up to 10 or 50)
– face covering mandates for indoor and outdoor activities,
– closure of indoor restaurants and bars for service, permitting outdoor seating/curbside pick-up and delivery services only,
– closure of indoor amusement facilities,
– closure of indoor recreational facilities,
– restrictions on travel to and from areas deemed Covid hotspots
– closure of indoor mall activities such as food courts and allowing indoor spaces solely for entrance to stores;
Our jurisdictions are prepared to act quickly to address these concerns but would prefer for the state to take action to create a unified, standardized approach to address this resurgence of cases. Thank you for considering our request, and we look forward to continuing to work together.
Health Officers from Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County
I reached out to the Howard County Health Department about the story and letter asking for a copy of the letter and received the following response:
I don’t have an original copy of the letter to share with you, but what’s already being reported in the media is correct.
This is significant because the jurisdictions noted in the letter (Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County) all have the ability to roll things back locally if the state decides not to take action for the entire state.
The number of new cases have been on the rise in Maryland and Howard County recently (see Scott E’s Blog weekly COVID-19 charts). The number of new Acute and ICU beds has seen a recent increase over the past week and a half. The amount of testing is also WAY up recently. This is another important metric….the % positive of those tests…here is the chart provided today:
So which of the numbers is most important when it comes to rolling back the reopening measures? This is a question I have today.
This is something to watch for a while…if the COVID-19 numbers do not reduce soon will these jurisdictions take action?