Maryland Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on July 29th to provide updates and information related to COVID-19 data and provide new guidance (Governor Hogan Announces Expanded Statewide Mask Order, Out-of-State Travel Advisory). A key thing I was watching for in that press conference was information related to contact tracing results. I am betting many will find the results surprising. Here are some charts shared from that press conference:
After actions taken by some jurisdictions in Maryland (Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County) and things that have been talked about I was expecting bars and restaurants to be the big time high risk location noted yesterday….that is not the case. While dining indoors and outdoors was mentioned in the charts both of those activities were noted as lower risk locations than just going to work or shopping at retail stores.
Maybe most surprising was that there is an equal risk (per the chart and data) of indoor and outdoor dining at a restaurant (I can only guess that bars/taverns are part of that dataset as bars/taverns were not specifically mentioned on its own).
During the press conference Governor Hogan did stress that bars and restaurants MUST adhere to the guidelines and that local leaders must ensure that those establishments are following the guidelines.
Here is my best attempt at speech to text of the video:
“While bars and restaurants have never been fully open and are only allowed to be open for seated distance capacity restricted dining, they don’t appear to be a main part of the issue. We do continue to be concerned about scattered reports of some business willfully violating the law and compliance not being enforced. So this is the sole responsibility of local leaders, local Health Departments, local Liquor Board’s, local liquor inspectors and if necessary local law enforcement agencies to ensure that residents and businesses in their individual jurisdictions are in compliance with all public health regulations.”
I hope all establishments are following the guidance and laws in place in order to remain open for residents and for their employees…and most importantly be a safe environment for everyone.