The following statement from Howard County Executive Calvin Ball was sent to Scott E’s Blog concerning the plans for Howard County following the announcement “Governor Hogan Announces Expanded Capacity for Indoor Dining, Marks Beginning of Maryland Restaurant Week“:

“Following the Governor’s announcement this evening, Howard County will move forward with the increase in restaurant indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75%. Today, Howard County’s positivity rate is at 2.67% and has remained below 5% over the last several weeks. Our hospital capacity rates, PPE supplies, as well as testing and contract tracing outcomes have been at levels that allow us to enact the Governor’s new criteria for restaurants.

As we begin Maryland Restaurant Weeks in Howard County, this will be good news for our restaurant industry that has been hit very hard over the last six months. I encourage residents of Howard County to continue to patronize our restaurants but adhere to preventative measures – like washing our hands, wearing masks, and physically distancing whenever possible.”

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I am glad to see Howard County following the directive of the Governor. I encourage all to visit the various local establishments during Maryland Restaurant Weeks.

A new directive was released yesterday from the Maryland Health Department: (https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/2020.09.18.01%20-%20MDH%20Order%20-%20Amended%20Food%20Service%20Establishments.pdf) relating to the rules indoor dining facilities (restaurants, bars, etc.) must follow. Here is the previous directive from back in June (https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OEHFP/OFPCHS/Shared%20Documents/20.20.06.10.01%20-%20MDH%20Order%20-%20Food%20Service%20Establishments.pdf)

Not much changed….added a part about outdoor booths in the latest directive…and increased the capacity up to 75%…otherwise the rules seem to be the same. I just do not see how many (or any) establishments can come close to 75% capacity with the directive. I understand the rules and why they are in place…I just do not see 75% as a possibility for most establishments.

Scott E

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