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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman posted the following on November 21st:

It’s time to act, Governor Hogan, to save lives.

According to COVIDActNow.org, Maryland now has the 7th highest rate of COVID spread in the United States.

Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 Hospital Impact Report dated November 18 warns that the most likely scenario if we fail to further limit contacts in our state is that 10,000 of our hospital beds will be occupied by COVID patients by the end of the year and 15,000 by mid-February.

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The Baltimore Sun reported this week that statewide we have only 800 unoccupied beds available currently that are staffed. Another 2,400 beds are unstaffed.

Maryland’s hospital surge capacity planning does not come close to meeting the need projected by the Johns Hopkins modeling. We have less capacity than we had in the spring, when hospitals had cancelled elective surgeries and health care workers were available in parts of the country that had not yet felt their first COVID attacks.

We can save lives and save our economy if we limit contacts. We must stop gathering socially with people outside of our pods. In #AnneArundel County we’ve restricted social gatherings over ten people indoors. The state of Maryland allows 25.

We must stop dining indoors at restaurants and bars. Our county has restricted this activity to 25% capacity, but the state allows double that. We should move as a state back to take-out and provide financial assistance to the workers and owners.

We must also take a hard look at other indoor gatherings where contact tracing shows spread.

If we do these things, and wear our masks during all interactions with people outside our small pods, we can prevent the catastrophic scenario at our hospitals that current trends predict.
Anne Arundel County’s actions have moved us down the rankings for case and infection rates, from being in the top five to tenth and 13th respectively, but that doesn’t help our hospitals and health care workers. They operate across county lines. We need state action.

The vaccines should be here soon, and be widely available in the spring. That’s when we’ll look back on this deadly winter and ask if we could have done more to protect our hospitals, our health care heroes, our neighbors, and our families. We will ask ourselves if we did enough to save lives.

Let’s act, Governor Hogan…together.

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The Governor has provided County Executives and the Mayor of Baltimore to act locally on what they think will work best for their jurisdiction so I am a little confused by this request in that post. County Executive Pittman has the ability to stop dining indoors at restaurants and bars in Anne Arundel County right now if that is what he feels is best for his jurisdiction.

I am also very interested in the part of the statement above “provide financial assistance to the workers and owners”. Stopping indoor dining at these establishments would be devastating for many workers in this industry. What are the specifics here for those that would lose hours or lose their jobs all together by the request to stop indoor dining?

Governor Hogan is scheduled to hold a press conference today at 4:00pm. I would not be surprised to hear more rollbacks announced…but I hope that stopping all restaurants and bars for indoor dining across the state is not one of those announcements.

Scott E