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Anne Arundel Co. issues revised indoor dining order that complies with judge's ruling

Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 17:16:39-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has issued a revised order on indoor dining, that's tailored around a judge's recent ruling to allow restaurants to seat up to 25 percent capacity.

In return, Titan Hospitality Group has agreed to dismiss their lawsuit challenging the county’s previous executive order, which suspended indoor dining four weeks.

READ MORE: Judge overrules Pittman, allows indoor dining in Anne Arundel Co. to continue

Under the new executive order, restaurants choosing to remain open for indoor dining will have to collect customer contact information for contact tracing purposes.

This means social clubs, bowling alleys, mall food courts and other businesses that serve food can also open at 25 percent.

Outdoor dining remains intact, as long as tents are kept with at least half their sides up.

In response to the lawsuit, Pittman denied that his initial order was arbitrary or capricious.

He defended his decision, claiming it was about saving lives at a time when new COVID-19 cases were on the rise.

The case rate peaked at a seven day average of 48.7 cases per 100,000 residents on December 12, according to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health.

Since then, the numbers have come down some.

Pittman now says "the prospect of a sudden and disruptive closure of indoor dining prompted [him] to evaluate the best course of action at this time."

The revised order also limits third-party food delivery service fees to 15 percent of the purchase price of an online order, similar to that already implemented in Baltimore County.