ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A clear message from Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday— buckle down because we are back in the COVID-19 red zone.
He put new restrictions for bars and restaurants and is preparing for the numbers to continue to surge.
The Marine Corps birthday is important at McGarvey’s in Annapolis.
Co-Owner Christopher Hannah said things are a bit different this year because of the pandemic.
“We decided yesterday last minute to celebrate so we probably had about 40 people that came out we’re just happy to have some semblance of normalcy," Hannah said.
They’ve adapted and survived by opening space outside and making the customers as safe and comfortable inside as possible.
As the numbers rise and the Governor moved capacity from 75 to 50% starting Wednesday, most business owners say the tougher restrictions at won’t affect them too much, but a continued spike and a shutdown would devastate businesses.
“That’s beyond what any business can absorb," Hannah said. "Businesses were able to fight through during the summer and catch up. Nobody was doing great, but everybody was able to keep moving. But a second shutdown without government assistance would be a death toll for most businesses.”
As part of Hogans announcement Tuesday he said that we’re seeing a surge in every major metric.
The state has seen more than 1,000 new cases a day over the last week.
“Today I am reporting we have crossed over into the danger zone," said Hogan. "Too many residents and businesses have COVID fatigue and have begun letting their guard down. Too many Marylanders are traveling out of state to unsafe locations. Hosting large gatherings, crowding in bars, and refusing to wear masks.”
To that end he praised Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County for shutting down bars that had large crowds.
Encouraging local partners to ramp up enforcement efforts. The Maryland Dept of Health is also issuing public health advisory for gatherings of 25 or more.
All state workers who can telework must do so.
The state is preparing for a surge by upping the capacity of COVID care sites and moving COVID patients to those sites.
“Marylanders crushed the curve once before," said Hogan. "We can and we will do it again with your help.”
The restaurant restrictions go into effect Wednesday at 5 p.m.