Gov. Larry Hogan

Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan kicked off the first Maryland Restaurant Week by announcing that indoor dining capacity can increase from 50 to 75 percent starting at 5 p.m. Monday, with health protocols remaining in place.

“As we continue with the third and final stage of our recovery, I want to commend our state’s restaurant industry for their incredible resilience this year and for their continued commitment to the health and safety of Marylanders,” Hogan said Friday.

“To celebrate the first-ever Maryland Restaurant Week, I encourage Marylanders to support their favorite local businesses, whether you do so through delivery, curbside pickup, or by dining indoors or outside.”

While local jurisdictions have previously celebrated Restaurant Week, this is the first statewide observance. The Maryland Department of Tourism contributed $50,000 to support marketing efforts for the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the leisure and hospitality industries in Maryland have added 65,900 jobs, with 53,400 belonging to accommodation and food services, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, the department said that Maryland has gained 183,200 jobs during the recovery.

The announcement for expanded in-person dining comes as Maryland saw small declines in the seven-day positivity rate and current hospitalizations Friday, even as the state reported 543 new COVID-19 infections.

The positivity rate, a seven-day rolling average of positive results as a percentage of all tests, has fallen for four consecutive days now, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

On Friday, it stood at 3.21 percent, down .12 percent from the previous day and .41 percent over the past four days.

On the other hand, in Frederick County, it ticked up slightly from 2.44 to 2.47 percent after three straight days of declines.

Meanwhile, current hospitalizations fell by six over the last 24 hours to 347. That includes 84 in intensive care, an increase of one from the previous day.

At Frederick Health Hospital, there were two COVID-19 patients and none in intensive care on Thursday.

The state is now reporting 119,062 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

In Frederick County, there are 3,851 confirmed cases, an increase of 17 from the previous day.

The death toll in Maryland due to the virus now stands at 3,724 after seven more were reported Friday.

There were no new deaths in Frederick County, as the number remained at 122 for a third consecutive day.

Since the pandemic began, a total of 2,324,252 tests have been administered in Maryland, 15,070 state residents have been hospitalized by the virus and 7,351 have been released from isolation.

Prince George’s County has the most confirmed cases in the state among 24 jurisdictions with 28,361. Montgomery County is second with 21,640 and is the only other Maryland jurisdiction with more than 20,000 confirmed cases.

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek

(33) comments

vodalone

The governor can set a number but doesn’t mean people will fill those restaurants. I haven’t seen a single restaurant at more than about 30% capacity since this all began locally. Point is as long as this virus is spreading and people are aware of the numbers they won’t put themselves at risk for the most part.

bosco

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] vodalone. We've been enjoying quiet dinners at home with occasional carry out. [ninja]

Frankle1

I don't understand how it's fun to go to a restaurant or bar when your server is dressed in hazmat gear. Haven't been in a restaurant since February, no plans to change that behavior now... Waiting for a vaccine.

threecents

One thing I have discovered during the pandemic is that is not hard to make tasty and healthy meals.

C.D.Reid

You never knew that?

bosco

If any activity, indoor dining included, makes one uncomfortable don't participate. The pandemic has revealed a lot of activities that we used to think are important when they are in actuality not that big a deal. Restaurant carry-out has been working quite nicely for quiet, unhurried dining and not a feral child in sight. Movies? Got Netflix. Short road trips to see things right here in the tri-state area are great.

Life is good, and so much better than the alternative.

[thumbup][ninja]

Reader1954

stop pretending its about safety, we all know its about the money so we got to get businesses open. If you don't want to go out without a mask fine, stay home out of my way

threecents

The problem is if you go out to dinner and get infected and spread it to someone who works with my coworkers wife...and so on. Your need to eat out extends the actual downtime and risk for everyone. Hopefully you get the concepts.

Dwasserba

There was that wedding that ended up with seven dead from covid...and not a one was actually *at* the wedding. Virulent.

threecents

Speaking of business, It is like the situation in "Jaws". Should they keep the beach open during the holiday weekend, or is it better for business and for lives in the long run to shut down the beach until they hunt down that great white shark with a taste for people? Or at least chase it out to sea?

NewMarketParent

@Reader1954

Look at Mr. Superspreader over here.

bpswp

Nearly 9K people have died since last Saturday in the U.S. This is not going away.

bpswp

I will still not go, and now, even eating outside won't be safe.

threecents

How does this timing make sense? There are still about 4000 new diagnosed cases per week in Maryland, and it is still taking too long to get test results.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Doesn’t anyone in charge understand science and how viruses transmit and how easily Covid-19 transmits and how deadly this virus is? Anyone anyone at all? And that most people are idiots? The governor has now turned the virus over to the idiots to control, and we’ve all witnessed how the idiots in the White House are controlling the virus! This isn’t going to turn out well. Is the gov following Trump’s thinking and going with herd immunity, it sure seems like it?

NewMarketParent

@PurplePickles

Hogan understand. He has just decided that he doesn't give a F about us. He is fine with sacrificing all of us for his golden calf of the economy.

PurplePickles aka L&M

@NMP

I know Hogan understands the science that's what is so frustrating about his stunningly stupid decision. He didn't understand the science long enough to make a difference for the economy. The economy and the public health are all connected, you need healthy people to keep the economy moving. Now when Covid starts to spread again and people get sick who is going to be going to those restaurants and bars? Dead people don't drink. And we can forget about schools opening anytime in the near future.

I think he's relieved he doesn't have to handle the virus anymore. Now he's going to let the idiots kill themselves, thing is those idiots have a way of taking us non-idiots with them.

Comment deleted.
PurplePickles aka L&M

@CD

Actually I was thinking of you and Bosco/Eric when I made that comment. I just can't picture either one of you wearing masks and staying home, even thought it seems like by your comments you never leave the keyboards. You are Trump supporters right and all the idiocy I see is coming from Trump and his supporters.

You mean to tell me you wear your masks when you have to go out and don't go out to eat in restaurants and stay out the bars and away from crowds? Also staying home from church?

threecents

Bosco has advocated for masks. I think he said his job involved doing N95 fit tests.

bosco

Thanks, threecents, yes at one time I did fit tests on a variety of respiratory protection devices, including full face respirators with screw in cartridges and N95s.

I wonder if anyone here knows what bananna oil is used for with PPE? First correct answer gets a good warm feeling.

I am a proponent of PPE when properly used. That's why one of my bugaboos is people who wear rubber gloves thinking they have some sort of magical disinfecting qualities.

Wear a mask, wash your hands, and get the vaccine when it's approved.

PurplePickles aka L&M

@CD

I could care less about "your" personal life, I was seeing if you were a typical Trump supporter when it comes to the virus and I can see by your answer you are. I rest my case about the idiots being in charge.

phydeaux994

“I am a proponent of PPE when properly used. That's why one of my bugaboos is people who wear rubber gloves thinking they have some sort of magical disinfecting qualities”.........when is the last time you saw somebody wearing rubber gloves bosco? People did that back in March when it was thought the virus was transmitted by contact. Is that the last time you were out??🧤🧤

gabrielshorn2013

...when is the last time you saw somebody wearing rubber gloves bosco?

FWIW, I dont want to speak for bosco, phy, but I saw a woman wearing gloves Friday 18 Sep around 4:30 at Wegman's. Wegman's still promotes the contact route by requesting that all customers use hand sanitizer before entering their store, and provides sanitizer both at the entrance and check out stands.

bosco

Fido sez.. "when is the last time you saw somebody wearing rubber gloves bosco?"..... In the past couple of weeks I've seen carry out food delivery people, Giant Food checkers, a gas station attendant, postal clerk, and a liquor store clerk. I can guarantee you that they don't change those gloves very often and thus they are no better that bare hands for protection.

More than a couple of weeks ago but still recently I saw a twenty something arrive for outdoor dining wearing plastic gloves. She touched the table, the chair, her cellphone, and ate her burger and pile of fries still wearing the gloves and then licked her fingers - still wearing the same gloves. It was a study.

So yes, Fido, people are still wearing rubber gloves when they would be better off just washing their hands before the touch their food or their face, or sticking them in their mouth.

Follow the science.

[ninja]

emclaughlin03

On the day the positivity rate for new cases exceeded 10%, Hogan is focused on boosting restaurant week. People are getting complacent while the numbers continue to tick up. Just look at what’s happening in Spain, France, and Italy. Bars and restaurants were opened and new cases went on an alarming rise. It’s Jaws and the shark is still out there and it’s not safe to go in the water yet. Today the shark is the virus and Hogan is the mayor, more worried about the health of the economy than the health of his constituents.

NewMarketParent

@emclaughlin03

Exactly!And yet, here we are rushing head first towards disaster. This is why leadership matters and who we elect as our leadership matters. You either listen to scientists or you don't at your own peril. Science doesn't care about the economy.

PurplePickles aka L&M

The governor is an idiot! Plain and simple! Don’t count on the schools opening up anytime this school year, you have Hogan to thank for that. The places you are most likely to catch COVID is in bars and restaurants. I don’t understand this decision at all?

Greg F

Whatever...go out and the idiots are out there maskless indoors sitting at tables. Saw it at a couple places I went to get take-out. No way going in. Frederick health told one that’s ok. Um....stupidity right there. Not going anywhere with that policy and nobody I know would. It’s not over! Relax and we will be right back in it all over again. Any business relaxing mask requirements will not see any business from me and anyone I know. Good luck in the ICU if you think otherwise. Hope your insurance denies you for being stupid.

Crab0721

Exactly people think that they don't have to wear a mask anymore and that the virus is over. It is ridiculous.

bosco

You can't fix stupid. The virus is here to stay in one form or another. Even with a vaccine, many people won't get the shots for one reason or another. Between refusal to wear a mask and refusal to get a vaccine shot, we are likely to see more deaths - but the death rates do seem to be dropping. A little social Darwinism may be at work.

[ninja]

PurplePickles aka L&M

@bosco/Eric Trump

At times I can see some logical thinking in your posts, you are really trying, and other times you you are willfully ignorant. I guess it depends on who is sitting behind you telling you what to post Eric. Who’s sitting behind you today?

NewMarketParent

@Crab0721

This is exactly why top-down leadership matters. When our leaders don't take this seriously, no one does.

Dwasserba

Sounds like a bad week for old folks to run in for takeout.

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