BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Jack Young, Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison urged residents Saturday to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols, including practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.
Mayor Young issued the following statement in a press release:
“I am frustrated and concerned by residents failing to heed our continued warnings about the need to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings in order to keep reducing the spread of COVID-19. The gatherings we are seeing – with people in close contact, with crowds of people in small spaces – could increase the spread of COVID-19. We have seen tremendous progress on bending the curve, and to see people engaging in risky behaviors at this point is incredibly disappointing – it has to stop.”
Mayor Young directed City agencies and the Baltimore City Police Department to urge residents to stay away from large crowds and to practice social distancing when shopping or eating at restaurants.
The Mayor signed an executive order on June 12 allowing nonessential retail businesses to open, and restaurants are allowed to serve customers at outdoor tables.
“When my team and I review the data on COVID-19 trends to provide advice and guidance on moving to different phases of reopening, we are taking into consideration how often and how many large groups of people are gathering, and what that might do to increase the transmission of the disease,” Dr. Dzirasa said. “Residents should continue to be extra vigilant and practice social distancing as they start leaving their homes and interacting with others more frequently. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of transmission of the disease and will enable us to continue our gradual reopening.”
The Baltimore Police Department said it will continue to work with other City agencies, community members and law enforcement partners to address gatherings of crowds in Fells Point and other areas. This will include an increased presence of officers, agency staff from the Social Club Task Force, members of the Liquor Board and Fire Marshall’s Office and the Maryland State Police. BPD is actively investigating each of the incidents that occurred Friday night, and are asking anyone with information to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-877-7Lock-Up.
“I share the frustrations of many in our community and local leaders over the shooting in Fells Point last night,” Commissioner Harrison said. “What we saw was a gunman who had no regard for human life and fired indiscriminately on a crowd of young people. The Police Department will continue to work with other City agencies, community members, and our law enforcement partners to address gatherings of crowds throughout the city.”