ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An increasing number of coronavirus cases in Maryland are tied to bars and non-compliance with public health requirements, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday.

During a news conference, the governor said while some key metrics are trending in the right direction, there are concerning indicators about the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, including the number of young people testing positive for the virus.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

Positive cases among people under the age of 35 are at 6.47 percent, 83 percent higher than the rate for those ages 35 and up, the governor said.

As of Wednesday, the state health department reported a total of 11,783 COVID-19 cases among Marylanders in their 20s and 14,028 among those in their 30s.

During the news conference, the governor urged people to avoid “crowded bars, house parties and large gatherings of any kind.”

“You are not only putting yourself at risk; you’re also risking the lives of your parents, your grandparents and other vulnerable people in the community,” he said.

Hogan praised the state’s Bar and Restaurant Association and a number of restaurants in Ocean City that temporarily closed their doors after learning employees tested positive for the virus.

He also urged leaders at the county and city level to make sure they’re enforcing social distancing and public health guidelines.

“Yesterday I sent a letter to county leaders urging them to enforce the health requirements in bars and restaurants across the state, reminding them that it was the responsibility of their local health departments, local liquor boards and inspectors and local law enforcement agencies to work together to actively and aggressively enforce these critical public health measures,” he said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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