ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Health officials from five Maryland counties and Baltimore City are urging Deputy Secretary of Health Services Fran Phillips to roll back the state’s reopening restrictions due to an increase in the number of daily coronavirus cases being reported.
The letter, sent to Phillips by the health officers of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties as well as Baltimore City, asks the state to, “take action to curb these trends, including revisiting the activities allowed under the current Phase 2 Executive orders.”READ MORE: Baltimore County Releases New Opioid Overdose Data Dashboard
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The health officers wrote their jurisdictions are considering taking a number of steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, including closing restaurants, bars and mall food courts for indoor dining, restricting travel to and from coronavirus hotspots and requiring face coverings for indoor and outdoor activities.
“Our jurisdictions are prepared to act quickly to address these concerns but would prefer for the state to take action to create a unified, standardized approach to address this resurgence of cases,” the letter reads.
Also under consideration are tightened restrictions on gathering sizes — limited to no more than 10 or 50 people — as well as closing indoor amusement and recreational facilities.READ MORE: FDA Expected To Approve J&J, Moderna Covid Booster Shots, ‘Mix and Match’ Doses
Gov. Larry Hogan’s spokesperson Mike Ricci said the governor is “prepared to take action” if necessary but that the state “cannot allow a small segment of bad actors to squander the sacrifices Marylanders have made.”
“We look closely at the data every day with public health experts, and we continue to emphasize caution and vigilance to Marylanders. We have stressed to local health officers the importance of enforcing the public health orders currently in place, particularly at bars and restaurants,” Ricci said.
Data from the state health department shows the number of confirmed coronavirus cases being reported daily has increased for much of the past two weeks. While on July 6 there were just 272 new cases reported, that number climbed to 925 on Sunday.
Officials have in recent days expressed concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases among young people, leading some, including Dr. Melissa Marx from Johns Hopkins University, to say it may be time to roll back bar and restaurant reopenings.MORE NEWS: Anne Arundel County Public Schools Facing Staffing Shortages