ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County will not move to Phase 3 of the state’s reopening, citing a recent increase in the county’s coronavirus case rate and positivity.

In a news release, county leaders also cited a goal to open public schools this fall as a reason they were being cautious about reopening.

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“Unfortunately, cases in our county are increasing right now, and recent experience shows clearly that if we increase activity, our rate of spread will accelerate more. That is the outcome that we must avoid,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said in the release. “The data shows us that we are simply not ready to move to Stage Three. To get there, we must stand together and finish the job we started. Let’s beat this thing.”

Pittman and county Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman will watch the county’s numbers to determine when the county can move forward, the release said.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan said counties can move into the third phase at 5 p.m. Friday.

Baltimore City will also not move ahead with reopening, while Baltimore County will.

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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.

CBS Baltimore Staff