BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New coronavirus restrictions will soon take effect in Baltimore City as cases continue to surge across the state, Mayor Jack Young said Friday.
Effective immediately, masks or face coverings must be worn in all public spaces under a new health order.
Starting Thursday, indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to groups of 10.
Restaurants will have to return to 25% capacity and must close indoor dining at 10 p.m.
Terri Chetelat, general manager at The Point in Fells, said the struggle is the same for many of the establishments on the block.
“It’s just been really hard from going to 50% to 25% back to 50% back to 25%,” Chetelat said.
Bars that don’t serve food will be forced to close indefinitely. It’s an uncertain reality for places like The Rockwell.
“It’s scary, especially not knowing for how long,” Jascy Jones, of The Rockwell, said.
Retail establishments and malls, churches, personal services, fitness centers, casinos, theaters and outdoor entertainment venues are capped at 25%.
These restrictions will all go into effect on November 12.
“I am instituting these restrictions for the public’s health to save lives in Baltimore City,” Mayor Young said.
Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said these restrictions come as Baltimore sees its data trends moving in the wrong direction.
She noted the city’s latest seven-day average new case rate is 17.1 cases per 100K people, and they have recorded an average of 102.9 new cases per day, an increase of 53% in the last month.
The city’s positivity as of Friday is 4.5% and its latest seven-day average positivity is 3.5%, an increase of 41% from a month ago.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds increased by 73% in Baltimore City hospitals.
With these new restrictions, the city moves back to an amended Phase 1 reopening stage.
Dr. Dzirasa urged Baltimore to not ignore public health warnings about family gatherings, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, and to not give in to “pandemic fatigue,” especially as the holidays approach.
“Is Thanksgiving with all of your extended family worth the risk of putting an older loved one in the hospital?” she said. “Is your Christmas morning spent together worth a New Year’s Eve spent in the hospital, alone?”
Watch the press conference in full below: