BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Another young person has died from COVID-19 in Baltimore County, the first new death since 15-year-old Dar’yana Dyson back in May.

 

The county’s health officer, Dr. Gregory Branch who is a coronavirus survivor himself, told WJZ the teen had a preexisting condition and said the county has seen a rise in cases among young people but their hospitalization numbers have not dramatically increased.

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He urged citizens to stay vigilant and “wear your masks.”

The Baltimore County Executive announced several new restrictions Friday.

 

Beginning Sunday, restaurants and bars must close by midnight.

They are not subject to the new personal gathering restrictions he outlined, which limit groups to no more than 10 indoors and no more than 25 people gathered outside.

“We are once again at a critical point in the course of this pandemic. We very well may be facing our toughest challenge yet. COVID‘s long, dark winter,“ Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said.

 

He said the county’s social distancing task force would be checking to make sure businesses comply.

“This is not to make life difficult for any restaurant or business. It is to save lives and to keep our businesses open,“ Olszewski said of his new regulations.

The county executive also suspended all youth sports activities starting next Tuesday. He said parties, weddings and fundraisers are subject to his new gathering limits. They do not apply to retail businesses, private schools and childcare facilities.

On the recent deaths, he said, “These are not numbers. These are our neighbors.”

The executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce told WJZ restaurants are barely hanging on.

“I am going to tell you right now, I have a lot of businesses here in Towson that have other places down in the city, and they don’t think they’re going to make it,” Nancy Hafford said. “We are very, very glad that he is not rolling capacity back to less than it is right now. If they went to 25 percent here in the county, it would crush our businesses.”

She advised people “don’t buy Amazon as much and shop local” if they want to see their favorite retailers and restaurants survive.

On Friday, Maryland’s Department of Health recorded 1,869 new cases and 12 new deaths and a positivity rate inching closer to six percent.

The number of cases set a single-day record.

 

“We have faced and continue to face what may be the most challenging period of our lives,” Olszewski 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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