Montgomery County and Maryland Officials Update Covid-19 Restrictions after Rising Cases

by Emily Siansky ‘22

On November 10, the Montgomery County Council conducted an oversight meeting to adjust Covid-19 restrictions after a third wave of cases. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich issued Executive Order 122-20 that changes the capacity limits of businesses throughout the county. 

Fitness centers, indoor restaurants, museums and art galleries, and religious facilities all must reduce to 25 percent capacity or 25 people. Other establishments such as nail and hair salons and bowling alleys are also reduced to 25 percent or 25 people (whichever is lower). This was effective November 10 at 5pm. 

Also on November 10, Gov. Larry Hogan had a press conference to announce changes in Maryland’s Covid-19 restrictions. Hogan announced that indoor dining facilities have to reduce their capacity from 75 percent down to 50 percent with social distancing measures still in place. Hogan also discourages indoor gathering of more than 25 people. 

Closings have been the norm for the past eight months, so these “new” restrictions are nothing out of the ordinary. However, Hogan introduced a new way to track Covid-19 exposure. According to the Maryland Department of Health, “Starting [November, 10], Marylanders with an iPhone or Android smartphone will receive a push notification inviting them to receive exposure notification alerts. iPhone users will be able to opt in by enabling exposure notifications in their phone’s settings and selecting Maryland as their region. Android users will be prompted to opt in by installing the MD COVID Alert app from the Google Play Store.” With this different way to track exposure, Hogan hopes to better stop the spread of Covid-19. 

Everyone is getting tired of the pandemic, but as much as people all want life to be back to “normal,” they have to follow the decisions made by publicly elected officials. Wash your hands, social distance, and, in the blunt words of Hogan, “wear the damn masks.”