New coronavirus restrictions in Prince George’s County

The new restrictions on indoor dining, casinos and retail are expected to last through January 16.

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. — With more new coronavirus cases than ever in Prince George’s County, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced additional restrictions throughout the county during a news conference Thursday morning.

Starting Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m., the following changes will go into effect:

  • Indoor dining at restaurants and bars will close
  • Outdoor dining must operate at a 50% capacity
  • Casinos are now limited to 25% capacity
  • Retail establishments are now limited to 25% capacity

The new restrictions on indoor dining, casinos and retail are expected to last through Jan. 16.

Alsobrooks said that takeout and curbside service for restaurants will still be available, as she urged Prince Georgians to continue to support local businesses during the pandemic.

“We are headed in the wrong direction and we need to take swift action,” Alsobrooks said. “These are not just numbers, but people we love.”

County health officials confirm that 952 residents throughout Prince George’s County have lost their lives to the virus. There are currently 42,529 total confirmed cases that have been reported with a positivity rate of 10.1%.

Maryland is seeing a spike in COVID-19 that has surpassed cases during the spring. Gov. Larry Hogan and other statewide leaders warn that the next two months could be the roughest for residents.

The leaders of Maryland’s seven largest counties and Baltimore City issued a joint call on Wednesday for Marylanders to come together for the “final battle” against the coronavirus – even as cases and hospitalizations in the state surge to record highs.

The call came as part of a regular regional Zoom conference between officials in the state’s most populous counties. On Wednesday, however – citing the situation in the state – the call was opened to the press and public.

Along with health officials, on the call were:

  • Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman
  • Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski
  • Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott
  • Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner
  • Harford County Executive Barry Glassman
  • Howard County Executive Calvin Ball
  • Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
  • Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks

Framing the call was the new record high number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Maryland set on Wednesday – 1,715 people hospitalized in the state for treatment of the coronavirus, including more than 400 in ICU beds.

“We all believe that we’re facing a pivotal moment in what we hope will be the final battle against this virus,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman.

The county leaders, who collectively represent 75% of Maryland’s population, offered a united message for residents: stay strong and continue following restrictions until there’s enough vaccine to go around.

“Even with all we’re doing, the virus is still spreading,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said. “It is not contained at this point.”

Prince George’s County reported its 45,000th case of the coronavirus on Wednesday. The state’s largest county is now averaging more than 450 new cases of the virus a day. Alsobrooks said much of that growth has come from people who continue holding social gatherings.

“We are now in a position where we are receiving numbers regarding Thanksgiving, and what it’s telling us is that those personal gatherings are very, very dangerous,” Alsobrooks said.

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