Baltimore City Lifts More COVID-19 Restrictions Friday
- There are now more than 900 people in the hospital. And the percentage of people testing positive is also up. Despite the numbers, Baltimore City is taking another step forward in the road to recovery by loosening more restrictions. WJZ's Live Amy Kawata breaks down the latest from city leaders and what they're telling residents to keep in mind moving forward. Amy.
AMY KAWATA: Vic, well, this comes as officials announce Baltimore has crossed an important milestone. 22% of all city residents have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And one of the biggest easing restrictions here in the city today is at restaurants, indoor dining now at 50% capacity, outdoor dining at 75%.
AMY KAWATA (VOICEOVER): Indoor establishments like churches, personal service facilities, and retail shops also allowed to operate at 50% capacity. This comes as data shows the city's latest seven-day average positivity rate is at 3.3%, an increase of 88% from last month.
LETITIA DZIRASA: While our data still show some cause for concern and high amounts of community transmission, we are beginning to pass important benchmarks towards our goal of seeing 80% of Baltimore City residents vaccinated.
AMY KAWATA (VOICEOVER): Baltimore's health commissioner commending the city's efforts in mobile vaccination units. Starting next week, Rite Aid, Ascension, St. Agnes, and the University of Maryland Medical System will also start mobile vaccine operations, further increasing the ability to reach the vulnerable and underserved population.
Mayor Brandon Scott continues to stress the importance that a majority of residents still have not been vaccinated and urging people to remain vigilant, especially as we head into another holiday season.
BRANDON SCOTT: Now is not the time to act irresponsibly. That light is coming, but we have to walk cautiously towards that light at the end of the tunnel. I urge everyone to continue to do their part and follow the best practices.
AMY KAWATA: And city leaders say they plan to review key health metrics more frequently now, every two weeks, to make decisions about further reopening plans. Live in Baltimore City, I'm Amy Kawata for WJZ.