MARYLAND — While Marylanders and other Americans ease into their summer activities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for how to do so safely.
"It continues to be extremely important that we embrace the recommendations of social distancing, hand-washing, and wearing of face coverings when we are in public as some of the key defenses that we have against this virus," CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a media briefing Friday. "While we are making progress, we have a lot of work ahead as we reopen America."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan lifted restrictions Friday evening on indoor dining as well as outdoor amusements such as rides, go-kart tracks and miniature golf courses.
"The fight against this virus is far from over, and as we begin to come into contact with more people, we must all continue to remain vigilant," Hogan said in a statement Friday, echoing the guidance from the CDC, which provided tips for staying safe while going out. Among them are to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when going to and leaving a restaurant. If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. If having a cookout, offer single-use items like ketchup packets; and if there are serving utensils, designate one person to serve food to limit the number of people touching them.
In restaurants, the governor established parameters such as 50 percent capacity and staff being required to wear face coverings as part of the reopening plan. While the governor's order allowing indoor dining applied statewide, local jurisdictions could be more restrictive. Baltimore City still prohibits indoor dining. Prince George's County will ease its restrictions and start permitting indoor dining at 50 percent capacity on Monday. Montgomery County is expected to do the same.
As Maryland gradually reopens, health officials are keeping tabs on coronavirus-related hospitalizations and other data to gauge public safety.
The number of coronavirus patients in Maryland hospitals — under 800 — is the lowest since April 6, Hogan said Saturday morning in a statement.
In the last day, the state has conducted 10,555 coronavirus tests, Hogan said Saturday, with nearly 700 new cases of the virus confirmed. The positivity rate for the virus has dropped to 6.77 percent in Maryland, according to the governor.
Hogan urged people, particularly those who attended mass gatherings and who are around vulnerable populations like older people and those with underlying medical conditions, to get tested, pointing to an interactive map of COVID-19 testing sites now online.
More than 347,000 negative test results have been reported in Maryland, while 61,305 people have tested positive for the coronavirus overall, state health officials reported Saturday morning.
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Coronavirus in Maryland: A Snapshot
Coronavirus At Group Living Facilities
Coronavirus data from congregate living facilities is updated weekly on Wednesdays.
Here are the numbers as of Saturday, June 13:
Maryland Coronavirus Cases By Jurisdiction
Maryland Coronavirus Cases By Age And Gender
Maryland Coronavirus Cases By Race And Ethnicity
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