- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Officials in Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties on Tuesday approved further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, given improving health trends. 

More than 50% of Montgomery County’s population has now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Coronavirus case rates in the county also met officials’ thresholds for further reopening — fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of under 3%. 

New changes to restrictions under the amended public health order that went into effect Tuesday are as follow: 

  • Gathering limits increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors;

  • Businesses previously open at 25% capacity (including theaters) now move to 50% capacity and may serve concessions with social distancing;

  • Attendance for sports activities increases to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, with a similar number of spectators.

  • Malls may fully reopen concourses and museums may reopen interactive exhibits.

When more than 60% of the county’s population has been partially vaccinated, the following changes to restrictions can happen: 

  • Gathering limits will increase to 250 people indoors and no limit outdoors (including for sports and summer camp activities).

  • Most businesses move to 75% capacity.

  • Camps may permit campers from outside of Maryland, the District or Virginia.

  • Convention and banquet facilities will be limited to 50% capacity.

  • Religious facilities move to 75% capacity.

Anne Arundel County officials also relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. All limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings in the county are ending at 5 p.m. Tuesday, County Executive Steuart Pittman announced. 

“We are expecting and recommending that people continue to mask, social distance and, of course, get vaccinated so that they can have more people gathering together, both indoors and outdoors,” Mr. Pittman said. 

Half of the county’s adults are vaccinated, and coronavirus case rates in the county are declining. As of Monday, Anne Arundel reported an average rate of new daily coronavirus cases below 19 per 100,000 residents over the last seven days.

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