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Governor Hogan: Outdoor dining to resume at restaurants on Friday evening, outdoor pools allowed to reopen

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday evening held a press conference to provide an update on the state of Maryland’s progress in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After another 14 days of continued encouraging trends, Maryland is ready to take the additional steps to complete Stage One of our gradual, safe, and effective recovery plan,” said Governor Hogan.

The governor announced that outdoor dining and restaurants and social clubs could begin on Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. Restaurant patrons must be appropriately distanced, with no more than 6 people seated at a table. Restaurants must use single-use disposable menus or sanitize reusable menus between each use. Restaurants must sanitize outdoor tables and chairs, and begin screening procedures, including daily temperature checks of staff. Masks must be worn when interacting with employees or patrons.

Baltimore County also issued guidance to restaurants with regard to outdoor seating earlier this week.

Effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, safe youth sports activities may resume, following CDC guidelines with limited, low contact, outdoor practices.

Outdoor activities at youth day camps may resume with capacity limitations of no more than 10 individuals in a group and daily COVID-19 symptom checks for camp staff and campers.

Outdoor pools may also reopen Friday with strict safety guidelines including: 25% capacity restrictions and strict physical distancing and sanitization measures.

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As of Wednesday, Maryland has reached the goal of conducting 10,000 tests per day. The state has now completed 300,444 coronavirus tests statewide and continues to dramatically expand testing capacity.

Maryland’s contact tracing operation is now fully operational. The state has increased its tracing capacity by nearly 500% with more than 1,400 case investigators. Maryland is able to track up to 1,000 cases and 10,000 contacts daily.

In Maryland, the statewide positivity rate peaked 41 days ago, on April 17, when it was 26.91%. Since then, it has dropped by more than 50%, down to 12.8%. Positivity rates in Baltimore City and Baltimore County are both slightly below the state average.

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