ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland is tightening some of its coronavirus restrictions as cases continue to surge across the state and the rest of the country.
During a Tuesday evening press conference, Governor Larry Hogan issued an amended emergency order as the positivity rate in the state has increased to 5.24%.
"Maryland has had seven straight days with more than 1,000 new cases. Yesterday, for the first time since June 25, our 7-day statewide positivity rate crossed over the 5% benchmark of the CDC and WHO," said Hogan.
Effective Wednesday at 5 p.m., capacity restrictions in restaurants and bars will be reduced from 75% to 50%.
Meanwhile, the Maryland Department of Health issued a new public health advisory warning residents against indoor gatherings of 25 or more people.
The Department of Health also issued an expanded travel advisory for all out-of-state travel.
"All Marylanders are strongly advised to avoid all nonessential travel to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or an average case rate of 20 cases per 100K," said Hogan.
During the press conference, Hogan also said all state employees who are approved to telework must once again begin a period of mandatory telework except for essential, direct, public-facing services and essential personnel.
“This virus does not care if you are tired of it. It does not care if you have holiday plans. It does not care who you voted for, and it will not let us move on just because we all want to get back to our normal lives," said Hogan.
Earlier today, a graphic that was wildly shared on social media alleged that Maryland would soon be heading back to Phase 1 reopening restrictions as coronavirus cases surge throughout the state. It was later debunked.
Hogan's communications director Mike Ricci was asked if the graphic, which listed Baltimore City's plan to revert back to Phase 1 restrictions this Thursday, was true for the entire state of Maryland.
"It is not," Ricci tweeted.
WBAL-TV, a Baltimore-based news station, responded to the graphic, which sported the station's logo, saying: "It is an unauthorized, and incorrect, use of WBAL-TV's graphic for Baltimore City's restrictions, not the state of Maryland."