ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued an emergency order stating that, as of Monday, Feb. 1, bars and restaurants will no longer be required to close at 10 p.m. The statewide order for 50% indoor capacity at restaurants will remain in place.
The state says it is reporting the lowest positivity rate of COVID-19 since Nov. 13 and says the statewide case rate has dropped by 37.1%.
They also say hospitalizations have dropped by 16.2%, including a decrease of 11% in the past 14 days and that the average number of new daily cases declined by 35% over the past 14 days.
The state’s estimated transmission rate has remained below 1.0 since December 27.
"With our data trends showing continued improvement, the holiday surges behind us, and the increasing speed of vaccinations, we are now able to take this step," said Gov. Hogan. "Marylanders must continue to remain cautious and vigilant in order to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy."
An additional $30 million has been allocated to the state’s relief program for food service establishments, adding to $50 million announced in October. To take advantage of these grants, restaurants must apply through their local jurisdiction. Funding can be used for rent, payroll, and job training; equipment purchases to expand outdoor dining (including tents, heaters, and carts); and more. Final criteria and guidelines are decided by the individual jurisdictions.
Gov. Hogan has introduced the RELIEF Act of 2021, which provides direct stimulus and tax relief to Marylanders and small businesses.