Prince George’s County shutting down indoor dining next week

Amid a resurgent novel coronavirus, Prince George’s County is instituting new measures to slow the spread – including shutting down indoor dining.

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced on Thursday that – effective Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. – restaurants will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.

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The county – which has long been the epicenter of the pandemic in the state of Maryland – is currently registering a 10.1% positivity rate, which is above the state average.

To date, Prince George's County has recorded more than 45,700 cases - by far the most of any jurisdiction in Maryland.

In addition, the county is registering 45.7 cases per 100,000 people - the highest since the virus arrived in March.

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"I have said it so many times, and I'll say it again today, these are not just numbers. These are people we love - our colleagues, friends, family members, neighbors," Alsobrooks said.

Outdoor dining capacity will be reduced to 25 percent – but take-out will still be permitted.

Alsobrooks went so far as to encourage residents to take advantage of take-out opportunities as businesses struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic.

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In addition, retail capacity will be reduced to 25 percent, as will casino capacity.

The county executive acknowledged that the various vaccines that are currently in the final phases of approval are "a light at the end of the tunnel" - but stressed that "the pandemic is not yet over."

Alsobrooks noted that the numbers show that the county is “headed in the wrong direction” and “swift action” is required to deal with the situation.