This Major U.S. City Is Locking Down Again Due to Coronavirus Surge
Baltimore just got a new Mayor—Brandon Scott—and he didn't waste any time indicating where he stood in the fight to end the coronavirus. "That hookah bar can wait. That brunch can wait," Scott said, announcing he was closing indoor and outdoor restaurant dining, and implementing new COVID restrictions citywide. "We have to keep our family and the people we love alive." Read on to hear his warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Indoor and Outdoor Dining is Now Closed
"Restaurants and other food service establishments will be closed to indoor and outdoor dining," says the Mayor's new order, which takes effect this Friday at 5pm. "However, carry out, delivery and drive-thru service may continue."
"We know that our restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by this pandemic," Scott said of his decision, adding, "the city has been proactive in seeking ways to support our restaurant community." The city has given grants to some restaurants, but Scott's decision is sure to cause outrage among some in the industry.
"When it comes to the wellbeing of our residents, I am not afraid to do the right thing over the popular one. This is about saving lives. Nothing more, nothing less," the mayor said, "and instituting these restrictions today for the public health of the residents of Baltimore. I am committing to you, the people of Baltimore, that I will be here every week to bring you the necessary information as we continue to battle this pandemic with the hope that you will make informed decisions for you and your family."
Indoor Gatherings, the Casino and Houses of Worship Also Face Restrictions
Here's the Baltimore Mayor's order in full:
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced on December 9 new tighter capacity restrictions on restaurants and other establishments, which he said are necessary to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.
The new restrictions, which take effect Friday, December 11, at 5 p.m. are:
- Restaurants and other food service establishments will be closed to indoor and outdoor dining. (Carry-out and drive-through services are allowed.)
- The city's one casino, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, is limited to 25% capacity and may not serve food or drinks.
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people; outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
- Parks and recreation fields are closed.
- Religious establishments are limited to 25% capacity.
- Retail establishments are limited to 25% capacity.
- Fitness centers and gyms are limited to 25% capacity.
- Indoor recreation establishments are closed.
- Personal service-type business are limited to 25% capacity and can only accept customers with an appointment. They are also required to keep a log of customers and employees for contact tracing.
- Museums, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the National Aquarium are limited to 25% capacity.
The Mayor Committed His Allegiance to "Public Health Officials"
"I want to ensure that every Baltimorean wears a mask," said the Mayor. "I want to ensure that every Baltimorean can get tested and have access to the vaccine, our decisions will not always be easy, and often will feel harsh, but they will always be guarded by the advice of public health officials," he said.
As for yourself, follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.