A Maryland County Executive agreed to allow indoor dining Wednesday after a group of restaurants filed a lawsuit challenging the county’s ban on indoor dining.
In exchange for allowing restaurants to have indoor dining at 25% capacity, Titan Hospitality Group agreed to dismiss their lawsuit against Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman. The lawsuit challenged an executive order that was granted Dec. 16 by Judge William C. Mulford II which banned indoor dining for 4 weeks. (RELATED: California Gyms, Restaurants Sue City For Right To Stay Open After New COVID-19 Crackdown)
Pittman said in a Wednesday statement that the indoor dining ban “was based on our strong desire to save lives and protect public health.”
This morning I signed a new executive order that permits indoor dining to continue at 25% capacity for establishments that collect information for contact tracing purposes. Read my full statement below. https://t.co/bi2SkjnYuf pic.twitter.com/NzpowYGxZQ
— County Executive Steuart Pittman (@AACoExec) December 30, 2020
“However, the prospect of a sudden and disruptive closure of indoor dining prompted me to evaluate the best course of action at this time,” Pittman continued. “Since December 10 when I announced the four week suspension of indoor dining, much has changed. Catastrophic hospitalization projections, rising case rates, rising death rates, and restrictions put into effect by the state and the county have altered public behavior.”
Health officials still expect a post-holiday spike in coronavirus cases, Pittman said, but projections have improved.
“I look forward to entering the new year with a little less conflict and a lot more hope.”
Anne Arundel county hit their highest ever 7-day case average Dec. 12 at 48.7 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. The case rate is currently down from the peak and has leveled off, although health officials have warned that fewer tests were performed over Christmas, which could account for the lower case rate.