AS COVID RISES, HOGAN TIGHTENS RESTRICTIONS: Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in Maryland the state will further limit indoor dining capacity at bars and restaurants, reports Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter. “Today I am announcing that effective tomorrow November 11th at 5 p.m., roughly 24 hours from now, the capacity for indoor operations at bars and restaurants will be reduced from 75% back to 50%,” Hogan said at a news conference at the State House in Annapolis.
- With Thanksgiving on the horizon, as well as the end of a shortened semester at some universities, the state is “strongly” discouraging indoor gatherings of more than 25 people, Pamela Wood and Jeff Barker report for the Sun.
- The governor also issued a heightened travel advisory that warns against visiting states with high rates of infections, ruling out nonessential travel to 35 states, Rebecca Tan, Erin Cox and Patricia Sullivan of the Washington Post report.
- Jessica Iannetta of the Baltimore Business Journal quotes Hogan as saying: “We cannot afford to ignore these trends and patterns. Last week, I said that the warning lights were starting to blink on the dashboard and it appeared we were approaching a critical turning point in the fight. Today I’m reporting we’ve crossed over into the danger zone.”
HOGAN CALLS FOR LOCAL RESTRICTION ENFORCEMENT: Hogan on Tuesday also called on local leaders to “step up” enforcement efforts. He reiterated those remarks Tuesday, saying “too many businesses are failing to comply with the state regulations.” “Sadly, as a result, the virus has returned to our state in a big way,” said the Republican, even as he praised Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County for their efforts, Christine Condon and Christina Tkacik of the Sun report.
WA CO ALSO WARNS OF RISING COVID NUMBERS: Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Earl Stoner, health officer with the Washington County Health Department, delivered a message similar to Gov. Hogan’s to members of the Washington County’s delegation to the Maryland General Assembly. Covid 19 cases are spreading largely because of large and small gatherings, he said, from sporting events to family birthday parties. “I’m going to start off by saying we are not in a good spot,” he said. Madeleine O’Neill of the USA Today Network and Mike Lewis of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail report the story.
BUSINESS OWNERS REACT: Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post speaks with local restaurant owners about the latest restrictions and how they – and Covid 19 – will continue to affect their businesses.
POLICE RESPOND TO COVID COMPLAINTS: While it can be awkward for police to enforce COVID-19 restrictions, it’s become another part of the job, and one that local law enforcement officials say is usually resolved without much fuss. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Frederick Police Department logged 164 complaints of violations of local and state executive orders, according to Lt. Jon Holler, Mary Grace Keller of the Frederick News-Post reports.
HEALTH SECRETARY NEALL TO RETIRE: During his press conference Tuesday, Gov. Hogan also announced the departure of Health Secretary Robert “Bobby” Neall. “He gave us notice and announced to the cabinet that he will be leaving the administration, retiring on Dec. 1,” Hogan declined to provide further details on who would take Neall’s place, Bryan Sears reports in the Daily Record.
STATE APP NOTIFIES COVID CONTACTS: Cellphone users in Maryland can now use an app that will notify them if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports.
BUSINESS GROUPS BACK HOGAN ROAD PLAN: Groups representing commuters and businesses urged the Maryland Department of Transportation to move forward with Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to widen two interstate highways that run through Montgomery County, reports Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters.
HOGAN WARNS GOP OF TARNISHING BRAND: Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said that the refusal of leading voices in his party to accept the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president could “tarnish the brand” of the GOP at a pivotal time as U.S. Senate control hangs in the balance, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports.
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OTHER REPUBLICANS BACK TRUMP’s STAND: As President Trump refuses to concede the White House election to former vice president Joe Biden, despite major news outlets calling the election for the Democrat on Saturday, Maryland Republicans — with the notable exceptions of Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford — are falling in line, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports.
ENVIRO-ADVOCATES HOPEFUL WITH BIDEN WIN: After the Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden on Saturday, environmental advocates in Maryland and across the country exhaled a sigh of relief. Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports that Maryland environmental advocates are hoping Biden will help Maryland address climate change, environmental justice and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, after President Trump rolled back more than 125 environmental protection policies.
PITTMAN LAUNCHES PROGRESSIVE NONPROFIT: Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) announced Tuesday that he is launching a nonprofit education and advocacy organization to promote a progressive agenda in the region and state. As Pittman envisions it, his new organization, Future Matters, will convene conversations with activists and everyday residents across the state on a range of topics and then propose and advocate for out-of-the-box solutions.
OPINION: EMERGENCY PAY PROGRAM BLEEDS MO CO: In a column for Seventh State, Adam Pagnucco writes about the Montgomery County Council and its ire over how County Executive Marc Elrich and top aide Rich Madelano are managing the Covid-19 emergency pay program. “It is based on the erroneous notion that it was mandated in the county’s union contracts when in fact those contracts referred to emergency pay in the context of weather events. The program is bleeding the county budget by $4 million a pay period,” he writes.
MO CO RENAMES MIDDLE SCHOOL: A Montgomery County middle school named after a white man who historians have called an “unrepentant segregationist” will soon be rebranded to honor the first Black woman elected to public office in Montgomery County, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat. [The story does not mention that E. Brooke Lee served as speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates and secretary of state and was the father of Gov. Blair Lee III.]
HONORING VETERANS ON VETERANS DAY: Jonathan Pitts of the Sun writes about Ron Dolecki, 75, of Calvert County, who years ago took part in a U.S. Army mission in Eastern Africa. He was ambushed and captured by armed guerrillas, forced to march more than 150 miles across a desert, and held in brutal conditions for two weeks, only to escape on foot, saving two crew mates in the process. He has applied four times for the Prisoner of War Medal. And now it looks as though he may receive it.
- In late October, Howard residents gathered at Lake Kittamaqundi in downtown Columbia to honor World War II veteran and community leader Vivian “Millie” Bailey, 102, Ana Faguy of the Howard County Times reports.
- Megan Woodward of the Carroll County Times writes that Joe Archibald said he never liked to drive. He was drafted to the U.S. Army in September 1951 when he was 21 years old and was assigned to the 169th Infantry 43rd Division Tank Company that was stationed in West Germany. His duty while serving overseas was something he never expected — driving tanks.