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Prince George’s Executive Alsobrooks restricts indoor dining, limits outdoor dining capacity due to COVID-19 surge

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced on Thursday that indoor dining in the county must close effective Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Outdoor dining is allowed at 50% capacity and takeout and curbside deliveries are also allowed. Alsobrooks is encouraging residents to continue to patronize restaurants through these times.

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Casinos are limited to 25% capacity and all retail stores must reduce capacity to 25% as well. These new restrictions will stay in place until Jan. 16.

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Alsobrooks said she will continue to look for ways to assist businesses through this pandemic.

“I ask for help from every Prince Georgian, we ask you to limit your nonessential trips, avoid gatherings with friends and family,” Alsobrooks said. “We want to get this curve flattened and these numbers reduced.”

Alsobrooks will be holding a telephone town hall in the upcoming week for residents to voice their concerns.

She also spoke about the upcoming vaccines and encouraging residents to get one. The county is prepared to distribute the vaccine, Alsobrooks said. The amount of vaccines the county receives will not be enough for the entire population. The limited quantities will be distributed based on need.

“When we take this vaccine, it not only protects us, it protects your family, friends and neighbors,” Alsobrooks said. “We will certainly be proud to be protected from COVID-19 through this vaccine.”

Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said the county reached 29,000 new COVID-19 cases in a week, which is the highest weekly total in the county.

An average of 46 people per 100,000 population get the virus each day, which is over 400 residents a day, Carter said. The new cases are trending younger and under the ages of 50.

The county’s positivity rate has increased over 10%, which means one out of every 10 COVID-19 test comes back positive. The positivity rate hasn’t been this high since early June.

Prince George’s County has 45,871 confirmed cases of the coronavirus which is the most in the state. The 947 deaths is second in the state behind Montgomery County with 958.

Carter said contract tracing show gatherings of friends and not immediate family causes a higher spread. He is suggesting doing holiday shopping online this year.

Carter has high hopes that the vaccine will work against COVID-19. Frontline workers and vulnerable populations will be the first to get the vaccine. He said the county should be receiving its shipment before the end of this year.

“We have to keep our families safe going into 2021,” Carter said.

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