Before the Montgomery County Council approved several county-wide COVID-19 measures easing coronavirus restrictions for businesses and establishments on Friday, MyMCM spoke to councilmember Will Jawando.
Jawando addressed why Montgomery County is not following Gov. Larry Hogan’s new public health executive orders went into effect at 5 p.m. allowing restaurants, bars, places of worship, and establishments to lift capacity limits entirely. Instead, the council voted to ease some restrictions, including—starting March 26—increasing capacity limits at “at food service facilities, fitness centers, bowling alleys, escape rooms, museums and art galleries, personal services facilities, pools, retail establishments, and recreation centers increases from 25% to 50%.”
Jawando called Hogan’s executive orders “irresponsible,” and said it’s still not safe for restaurants to operate at 100% capacity especially because patrons would be unmasked.
Since the start of the pandemic, Montgomery County has taken a “cautious approach” to ease restrictions, which Jawando said has helped keep coronavirus case numbers low. Jawando said staying cautious on easing restrictions is especially important since the virus continues to mutate.
— Will Jawando (@willjawando) March 12, 2021
“All three [COVID-19] variants are in Maryland right now, we don’t know what’s going to happen with those; we hope that we can keep a lid on them and the way you do it is more vaccination, social distancing, and restrictions on gathering places,” Jawando said.
Maryland Matters reports that when it comes to adhering to the governor’s newest coronavirus executive orders, the largest counties in the state are “all over the map.”
"Our health officer didn’t find out until that day. It's irresponsible, it's reckless, and then [Hogan] brings a failed CDC director to prop up the strategy." @mymcmedia
— Maryam Shahzad (@maryam_mcm) March 12, 2021
“Even though it’s not ideal that other people around us aren’t going to be doing that, I think you’ll see in Baltimore they’re going to take a measured approach, Prince George’s is taking a staged approach,” Jawando said. “I think we should be following the science and let the schools reopen let’s get these vaccinations.”