On Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Board of Commissioners held a special meeting to discuss the new emergency order from Governor Hogan that reduces indoor dining to 50 percent capacity at restaurants. They also reviewed public health advisories that urged the public to refrain from attending indoor gatherings of more than 25 people and to limit out-of-state travel to essential trips. Commissioners voted to adhere to the Governor’s latest executive orders without additional restrictions at this time.

Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on the latest statistics, which demonstrate a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in Charles County that exceed the state’s 7-day positivity rate. Dr. Dianna E. Abney, Charles County Health Officer, advised that outdoor gatherings be strictly limited to 100 people and public and private indoor gatherings be limited to 25 people or less, except those activities specifically in the Governor’s orders such as religious activities or indoor dining at restaurants.

Additionally, Dr. Abney reviewed specific public health and safety requirements for indoor dining and gatherings, and strongly encouraged the community to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding high-risk activities and large crowds, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face mask. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has possible exposure to COVID-19 should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A drive-through testing site is also available at Regency Furniture Stadium every Tuesday and appointments can be scheduled online.

The Board plans to discuss proactive enforcement of the Governor’s current executive orders with law enforcement leaders when they convene at their next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Anyone who violates the Governor’s executive orders is subject to penalties that include up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail.

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