Citing a sharp, steady drop in the COVID-19 case rate for both the county and state, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman signed Executive Order #42, which raises capacity limits for restaurants, retail establishments, places of worship and other businesses. Under the new order, establishments that were previously limited to 25 percent may now open at 50 percent of maximum capacity. Movie theaters, pool halls, bingo halls and other establishments that were previously closed may now open at 25 percent. 

The new limits go into effect Friday, Jan. 29, and come as the county’s COVID-19 case rate has steadily decreased for more than two straight weeks. This is the first prolonged decrease in the case rate since mid-August. The seven-day average case rate today was reported as 36.4 cases per 100,000 residents, down from a peak of 64.9 on Jan. 11. The county hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are also down over this period, from 168 total occupied beds on Jan. 8 to 135 reported.