Maryland’s bars and restaurants may increase capacity to 75%

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced yesterday that beginning September 21, bars and restaurants may begin increasing indoor dining from 50% capacity to 75% capacity.

If you’ve looked at Maryland’s COVID-19 numbers, you know allowing even more people to go to bars and restaurants is a stupid thing to do.

From the Baltimore Sun:

The state calculates its positivity rate for the past week as 3.21%, while Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center, which uses a different calculation, puts the state above 6%. The World Health Organization recommends governments see two weeks of positivity less than 5% before expanding allowed activities.

The Hogan Administration has long ignored the data coming from Johns Hopkins and just ginned up their own. Johns Hopkins calculates the positivity rate by counting the number of people tested. The Hogan formula for calculating the positivity rate is to count tests conducted, not the number of people tested. It allows the administration to claim a much lower positivity rate than what it actually is.

People should not be going to bars and restaurants during a pandemic

Instead of increasing capacity from 50% to 75%, it should be decreased to 0%. It’s stupid to go to a bar or restaurant while COVID-19 is still raging unchecked. It’s too dangerous and unnecessary. People don’t need to go to a bar or eat in a restaurant right now. The mechanics of transmission are still very much in place. People can have COVID-19 and not even know it. Even though they have no symptoms, they still spread the coronavirus like a lawn sprinkler spreads water.

Maryland's bars and restaurants may increase capacity to 75%

When asymptomatic people like this wear a face covering and stay at least six feet away from others, the threat they pose to others is seriously reduced. When a face covering and proper social distancing is removed from the equation, the threat posed to others is great.

The threat is not only great, but it’s also completely unnecessary. People visiting restaurants and bars will get infected with the coronavirus. They will then infect others. Rinse and repeat.

Governor Larry Hogan should know better.

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