Anne Arundel County to Remain at Stage Two Reopening
Rising COVID case rate and positivity rate cause concern about larger goal of opening schools
Annapolis, Md (September 3, 2020) County Executive Steuart Pittman announced today that Anne Arundel County would continue at Stage Two on the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery. After consulting with his Recovery Work Group and county Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, County Executive Pittman cited the recent increase in COVID-19 case rate and positivity over the past two weeks, and the county’s goal to open public schools this fall as rationale to hold a steady course on reopening actions.
“We need to get our schools open, and the State of Maryland has given us an achievable new case rate that makes it safe to do so,” said County Executive Pittman. “We must lower our rate of spread to get there. Unfortunately, cases in our county are increasing right now, and recent experience shows clearly that if we increase activity, our rate of spread will accelerate more. That is the outcome that we must avoid. The data shows us that we are simply not ready to move to Stage Three. To get there, we must stand together and finish the job we started. Let's beat this thing.”
During the Recovery Work Group meeting today, Dr. Kalyanaraman presented a series of data slides to outline the status and trends of COVID-19 cases in Anne Arundel County. Over the last two weeks, both the positivity rate and the number of cases has been rising. Dr. Kalyanaraman warned that relaxing restrictions at his time would likely accelerate that increase and could cause the county to fail to meet the state’s school reopening metrics.
“Our goal is to get our case rate down so that we can get schools open,” said Dr. Kalyanaraman. “When we have reopened in the past, we have seen cases go up. We all want to get to Stage Three and return to a sense of normalcy, but it just isn't safe to do that yet.”
County Executive Pittman will continue to monitor the COVID-19 metrics and consult with Dr. Kalyanaraman to determine when the data supports safely moving to a modified Stage Three reopening.
County Executive Pittman and Dr. Kalyanaraman also asked county residents and visitors to refrain from large gatherings during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they urge residents to wear masks or facial coverings, maintain proper social distancing, and to frequently wash their hands.
The County Executive will sign an executive order to keep Anne Arundel County at Stage Two. The county’s Frequently Asked Questions document will be updated and available at https://www.aacounty.org/coronavirus/road-to-recovery.