Friday 15th January 2021
Tyler Waldman, WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5
After reviewing the data for an additional week, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said the city's current restrictions on coronavirus, including a ban on seating, will not change.
Case rates and hospital stays continue to rise after New Year's Eve.
"We are clearly not where we want these numbers to be," Scott said at a press conference outside the city health department headquarters.
City officials want to see a positivity rate below 5%, a level the city hasn't seen since Nov. 6. As for other numbers, including hospital capacity, city officials just want the numbers to fall at a rate they and hospital officials are comfortable with.
Scott said officials would check the readings again next week.
"In particular, I want all of our restaurant owners and restaurant staff to hear this and know that I hear them and feel their pain," said Scott. "Your inability to work and run your business keeps me up at night."
On Thursday, a Baltimore City judge declined to overturn the current sitting ban, but said the city should weigh the economic impact of such orders. Scott said Friday he plans to convene a group of restaurant workers to hear their opinion on what the city can do to help them reopen safely.
As of Monday, more people will have access to vaccines, including residents aged 75 and over. Health Commissioner Dr. However, Letitia Dzirasa said vaccine appointments at the city's clinic in Port Covington were booked by the end of the month. The city is working with external partners to secure more space.
Scott said he spoke with Governor Larry Hogan and the governor is open to working with the city to set up mass vaccination sites.
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