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Montgomery Co. issues new coronavirus restrictions before Thanksgiving

Indoor gatherings in Montgomery County will be limited to 10 people starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to new coronavirus restrictions issued by the county’s health officer.

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“Contact tracing data indicates that family and group gatherings are where a significant number of the state’s cases are occurring,” health officer Dr. Travis Gayles said in a statement. In addition, masks must be worn in public places indoors and outdoors, and face shields without a mask and face coverings with valves “do not satisfy” the mask mandate.

The new restrictions in Montgomery County ahead of Thanksgiving come amid “skyrocketing community spread,” Dr. Gayles said.

County health officials on Tuesday reported 233 new cases, bringing the total to 31,622, which is the second-highest number of county cases statewide.

“We are entering a phase of COVID-19 that is very worrisome, and we need every resident to understand what that means,” Dr. Gayles said. “The [case] counts are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, and we need to take more drastic steps to reduce transmission.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that state police and troopers will be deployed Wednesday evening to “popular downtown areas” to “prevent superspreading events and to assist in enforcement compliance when necessary.”

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