“There is no doubt that this pandemic has been extremely difficult for our business community, and we will continue to work with them to find safe ways for them to reopen as well as providing assistance to help them during these difficult times,” Barry Hudson, spokesman for Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D), said in a statement.
Gina Ford, spokeswoman for Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D), said the county also will hold at Phase 2 until health officials advise it is safe to move forward.
Prince George’s reported 155 new coronavirus cases Friday, with a rolling seven-day average of 113 new daily cases. Montgomery had 105 new cases Friday, slightly above its daily average of 100.
Announcements from the two counties came a day after Hogan encouraged local leaders to reconsider their slower approach to reopening. Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties, as well as the city of Baltimore, have not fully embraced Hogan’s guidance to reopen every business, citing health concerns.
But local officials did take some of Hogan’s advice in deciding to allow fans of the Washington Football Team and the Baltimore Ravens to watch their teams in person.
Hogan last week signed an executive order easing restrictions for outdoor sporting and entertainment venues, including at FedEx Field in Prince George’s County and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, but hadn’t consulted with local officials before allowing up to 10 percent capacity at the NFL stadiums. Local leaders said at the time they were reviewing the orders.
The Washington Football Team announced Friday it will allow a small number of season ticket holders to attend its Nov. 8 game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field.
Ronnie Gill, director of the Prince George’s Office of Emergency Management, said the team will begin to allow about 3,250 fans at its home games. He said county officials agreed with the Washington Football Team to cap the number of fans at FedEx Field — which has a capacity of 82,000 — below the 10 percent figure set by Hogan, with the option to increase the number of people allowed over time.
Fans will be required to wear masks and have their temperatures checked before entering the stadium, Gill said. Groups will be limited to four people, while signs will remind fans to socially distance and wash their hands.
“They have taken numerous actions to protect the football team and the fans,” Gill said, adding the team will be responsible for enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing.
The team said in a statement that tailgating will not be allowed, and vendors will accept only cashless payments.
Baltimore officials also announced Friday that a small number of fans will be allowed to attend a Nov. 1 home game of the Ravens at 71,008-seat M&T Bank Stadium.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a statement that he reviewed the team’s plan and believes it “takes into consideration the amount of thought and detail put into the Ravens’ protocols, as well as the size of the location and distancing possible.”
About 3,000 fans will be allowed in the lower bowl seats, with 800 people in club-level seats and 500 in suites. The upper bowl will not be open for the game.
Tailgating and other social gatherings aren’t permitted.
The greater Washington region Friday recorded 1,964 new coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths. Virginia added 1,180 cases and 15 deaths, Maryland added 712 cases and eight deaths, and D.C. added 72 cases and no deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases across the region stands at 1,696 — a number that has changed little for about two weeks.
Nicki Jhabvala, Les Carpenter and Erin Cox contributed to this report.