If your church, organization, business or club has made the decision to cancel, postpone or reschedule an event or activity in relation to the pandemic send an email with all the details to jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com.

Here’s what we know so far:

CECIL COUNTY HAS 3 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 AS OF MONDAY AFTERNOON

Government

Gov. Larry Hogan urged all Maryland residents to take the shelter in place directive seriously to quell the spread of COVID-19. Hogan said Monday he was upset to see people over the weekend defying the mandate from the CDC to limit groups to 10 people or less and maintain social distancing.

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Taxpayer Services Call Centers within the Maryland Comptroller's Office will close Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Until the office closures end, taxpayers can only reach the office by sending an email to taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov. The 1-800-MD-TAXES line will be out of service. Staff continue to work processing refunds.

Individual and corporate taxpayer deadlines have been extended to July 15. Most business tax payments are delayed until June 1.

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Access to Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been closed within the Community Park of Perryville. Anyone wishing to gain access to the facility must enter through the truck entry off Marion Tapp Parkway.

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The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is closing all branches effective last Friday at 4:30.

Any appointments are canceled. All drivers licenses and other certifications issued by the state are effective until further notice, if the expiration date falls after March 11.

Vehicle registration renewal, insurance compliance, change of address and flag fee information will still be available online at mva.maryland.gov

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All Cecil County parks are open to the public, however playground equipment is off limits.

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Cecil County’s Administration Building at 200 Chesapeake Boulevard in Elkton will close to the public starting Thursday, with entry by appointment only.

Beginning Monday employees will be screened before being permitted to enter the building. The screening will consist of 8 questions and a temperature assessment. Anyone that enters the building for any type of meeting inside the building will be similarly screened.

With the building being closed, and meetings not allowed by declaration of the state of emergency, the council has decided to start offering conference calls for council sessions.

You will have the option to watch it live online at ccgov.org/council and via telephone by calling 1-646-876-9923. Whichever source listeners will have the chance to participate in the meeting where appropriate.

This begins April 7.

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Cecil County Commuter Connection will be suspended indefinitely beginning Thursday. Anyone who needs help with transport contact Cecil Transit at 410-996-5295, option 2.

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The Cecil County Health Department has been closed and all employees that can telework are being asked to do that. Services are still being provided. Call 410-996-5550 with any questions.

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Cecil County Public Schools and Cecil College is closed this week. CCPS will remain shuttered until March 30 when classes are expected to resume.

Cecil College will move to online instruction March 23. Career and Community Education and workforce training classes cancelled through April 9. Labs and onsite clinical rotations are also suspended for the two weeks.

Students of CCPS may pick up free food, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until noon at Cecilton, Cecil Manor, Holly Hall, Thomson Estates, Perryville and North East Elementary Schools, Elkton High School and Janes United Methodist Church. School officials and volunteers hope to give three meals from each site by the end of the week. For now it is a bagged breakfast and lunch, free to any child 18 and under. Delivery is available to those without transportation.

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The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has re-opened enrollment so anyone who needs health insurance can get coverage. The special enrollment period begins March 16. New enrollees will have coverage beginning April 1. Gov. Larry Hogan enacted a state of emergency, which triggered the new enrollment period to help those who may need health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Health concerns are heightened for many families, and Maryland is in a state of emergency. We are grateful for the support of our insurance companies in opening this additional special enrollment for uninsured residents,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which administers Maryland Health Connection.

To enroll and shop policies go to marylandhbe.com

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UPDATE:

Some Perryville employees have been laid off and those remaining are now working 30-hour work weeks. Mayor Robert Ashby made the announcement Friday.

"A combination of furloughs and layoffs will be instituted for town personnel to cover budgetary shortfalls from lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic" the updated Declaration of Civil Emergency Update #3 reads.

Rising Sun, Perryville, and Elkton town halls are closed but some operations are still available including permits, paying water and sewer bills and other interaction. Only a limited number of face to face appointments would be made, say the mayors of all three towns.

Likewise, Elkton town hall is also closed to walk-in visits from the public. To contact a specific department go to www.elkton.org

Perryville's town hall is now closed on Fridays.

Customers of Rising Sun’s water and sewer system who pay their bill online would be refunded the convenience charge until further notice.

Elkton utility customers can drop off payments in the secure box in the front lobby of Elkton Town Hall or pay online at https://payments.tprosecure.com/md/elkton/paymentcenter/paymenta.asp

Rising Sun’s March 24 town meeting is up in the air, while Rising Sun Historic Preservation and the planning commission meetings are cancelled.

Perryville has cancelled its March 24 budget workshop and instead will hold a town work session beginning at 6:30 via video teleconference. To participate register here: https://www.perryvillemd.org/home/events/25783

Additionally, Rising Sun has hired a third-party contractor to deep clean Veterans Memorial Park and Diddie Richardson Park several times during the quarantine period. Marion said such would not be the case for Triangle Dog Park and he suggested dog owners take that into consideration before visiting.

All Cecil County Parks and Recreation activities are cancelled however parks and playgrounds remain open. While they are cleaned daily, county officials say people must assess their own risk before entering.

Towns will continue to issue permits, although interior inspections will only be performed if it is a matter of safety or health.

Police and public works in each jurisdiction will continue as usual.

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Effective immediately the Cecil County Detention Center has suspended all inmate visitation including volunteers and clergy. Religious services are also suspended until further notice. According to the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page the facility has been preparing for the appearance of the virus in center on Landing Lane in Elkton. Cleaning, stocking of supplies and other preparations are being made.

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Rooted In Our Community, a seminar to help everyone understand Cecil County’s farming community, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in the fall. It was to have taken place March 28.

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All branches of Cecil and Harford County Public Libraries will be closed through March 31. All activities and programs are also cancelled. Any materials checked out now will not be due back until the libraries re-open.

Cecil County does, however, have online resources including Hoopla, which offers movies, books, and audio books online for free at hoopladigital.com

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Elkton Parks and Recreation has cancelled all activities and room rentals through March 29. Please contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 410-620-7964 or by email at parks@elkton.org with questions.

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Cecil County Animal Services has postponed Petsapalooza on March 28.

Also CCAS is taking donations for the animals in its care. Dog and cat food, treats, toys can be left in a donation box to the rear of the shelter at 3280 Augustine Herman Highway south of Chesapeake City.

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The State of the County Address, which was scheduled for March 19 and hosted by the North East Chamber of Commerce, was postponed. A new date will be set soon according to chamber officials.

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Schools

The 50th Anniversary Gala for St. Mark's High School, which was set for March 27, has been cancelled.

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Bethany Christian School in Oxford, Pa. cancelled the March 19 Spaghetti Dinner and the High School Information Night that was to take place at the school March 24. New dates will be set for both events.

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Schools in Cecil County which are part of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington will be closed through March 30. All CYM sports programs are also suspended. All masses and devotions will be held but attendance is not mandatory.

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Community

Singer-songwriter Melanie Bailiff, who hails from Cecil County, has had to cancel a benefit concert she was doing at Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air, Md. Bailiff hopes to reschedule the concert, which is a benefit for Hannah's Hope, an organization working to end human trafficking.

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The Cecil County Help Center in Elkton will be closed to the public starting March 23. If you are in need of emergency food, please contact Cecil County Department of Social Services at 410-996-0100 for screening and referral. 

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COVID-19 testing is now available at ChristianaCare Union Hospital in Elkton by appointment only. Patients must obtain a prescription from their primary care doctor to get the test conducted. Your doctor will determine if you meet the criteria.

Effective Friday morning there are new regulations on visitors and the number of people allowed in certain patient areas.

No visitors are allowed at the hospital or outpatient services until further notice, with the following exceptions:   

*One visitor is permitted for patients in end-of-life care.

*One visitor is permitted to support laboring mothers.

*One support person is permitted for patients in the emergency department or outpatient practices.

*Two visitors are permitted for pediatric patients.

*Visitors who are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever or cough should not come to the hospital or outpatient services.

Visiting hours are 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and all visitors must be 18 or older.

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Project Clean Stream, which was set for April 4 at various locations in Cecil County, has been postponed.

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Rising Sun Little League has, effective immediately, cancelled all activities. League officials hope to be able to begin the season April 6.

Meanwhile adults will gather on the fields every Saturday at 8 a.m. to get ready for that start.

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The AARP Tax-Aide Foundation has suspended all tax preparation programs, including Tax-Aide in Cecil County. Local spokeswoman Sue Anne Grier said it is unknown if the free preparation service would resume before the tax deadline.

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The National Division of the Recognized Horse Trials, which were scheduled to take place April 10-12 at Fair Hill, have been cancelled according to organizers from Fair Hill International and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area.

“In compliance with the current Maryland State Of Emergency regulations, as well as (US Equestrian Federation) directives, we feel it is in the best interest of competitors, officials & volunteers to cancel our National divisions at this time,” reads a release issued Saturday night.

All entry fees will be refunded.

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The 3rd Annual Mayor’s Lucky Charm 5K in Elkton, which was set for March 14 in Meadow Park, was postponed. A new date is being determined.

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The Elkton Alliance Citizen of the Year Banquet, which was scheduled for March 26, will be rescheduled once a new date can be established.

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The 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament hosted by the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office was cancelled and a new date is being investigated. It was set for March 14.

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Churches

St. Mary Anne's Garden Market has been cancelled this year. It was to be held the first Friday and Saturday in May.  Vendors are being notified.

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Wright’s AME Church in Elkton has cancelled its March 29 worship service but all are welcome to join the congregational time via conference call beginning at 11 a.m. Call 712-775-7270 and enter code 711623#

All other activities at the church are cancelled.

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The Episcopal Diocese of Easton, which includes Episcopal churches in Cecil County, will not worship with their congregations through May 10, according to an announcement made Wednesday by The Right Rev. San Marray, bishop.

“Parishes are given the latitude to explore responsible ways of offering the Holy Communion/Morning Prayer without in-person or face to face contact,” the bishop’s missive reads.

This eight-week hiatus runs through the Christian observance of Lent including Holy week and the celebrations of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

The CDC has ordered that no group or organization should hold a meeting of 10 people or more.

“It is imperative that our church be an example to our neighbors of unity, responsibility, compassion and adherence to directives from state and federal agencies,” Marray said. “When their directives change, assume ours will change to match.”

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The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has cancelled all worship services and activities at every congregation, which includes Cecil County’s Catholic churches until further notice.

The announcement came from The Right Rev. Bishop Francis Malooly.

“We do not take this action lightly and without prayerful consideration,” Malooly said. “We must put the health and well-being of our parishioners first. I invite the faithful to stay connected to their parish community electronically, and to participate in Mass via television and the Internet, during this challenging time.”

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Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church on Liberty Grove Road in Colora has cancelled its April 4 Turkey Supper. It will return in the fall.

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Elkton Presbyterian Church has cancelled all church activities including worship until March 30. The Food Pantry is also closed during this time, however the Elkton Community Kitchen will continue to serve lunch on Friday. Call the church office 410-398-4636 for further updates.

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St. John’s United Methodist Church on Lewisville Road near Fair Hill and Cherry Hill UMC on Cherry Hill Road north of Elkton have cancelled Sunday worship and all church events including their soup dinners through Sunday March 29.

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Non-profits

Octoraro Watershed Association has canceled its March 26 Annual Dinner Meeting. It may be rescheduled in September. The Spring Clean Up of the Octoraro Reservoir could be held at the end of April. Lastly, the Spring macro-invertebrate sampling is postponed.

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Cecil County YMCA in Elkton is closed and will stay closed until at least March 30.

In a statement from Robbie Gill, chief executive officer of YMCA of the Chesapeake, offered several online resources for those looking for a workout in the interim. There’s a YMCA 360 program on YouTube and Les Mills On Demand Workouts available free of charge.

Y officials are looking into re-opening but only to provide childcare for first responders and medical personnel.

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Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program and Rolling Hills Ranch in Port Deposit is closing and cancelling all riding lessons through March 31.

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Ray of Hope Mission Center in Port Deposit will be closed until March 30. The staff will be on site deep cleaning the facility on Craigtown Road. Watch their Facebook page for pop up food giveaways.

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Businesses

Pizza Boy in Rising Sun closed Sunday night at 9 and will stay closed for the next two weeks, its owner announced on Facebook. 

Vince Sestito said the pandemic has him concerned for family, friends and customers.

"We are not taking any chances of contracting or passing the virus to our customers or our family members. Many of us have small children at home and don’t want to take the risk," he said. " I’m sorry it has come to this, but rest assured we will be back once this mess is over. Thank you for understanding."

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The chambers of commerce throughout Cecil County have put together lists of all restaurants that continue to operate, although with carry out or delivery only. (Check the photos to see complete lists where you can get great, fresh food and support local business at this difficult time)

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If your business needs employees or has other COVID-19 news to share, especially of you have any good survival tips, share them with the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce. Send an email to klewis@cecilchamber.com

Martin's in Rising Sun is in search of part time and temporary help. Amazon is about to begin the process of adding 80 employees to the distribution center in Principio Business Park. 

Aldi's and Walgreens also need additional employees and Cecil County is looking to hire temporary clinicians.

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How has your business been impacted by COVID-19 and all the moves taken to stop its spread?

The Cecil County Office of Economic Development is asking small business owners to complete a short survey, which can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TD6L75Q

Similarly the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce also has a survey for its membership. The Chester County Business Impact Assessment for COVID-19 can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/chescoimpact

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Harford Bank, with two Elkton branches, Bridge and High Street and in the Southfield Park Center, has closed all it's lobbies, allowing customer traffic only through the drive in windows.

Online banking and ATMs remain in service.

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Milburn Orchards on Appleton Road near Elkton has been forced to cancel all its Easter events.

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Peebles Department Store in the Big Elk Mall is changing its hours and will now close earlier each evening.

While in the process of transitioning to Gordmans, Peebles will be open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and from noon until 6 on Sunday. Owned by Stage, Peebles is undergoing more frequent daily cleaning, paying attention to frequently touched areas.

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APGFCU is closing all its lobbies and extending drive-thru hours.

Branches without drive-thru will be closed, including the new Rising Sun Towne Center location and Cecil College.

Those branches with drive-thru, on Route 40 in North East and Route 40 in Elkton, will have an additional 90 minutes, or until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday.

Online, telephone and mobile banking is still available.

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Martin’s in Rising Sun is shortening its hours of operations to allow for the restocking and cleaning of the store in the Rising Sun Towne Center.

The store now opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. instead of midnight.

Also, the store will open from 6 until 7 a.m. exclusively for customers 60 and older.

“This will allow customers in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which enables social distancing. They’ll also be shopping prior to any other customers entering. Although team members will not request ID for entry, the company asks its customers to please respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for your neighbors,” a release issued Tuesday reads.

Dollar General Stores are also closing an hour earlier for the same reason, and will offer its first hour of opening each morning to seniors. 

Food Lion and Big Lots, meanwhile have set purchasing limits on essentials including hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, rubbing alcohol and peroxide.

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Like just about every restaurant, pub, and cafe in Cecil and neighboring counties, Kitty Knight House in Georgetown is also offering curbside and delivery from their menu. The Kitty is also inviting fans of the historic restaurant to purchase gift cards now for use later once regular dining is re-established.

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Howard Bank will only operate by its drive-in windows beginning March 18until further notice. The move is being made to protect workers and the public from the spread of COVID-19.

Mary Ann Scully, bank chairwoman and CEO, acknowledged not all services can be accomplished in a drive-through window but those customers should call the Bel Air, Md. branch, 410-515-3000, and make arrangements for an in-person visit.

Like most financial institutions, Howard Bank also has full-service online banking and a mobile app. Go to www.howardbank.com for details or call 410-878-3355 to reach the Rising Sun branch.

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There will be no auctions March 24 at Gibney’s Auctions on Route 1 in Rising Sun.

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Armstrong, the cable and internet provider for western Cecil County, northern Harford County and Chester County, Pa., has announced it has relaxed data allowances for its internet subscribers for the next 60 days. It is also opening hot spot areas to the public for free use. To find a hot spot near you go to https://armstrongonewire.com/Internet/WirelessLocations

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Chesapeake Utilities is following guidelines set by CDC and will close its offices to all public foot traffic. The company announced Monday that rule would be in place until the risk of COVID-19 has subsided. Bills can be paid online and service disconnections are suspended.

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The Art Den LLC in Rising Sun is going to offer art kits for all ages in accordance with the executive order closing businesses to stop the potential spread of the coronavirus.

“We are working on take-home art kits and on-line classes to provide creative outlets and help stave off the boredom for those of you stuck at home and hope to have these ready within the next few days,” according to a statement on its Facebook page. All classes have also been postponed.

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The Palette and the Page in Elkton has cancelled its April 3 Opening Reception. Instead, the art on display for March will remain in place until the end of April. Meanwhile the partners of the shop have agreed to shut the studio for the time being, but continue to sell online at paletteandpage.com/shop

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Rita’s in Elkton and North East have postponed their annual First Day of Spring event, which was set for March 19. Look for a new day when they will give away small cups of water ice and celebrate.

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Priapi Gardens in Cecilton has rescheduled its 3rd Annual Oyster Fest for April 25 from 1 until 4 p.m.

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Citing the hardships that may effect some with lost work due to quarantine situations connected to COVID-19 Delmarva Power has decided to temporarily cease issuing cut-off notices and will waive new late payment fees until at least May 1.

Those with trouble making a payment should contact the utility immediately to make arrangements and get information on assistance from agencies that can help.

Likewise, anyone whose power has already been shut off by the utility should call 800-375-7117 and begin the reconnection process.  A DPL official will help you make payment arrangements and connect you with agencies to assist you in getting up to date.

**

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced last week that all bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms must close to stop the spread of COVID-19. That followed his announcement regarding casinos and racetracks.

The Emergency Order includes Hollywood Casino in Perryville and Fair Hill Racing, as a further effort to staunch the spread of COVID-19.

He has also ordered all restaurants to close dining areas and only serve with drive thru or delivery.  He has closed all malls and entertainment centers.

Hogan changed his earlier order banning large gatherings of 250 people or more, changing that to first 50, then down to 10 people, adding that failure to do so is a criminal offense.

“It is critical to public health and safety that bars, restaurants, and other businesses across the state comply with the law,” Hogan said. “Anyone who hosts or is part of the crowds in bars ... is jeopardizing the health of others and must avoid any contact with family members or friends over the age of 60 or those with underlying health conditions.”