Gov. Larry Hogan.

Gov. Larry Hogan will allow restaurants to expand indoor dining capacities to 75%  at 5:00 p.m. Monday. The governor is encouraging residents to partake in Maryland’s first statewide Restaurant Week, despite concerns over COVID-19 spread throughout the state.

“To celebrate the first-ever Maryland Restaurant Week, I encourage Marylanders to support their favorite local businesses, whether you do so through delivery, curbside pickup, or by dining indoors or outside,” Hogan said Friday in a news release.

Restaurant Week, a promotional dining event featuring special menus and discounts at participating restaurants began Friday and runs through Sept. 27.

In announcing the change, Hogan cited Maryland’s seven-day coronavirus positivity rate of 2.85 percent and a declining number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units. But data from Johns Hopkins University, which is calculated differently, says otherwise. The university’s most recent findings show a state positivity rate of 5.5%, which is above the World Health Organization’s suggested 5% ceiling for reopening measurements.

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