As COVID-19 cases soar in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced restrictions on dining, indoor gatherings and out-of-state travel in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

In an amendment to a previous executive order, Hogan declared indoor restaurants and bars must operate at half capacity beginning Wednesday at 5 p.m., scaling down from 75 percent. 

Family gatherings, indoor dining and out-of-state travel are driving cases, according to the latest contact tracing data, Hogan said. As such, the state health department discourages gatherings that exceed 25 people and advises against nonessential travel to states with a positivity rate above 10 percent.

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The health department is also issuing an emergency order to prepare to manage hospital surges, adding additional care sites and staffing in nursing homes.

Hogan also announced that state employees who can telework must do so, effective immediately.

There have been more than 156,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 4,000 related deaths in Maryland, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. The latest positivity rate is more than 5 percent, which rivals surging metrics in June. Hospitalizations are also at their highest since June.