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Charles County Health Department

Charles County Department of Health

Governor's Orders

Governor Larry Hogan has issued an updated Executive Order with regards to Foodservice Establishments. Please carefully review the attached State of Maryland Executive Order Number 21-03-09-01. This Executive Order will be effective today, Friday, March 12, 2021 5:00PM. Please note the following change for food facilities:
 -Foodservice Establishments may open to 100% capacity for both indoor and outdoor dining. {Please ensure that you review all of the other requirements on distancing and layout prior to determining your capacity limitations.}
 -Physical distancing and the face coverings mandate remains the same. All staff and patrons must continue to wear face coverings while not actively eating or drinking. Foodservice Establishments shall not serve customers who are not seated.
Maryland Department of Health has also issued an updated directive and order regarding Foodservice Establishments. Please carefully review the attached Maryland Department of Health Executive Order No. MDH 2021-03-09-01. This Directive and Order will be effective today, Friday, March 12, 2021 at 5:00PM.  All Food Service Establishments under the Executive Order who may serve food and beverages to customers for consumption in outdoor and indoor seating areas shall:
** please note more restrictive measures may be observed by voluntarily**
1. Allow seating at adjacent booths so long as a physical barrier (including, but not limited to a plexiglass shield) separate the adjacent booths from each other and prevent persons in adjacent booths from any physical contact while either seated or standing (i.e., a height of at least 6 feet from the floor to the top of the barrier).
2. Modify table arrangements to ensure customers are seated at least 6 feet away from each other, except for households or a group seated together. For indoor dining facilities, no more than 10 people may be seated together as a group at a table.
3. Establish a 6-foot marking system to visually demonstrate the recommended physical distancing at all locations where staff and customers may congregate.
4. Ensure that customers seated at a bar must comply with the appropriate physical distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet, except for households or a group seated together.
5. Prohibit standing in a bar area;
 a. If the bar area is used to fulfill carry-out food and drink orders, a designated waiting area should be established with 6 feet of separation from seated customers at the bar; and
 b. Visual markings should be used to establish six feet of separation between those in line for carry-out service; and clean and disinfect each table between each seating as well as all high touch surfaces. Cleaning products should be appropriate for food contact surfaces that still meet EPA criteria for use against COVID-19.
6. Buffets may reopen, provided the establishment clearly requires physical distancing of at least six feet between individuals and masking of customers who are not seated, particularly in the buffet area.

For foods not prepackaged, deli tissue or other food grade single-use service items must be provided. High touch surfaces should be cleaned frequently, and disinfecting wipes can be provided to customers. Provide single-use deli tissues, napkins, etc. for customers to use when opening displays, handling carafes and other items at beverage stations, or for other high-touch surfaces that cannot be eliminated. Consider providing signage for customers on how to safely serve themselves.

Please reach out to the Health Department if you plan to place barriers in between booths in lieu of distancing or if you plan to resume buffet operations.
Please call the Charles County Department of Health Division of Environmental Health at 301-609-6751 if you have any questions.

Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland

Number 21-01-28-01

View the Order here