Gov. Larry Hogan has directed local leaders to step up enforcement of public health requirements in bars and restaurants across the state as the number of positive cases in those under the age of 35 continues to rise.

State health officials have connected an increasing number of COVID-19 cases to non-compliance with face covering and physical distancing rules.

“The vast majority of bars and restaurants in our state are in compliance, but some are flagrantly violating the law and endangering public health,” Hogan said. “You have the responsibility to enforce these laws. Violators should be warned, fined, have actions taken regarding their licenses or closed if necessary. Local health departments, local liquor boards and inspectors and local law enforcement agencies must work together to ensure public health is protected.”

|| Read the governor’s letter to county leaders ||

As of Tuesday, the positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 is 84% higher than it is for Marylanders 35 and over.

Bars and restaurants are open for seated service only with physical distancing and capacity restrictions. Customers must be seated at least six feet apart from other guests. Standing and congregating in bar areas is strictly prohibited.

All staff must wear a face covering while working and interacting with customers.

For facilities with booths, every other booth must be closed. No more than six people may sit at a table. Read more at WBALTV