Harford closing government facilities, putting stop to outdoor sports tournaments in response to rising COVID-19 cases

Outdoor sporting events, including tournaments that would sometimes bringing more than 1,000 people to Harford County fields, are being suspended after they were identified as potential reasons for the county’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The seven-day moving average case rate in Harford County reached a new pandemic high of 25.28 per 100,000 people, according to state data released Thursday morning, and the positivity rate reached 7.36%. Both metrics have been climbing for the past two weeks. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland reports 1,714 new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations top 800

As hospitalizations surge and the testing positivity rate continues to rise, Maryland reported 1,714 new coronavirus cases Wednesday — the third-highest single day total of the pandemic. The state has now seen eight consecutive days with at least 1,000 virus cases, extending a pandemic record for the third straight day. The state also reported 16 new deaths, its highest daily total since late July. (Balt Sun)

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Aberdeen council OKs emergency deed modification, paving way for medical offices at old high school building

The Aberdeen City Council approved an uncommon emergency ordinance to change the permitted uses of the city’s old high school building across from Festival Park, introducing and approving the legislation without the customary waiting period or public participation. The emergency ordinance, passed Monday, modified the usage restrictions on the property at 34 N. Philadelphia Blvd. and allows for medical uses on the site. (Balt Sun)

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Signaling conflict ahead, Baltimore historic preservation commission denies approval to Clipper Mill apartment building plans

Baltimore’s historic preservation panel denied approval to a design team working to develop a five-story apartment building within the newly designated Woodberry Historic District, a small victory for community members who oppose the project as well as local preservationists. The neighborhood faced a major blow in May 2019 when two 19th-century stone homes that neighbors had waged a battle to save were demolished without warning — prompting the former developer and architect to leave the project. (Balt Sun)

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Greater Baltimore home sales continued to surge in October

October residential sales in the Baltimore metro area saw another month of record high prices this fall, a report released Wednesday said. The trend was part of a national wave of home sales buoyed in part by low interest rates and buyers seeking larger dwellings due to being homebound by Covid-19. The brisk market was expected to continue through the end of the year and beyond, officials of Rockville-based Bright MLS said. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Sharfstein: ‘It’s a dangerous time’ for Maryland due to rising COVID cases

Former Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein said Maryland is at a critical crossroads in its fight against the coronavirus. “It’s a dangerous time for the state,” Sharfstein told MarylandReporter.com on Wednesday. We’re seeing that cases are surging around the country. In some places, the hospitals are filled. And they are building new hospitals or transporting patients out. And that could happen here in Maryland too. So this is really a moment of truth for the state-whether we can avoid a really serious crisis.” (Md Reporter)

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John Waters bequeaths his art collection to Baltimore Museum of Art, whose bathrooms will be named in his honor

John Waters, Baltimore’s self-proclaimed “Pope of Trash,” announced Wednesday that he’s bequeathing some of the most precious things he owns — approximately 375 prints, paintings and photographs — to the Baltimore Museum of Art. In a show of appreciation, museum officials will rename two bathrooms in the East Lobby “The John Waters Restrooms” in honor of the cult filmmaker and visual artist. The domed room in the European art galleries also will be christened “The John Waters Rotunda.” (Balt Sun)

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Federal courts in Maryland are closing to the public again after a rise in coronavirus cases

Federal courts in Maryland are closing to the public starting Nov. 16 for at least two weeks as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the region. Chief Judge James K. Bredar issued an order Wednesday saying that no members of the public, attorneys, prosecutors, witnesses or other court users will be allowed to enter any courthouse in the state without prior permission. The two courthouses are in Greenbelt and Baltimore. (Balt Sun)

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