ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County health officials are urging residents to take proper precautions as COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the county and state.
As the county tightens restrictions, officials say their staff members have been met with some hostility, even harassment on the job.
“People are frustrated and I get it, they want to return back to normal,” Anne Arundel County health officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said.
Anne Arundel County shattered its daily case number on Thursday with 271.
Dr. Kalyanaraman says lately, the department’s health inspectors have been met with some hostility and harassment when out conducting routine inspections, especially female health inspectors.
“One of our inspectors had folks come to his car, take his picture, post a message on Facebook with some pretty harassing and threatening language,” Dr. Kalyanaraman said.
Reports of frustrations surrounding COVID-19 mandates in the county have also been noted at a Cold Stone Creamery in Edgewater, where police say employees were beaten by two customers who refused to wear masks.
Dr. Kalyanaraman says it’s even reached a point where the department temporarily stopped conducting inspections at night.
“That’s a really bad place for our inspectors to be, they’re public servants who are trying to keep people safe during this pandemic,” he said.
Moving forward to ensure safety, starting on Friday, the Anne Arundel County health department will team up with local agencies like the police department when conducting inspections.
“That’s going to help us expand our force and allow more people to be able to go out and disperse that load from our staff,” Dr. Kalyanaraman said.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.