ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Daily COVID-19 cases all over the nation have been slowly increasing over the past few weeks, and experts say state governments relaxing restrictions is a big reason why.

“Some of these increases are as a result of relaxed prevention efforts in states across the country, such as relaxed mask mandates, or loosened restrictions on indoor restaurant seating,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC director went on to say that the more infectious variants are also playing a role in the increasing number of cases, the same reason often given by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. However, Hogan has repeated multiple times that lifting capacity limits has had little-to-no effect on positivity rates, which goes directly against the opinion of national experts.

Hogan opened businesses to 100% capacity on March 12, and so far there’s no indication he will be reversing his decision. Unlike other states, however, Maryland has not repealed its mask mandate or social distancing policies.