After announcing a “flattening of the curve” and declining numbers of new infections, hospitalizations, ICU patients, and deaths, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the lifting of the Stay at Home Order and announced Phase One of Recovery Efforts, dubbing it “Safer at Home.”
When laying out his plan for recovery three weeks ago, Governor Hogan laid out four essential goals for Phase One of the Recovery:
- Expanded Test Capacity,
- Increased Hospital Surge Capacity,
- Ramping Up Supply of PPE, and
- Robust Contact Tracing.
Maryland also would require a sustained flattening or decline of the curve referring to the number of hospitalizations, patients in Intensive Care Units, and deaths. Governor Hogan stated that Maryland has achieved a fourteen day goal of declining or plateauing of these key indicators.
As a result, Governor Hogan announced that effective at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020, Phase One would begin with a lifting of the Stay At Home Order. Wearing of masks inside public spaces, social distancing, and washing of hands and high-touch surfaces will remain essential to the public health. Those at risk are still encouraged to stay at home.
Local counties and municipalities will have the flexibility to time this phase after May 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. as it meets the realities on the ground in their jurisdictions.
At the same time, retail stores in Maryland may open at up to 50% capacity. Curbside pick-up and deliveries are still encouraged. Physical distancing, masks, and other safety precautions will be required.
Manufacturing may resume with safety measures in place to include physical distancing of employees.
Some personal services including barbershops and hair salons may open at up to 50% capacity, and with health, safety, and mitigation measures in place. Appointments will be required.
Pet groomers, animal adoption centers, art galleries, and car washes may also open.
Churches and houses of worship may safely hold religious services. Outdoor services are encouraged. Indoor services will be permitted at up to 50% capacity, masks, physical distancing, safety protocols.
Businesses will still be encouraged to allow workers to telecommute.
Maryland offers guidelines for businesses on re-opening at https://open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness/.