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Governor Hogan Expands Phase One Openings to Include Outdoor Dining and More

Governor Larry Hogan announced that the state is now testing 10,000 patients per day. 300,444 tests have been completed as of today. Contact tracing capacity has increased 500% to find and fight the virus. The statewide positivity rate peaked at 26.9% on April 17, 2020. As of May 26, 2020, the positivity rate in the state had decreased to 12.8%.

The death rate has dropped by more than 50% since the peak on April 29, 2020. Total hospitalizations are down 22% since thier peak on April 30, 2020.

As such, Governor Hogan announced that restaurants and social organizations may begin safely re-opening for outdoor dining at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020. Strict public health measures and physical distancing must be followed. No more than six people may be seated at a table. Sanitization procedures for seating and surfaces must be followed strictly. Restaurants must begin taking temperatures of staff daily. Masks must be worn by staff at all times.

Governor Hogan strongly endorsed closing streets in cities to allow for outdoor seating.

Outdoor activities allowed will expand at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020. Those activities include:

  • Youth sports and day camps,
  • Outdoor pools, and
  • Drive-in Movie Theaters.

Complete listings of re-openings and guidelines can be found at https://open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness/.

Governor Hogan announced that the Coronavirus Recovery Team will continue to monitor the data. “If these encouraging trends continue into next week, we would then be in a position to begin entering Stage Two of our recovery, which would mean a lifting of the order and allowing other non-essential businesses to begin re-opening,” Governor Hogan said.

Hogan followed these statments to continue to stress personal responsiblity, and encouraging people to avoid risks by:

  • Avoid Crowds,
  • Outdoor Activities are safer,
  • Telework encouraged indefinitely,
  • Masks and Physical Distancing,
  • Avoid public transit.

“Unfortunately, there are still some people who are clearly not taking this pandemic seriously, who are acting recklessly, and whose actions are needlessly putting themselves and others at risk,” Governor Hogan stated.

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