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Car dealerships open, continuing to offer services amid coronavirus pandemic

President of the Maryland Automobile Dealers’ Association said the organization is waiting for clarity from Gov. Hogan's office about what an essential business is.

WASHINGTON — While a number of restaurants and stores have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, car dealerships are up and running in the midst of this pandemic.

During a quick Google search, WUSA9 found that several dealerships were listed as "Open" with regular business hours.

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Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers’ Association, said to Automotive News that the organization is still waiting for clarity from the Gov. Hogan's office about what constitutes an essential business practice as the state pushes for stricter enforcement of current bans. 

Until then, many businesses are open and are conducting business as usual. 

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CarMax, one of the largest used-car retailers, has put significant measures in place to reduce the risk of exposure and further spread of COVID-19, as the company has temporarily closed dozens of stores in several states. The company's nine Maryland locations, however, remain open.

On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all non-essential businesses in the state to close – that includes bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and other places where crowds could gather that are not critical to the infrastructure of day-to-day life. Hogan thanked the Marylanders who have been social distancing and staying at home but cautioned those who have not complied.

"Unfortunately, many people are still not taking it seriously," Hogan said. "There were crowds of people visiting the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., and large gatherings on the beach in Ocean City and on the boardwalk. If you are engaged in this kind of activity, you are breaking the law, and you are literally endangering the lives of your family, your friends, and fellow citizens."

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Other additional businesses, organizations, and facilities that can remain open in the state are: 

  • Businesses and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of (i) pharmaceuticals; (ii) biotechnology therapies; and (iii) medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, and services.
  • Auto and truck dealerships.
  • Bicycle shops.
  • Private security firms.
  • Companies providing moving and storage of household items.
  • Printers and sign shops.
  • Companies and organizations providing support for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • Engineering, surveying, architectural, and interior design firms.
  • Title companies.
  • Motorcycle parts stores and repair shops.
  • Companies that provide portable tents, portable flooring, portable lighting, portable toilets, portable handwashing stations, portable HVAC and other related equipment.
  • Companies that rent tools and/or equipment.

The closure of all non-essential businesses began at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23.

Check the status of the virus in your state with your state health department's websites by tapping below:

RELATED: Coronavirus closures: Non-essential business in MD, DC

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