ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland has reached the thresholds set by the CDC to enter Stage 2 of recovery, allowing nonessential businesses to reopen Friday at 5 p.m., Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.
Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 9.5%, a decrease of nearly 65% since the state's peak 48 days ago on April 17 at 26.91% and hospitalizations have fallen to their lowest level in 50 days, Hogan said. The state's positivity rate has been on a downward trend and stayed under 15% for 14 continuous days since Maryland entered Stage 1 of reopening.
In the month of May, Maryland increased its testing capacity by 117%. When coronavirus first touched Maryland in March, the state could tests 50 people per day. In the last 24 hours, 14,385 tests were conducted, which is more than the short-term goal of 10,000 tests per day.
Under Stage 2, these industries can reopen:
- Specialty vendors
- Financial institutions
- Tech firms
- Auto dealers
- Insurance agencies
- Nail/tanning salons (50% capacity, appointment only)
State government operations can resume Monday, June 8 including the Motor Vehicle Administration and other consumer-facing agencies. The state will have a gradual return to a normal transit schedule and a safe expansion of child care centers.
Montgomery and Prince George's counties, which entered Stage 1 Monday will remain in that phase for at least 14 days, and Hogan reiterated his commitment to allowing jurisdictions to reopen at their own pace.
"Moving into Stage 2 does not mean that this crisis is behind us or that we can afford to stop behind vigilant and cautious," Hogan said. "All Marylanders, particularly those older and more vulnerable populations are advised to continue staying home when possible, employers should continue encouraging telework when possible and Marylanders should continue practicing social distancing."
Hogan said that Stage 3 of reopening would likely coincide with the end of the school year, and that he'd be looking to reopen certain outdoor amusement activities like fitness classes and sporting activities.
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