ROCKVILLE, Md. — Just a couple of weeks after joining the rest of the state in entering Phase 1 of Maryland’s reopening process, Montgomery County will advance to Phase 2 starting June 19.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced June 10 that the county could move onto the new phase this week based on the current data trends.
"If data trends continue, our Phase 2 reopening is likely to begin sometime next week," Elrich said. "We expect to allow modified indoor retail shopping and indoor religious services, lap swimming, and more."
Several suburban D.C. counties, including Montgomery and Prince George's counties, stayed behind Maryland’s reopening process, which Gov. Larry Hogan announced on May 15.
Phase 2 of reopening will mean more relaxed restrictions for county residents and businesses.
Here's what Phase 2 of reopening will look like for Montgomery County if allowed to enter:
- Indoor & Outdoor Gatherings: Limited to a maximum of 50 or 1 person/family unit per 200 sq. ft., whichever is lower
- Office Spaces & Multi-tenant Commercial Buildings: Limited use for nonessential with requirements; telework strongly encouraged where applicable
- Retail: Curbside and limited in-store; 1 patron per 200 sq. ft. of sales space
- Restaurants: Outdoor/patio seating & limited indoor dining with requirements; 50% capacity maximum indoors
- Salons/Barbers/Personal Services: All personal services allowed by appointment only; 1 patron per 200 sq. ft. of service delivery space
- Outdoor Community Pools (public & private) - Open for lap swimming with requirements
- Outdoor Day Camps: Expanded opening with requirements
- Outdoor Youth Sports: Expanded for low-contact sports with requirements
- Parks & Playgrounds: Parks open for personal fitness & fitness classes with requirements; playgrounds open with requirements; only low contact sports allowed
- Car Washes: Open for internal and external cleaning with requirements
- Childcare: MSDE continues expanding the number of EPCC programs
- Construction: Open with requirements
- Farms: "Pick your own" open with requirements
- Gyms, Fitness Centers & Other Indoor Physical Activities: Open with requirements; 1 patron per 200 sq. ft. of fitness space
- Hospitals: Physicians’ offices and other health care facilities, including hospitals, are available to care for your medical needs.
- Hotels: Open with requirements
- Houses of Worship: Virtual, drive-in, and limited indoor and outdoor services with requirements; 1 congregant/family per 200 sq. ft. of service space
- Manufacturing: Open with requirements
- Ride-On Service: Expanded schedule; expanded routes
Concerts, theaters, libraries, and also recreation facilities remain closed during Phase 2 of reopening.
For more information about the requirements for reopening during Phase 2, click here.
The DMV's first case was recorded in Montgomery County, while Prince George’s County surpassed it in having the highest number of cases in the state.
Together, the two make up half of the state's COVID-19 cases.
While most counties in the state saw significant decreases in their COVID-19 case counts when moving into Phase 1 on May 15, both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties still had numbers that didn't support the decision to reopen.
On May 20, Elrich elaborated on those cases in the county versus state numbers, citing limited hospital capacity and growing testing capabilities.
In the month of May, Maryland increased its testing capacity by 117%. When coronavirus first touched Maryland in March, the state could test 50 people per day. The state has now met and exceeded the goal of 10,000 tests per day.