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Road to Recovery: Here's where Maryland stands in the reopening process

While the state as a whole moved into Stage 2 of reopening June 5, Montgomery and Prince George'e counties remained in Stage 1.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan released his "Roadmap to Recovery" plan on April 24, to address the state's gradual approach to reopening businesses following shutdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The state has since completed the first stage of reopening after hitting key metrics such as increased testing and contact tracing capacities, with positivity rates, hospitalizations and ICU patients continuing to decrease. 

But not all of the state's jurisdictions have felt comfortable moving at the same pace as the governor. Several counties held off on entering Stage 1 with the rest of the state, including Montgomery and Prince George's counties, which continue to have higher positivity rates than the state average. Maryland's positivity rate is now at 7.2%, with 23 of the state's 24 jurisdictions having single-digit positivity rates; Prince George's County remains the only jurisdiction above 10%, with an 11.44% rate.  

While Gov. Hogan greenlit the state to enter Stage 2 on June 5, Montgomery and Prince George's county leaders again said they were not ready,  and remained in Stage 1. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said Wednesday that the county could move to Stage 2 next week based on the current data trends.

"We expect to allow modified indoor retail shopping and indoor religious services, lap swimming, and more," Elrich said. 

Prince George's County is expected to update its opening status Thursday. 

After Maryland saw the largest decline in positivity rate in America over the course of the last week, Gov. Hogan is lifting restrictions on additional businesses. 

What can open Friday, June 12 at 5 p.m.: 

  • Indoor dining at 50% capacity, with distancing and following strict public health requirements
  • Outdoor amusements and attractions, miniature golf and go-karts
  • Outdoor pools capacity increasing to 50%

What can open Friday, June 19 at 5 p.m.:

  • Gyms, indoor fitness centers, dance studios, martial arts at 50% capacity with distancing and following strict public health requirements
  • Casinos
  • Arcades
  • Malls

Schools and child care: 

  • Graduations: The governor is encouraging local school systems to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies, with limits on capacity and strict social distancing protocols
  • School buildings: School systems can bring small groups of students and staff back to the buildings, and the governor encourages them to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.
  • Child care: All child care providers may begin to reopen, with a max of 15 people in a room at one time

What's open in Montgomery County under Stage 1:

  • Car washes -- external cleaning only 
  • Day care -- for essential employees and employees back at work 
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing 
  • Pick-your-own farms 
  • Hotels
  • Church -- virtual or drive-through only 
  • Outdoor day camps -- 10 or fewer people 
  • Parks -- for fitness only 
  • Restaurants -- outdoor seating 
  • Retail stores -- curbside pickup only
  • Barbershops and hair salons -- appointment only, with one customer per 200 square feet, masks for employees and customers, gloves for employees

RELATED: Montgomery County likely to enter Phase 2 of reopening next week

What's open in Prince George's County under Stage 1:

  • Retail stores -- curbside pickup only.
  • Manufacturing 
  • Barbershops and hair salons -- appointment only, with one customer per 200 square feet, masks for employees and customers, gloves for employees
  • Outdoor seating at restaurants 
  • Religious services -- 10 people or less 
  • Farmer’s markets -- carryout only with masks worn
  • Day care-- for essential employees and employees back at work
  • Car washes -- external cleaning only

RELATED: Prince George's County may move to a modified Phase 2 of reopening starting June 15

Hogan encouraged all businesses that reopen to take the Maryland Strong: Back to Business pledge to let customers know they are following recommended guidelines to keep Marylanders safe.

"The American economy has taken a major hit like we've never seen before in our lifetime, and Marylanders have suffered greatly," Hogan said. "But Maryland is better positioned for an economic comeback than most of the other states in America." 

He noted that the state has the eighth-lowest unemployment rate in the nation, and said it's more than one-third better than the national average.

“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced, but sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in Marylanders," Hogan said. “And while I cannot promise you that we will fully recover from all these problems quickly, I will tell you that together we have faced and overcome daunting challenges before, and that we will get through these tough and difficult times together.”

RELATED: Bethesda streets close to make space for outdoor dining

RELATED: Maryland nonessential businesses can reopen Friday under Stage 2

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