FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said Thursday she will amend her executive order to allow the remainder of Phase I businesses to begin reopening on Friday.
Gardner said the county, which began a modified Phase I reopening on May 15, has made significant progress on the four pillars to reopen laid out by Governor Larry Hogan’s office, particularly in acquiring adequate PPE.
In the past week, Gardner said the county has received a shipment of 100,000 clinical gowns – which had been a particular area of shortage – along with a shipment of N95 masks and gloves. Gardner cautioned that these shipments don’t mean PPE won’t be an issue again in the future.
“The supply chain is still unreliable. The gowns were ordered in April and were originally scheduled to be received on May 4,” she said.
Gardner also said the county has a team of 100 people working on contact tracing, exceeding the recommended numbers for a population the size of Frederick County.
Because of the improvements the county has seen to its health metrics, Gardner said she was modifying her current executive order to allow the balance of Phase I businesses to begin reopening Friday. That means:
- Hair salons and barbershops may reopen with restrictions, including one added by Gardner requiring morning hours for seniors and other vulnerable residents;
- Indoor worship may open at 50% capacity, with an added requirement of a maximum capacity of 250 people.
- Restaurants will be able to apply for a free, temporary permit to allow expanded outdoor dining into other spaces like parking lots. (Gardner said more information about this will be made available on Friday.)
“I really want to encourage every pastor and religious organization to take special care and consider delaying reopening – I know some larger congregations are doing that – and to take special precautions to protect the elderly,” Gardner said.
Gardner also announced that applications for Frederick County's “Jump Start” program were available beginning Thursday for small businesses to apply for pandemic-related assistance, and that she had set aside $2 million to help the county’s volunteer fire and rescue companies.
Businesses in Frederick County must continue to follow statewide safety measures, which include mandatory face coverings inside any business or public space, physical distancing and limited handling of cash.