Governor Larry Hogan today held a press conference to announce the commencement of Stage One of the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”
“The fight against this deadly disease is far from over. But because of the incredible courage you have shown and the extraordinary sacrifices you have made, Maryland and our nation can now at least begin to slowly recover” said Hogan. He announced that Maryland “has achieved the 14-day trend of plateauing and declining numbers” and therefore effective Friday, May 15 at 5:00 PM, the Stay-at-Home order will be lifted and Maryland will move to a Safer-at-Home public health advisory.
Under the new advisory, retail stores will be able to open at 50% capacity, manufacturing may resume operations, and personal services (such as barbershops and hair salons) may open at up to 50% capacity by appointment only. Other services, such as churches and houses of worship, will be able to open with 50% capacity or less for inside services. All businesses are encouraged to take the ‘Maryland Strong: Back to Business Pledge,‘ which can be printed and posted at storefronts.
After hosting a call with many county leaders, Hogan stated that he will provide a community-based approach allowing for local control and decision making on the timing of Stage One reopenings. There is continued guidance for older and more vulnerable populations to continue to stay at home if possible, as well as wearing masks in indoor public areas, retail stores, and public transit. Social distancing should continue and residents should avoid gatherings of ten or more people.
Hogan said that if Stage One activities are able to resume without a spike in hospitalizations, a sustained spike in ICU cases, or significant outbreaks of community transmission, Maryland will then be in a position to move to Stage Two of the recovery plan.