Governor Larry Hogan today held a press conference to provide an update on Maryland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced Maryland’s step forward into Stage 3.
Governor Hogan began the press conference by commending the State Board of Education for voting to require local school systems that have not developed in-person instruction plans to reevaluate their plans by the end of the first quarter. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the state recently announced new statewide metrics to guide local school systems in their reopening plans. Hogan also encouraged county officials to reassess guidelines for youth sports this fall.
As Maryland’s positivity rate has been under 5% for 68 consecutive days, under 4% for 24 consecutive days, and hospitalizations down more than 77% from their peak, Maryland will begin taking its initial steps into Stage Three of recovery.
As of Friday, September 4th, indoor theaters where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium, whichever is less. Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general pubic at 50% capacity, or 250 people. Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50% to 75%.
Hogan reminded Marylanders that, as with Stages One and Two, Stage Three will be implemented in multiple phases with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of openings. He also announced that Maryland will be one of the first states to deploy a new exposure notification tool to help spread the slow of COVID-19, in collaboration with Google and Apple.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.