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Garrett County Health Officer Declares All Rentals to be Closed Effective March 27, 2020

Last Updated on Mar 26, 2020 at 5:21pm | Board of Commissioners
In the interest of public health and safety due to COVID-19, the Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens has declared that all transient rentals be closed, and not further rented, effective March 27, 2020, at 5:00 P.M. This means all existing bookings must be canceled until the Governor’s “Prohibiting Large Gatherings” order is lifted.
Garrett County, Maryland is unique in that it is populated with many properties that are used as residential "Transient Vacation Rental Properties” (TVRUs). Generally, these properties are not being offered as traditional "lodging" but rather for rental on multi-day, week, monthly or seasonal basis.

This includes individually rented properties such as Airbnb and vacation rental by owner locations. In that manner, these homes are being used as a business being conducted by the owners and are not considered an essential business.

Garrett Health Officer Bob Stephens says, “The rental of these rental properties has placed, and has the likely potential to place, a significant burden on the health resources of Garrett County, and may unduly lead to the spread of COVID-19.”

The Maryland Governor's orders and guidance that has permitted certain Commercial Facilities Sector businesses in the State of Maryland to remain open, including "Lodging", so this decision does not apply to hotels and motels.

The Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland, number 20-03-23-01, dated March 23, 2020 amended and restated the Order of March 19, 2020, "Prohibiting Large Gatherings and Events and Closing Senior Centers, and, additionally, Closing all Non-Essential Businesses and other Establishments".

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners supports this declaration made by the local health department. The health of our citizens and visitors is the top priority. The Garrett County Health Department and local Emergency Response organizations are working together to offer a coordinated response to this health crisis.
The full letter from the Garrett County Health Department can be found here:
Information and updates about COVID-19 are available at Residents can also call the Garrett County Health Department’s COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.