By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
Because Garrett County is known as a tourist destination, maintaining the safety of local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for local health and government officials. A letter is being sent today addressed to residents, second homeowners and visitors to Garrett County. The letter lists the orders and requirements, as well as penalties if these orders are not followed.
The letter reads as follows:
The Garrett County Health Department and the Board of Garrett County Commissioners would like to convey the following information:
- The Garrett County Health Officer has issued an order banning all transient rental of homes in Garrett County until the Governor’s Executive Order on non-essential businesses is lifted. These homes are typically rented for vacation purposes. The rental ban applies to homes around Deep Creek Lake and in the rest of the county.
- If you own a transient rental home and it is made available for rent through a third-party, such as Airbnb or VRBO, you as an owner are still responsible to make sure your property is not rented until the executive order is lifted.
- If a credible complaint is received concerning the possible rental of a home, law enforcement will investigate. If warranted, a citation may be issued to the renter and the homeowner, which could result in punishment of up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- As per the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order, coming to a second home is not an essential activity. If stopped by law enforcement for any other violation, you may be asked why you are travelling. Violating the Stay-at-Home Order could result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- If you choose to come to your second home in Garrett County and are an out-of-state resident, you must stay at your home and quarantine for fourteen days. Bring enough food and supplies with you for this period.
- If you are a Maryland resident, travelling to your second home is not essential travel and should you decide to come to your second home in Garrett County, you must abide by the Stay-at-Home Order, travelling out for only essential activity such as buying food.
- If you or anyone in your family are not feeling well, please do not come to Garrett County. And if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are to quarantine yourself, do not come here to do so.
- No matter where you are if you go out for an essential activity, you are required to wear a face-covering when inside a retail store.
- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has prohibited recreational boating on Deep Creek Lake.
These measures and recommendations are in place to protect everyone and reduce the spread of the virus. Please visit the Garrett County Health Department website garretthealth.org
for answers to questions or call the health department hotline 301-334-7698.