By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
Garrett County leaders met with local realtors this week to discuss plans for the reopening of local rental units when the time comes.
“We had a good meeting, discussing various options to open back up as quickly as we can in a safe way,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “We will follow Governor Hogan’s guidance to determine the time to implement his ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ plan. Our local vacation rental agencies have been very responsive. They have done a great deal of work to be prepared for when the Governor will relax travel restrictions. It is our mutual desire to assure the health of our community.”
The Governor’s recovery plan is a series of three stages, first allowing “Low Risk” activities to begin and moving into “Medium Risk” and “High Risk” levels of activities as benchmarks are achieved. Governor Hogan said the plan lays out a way to gradually and responsibly reopen Maryland’s economy while protecting the public’s health.
As the time for implementation draws nearer, the Governor will give Maryland counties guidance about what can open up during each stage, and county officials will, in turn, interpret that information for what it means in each county.
“It’s important to remember that the recovery stages have not yet begun,” Stephens said. “That means, if you own a vacation rental property in Garrett County, and you rent it while the travel restrictions are in place, you could receive a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.”
Garrett County leaders also recently met with officers from local law enforcement agencies to discuss continued enforcement of local and state orders that have been issued during the Maryland State of Emergency.
“We appreciate the cooperation and understanding from our local business community,” said County Administrator Kevin Null. “This is a difficult situation that will take a lot of coordination to see through to the other side.”
When the Governor announced the recovery plan, he emphasized that it’s important for all Marylanders, and especially older and more vulnerable Marylanders, to continue to stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds and gatherings, and practice physical distancing.
This safe, effective, and gradual approach to reopening the state is the only way we can reopen while still combating the COVID-19 pandemic.