By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
The reopening of businesses and return to a more normal life in Garrett County will be decided at the state level by Governor Larry Hogan.
During the Governor’s press conference announcements Wednesday, Governor Hogan eased some of the restrictions beginning with outdoor activities and allowing for elective and non-emergency medical procedures.
This adjustment, however, does not lift any of the other restrictions that have been in place for some time, including:
- Stay-at-home order
- Travel restriction except for essential travel
- Prohibition on social gatherings
- Guidance on maintaining social distancing
- Mandate to wear cloth face coverings when inside retail and food service locations
Hogan stated that opening up limited outdoor activities on Thursday, May 7, occurs before the beginning of the formal start to Stage One of the recovery plan. Hogan’s Road to Recovery plan will be a long, measured process, he says, that he hopes to begin soon.
The Governor’s list of approved outdoor exercise activities now includes things such as walking, hiking, running, biking; individual and small group sports such as golfing, tennis, and similar activities; recreational fishing, hunting, shooting, and archery; recreational boating; horseback riding; and visiting cemeteries.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources website lists the following activities on state lands, which were previously closed, as now being open. However, they do clarify that social distancing still needs to be followed, and for all activities, groups are limited to no more than 10 people and only immediate family members or people residing in the same household.
- State beaches - for activities such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, and fishing. Chairs, blankets, and picnics will be prohibited.
- Recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted. See the Governor’s website for additional restrictions.
- Campgrounds may accept reservations for overnight tent and RV camping. No cabin rentals will be accepted at this time.
- Recreational fishing activities, including catch-and-release, are allowed. Fishing tournaments remain prohibited at this time.
- Horseback riding activities, including riding on state lands, is allowed. No organized rides, gatherings, or races will be authorized.
- All hunting activities are allowed on private and public lands.
- Off-road vehicles can be ridden on DNR-owned lands where allowed. Gatherings and organized events remain prohibited.
- DNR will reopen shooting ranges on state land.
Governor Hogan directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to issue guidance that allows hospitals and licensed health care providers to resume elective and non-urgent medical procedures. It will be up to the providers to exercise their professional judgment in determining what procedures are appropriate to perform. All healthcare workers, patients, and others must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and physical distancing requirements must be strictly maintained in all settings where people must wait in order to minimize direct contact between individuals.
To review all of the Governor’s information from his announcement on Wednesday, go to bit.ly/gov-updates