By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced when additional businesses may reopen over the next two weeks.
The Governor has allowed a flexible, more conservative community-based implementation approach but it is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County and the Health Officer to continue to directly follow the Governor's directives.
Beginning on Friday, June 12 at 5 p.m. the following may reopen at 50% capacity with appropriate distancing and while following strict public health requirements:
- Indoor Dining
- Outdoor Amusements
- Rides, miniature golf, go-karts, public pools
- Conference and Event Venues
The current Order keeps in place the requirement for the use of face coverings in retail and personal care businesses. It also strongly recommends continuing to follow the most current guidance from CDC and MDH regarding social distancing, including, avoiding large gatherings and crowded places. However, the order restricting gatherings of more than 10 persons has been lifted.
Beginning on Friday, June 19 at 5 p.m. the following may reopen at 50% capacity with appropriate distancing and while following strict public health requirements:
- Indoor Fitness Activities
- Indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities
- Bingo halls
- Bowling alleys
- Social and fraternal clubs
- American Legion posts
- AFW posts
- Elks Clubs
After talking about what can now be reopened in Maryland, Governor Hogan summarized his closing remarks into three thoughts:
- “One is that nothing is zero risk. We need to be prudent in the decisions we make, particularly if we or family members have underlying health issues.
- Secondly, just because it’s open doesn’t mean you have to participate. If indoor dining is available, you may choose to dine outdoors or at home.
- And thirdly, we can continue to keep this curve flat and prevent a second wave if we all continue to use common sense and practice social distancing. These are the tools that we can control, and they will make us safe.”
“I want to echo the Governor’s message that just because you can eat inside a restaurant does not mean you necessarily should,” said Health Officer Bob Stephens. “It’s important that we consider our own health and risk factors when making decisions to socialize in group settings, eat indoors at restaurants or participate in other activities that could be risky since the virus is still circulating and there is no vaccine.”
The Maryland State Superintendent of Schools also announced the following school and childcare-related reopening with appropriate capacity and social distancing measures in place:
- Graduation Ceremonies
- Local school systems are permitted to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies.
- School Buildings
- School systems may begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings and are encouraged to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.
- Child Care Providers
- The number of individuals child care providers can have in one room has been expanded to a maximum of 15.
- Outdoor High School Sports
- May resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines for youth sports programs.
The list of facilities that remain closed includes senior centers and theaters.
As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness
COVID-19 information for Garrett County is available at garretthealth.org
. Anyone with medical questions about the virus may call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.