By: David M. Higgins II, Publisher

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.- At a Tuesday Press COnference, Governor Larry Hogan announced he has signed an Executive Order requiring all residents to wear a mask when entering into any retail business, grocery store, or Pharmacy. This order goes into effect on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at 7 a.m.

We will add the Executive Order here once available.

Southern Maryland- At the direction of Southern Maryland Health Department Health Officers, by an Executive Order signed by Governor Larry Hogan on April 5, 2020(available below), all three counties have issued directives for residents to wear masks when using public transportation and when entering businesses. They have also named some enhanced directives to businesses regarding customers and employees. These orders are all to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19)

All three counties are following the same directives, some with a slight change in language. Charles and St. Mary’s orders went into effect on April 15th, while Calvert County goes into effect on April 16th. The orders direct residents to wear cloth masks/covering when entering grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and any other retail establishment. The order will remain in effect until the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency for the state of Maryland expires.

As for business protection enhancements, Calvert County says no more than five(5) customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space, while Charles and St. Mary County only say a smaller amount of customers. , and that they should have appropriate signage for social distancing of six-feet at check-out lines and customer service locations.

Employers are required to provide employees with appropriate face coverings, and cannot prohibit any employee from wearing one. They are also to provide employees with access to clean and sanitary restrooms stocked with cleaning products, such as soap and sanitizer. Supervisors should allow employees to wash their hands at a least once per hour.

Businesses must also provide disinfectants, such as hand wipes, for use by customers in areas adjacent to baskets and carts.

Masks should not be worn by anyone under the age of two(2), or that have breathing problems such as emphysema, COPD, severe asthma. If you suffer from one of these conditions, you should talk with your medical provider on how to protect yourself when you must travel outside of your home. Health Departments emphasis that cloth masks or face coverings will be sufficent, and to leave N95 masks for front line workers.

There are no civil or criminal penalties for not wearing a mask or face covering, however, businesses can turn customers away.

The order will remain in effect until the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency for the state of Maryland expires.

Delegation to County Health… by David M. Higgins II on Scribd

IF you cannot view the document, please click here: Delegation to County Health Officials 4.5.20

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...