By: David M. Higgins II, Publisher

Mechanicsville, MD- Sixty-eight days after Governor Larry Hogan issued a Stay at Home order, and closing non-essential businesses, he has amended to the Executive Order to begin Stage Two of the Maryland Roadmap to Recovery.

Stage Two is listed at a longer stage of recovery and will be a time when a large portion of businesses and activities resume, but with strict social distancing and mask requirements. This stage will include numerous steps over many weeks. The list of open businesses in Maryland will include manufacturing, construction, large and small retail shops, specialty vendors, wholesalers, warehouses, and offices including information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking, and financial institutions, insurance agencies, design studios, advertising and architectural firms, and media production companies.  

Additional personal services including nail salons, massage therapists, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors may resume operations at up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only, and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. State officials and the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team will continue to watch the data closely, and if encouraging trends continue, the next step, likely coinciding with the end of the school year, will be to consider opening additional amusement, fitness, sporting, and other summertime activities.

So what can open and what restrictions are there?

  • Retail Establishments: 50% of the Retail Establishments Maximum Occupancy
  • All Manufacturing Businesses
  • Tattoo Parlors, Tanning Salons, Massage Parlors, Nail Services: 50 % Occupancy, Appointment based only, staff required to wear masks when with general public. After service is provided, disinfecting of area must take place.

Resturants and Bars, Social Clubs are permitted to contiue curbside/delivary, and provide outdoor seating per thier local health code and permits.

Senior Centers and Fitness Centers will remain closed, as well as Theaters, Malls, Bingo Halls, Bowling Alleys, Pool Halls, Amusement Parks, Roller/Ice rinks, Minature Golf, and any other facility taxed under Title 4 of the Tax-General Article of the Maryland Code.

Government Facilities may open and must post the Maryland Department of Health recommendations for social distancing in areas where there may be more than 10 people.

Each County in Maryland and Baltimore City may be more restrictive than the Governor’s Order, but they cannot be less restrictive. Below are orders put out by each of the counties in Southern Maryland.

Calvert County:

Calvert County will be opening per the Governor’s allowances for Stage 2.

“We are pleased to announce that Calvert remains in a strong position to continue moving forward with the recovery,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “Getting back to normal is important not only for the economic health of our region but also for the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of our citizens. We will continue our gradual reopening cautiously while making every effort to minimize the risk to public health.”

Additionally, Calvert County Government will be open, but remain closed to the public. Some changes to public features in the county include:

Parks & Recreation

• Calvert County playgrounds, basketball courts and skate parks will open to the public on Friday, June 5.

Public Transportation

• Beginning Monday, June 8, Calvert County Public Transportation will operate regular service along all routes.

• Saturday transit service will remain canceled until further notice. Passengers needing paratransit/ADA transportation should continue to contact the transportation office at 410-535-4268 to schedule a ride.

• Citizens must wear masks or cloth face coverings on transportation buses and are encouraged to social distance as much as possible.

• Transportation services will remain limited to 10 people or less per vehicle, including the driver.

Charles County:

Charles County Commissioners previously initiated the County’s initial move to Stage One, which allowed certain retail businesses, houses of worship, and hair salons and barbershops to reopen at no more than 50 percent capacity beginning on Friday, May 29.

Before making these decisions, Commissioners received briefings to gather data and other relevant information from County Attorney Wes Adams; Dr. Howard Haft, who is the county’s response to COVID-19 for the Charles County Health Department; Director of the Department of Emergency Services Michelle Lilly; and Chair of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Tom Blandford. After considering the feedback, legal advice, and additional information from public health experts, they decided to move forward with the decision to move into Stage Two.

“Charles County’s decision to safely move into Stage Two relies upon each of us to continue wearing facemasks, social distancing, and following all federal and state guidance to protect the public’s health,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “I remind all citizens that the safest place is still at home – especially if you are older or have underlying health conditions that could make you more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Please exercise caution and make the best decision for you and your family.”

St. Mary’s County:

St. Mary’s County is following its Roadmap to Recovery, which is similar to the Governor’s. Additionally, St. Mary’s County Government Departments and Offices will offer appointments to the public beginning June 8.

Over the next week, the Counties may issue additional guidance if the Maryland Office of Legal Counsel releases any more information.

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Renewel of Maryland State of Emergency

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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...