Non-essential businesses may open at 5 p.m. Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday, accelerating Maryland’s reopening as local leaders keep their feet on the brakes.
Fewer Maryland residents are dying or being hospitalized due to Covid-19, positive trends that have kept up for a month or more, depending on the metric. That means the state can enter the second phase of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Hogan said.
“We continue to make great progress, but we are not out of the woods yet,” Hogan said.
Some businesses, such as nail salons and tattoo parlors, will be limited to operating at 50% capacity, with no drop-in appointments. Some customer-facing state agencies, such as the Motor Vehicle Administration, will begin phased reopening, with adjustments to reduce exposure to the virus.
“While we’re excited to get our economy going again, I want to be very clear,” Hogan said. “Just because Marylanders can return to the office doesn’t mean that they should, and employees that can telework should continue teleworking whenever possible.”
But those businesses will also have to comply with the orders of their local governments, and some of Maryland’s largest – Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties – are still under stay-at-home orders.
Read the executive order here.
Read guidance for businesses here.
Read guidance for personal services here.
Accountability for SBE
Hogan also requested a report from the Maryland State Board of Elections on its administration of its first mostly mail-in election, which has been fraught with problems at every step.
He gave the board a July 3 deadline, and called on the General Assembly to hold oversight and investigative hearings.
“All of this is completely unacceptable,” Hogan said of ballot delays, ballots with errors and other problems. SBE committed “significant failures,” he said.