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Olszewski: Baltimore County to begin reopening at 9am on Friday

UPDATE: The County Executive’s office has released additional clarifications on Thursday’s announcement:

County Executive Olszewski will issue an executive order stating that effective Friday, May 22, at 9 a.m., Baltimore County will take the following actions:

  • Retail stores may reopen for in-store retail with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. This applies to all retail establishments outside of those considered essential under the state’s previous orders. Curbside pickup and delivery is strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions should remain in place. Shopping malls must continue to stay closed except for retail establishments that can be accessed from the outside.
  • Barber shops and hair salons may reopen with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. They may operate by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Other personal services establishments must remain closed until further notice.

Clarification on Religious Institution Restrictions

County Executive Olszewski also clarified that the restrictions that were in place on all religious institutions in the state prior to last week remain in place in Baltimore County. That means that the restriction on gatherings of more than 10 remain in place, either indoors or outdoors. Religious institutions may hold drive-through or drive-in services, as some have done.

Original story below…

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TOWSON, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday morning provided an update on Baltimore County’s effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the press conference, Olszewski announced that he had signed at executive order allowing local businesses to reopen at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 22, to the extent allowable under Phase 1 of Governor Larry Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.

Retail shops will be required to limit the number of individuals in their stores to ten.  Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen under these parameters as well.

From the County Executive’s office:

“Retail stores may reopen for in-store retail with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. This applies to all retail establishments outside of those considered essential under the state’s previous orders. Curbside pickup and delivery is strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions should remain in place. Shopping malls must continue to stay closed except for retail establishments that be accessed from the outside.

“Barber shops and hair salons may reopen with a maximum capacity of 10, including staff. They may operate by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Other personal services establishments must remain closed until further notice.”

Restrictions on gathers of ten or more remain in place for religious institutions, whether indoors or outdoors.  Religious gatherings where individuals remain in their vehicles would be permitted.

There is still no stay-at-home order in place in Baltimore County, according to Olszewski.

“With significant progress in expanding testing and PPE, I’m confident that Baltimore County is ready to take these next steps, and do so in a safe manner that protects the health of our residents,” Olszewski said. “While these steps are important, we’re not out of the woods yet, and I urge all residents to continue practicing social distancing to limit the spread of this virus.”

Story continues below


Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course and revealed that COVID-19 “does not spread easily” on contaminated surfaces.  In addition, CDC data shows that the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 is actually lower than the hospitalization rate for this year’s flu.

“Last night, I asked Baltimore County to begin reopening small businesses, with safety precautions,” said Councilman David Marks on Thursday. “I am pleased the County Executive has started reopening and hope we can phase in all other businesses and allow for modified religious services. It’s time.”

“It’s past time to reopen,” said NottinghamMD.com founder and Parkville Carney Business Association president Chris Montcalmo on Wednesday evening.  ““If we don’t act soon, the small businesses that comprise wonderful groups such as the Parkville Carney Business Association and Perry Hall/White Marsh Business Association will be gone.”

Interpretive guidance on the County Executive’s order can be viewed below.

Baltimore County Restrictions 20200522

Click to access executiveorder2020-006interpretiveguidance.pdf

 

 

 

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