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Baltimore County partially reopens for business

NOTTINGHAM, MD—As of 9 a.m. on Friday morning, Baltimore County has reopened for business.

On Thursday morning, County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that local businesses could safely reopen with certain safety restrictions in place.

“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.”

New Actions Effective Friday, May 22

County Executive Olszewski issued 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.  Governor Larry Hogan said earlier this month that religions institutions could begin holding Masses at 50 percent capacity.  In Baltimore County, however, churches are limited to gatherings of ten people or less, whether indoors or outdoors.  Services where individuals remain in their vehicles are permitted, however.

Residents Encouraged to Continue to Stay at Home

Baltimore County’s prohibition on indoor and outdoor gatherings or events of 10 or more people at all locations and venues remains in place.

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There is no official stay-at-home order in place, however, residents and visitors to Baltimore County should strive to stay at home unless they are traveling to work or medical appointments, shopping for groceries or other retail goods, or traveling to outdoor recreational opportunities. Older and more vulnerable residents are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible.

Residents and visitors should practice safe physical distancing and wear masks in public, and frequently wash their hands and sanitize high-touch areas.

Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees when possible. Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so.

Baltimore County Restrictions 20200522

[Featured photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels]

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