The announcement came after the state’s positivity rate dropped to single digits, and total current hospitalizations fell to their lowest level in more than seven weeks.
As with Stage One, Stage Two will be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings. All 24 of the state’s jurisdictions have now entered Stage One.
“Moving into Stage Two is an important step forward for our state after what has been a very difficult period,” said Governor Hogan. “The people of our great state have endured so many significant personal, medical, and economic challenges. But in the face of the most daunting challenge in our lifetime, the people of Maryland have been resilient, they’ve never lost hope, and they are showing what it truly means to be Maryland strong.”
The governor also announced on Wednesday that, as part of the state’s long-term testing strategy, the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences clinical lab is now fully operational and beginning to process COVID-19 tests, including the tests the state acquired from South Korea. In April, the governor announced an initial $2.5 million investment in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore to launch this large-scale testing initiative. This signature, state-of-the-art lab will be the backbone of the state’s sustained testing strategy, pre-positioning the state for any second wave and the coming flu season.
STAGE TWO WILL BEGIN ON FRIDAY, JUNE 5 AT 5:00 PM.
To begin Stage Two, Governor Hogan announced that he will be lifting the order requiring the closure of non-essential businesses. 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. Read the governor’s order here.
Additionally, real estate offices, travel agencies, auto dealer showrooms, bank branches and various other offices may all safely reopen with public health and safety guidance recommendations in place. This guidance includes:
- Wearing face coverings whenever face-to-face interaction takes place.
- Conducting temperature checks for workers and other personnel.
- Limiting the proximity of employees by rotating employee hours.
- Instituting split schedules, shifts, or shorter work weeks.
- Staggering start, break, or shift times.
Employees who can telework should continue to do so whenever possible.
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.
Maryland state government will also begin returning to more normal operations on Monday, June 8. The Motor Vehicle Administration and other customer-facing agencies will begin reopening select branches to customers on a limited basis by appointment only. Staff will be required to wear face coverings and will have plexiglass dividers at each station. With more Marylanders back to work, transit will begin to return to a more normal schedule and the Maryland State Department of Education will continue with its gradual plan to reopen child care centers.
As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at https://open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.
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.