Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced on Tuesday that the state would enter stage three of the reopening process effective Friday.
Stage three – which goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday – represents the broadest reopening since the state implemented a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the businesses that will be permitted to reopen with restriction include:
- Movie theaters at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium—whichever is less
- Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity or 250 people.
- Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50 to 75 percent.
The governor noted, however, that individual counties will have discretion when it comes to restrictions.
With Labor Day weekend approaching, he also stressed that Marylanders should be aware that family gatherings present the highest risk for spreading the infection.
Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties have announced that they will not be moving on to Phase 3.
What precautions can you take to protect yourself?
The CDC warns that there is currently no vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus, but there are some steps you can take to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place.
To protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
What should you do if you are sick?
Stay home. If you believe the COVID-19 virus has infected you, you must restrict any activity outside and call a medical professional immediately.
It is essential to call ahead before visiting a health care provider so that their office may take proper steps to avoid further spread of the virus when arriving for your medical appointment.