COVID-19 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is respiratory virus spread like a cold or the flu through coughing, sneezing, close personal contact and/or by touching a surface with the virus on it.  Symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath and in more severe cases pneumonia (infection in the lungs).  Most people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild or moderate symptoms and will recover; however, older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (especially respiratory conditions) are at greater risk of more severe symptoms.

Governor Hogan's Orders

 

  • Social Distancing - maintain a distance of 6 ft apart from other individuals.  Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Social distancing can take many forms, depending on your lifestyle and your family and work situation, and can include the following habits and steps:

    • Avoid handshaking, hugging and other intimate types of greeting

    • Avoid non-essential travel (your health care provider may have specific guidance for your situation)

    • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces

    • Work from home if possible for your work situation

    • Avoid unnecessary errands — consider ways to have essential items, like food and other household supplies, brought to your house through online delivery services or through family or social networks

  • Safer-at-Home - All Marylanders, particularly older and more vulnerable Marylanders, are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible. Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees when possible. Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so. Maryland citizens should continue wearing masks in indoor public areas, retail stores, and on public transportation. Additionally, Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, continue avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keep washing their hands often, and frequently sanitize high-touch areas.
  • SCHOOLS - Per the Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon under advisement of the Governor and his team, all Maryland schools are to remain closed through the end of the school year.  Students are to be following their respective school system's distance learning requirements.

  • Phase One Reopening - Effective Friday 5/15/2020 at 5 p.m., Retail stores in Maryland may reopen with up to 50% capacity and with strong social distancing, masking, and other safety precautions and while continuing to strongly encourage curb side pickup and delivery; manufacturing may resume operations in a safe manner which protects the health of their employees, with guidelines encouraging multiple shifts to limit the number of people working at the same time, limiting proximity of employees and other safety precautions; some personal services including barber shops and hair salons may reopen up to 50% capacity by appointment only and with appropriate safety guidelines; pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes, art galleries, and some other activities will also be able to begin reopening; churches and houses of worship may begin to safely hold religious services.  Faith and worship are such an essential part of the lives of so many people.  Holding services outside is strongly encouraged.  Religious leaders are strongly urged to do everything possible to keep their congregants safe and particularly to protect the elderly and the vulnerable within their congregations.  Inside services may be permitted at 50% capacity or less with appropriate distancing, masking, and safely protocols strongly advised.

  • Phase One Reopening continued - Effective Friday 5/31/2020 at 5 p.m., the following changes have been approved:

    • OUTDOOR DINING. Restaurants as well as social organizations such as American Legions, VFWs, and Elks Clubs will be able to begin safely reopening for outdoor dining following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association.

    • YOUTH SPORTS. Outdoor youth sports may resume following appropriate CDC guidelines including:

      • Limited, low-contact outdoor practices focused on individual skill building versus competition.

      • Limited group sizes.

      • Limited touching of shared equipment and gear.

      • The ability to engage in physical distancing while not actively engaged in play.

    • YOUTH DAY CAMPS. Outdoor activities at youth day camps may resume under the following guidance:

      • Capacity limitation of no more than 10 individuals in a group.

      • Daily COVID symptom checks for youth camp staff and campers.

      • No out-of-state or overnight campers will be permitted.

      • Physical distancing and masks will be required for all staff and campers.

    • OUTDOOR POOLS. All outdoor pools may reopen with strict safety guidelines including:

      • 25% capacity restrictions.

      • Strict physical distancing and sanitization measures.

      • Patrons will be required to sign-in and sign-out.

      • All pools will be required to post signage warning anyone who is sick not to enter.

  • Phase Two Reopening - Effective Friday 6/5/2020 at 5 p.m., Reopening of the following 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.  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.  Also, 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 tele-work should continue to do so whenever possible.

  • REOPENING OF STATE GOVERNMENT - Maryland state government will also begin returning to more normal operations on Monday 6/8/2020. The Motor Vehicle Administration and other customer-facing agencies will begin reopening select branches to customers on a limited basis by appointment only. Maryland State Department of Education will continue with its gradual plan to reopen child care centers.

  • Phase Two Reopening continued - Effective Friday 6/12/2020 at 5 p.m., Restaurants can resume indoor operations at 50 percent capacity, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association.  Outdoor amusements and rides, including miniature golf and go-kart tracks, may resume with appropriate health and safety protocols. Capacity restrictions at pools will be increased to 50 percent with strict safety guidelines still in place.

  • Phase Two Reopening continued - Effective Friday 6/19/2020 at 5 p.m., after an extra week of sanitization and safety preparations, indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities may begin to safely reopen at 50 percent capacity with strict health, distancing, and sanitization measures.  Casinos, arcades, and malls may also begin to resume operations with strict safety protocols.  Schools and Child Care facilities may also reopen with the following:

    • GRADUATION CEREMONIES. The governor is encouraging local school systems to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies with appropriate capacity and social distancing measures in place.

    • SCHOOL BUILDINGS. School systems may now begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings. School systems are encouraged to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.

    • CHILD CARE PROVIDERS. All child care providers may begin to reopen, and the number of individuals child care providers can have in one room has been expanded to a maximum of 15.

    • OUTDOOR HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS. Outdoor high school sports may begin to resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines that were previously announced for youth sports programs.

 ** Please check with your local county government for additional information.  Counties may chose to be more restrictive than the Governor's orders but may not be less restrictive.**

COVID-19 Resources
  • 211 Call Line - If you think you may have the coronavirus or COVID-19, do not go to the ER.  You should call your primary doctor or PCP and seek advice.  If you are unable to reach your PCP, you can dial 211 and speak to a professional who will advise you.

  • State website - coronavirus.maryland.gov - official website for everything to do with coronavirus in Maryland

  • Governor Hogan's website - governor.maryland.gov - official website for Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan where all executive orders can be viewed.

  • Economic Impact Payments - The Treasury Department is issuing a stimulus payment to all eligible individuals. 

    • Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.  If you filed for direct deposit with your taxes, you will receive your stimulus via direct deposit.  If not, you will receive a check in the mail.  

    • SSI recipients will receive their automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department. Treasury anticipates these automatic payments will go out no later than early May.

    • SSI recipients with no qualifying children do not need to take any action to receive their $1,200 Economic Impact Payments. The payments will be automatic.

    • Supplemental Security Income Recipients with Dependent Children Under Age 17 should go to IRS.gov to provide their information.  By taking proactive steps to enter information on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website about you and your qualifying children, you will receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to the $1,200 individual payment.

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