- Dec 12, 2018
Maryland took early, aggressive, and unprecedented actions to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to these efforts, and the incredible sacrifices of Marylanders who stayed home and practiced physical distancing, we have successfully flattened and lengthened the curve.
The “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” has been developed based on the recovery plans issued by the federal government, the National Governors Association, and premier institutions like Johns Hopkins and the American Enterprise Institute; shaped by the expert advice of the scientists and public health officials on Maryland’s Coronavirus Response Team; and tailored to our situation here in Maryland. The result is a responsible, gradual, safe path forward for our state.
The ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ incorporates the principles of the National Governors Association’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery, utilizes the guidelines that were issued by the White House, and takes into account much of the work of the recovery plans published by the American Enterprise Institute and Johns Hopkins.
Building Blocks. As Governor Hogan announced on Wednesday, Maryland has made considerable progress on the four building blocks that needed to be firmly in place before the state can consider lifting restrictions:
- Expanded testing capacity
- Increased hospital surge capacity
- Ramping up supply of PPE
- Robust contact tracing operation
Data Trends. To determine when a recovery can begin, Maryland officials will focus on the rate of hospitalizations and the number of patients admitted to ICU. If these numbers continue to plateau, Maryland could be ready to begin the recovery in early May. Marylanders can access this data daily at coronavirus.maryland.gov.
The ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ is divided into three stages:
- STAGE ONE calls for lifting the stay-at-home order, and involves business, community, religious, and quality of life improvements. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include:
- Reopening of small shops and certain small businesses
- Curbside pickup and drop-off for businesses
- Elective medical and dental procedures at ambulatory, outpatient, and medical offices
- Limited attendance outdoor religious gatherings
- Recreational boating, fishing, golf, tennis, hiking, and hunting
- Reopening of car washes
- Limited outdoor gym and fitness classes
- Outdoor work with appropriate distancing measures
- Some personal services
- STAGE TWO will likely be a longer stage of the initial recovery, but will also be the stage when a large number of businesses and activities come back online. Any businesses that reopen during this period would need to comply with strict physical distancing and appropriate safety protocols. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include:
- Raising the cap on social gatherings
- Indoor gyms and fitness classes
- Childcare centers
- Normal transit schedules
- Indoor religious gatherings
- Reopening of restaurants and bars with restrictions
- Elective and outpatient procedures at hospitals
- STAGE THREE will involve instituting higher-risk activities, but there is no realistic timeline yet for achieving this level. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include:
- Larger social gatherings
- Reopening of high-capacity bars and restaurants
- Lessened restrictions on visits to nursing homes and hospitals
- Reopening of entertainment venues
- Larger religious gatherings
Regional Approach. The Roadmap contemplates offering some flexibility to health officers of county and municipal governments, and considering regional differences in COVID-19 conditions.
In each stage, the state will evaluate which localities meet appropriate gating criteria in the jurisdiction and/or region. In the event a locality has satisfied the gating criteria, county health officers will be permitted to expand the permitted activities and businesses under parameters of the current stage identified by the state.