COVID-19 UPDATE, NOVEMBER 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

This email is meant to inform you of the most recent changes from Governor Hogan’s executive order. I will save personal commentary and analysis for another time.  I believe that citizens need to have the best and most precise information as possible, and my goal here is to provide information as I am able so that you can make informed decisions for yourself, your business, and your families. With the recent rise of COVID-19 cases nationwide, Maryland State Government has once again decided to implement additional lockdown measures. 

Here is a breakdown of the recent actions taken:

The Governor has issued an emergency order that takes the following actions—effective Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m.:

  • Foodservice establishments 50% capacity. All bars, restaurants, and venues serving food and alcohol must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for the purposes of carryout and delivery.
  • Capacity at retail establishments and religious facilities will be reduced to 50%, bringing them in line with indoor dining and personal services businesses, as well as bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller and ice skating rinks, fitness centers, and social and fraternal clubs.
  • No spectators will be permitted at racetracks or professional and collegiate stadiums across the state.
  • No hospital visitation statewide.
  • Hospitals are to avoid elective procedures, where possible.
  • Nursing home visits severely limited/ visitors must have proof of negative covid-19 test.

The Governor’s office released this graphic of the most recent changes in the executive order yesterday:  

Governor Hogan also said local county officials need to start a crackdown.

“We have a universal state mask order, and we’ve had one in place since the spring. We’ve been calling on our local leaders to enforce that because we don’t think they’ve been doing a very good job,” said Governor Hogan. “A lot of people are not following those rules and the county liquor inspectors, who are in there anyway doing other things, and the local health departments and the local law enforcement, they provide licenses to these businesses, they’ve got to start dropping the hammer on them because that’s where a lot of the spread is taking place.”

The fines for violating these orders are steep.

Governor Hogan’s mask mandate was implemented using an executive order; it carries the weight of law, despite not being passed by state lawmakers like the traditional laws implemented statewide. Possible penalties for violations are the same: Up to a $5,000 fine and/or up-to one year in jail.

Local jurisdictions are empowered to tighten restrictions further, and several have done so.

There is no comprehensive list of all the counties’ COVID related regulations; we are in the process of compiling it.

Here is what we know so far:

St. Mary’s County: has opted to allow businesses and citizens to open as much as State law will allow.

Anne Arundel County: Starting November 13, gatherings were limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Starting Monday, November 16, youth sports were canceled. Beginning November 20, restaurants will be limited to 25% capacity. Other facilities, such as religious and retail establishments, can continue to operate at 50% capacity.

Baltimore City: As of November 12, all indoor and outdoor facilities, including restaurants, gyms, and theaters, were ordered not to exceed 25% capacity. All bars that do not serve food were shut down. No more than 10 people will be permitted to gather in homes indefinitely.

Baltimore County: Starting at 5 p.m. November 15, all gatherings not related to operating or patronizing businesses already subject to state orders were limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Beginning Tuesday, November 17, all youth recreational sports, indoor and outdoor, will be prohibited.

Harford County: Starting November 13, county facilities were closed to the public, including indoor parks and recreation facilities. Organized outdoor activities on county fields, including sports tournaments, were suspended, although county parks will remain open. County employees were authorized to telework until further notice.

Howard County: Starting Tuesday, November 17 at 5 p.m., indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people will be prohibited. These restrictions include family gatherings, parties, cookouts, parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers but do not include retail stores, religious gatherings, wedding receptions, indoor theaters, or outdoor entertainment venues. The county’s Department of Recreation and Parks has canceled all tournaments that include out-of-state participants. Still, county rec and parks leagues, programs, and in-state tournaments will continue playing.

Montgomery County: As of November 10, restaurants, gyms, museums, retail establishments, and religious facilities were all limited to 25% capacity. For other businesses, such as bowling alleys and hair and nail salons, capacity is limited to 25% or 25 people, whichever is lower. Gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.

Prince George’s County: Starting at 5 p.m. November 15, restaurants were limited to 25% capacity, down from 50% capacity. No more than 25 people will be permitted to gather outdoors, and no more than 10 indoors. Gyms and bowling alleys will be at 25% capacity, but large retails stores still will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Everyone is to wear masks outdoors unless exercising.

On the Eastern Shore: Salisbury has been under a 15-person limit for indoor gatherings and a 50-person limit for outdoor gatherings. Restaurants and bars can continue serving customers in person, but their capacity has been reduced from 75% to 50%.

The rest of the Counties: This list doesn’t include every county, and the situation is fluid. I will continue to update you as I receive information. If you have any questions, please contact my office, and we will do our best to provide clarification or additional information that may be needed.

 

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