Reopening Guidelines and Compliance

November 17: Governor Hogan Announces Hospital Surge Measures, Statewide Capacity Restrictions

With widespread community transmission across the state and surging COVID-19 metrics across the country, Governor Larry Hogan announced immediate actions to prevent overburdening the state’s healthcare system and to keep more Marylanders from dying.

  • 10 PM closure of bars and restaurants. Effective Friday, November 20, at 5 p.m., 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.
  • Limited capacity for retail, religious facilities. Capacity at retail establishments and religious facilities will be reduced to 50%, bringing them into 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.
  • Hospital surge measures. State health officials have issued an emergency order to prohibit all hospital visitation until further notice with some exceptions—including end-of-life care, obstetrics, parents or guardians of minors, and support for people with disabilities. Officials have issued an order allowing hospitals that are either full or nearing capacity limits to transfer patients to hospitals that are equipped to provide them with the care they need. Hospitals and other medical facilities are also warned to avoid any elective procedure admissions that are not urgent or life-saving—especially if they are likely to require prolonged artificial ventilation, ICU admissions, or may have a high probability of requiring post-hospital care in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Nursing home measures. Until further notice, indoor visitation at Maryland nursing homes will generally be limited to compassionate care, and all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to their visit. State health officials have issued an order instituting mandatory twice-weekly testing for all staff at Maryland nursing homes, as well as mandatory weekly testing for all nursing home residents—effective no later than Friday, November 20. To tackle acute outbreaks, Governor Hogan is doubling the number of rapid response teams deployed to provide an extra level of triage and supplement local staffing needs.

Read the full announcement from November 17 here.

Howard County Entering Phase 3 Reopening

Howard County Entering Phase 3 Reopening

September 1, 2020

Media Contact:
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball announced this evening that Howard County will move forward with Governor Hogan’s modified Phase 3 plan of reopening effective Friday, September 4, at 5:00 p.m. This includes the opening of enclosed and outdoor theatres with various restrictions and the loosening of restrictions on retail and religious facilities. 

“Howard County has seen significant progress in reducing our positivity rate, increasing our testing capacity, and reducing hospitalizations since June,” said Ball. “We will move forward with the modified plan the Governor laid out this evening but encourage our residents to still tread lightly. We are still very much in a public health crisis, and these relaxed restrictions do not mean we should let our guard down. In order to maintain our steady progress, we must continue individual preventative measures – like washing our hands, wearing masks, and physically distancing.”

Effective Friday, September 4 at 5:00 p.m.:

  • Movie theatres and live entertainment venues may operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 100 people indoor, 250 people outdoors
  • All retail, churches, may increase to 75% capacity

“The residents of Howard County have contributed significantly to the Phase 3 reopening. To be successful, all residents must continue to adhere to recommendations and remain cautious,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. 

For Howard County updates on COVID-19, including data and testing information, can be found online: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Countywide-Updates.

Howard County Aligns with Governor’s Phase 2 Reopening

Governor Hogan’s June 4th Order-Allowing Reopening Of Certain Businesses And Facilities, Subject To Local Regulation

Howard County Reopening Outdoor Seating at Restaurants, Updates Food Consumption Guidance for Religious Gatherings (Effective May 29, 2020)

Howard County’s Lifted Restriction Guidance as of May 26th

On May 26th, 2020, Calvin Ball release an Executive Order lifting the additional restrictions for retail, barbers and hair salons, as well as religious institutions. Additional interpretative guidance available here.

Beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, May 29th: 

  • Retailers in Howard County may open at 50% of maximum occupancy.  
    • Retailers are still encouraged to use curbside pick-up whenever possible.  
  • Barbers and hair salons may open at 50% of maximum occupancy including staff.  
    • Businesses must continue to operate by appointment only.  
    • Staff and clients must wear masks.  
  • Religious institutions may hold outdoor services of up to 250 people, as long as all participants can maintain appropriate physical distancing of 6 feet.  
    • Indoor services are still limited to a maximum of 10 people. 

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services has provided guidelines for businesses to determine their maximum occupancy to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All retail stores must post signage at or near the front door reminding customers to wear masks and maintain physical distancing. Howard County will provide signs digitally that business owners can print and display in their businesses.  

Howard County Executive Order 2020-09 supersedes Howard County Executive Order 2020-08, issued on May 15, 2020, to the extent it applies to barber shops and hair salons, religious institutions, and retail establishments. The remaining provisions of Executive Order 2020-08 remain in full force and effect.

Howard County Reopening Guidance as of May 15th

Howard County businesses must follow these reopening rules as the primary directive as to whether they may legally reopen. These rules supersede the statewide rules listed below. Find all Howard County Executive Orders here.

If your business category is not specifically addressed in the 2020-08 Exercise of Emergency Powers, please refer to the Governors COVID-19 Orders below.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will continue to open Howard County according to HoCo RISE freamework, Reopening Innovatively, Safely, and Effectively. More information on HoCo RISE can be found here.

Governor’s COVID-19 Orders and Guidance

Proclamations and orders issued by Governor Larry Hogan related to COVID-19, along with interpretive guidance from the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Order: Amending and restating the order of May 13, 2020, allowing reopening of certain businesses and facilities, subject to local regulation. (May 28th)

Order: Gatherings, Reopening of Certain Businesses and Facilities (May 13th)

Guidance: COVID19-14 – Businesses That May Reopen (May 13th)

Maryland Reopening Guidelines and Compliance – Specific Instructions by Industry

Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes – Centers for Disease Control

       Cleaning & Disinfecting Decision Tool

Operational Toolkit for Businesses Considering Reopening or Expanding Operations in COVID-19 – Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

The toolkit includes:
Instruction Manual (PDF)
Business Risk Worksheet (PDF)
Assessment Calculator (Spreadsheet)

Reopening, Retooling, and Retraining

World 2.0

Thought leadership and insights on operating a business in the post-pandemic world. Powered by Howard County Economic Development Authority and Maryland Innovation Center.

A Guide to Reopening Your Business – US Chamber of Commerce

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