Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery
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.
Latest Reopening Guidance
On May 14, after several weeks of dramatic improvements in the state’s key health metrics, Governor Hogan announced the end of the statewide mask mandate, aligning Maryland with new CDC guidance.
MASK MANDATE LIFTED. Effective May 15, Marylanders who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors. However, private businesses and workplaces are free to put in place their own policies or guidance. Local jurisdictions are free to use their own emergency powers on these matters.
Face coverings will still be required on public transportation, and in schools, child care and health care settings. The Maryland Department of Health has issued a public health advisory strongly recommending that all non-vaccinated individuals over the age of 2 years continue to wear face coverings in all indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR VENUES. Effective May 15, indoor and outdoor venues may resume normal operations. All remaining capacity restrictions will be lifted on all indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all outdoor entertainment, art, and sports venues, including all ticketed events.
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR DINING. Effective May 15, restaurants and bars may resume normal operations, as all remaining capacity and distancing restrictions and all other limits will be lifted on indoor and outdoor dining.
Latest Vaccine Announcements
DEMOBILIZATION OF MASS VACCINATION SITES. The state’s mass vaccination sites have begun a phased demobilization process as local demand changes and additional resources are directed to mobile clinics and community-based activities. Operational responsibilities at several mass vaccination sites will shift from the state to local partners, while other sites will close.
For as long as they remain in operation, all sites will continue to offer no-appointment vaccinations. For the full demobilization schedule, click here.
VACCINATIONS FOR ADOLESCENTS. With approval from the FDA and CDC, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has expanded to include Marylanders age 12 to 15. Eleven of the state’s mass vaccination sites and hundreds of pharmacy locations are available administer the Pfizer vaccine to adolescents.
NO ARM LEFT BEHIND. Individuals in need of additional assistance to get vaccinated—including homebound patients and those in need of transportation—can call Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829). The call center is available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Recovery Resources from Local Governments
State law grants local leaders the authority and the flexibility to implement more restrictive policies than the state orders if they deem them necessary based on the changing conditions in their individual jurisdictions.
Allegany | Anne Arundel | Baltimore City | Baltimore County | Calvert | Caroline | Carroll | Cecil | Charles | Dorchester | Frederick | Garrett | Harford | Howard | Kent | Montgomery | Prince George’s | Queen Anne’s | Somerset | St. Mary’s | Talbot | Washington | Wicomico | Worcester
4 BUILDING BLOCKS TO RECOVERY
EXPANDED TESTING CAPACITY
Maryland has completed more than 10 million COVID-19 tests statewide. With the state’s expanded testing and tracing capacity, Maryland is able to take a closer and more accurate look at positivity rates—an important indicator of recovery and a key metric to track COVID-19 containment.
INCREASED HOSPITAL SURGE CAPACITY
On March 16, 2020, Governor Hogan directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to develop a plan to immediately increase the state’s hospital capacity by an additional 6,000 beds. Thanks to the quick response and close collaboration between multiple state agencies, federal partners, and Maryland’s health care systems, the state remained ahead of schedule in its hospital surge efforts, and continues to partner with our world-class health care systems.
On November 10, the MDH issued an emergency order to activate the next level of Maryland’s hospital surge capacity by adding alternative care site capacity and to provide additional staffing support and clinical care to nursing homes in the event of further outbreaks. On November 17, the MDH issued an emergency order allowing hospitals that are either full or nearing capacity limits to transfer patients to adequately equipped hospitals to help alleviate over crowded hospitals and place patients in hospitals where beds and medical staff are available.
RAMPING UP SUPPLY OF PPE
In Maryland, a multi-agency task force has been working around the clock to ramp up our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), with large deliveries of N95, KN95, and surgical masks; beds and bed packages; face shields; gloves; and other critical resources coming into the state’s warehouses on a daily basis. The State of Maryland has distributed millions of units of PPE to hospitals, state agencies, local health departments, and front line workers.
ROBUST CONTACT TRACING OPERATION
At the start of the crisis, the state had a total of 250 case investigators working at local health departments. On April 22, 2020, Governor Hogan announced a contract with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the nation’s oldest and largest university-based research firm, to hire and train additional case investigators. From June 15 through May 8, contact tracers have entered over 370,000 cases and over 480,000 contacts.
On November 10, the Maryland Department of Health launched MD COVID Alert, a contact tracing app for Marylanders to opt into COVID-19 exposure notifications on their smartphones. MD COVID Alert uses Bluetooth to notify users who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus. As of April 12, more than 2 million Marylanders have enabled MD COVID Alert on their phones.
Contact tracing data is one of our most powerful tools to find and fight the virus. Marylanders should answer and/or return any calls from “MD COVID” or (240) 466-4488 to provide information to contact tracers.