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
With consistent improvements in key statewide health metrics and a fast pace of vaccinations, Governor Larry Hogan lifted the outdoor mask mandate in Maryland and all restrictions for outdoor dining. The governor also announced that the state has entered a new phase of its vaccination campaign, moving to direct scheduling at mass vaccination sites and continuing to expand points of distribution.
OUTDOOR MASK MANDATE. Masks and face coverings are no longer required outdoors in the State of Maryland. Lifting the outdoor masking order is in line with new CDC guidance. Face coverings are still required for all Marylanders at all large ticketed venues as well as indoors at all public and private businesses and when using public transportation. Marylanders who are not yet vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks, especially when physical distancing is not possible.
OUTDOOR DINING. Effective May 1, standing service may resume outdoors at bars and restaurants and all restrictions related to outdoor dining capacity and distancing will be lifted. Seated service and physical distancing requirements will remain in place indoors at bars and restaurants.
Latest Vaccine Announcements
DIRECT SCHEDULING AT MASS VACCINATION SITES. Beginning May 1, all eligible Marylanders can immediately book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by visiting covidvax.maryland.gov or by calling Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
MASS VACCINATION SITES. Twelve mass vaccination sites are open and fully operational across the state. The 13th and final site opens in Howard County on April 30, at the Mall in Columbia.
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 9.6 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 April 24, contact tracers have entered over 360,000 cases and over 466,000 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.