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 sustained vaccine progress and significant improvements in all of the state’s key data metrics, Governor Larry Hogan announced new actions to further ease the COVID-19 mitigation measures currently in place.
CAPACITY LIMITS LIFTED. Effective Friday, March 12 at 5 p.m., capacity limits will be lifted on outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants and bars, retail businesses, religious facilities, fitness centers, casinos, personal services, and indoor recreational establishments. Bars and restaurants will be open for seated and distanced service only—patrons may not stand at a crowded bar.
LARGE VENUES MAY OPERATE AT 50% CAPACITY. Effective Friday, March 12 at 5 p.m., large outdoor and indoor venues may begin operating at 50% capacity. This includes theaters; concert, convention, and wedding venues; racing facilities, and outdoor entertainment and sporting venues.
STATEWIDE MASKING ORDER REMAINS IN EFFECT. Maryland’s statewide masking order remains in full force and effect. This requires the wearing of masks or face coverings at any public indoor facility, including retail establishments, fitness centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, personal service establishments, in the public spaces of all public and private businesses across the state, and when using public transportation. Masks are still required in all outdoor public areas whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
Latest Vaccine Announcements
ACCELERATED ELIGIBILITY TIMELINE. Beginning Tuesday, April 6, all Marylanders 16 and older will be eligible to get vaccinated at mass vaccination sites. By Monday, April 12, all Marylanders 16 and older will be eligible to schedule appointments and get vaccinated through all providers.
Getting Maryland’s Children Safely Back In School
Based on recommendations of America’s leading medical experts and support from President Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Governor Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon called on all Maryland school systems to return to hybrid instruction—a combination of in-person and virtual learning.
As of March 9, 22 out of the 24 local school systems in Maryland have students back in the classrooms, while the remaining two have also outlined plans to resume in-person instruction. In addition to distributing more than $1.2 billion in emergency education funding, the state has supported the safe reopening of school buildings by providing testing resources and unlimited PPE, prioritizing educators for vaccination, and issuing guidance requiring masks for children over the age of five in school settings.
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 surpassed the goal of conducting more than 40,000 tests in a day, and has completed more than 8.7 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 March 20, contact tracers have entered over 319,000 cases and over 408,000 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.
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.