After weeks of consulting with leading scientists, business leaders, and public health experts, Governor Larry Hogan today introduced the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which provides a safe, effective, and gradual approach to reopening the state as it continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we begin to reopen, it will continue to be important for Marylanders, particularly older and more vulnerable Marylanders, to continue to stay home as much as they can,” said Governor Hogan. “All Marylanders should continue to avoid crowds and gatherings, and they should continue to practice physical distancing and to take precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their fellow Marylanders. Together, we are going to defeat this virus, and together, the State of Maryland will return stronger and better than ever.”
The governor was joined for today’s press conference by Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz.
Foundation for Recovery Plan. The ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ incorporates the principles of the National Governors Association’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery, utilizes the guidelines that were issued by the White House, and takes into account much of the work of the recovery plans published by the American Enterprise Institute and Johns Hopkins.
Building Blocks. As Governor Hogan announced on Wednesday, Maryland has made considerable progress on the four building blocks that needed to be firmly in place before the state can consider lifting restrictions:
Data Trends. To determine when a recovery can begin, Maryland officials will focus on the rate of hospitalizations and the number of patients admitted to ICU. If these numbers continue to plateau, Maryland could be ready to begin the recovery in early May. Marylanders can access this data daily at coronavirus.maryland.gov.
The ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ is divided into three stages:
STAGE ONE calls for lifting the stay-at-home order, and involves business, community, religious, and quality of life improvements. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include:
STAGE TWO will likely be a longer stage of the initial recovery, but will also be the stage when a large number of businesses and activities come back online. Any businesses that reopen during this period would need to comply with strict physical distancing and appropriate safety protocols. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include:
STAGE THREE will involve instituting higher-risk activities, but there is no realistic timeline yet for achieving this level. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include:
Regional Approach. The Roadmap contemplates offering some flexibility to health officers of county and municipal governments, and considering regional differences in COVID-19 conditions.
In each stage, the state will evaluate which localities meet appropriate gating criteria in the jurisdiction and/or region. In the event a locality has satisfied the gating criteria, county health officers will be permitted to expand the permitted activities and businesses under parameters of the current stage identified by the state.
Coronavirus Recovery Team. Governor Hogan is transitioning the Maryland Coronavirus Response Team of doctors and public health experts into a broader Coronavirus Recovery Team. The full list of members includes:
Industry-Specific Advisory Groups. Governor Hogan has directed Secretary Schulz and the Maryland Department of Commerce to form advisory groups to develop recommendations and best practices for their industries to responsibly reopen and operate. These recommendations will also be carefully reviewed by the Coronavirus Recovery Team. Key industry sectors include:
In addition, Governor Hogan has established two advisory groups through the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives to get valuable ongoing input during the recovery from religious groups and nonprofit organizations:
Visit governor.maryland.gov/recovery for more information and to sign up for updates about Maryland’s recovery plan.