Although mask and social distance mandates will continue, on Friday, March 12, the majority of COVID restrictions in Maryland will be lifted, according to Gov. Larry Hogan (R).
“With the pace of vaccinations rapidly rising and our health metrics steadily improving, the lifting of these restrictions is a prudent, positive step in the right direction and an important part of our economic recovery,” said Governor Hogan.
“These steps are made possible because of Marylanders wearing masks, washing their hands, keeping their distance, and following the public health advice, and because our businesses have carefully followed safe reopening practices and public health guidelines in order to help keep their employees and customers safe,” he added.
Out-of-state travelers will now be allowed to return without a quarantine guideline, under the new order.
Mask mandates will continue to be in effect.
The first restrictions began March 9, 2020, nearly a year ago banning out-of-state travel for state employees, according to a CBS network timeline of Maryland’s COVID response.
The governor’s office posted the rules to take effect on Friday at 5:00 p.m.
- CAPACITY LIMITS LIFTED, MASKING AND DISTANCING PROTOCOLS MAINTAINED. 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. Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols will remain in place. Read the order.
- LARGE OUTDOOR AND INDOOR VENUES MAY OPERATE AT 50% CAPACITY. 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. Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols will remain in place.
- MEDICAL ADULT DAY CARE CENTERS TO REOPEN. Medical adult day care centers may reopen, with facilities able to set appropriate restrictions and safety measures. Read the order.
- QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS LIFTED; TRAVEL ADVISORY REMAINS IN PLACE. Quarantine requirements and other restrictions on out-of-state travel will be lifted. A Maryland Department of Health (MDH) travel advisory will remain in place, and Marylanders continue to be encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 upon their return from out-of-state travel.
So how is MD doing with the Wu Flu? Cases are way down from the winter peak (it is a seasonal virus, after all) but not to where they were last summer.
Deaths are down too:
Positivity in testing is down to 3.6%. Since it's likely that about 2.0% are false positives, it suggests the virus is down to a dull roar.