Thursday, June 4, 2020

Montgomery County won't join rest of Maryland in Phase 2 reopening Friday

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has put Montgomery County officials on the hot seat again, announcing that he will move the state's reopening from coronavirus lockdown to Phase 2 on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 5:00 PM. Montgomery only entered Phase 1 three days ago, long after most of the state did. That led to many complaints from the business community and residents who argue the damage to their livelihoods and the economy is worse than the risk of contracting coronavirus. With County Executive Marc Elrich making clear he once again will be taking a more cautious approach than Hogan, those critics are livid.

By Friday evening, most of the state will be permitted to reopen businesses the governor had termed "non-essential." Churches, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage parlors, tanning salons and tattoo parlors will be allowed to reopen at 50% of capacity inside. But not in Montgomery County. Elrich said on Twitter that he and other officials are evaluating if any of the loosened criteria lines up with Montgomery's Phase 1 guidelines.

Even Hogan did not escape criticism Wednesday, as his executive order still does not allow gyms, movie theaters, indoor malls, amusement parks, bowling alleys, or sporting events. One Twitter critic said the governor was "social distancing from reality."

Still others remain afraid to venture out to businesses just yet, and are in no hurry to loosen restrictions. By the middle of next week, we should know whether or not the Memorial Day weekend Ocean City boardwalk crowds caused a spike in infections or not. If so, leaders will be in quite a pickle. If not, they'll still be under fire, as there will be even more demand to reopen at the county and state levels.

1 comment:

  1. Seems reasonable since Montgomery County infection rate is higher than the Maryland average: