Restaurants, Outdoor Amusements Can Reopen In Md. On Friday


School buildings can also reopen for summer instruction.


Annapolis, Md (KM) More reopenings were announced on Wednesday as Maryland continues to recover form the coronavirus. At a news conference in Annapolis, Governor Larry Hogan said restaurants offering indoor dining can open up again on Friday, June 12th beginning  at 5:00 PM. But Hogan said only at 50% of capacity, and social distancing by employees and patrons They also smut follow  strict  public health guidelines from the CDC, the FDA, the Maryland Department of Health, and the National Restaurant Association.  .

He also said outdoor amusements, such as miniature golf and go-kart tracks can begin operations again. But only at 50% of capacity, and they too must have appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

These and other businesses were ordered closed by the Governor earlier this year to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But Hogan says the state is turning the corner on this virus. “But because of the early and aggressive actions taken, we have not only flattened the curve, but we have crushed that curve in Maryland,” the Governor said.

In particular, hospitalizations are down from the COVID-19 virus. “Over the past week, Maryland has experienced the largest decline in positivity in America,” Governor Hogan said. “23 of Maryland 24 jurisdictions now has a positivity rate in the single digits”

He noted that Frederick County’s positivity rate is 6.44%.

Also at his news conference, the Governor said casinos, arcades, indoor fitness centers and malls can reopen beginning on Friday, June 19th at 5:00 PM; but at 50% of capacity, with social distancing and health and safety measures in place to protect customers and employees.

Even though the state is making progress in battling the coronavirus, Maryland is not out of the woods yet, according to Deputy Secretary of Health Fran Phillips, and we must practice good hygiene.  .”Stay six-feet apart; wear a face covering; wash your hands frequently; carry hand sanitizer,” she said “And we know that outdoors is safer than indoors. And that’s because of the contained environment indoors cam allow that virus to circulate.”

Also at the news conference, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that public school buildings can open for summer instruction. After consulting with health experts, Dr. Salmon said schools can bring in small groups of about ten to 15 students and staff into school buildings.

She says school systems should give priority to  students who suffered the most during\g the pandemic, and those who had difficulty with distance learning. “This likely includes our younger children; students who are the fartherest behind academically; students who lack the capacity to work independently; and students without the proper resources to participate effectively in distance learning,” Dr. Salmon said.

“Students with the most intense learning needs are the ones that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic,” says Dr. Salmon. “And without an intense focus on these students, they would be among the last to recover.”

Dr. Salmon also announced that outdoor high school sports can resume practice and training  under strict health guidelines.

Schools in Maryland have been closed since March 16th to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


By Kevin McManus