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What the Phase One reopening looks like in 3 Maryland counties

Houses line a historic street in Frederick, Maryland. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/BackyardProduction)

Phase One reopening around the region: D.C. — Montgomery County — Prince George’s County — Northern Virginia

When Maryland completes Phase One of its reopening on Friday, hair salons, barbershops and other nonessential businesses in Frederick, Anne Arundel and Charles counties will be able to provide services again, but with limitations. Here’s what it would look like.

Frederick County

On Thursday, Frederick County Executive Jan H. Gardner issued a modified executive order complementing the state’s Phase One reopening. Gov. Larry Hogan announced this week that starting at 5 p.m. Friday, the first phase of reopening would be completed.

Hair salons and barbershops in Frederick County can then reopen with limitations established by the state: 50% occupancy, by appointment only, additional cleaning and sanitation, and face masks for employees and clients.

“And in addition, in my executive order, I added another requirement … that there is an establishment of morning hours for seniors and other vulnerable residents first thing in the day, to reduce their risk of spread of the virus, and to make sure that we take care of them in a special way, since they are our most at-risk community members,” Gardner said.

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She is also encouraging employers and employees to take advantage of free testing available at some drugstores: “It is a way to assure your staff and clients that you have some knowledge of where you are.”

Worship services would also be allowed to resume under Phase One, at 50% capacity and with facial coverings and social distancing. Frederick County has added a maximum capacity of 250 people that is consistent with state guidance.

“Now, I do have concerns about this because it is a gathering of a large group, which does present certain risk and opportunity spread of the virus,” Gardner said.

She is encouraging pastors and religious organizations to delay their opening, and to take precautions and encourage elderly and people with health conditions to participate virtually.

As for pools, youth sports and camps, Gardner said that she plans to follow Hogan’s guidance. However, youth camps would not likely operate under the limitations in the requirements, she said.

As for outdoor swimming pools, Gardner said that opening them would be a phased-in approach, as it takes about two to three weeks to get them ready.

City of Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, who was invited to the briefing, said that city pools will not reopen before July 12, as previously announced.

Gardner said that the county is following the governor’s guidance, and they have created a free permit that will allow restaurants to expand to alternative areas, such as parking lots. The permits will be valid until the end of the state of emergency. Find out more at the county’s website.

“I will note, as the governor did yesterday, that people should continue to stay home, people should telework as much as possible … We really don’t want to take a step forward and then a step backward. Everyone must do their part for us to be successful,” Gardner said.

Anne Arundel County

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open for outdoor seating service starting 5 p.m. Friday, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced Thursday.

Also, nonessential businesses that are currently only allowed to offer curbside pickup will be able to reopen to customers, with protective measures in place. Specific details are on the county’s “Road to Recovery” page.

Pittman will sign two executive orders to put these new policies in place.

“I am able to make these announcements today because our public health recovery metrics have improved, and our staff has delivered the regulatory changes needed to move forward more quickly than expected,” Pittman said in a statement Thursday.

Barbershops and salons will reopen for hair services only.

More parks and recreation amenities will reopen, including dog parks and county park beaches. Though swimming is no longer prohibited, swimmers go in at their own risk because no routine bacteria testing has happened.

Houses of worship will continue to be open to up to 10 people at a time.

Starting June 5, seasonal outdoor pools will be inspected, and then can open once they’re approved.

Senior centers, fitness centers, movie theaters, shopping malls, nail salons, playgrounds, county park visitors centers, county park restrooms, indoor aquatic centers and recreation centers remain closed in the county.

See Pittman’s full statement here.

Charles County

The Charles County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with outdoor dining, opening of outdoor pools and other activities allowed under Phase One.

Businesses that hope to have an outside service area can apply for a permit online on the Charles County website. The application must be completed and returned before opening to the public. The website will also have guidance regarding opening requirements.

Barbershops and hair salons may reopen by appointment only at 50% capacity. However, nail salons and businesses that provide aesthetic services, including tattoo parlors, tanning salons and massage parlors, remain closed.

Charles County retail business can reopen at 50% capacity, but curbside pickup and delivery are strongly encouraged. This includes clothing and shoe stores, pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes and bookstores.

Enclosed malls may not reopen at this time, except for stores with access to the public directly from the outside. St. Charles Town Center Mall is planning for the reopening of certain stores with outside access beginning next week, a county news release said.

Houses of worship can start religious services with up to 50% capacity; outdoor services are strongly encouraged.

“As we gradually reopen for business, the health and safety of our community can only be ensured if every retailer, restaurant owner, personal services provider, and each customer they serve do their part. That means continuing to wear face masks, maintain social distancing, ensure frequent hand washing, and follow strict cleaning protocols,” Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins II said in a statement.

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