Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan speaks in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Maryland State House to announce the state’s “Roadmap to Recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stay-at-home order in Maryland could be lifted as soon as early May, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday as he unveiled the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.

The roadmap consists of three stages that gradually allow more social movement and fluid business activity, starting with low-risk activities and moving toward higher risk ones.

“This document is a roadmap, not a calendar,” the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery states. “The Administration does not intend to set dates or telegraph benchmarks for moving through this journey. Unfortunately, the virus dictates the speed with which the State can move.”

Hogan said in a news briefing Friday the first step would consist of lifting the stay-at-home order, along with allowing recreational activities like golfing, boating, outdoor fitness classes and other outdoor activities.

Stage two, Hogan said, would include a “more normal public transit schedule” and a larger number of businesses could re-open, as long they follow strict public health protocols. Bars and restaurants could be included here, but the protocols must be followed, he said.

The final stage would be re-opening “higher risk activities” like concerts and larger religious activities, a lessening of restrictions at hospitals, and finally nursing homes, Hogan said.

The stages will include sub-phases to be announced by the governor.

The governor said the first stage could hopefully start in early May, but he called on all Marylanders to do their part regarding social distancing and following public health protocols to ensure the safety of all residents.

“If we try to rush this, and if we don’t do it in a thoughtful and responsible way, it could cause a rebound of the virus, which could deepen the economic crisis, prolong the fiscal problems, and slow our economic recovery,” Hogan said.

The state is not quite ready to start implementing the roadmap, despite Hogan’s wish that he could open the state today.

Before the first stage, the state needs to be on a 14-day downward trajectory, or at the very least plateauing in the number of deaths, hospitalizations and patients in intensive care. The state has seen three such days, Hogan said.

“So it looks like a pattern, but the doctors have said to me — they’re a lot smarter than me — and they say, ‘Governor, three days does not make a trend,’” Hogan said.

The clock does not reset each time there is a new spike in deaths or the other measures, the governor said. Looking at new cases is not a good measure because the number can be affected as testing continues to be ramped up in the state.

The state needs to wait a minimum of 14 days in between the first and second stage to ensure the additional actions taken have not caused a new outbreak of COVID-19, Hogan said. If the actions taken do have negative consequences, the government will respond appropriately, which could include rolling back some of the steps, according to the roadmap.

The additional stages will take longer, Hogan said, adding that it is subject to the numbers.

When considering the numbers, the governor said he was hopeful about the early May start, but admitted it was “guesswork a little bit.”

“We’re just hopeful that those numbers are going to get better and continue. We’ve had a couple of days where things looked better, but a couple of days. Three days does not make a trend,” Hogan said.

‘A well thought out roadmap’

The plan to reopen is built off of four building blocks, the governor previously announced. The state is on track to acquire more personal protective equipment, increase testing in the state and create a robust contact tracing operation, according to the state’s website. The state is ahead of schedule on the fourth block, increasing hospital surge capacity.

While the roadmap lays out the guide for the state to reopen, it also states that physical distancing and wearing of masks will likely continue until the state of emergency is lifted.

Even then, Hogan said that Marylanders should expect some changes to normal life until a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is created and offered to the public.

In addition to the roadmap, Hogan announced 13 industry-focused advisory boards. The Maryland coronavirus task force is now the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team, and in addition to the medical professionals on the task force, several members of the business sectors will be on it.

Hogan said his small business background weighed on his mind as he closed much of the state.

“The entire focus of my administration has been growing the private sector, creating jobs and turning our economy around. It’s the reason I ran for governor. It breaks my heart to see so many Marylanders struggling and going through so much economic pain,” Hogan said.

Dr. Randall Culpepper, deputy health officer for Frederick County, said in an email that Hogan engaged advisers in the health field and business community to shape the roadmap.

“Governor Hogan has provided a well thought out roadmap that our state can safely follow as we look forward to reenergizing our community,” Culpepper said in the email. “His phased approach to reopening businesses and restoring social activity will maximize the opportunity to protect the health and welfare of our citizens.”

County Executive Jan Gardner said in an email Friday evening that the governor’s roadmap “makes sense and follows the recommendations of doctors and medical experts.”

It is important for county residents and businesses to understand that the phase-in does not start now, Gardner added, noting the need to see a decline in hospitalizations, deaths and ICU bed use over a 14-day period.

Gardner also said the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Frederick County’s agriculture industry.

“As meat processing plants have closed due to COVID in their workforce, this has created an issue for the livestock industry,” Gardner said. “Dramatic drops in commodity prices for dairy, livestock and grains has been problematic. Low prices are hurting our farmers and this is not a localized issue but a broader national issue.”

Agricultural economic issues are driven by local, regional and national markets, Gardner added.

“Agriculture will be most impacted by these larger economic issues created by or resulting from the impacts of the coronavirus on other related industries or commodity and consumer markets,” she said.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

(29) comments

prg45fan

What could possibly go wrong?

https://gohs.maryland.gov/2020/04/24/maryland-strong-roadmap-to-recovery/

Brookhawk

And the other headline says MD just had its deadliest day of the outbreak. Hogan has been doing well but he might want to revisit his timing on dropping the stay-in order. If we ease restrictions while deaths are still on the increase, I'm not sure that's a good idea. But, I can and will stay in (except to get food and meds) until I feel safe, and that won't be until we're on the down side of the spike in illnesses and deaths.

bosco

As long as you are not in a nursing home, you should be ok since all 47 deaths in FredCo have been in residential care facilities.

That must be why the FNP did not want to break out those numbers until now, but instead focused on the racial statistics

KellyAlzan

I don’t disagree. But are the deaths from primarily nursing homes? Or general community? Personally, I feel there’s a difference

bosco

From another article on FNP:

"In Frederick County, cases increased by 82, the second highest increase in cases in the county. The county currently has about 525 active cases, although like the state number, this one may not be the most accurate.

Of the 808 cases, 336 people, both residents and staff, have tested positive in congregate living facilities, Watkins said. This includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals.

All 47 deaths were among people in these congregate living facilities, Watkins said."

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/continuing_coverage/coronavirus/covid-19-cases-appear-to-be-plateauing-but-more-time-needed-for-confirmation/article_b543323e-7781-5a51-8573-3d8bc633f9fa.html

bosco

Once things reopen, be very suspicious of any personal service provider wearing gloves. If they do not change those gloves between services - such as a haircut - the gloves are contaminated and a vector for spreading contamination from one person to the next. Washing hands between customers or sanitizing is a much better choice.

Most of the glovesyou see are worn because of "monkey see, monkey do" without a sound rationale as to why.

Subway sandwich shops do it right. A fresh pair of gloves for every Ready To Eat (RTE) food item.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup] bosco!

awteam2000

Washing your hands regularly is very important. All food providers should do so, to protect themselves as well as their customers’. So, I would think food providers wearing gloves are to prevent them (the server) from infecting others. The logic being the food isn’t infectious but the provider could be. Using a prophylactic reduces the possibility of passing contaminants to the end purchaser from the server. We certainly don’t need another “Typhoid Mary” running around.

bosco

How many surfaces can those server gloves touch before they need to be changed? Would it be okay for the server to take away a few plates from our table cough cough sneeze, and then bring your plate out? Maybe after scratching their nose and checking their texts? Those gloves would need to be changed between customers and after touching any surfaces.

Frequent hand washing for servers is the key. And if they are infected with anything, they are prohibited from working.

awteam2000

Dining out will be one of the last businesses to come back on-line. Especially if we don’t have mass testing. Even if they reopen and customers feel at risk, you’ll loss clientele.

But once they do, I hope the person that’s disinfecting the tables and collecting the dishes to wash aren’t the same persons preparing the food. And if the employee is asymptomatic and hasn’t been tested, how would the employer know their employee is spreading the virus?

Arbit

Absolutely agree! This has concerned me as well. People wearing gloves and not changing them. I also saw a lady in a grocery store waiting in line with her masked under her chin eating a salad. Unbelievable!

bosco

People think the gloves have some sort of magical disinfecting powers. They are a placebo.

KellyAlzan

I really miss our church and miss singing in the chorus. And miss the people.

DickD

Kelly, do you go to the same church as jsk?[innocent]

KellyAlzan

I dunno. What’s the last name?

DickD

Kline m

Piedmontgardener

Hogan is an empathetic, thoughtful leader. He or DeWine are 80X better people than the President of the United States as a nominee.

DickD

I raise you 920 times better than Trump![beam]

Greg F

I hope not...but it looks depends if the idiots out there can practice what they recommend. So far I keep seeing people out there with masks that aren’t even covering their nose properly or none at all. That and too many who encroach way beyond safe distances yet. You know who you are! Hogan is doing the right thing, especially to that lunatic suggesting we inject Lysol or go find a tanning bed with lots of UV. What a nutter! Hogan is the prime example of a reasonable republican cs what we see from McConnell and the lies of Faux News and their constant parade of nonsense talking republican blowhards and drinkards like that Vegas Mayor. Anyone that can excuse Trump for his performance

Acne (circus) act is most certainly not a patriot or true citizen.

Aslan19

@FNP2411, you may want to do some research before you flow the idiot herd on bashing Trump. It will keep you from looking stupider than you are.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122858/

And

https://m.jpost.com/health-science/mayanei-hayeshua-using-ultraviolet-light-to-destroy-covid-19-625498?fbclid=IwAR35Ac7LhURM3uJJgD3AxxGhQ0Ee40UAMOMHsGFMQriRM361ajeWUVtvwb4

DickD

Stupider? How about dumber?

qweely

Hyperlink to site isn't working. Missing the "G" at the beginning.

jimr1701

The stay at home order should never have been issued. Looking forward to seeing these powers stripped from the MD governor — and seeing that happen in the rest of the states.

Greg F

Go away Jombo

govtmule57

Opinions vary.

Greg F

Jimmy...you are part of the problem...and hinder the solution greatly by your presence.

CheetoBenito

All hail “Agolf Twitler”, right Jimmy?

steelersfan2005

then move to Georgia....

DickD

Why do you say that, jmr?

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