AAC: Stepping away from shutdown

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced steps the county will take to move towards “Stage One” of the state’s Roadmap to Recovery. The county’s actions will be guided by a series of 12 public health metrics established by Anne Arundel Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman to safeguard residents’ health during the COVID-19 crisis. The county executive and health officer will monitor and evaluate these metrics and take additional actions when the data suggests it is safe to do so. The announcement follows Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order issued on May 13, which lifts the state Stay at Home order and empowers local leaders with the flexibility to make decisions on the timing of “Stage One” reopening actions. “We have likely saved thousands of lives through the sacrifices we have made in recent weeks,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “I am loosening only the restrictions that should have no significant impact on the spread of this virus. We cannot afford a second spike in new cases.” The following actions will go into effect at 5:00 p.m.on Friday, May 15, in accordance with Governor Hogan’s executive order: Retail businesses as defined in section III b) of the state executive order will be allowed to reopen - but for curbside pickup only. Customers are not permitted inside the establishment and employees must follow physical distancing guidelines. Only automatic carwashes are allowed to open at this time. Animal shelters are allowed to open in accordance with the state executive order. Pet groomers are allowed to open for pet drop-off or pick-up only. Beauty salons and barber shops as described in section III d) of the state executive order are allowed to open under the April 20 interpretive guidance (by appointment only with a maximum of one customer in the premises at one time) but customers are no longer required to be “essential” personnel. Manufacturing businesses and facilities within the county are allowed to open. Religious Facilities are not allowed to open. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not permitted. Face coverings are still required for customers and employees in any retail businesses (including those already permitted to be open prior to 5/15) and residents are encouraged to wear them whenever interaction with others is possible. County Executive Pittman will sign an executive order and issue more specific guidance prior to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15, when the state executive order goes into effect.