We’re starting to get a clearer picture of how Maryland’s economy will reopen, once officials have determined it is safe to do so.
Gov. Larry Hogan has released a “Roadmap to Recovery” that offers a blueprint of sorts for how Maryland will get back to business once the initial wave of coronavirus cases subsides.
That roadmap rests on four “building blocks” that must be firmly in place before Hogan will consider lifting restrictions. Those building blocks are:
- Expanded testing capacity, which Hogan says is on track.
- Increased hospital surge capacity, which is ahead of schedule.
- Ramping up the supply of personal protective equipment, which is on track.
- A robust contact tracing operation, which also is considered on track.
Once he is confident those building blocks are in place, Hogan says the state’s economy will reopen in three stages. I’m quoting from the governor’s press release announcing the roadmap.
This stage calls for lifting the stay-at-home order, and involves business, community, religious, and quality of life improvements. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include the following:
- Reopening of small shops and certain small businesses
- Curbside pickup and drop-off for businesses
- Elective medical and dental procedures at ambulatory, outpatient, and medical offices
- Limited attendance for outdoor religious gatherings
- Recreational boating, fishing, golf, tennis, hiking, and hunting
- Reopening of car washes
- Limited outdoor gym and fitness classes
- Outdoor work with appropriate distancing measures
- Some personal services
This stage will likely be a longer stage of the initial recovery, but will also be the stage when a large number of businesses and activities come back online. Any businesses that reopen during this period would need to comply with strict physical distancing and appropriate safety protocols. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include the following:
- Raising the cap on social gatherings
- Indoor gyms and fitness classes
- Childcare centers
- Normal transit schedules
- Indoor religious gatherings
- Reopening of restaurants and bars with restrictions
- Elective and outpatient procedures at hospitals
This stage will involve instituting higher-risk activities, but there is no realistic timeline yet for achieving this level. Examples of changes that could be implemented in this stage include the following:
- Larger social gatherings
- Reopening of high-capacity bars and restaurants
- Lessened restrictions on visits to nursing homes and hospitals
- Reopening of entertainment venues
- Larger religious gatherings
MACPA joins Maryland’s reopening efforts
In addition, Gov. Hogan’s team has created advisory groups in a number of industries to help determine the best course for those industries to “responsibly reopen and operate.”
One of those advisory groups centers on the professional and financial services industry. Members of that advisory group include MACPA President and CEO Tom Hood and Ed Brake, managing partner and CEO of Ellin and Tucker.
Other advisory groups have been formed to create best reopening practices for these additional industries:
- Restaurants and bars
- Personal services and small business
- Construction and development