By Chelsea Boyd
On March 30, Governor Larry Hogan declared an Executive Order which calls for all Marylanders to shelter-in-place except for “essential personnel” to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Hogan explained during his COVID-19 Announcement that the bill will prohibit “large gatherings and events and closing senior centers, and all non-essential businesses and other establishments, and additionally requiring all persons to stay at home.”
The Order went into effect at 8 p.m. on March 30, and has not been lifted or loosened as of May 2. The legislation also breaks down which people and activities are essential and thus permitted under this shelter-in-place order.
Only those who work in one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors are considered “essential” and thus exempt from this order. Those sectors include communications, emergency services, food and agriculture, government facilities, healthcare and public health, and information technology.
Those who are non-essential are required to stay home unless performing “essential activities.” Such activities include:
- Obtaining necessary supplies or services for one’s self, family members, animals, etc. including groceries, supplies for household use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence
- Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of one’s self, family members, animals, etc., including such things as seeking medical or behavioral health or emergency services, and obtaining medication or medical supplies
- Caring for family members, animals, etc. in another household or location, including transporting a family member, friend, or animal for essential health and safety activities, and to obtain necessary supplies and services
- Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning
- Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, but only in compliance with applicable social distancing guidance
- Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order
- Traveling to and from a federal, state, or local government building for a necessary purpose.
Gatherings that are larger than ten people are also prohibited, in compliance with the Center for Disease Control standards to limit the spread of the virus among crowds.
The Order specifies that “social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.” Anything planned for the future must be canceled or postponed until after the state of emergency and shelter-in-place order have been lifted.
Finally, the Order declares the closure of various public centers, including senior centers, restaurants and bars, fitness centers, movie theaters, malls, amusement parks, roller and ice skating rinks, all golf courses, campgrounds, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, barber shops, and beauty salons.