Maryland Gov. Hogan outlines three-stage plan to reopen businesses when coronavirus abates

Friday, April 24, 2020

Maryland Gov. Hogan outlines three-stage plan to reopen businesses when coronavirus abates

By Pamela Wood and Luke Broadwater, Baltimore Sun

Gov. Larry Hogan outlined a three-stage plan Friday to gradually reopen Maryland businesses, services and gatherings, but he cautioned that it’s impossible to know when the deadly coronavirus pandemic will weaken enough that all activities can safely resume.

During a news conference at the State House in Annapolis, the Republican governor unveiled a strategy for reopening the state’s economy called “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.” It includes three phases of slowly lifting restrictions and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen.

The governor suggested the first phase might begin as early as May, if hospitalizations from the virus decline.

“I’m optimistic that if Marylanders continue staying home and continue practicing physical distancing a little while longer, that our numbers could continue to plateau,” Hogan said. "I’m hopeful that we could then be able to begin our recovery in early May.”

Hogan did not offer specific targets that would need to be met before the recovery could begin. But he said the state would need to see two weeks’ of decreased numbers of hospitalizations, use of intensive care units and deaths due to the coronavirus that has swept across the globe and killed more than 195,000 people, including at least 723 confirmed deaths in Maryland.

The top factor, according to Hogan’s written plan, is the hospitalization rate, including how many patients are in intensive care each day.

The plan is based on four “building blocks” that are precursors to restarting the economy: ramping up testing capacity, instituting contact tracing, increasing the supply of personal protective gear and readying hospitals for a surge in patients that could otherwise overload the system. Hogan said the state is making progress in all four areas.

Read more at the Baltimore Sun here.