September 2, 2020

Governor’s Briefing on COVID-19: September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020 – Governor Hogan Press Conference

 Maryland is entering into Stage 3 of the state’s reopening plan.

 School Reopening

  • The governor commends the Maryland State Board of Education for voting to require school systems that haven’t developed a plan for returning to in-person instruction until 2021 to reevaluate their reopening plans by the end of the first quarter.
  • Every county school system was reauthorized to safely reopen, but the legal authority and final decision making ultimately rests with county boards of education.
  • Less than 48 hours after the State Board of Education met to review the plans submitted by local school systems, the state announced a new set of statewide metrics.
  • Two-thirds of county school systems have already developed and submitted plans that include returning children to schools for some form of in-person instruction this Fall.

 Elections

  • Maryland State Board of Elections finally mailed the applications for voting by mail.
  • Strongly encouraging Marylanders to take advantage of voting by mail.
  • The state has helped drive more than 11,000 Marylanders to sign up to be election judges.

 Covid-19

  • Maryland’s positivity rate has been under 5% for 68 consecutive days, and under 4% for 24 consecutive days.
  • Fifteen of 24 jurisdictions have positivity rates below 3.5%.
  • Hospitalizations are down more than 77% from their peak.
  • The state has seen a nearly 30% decline in ICU levels since July 25.

 Theaters, Outdoor Venues, Retail & Churches

  • As of 5 p.m. Friday, indoor theaters where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium.
  • Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 250 people.
  • Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50% to 75%.

 Contact Tracing

  • In collaboration with Apple and Google, Maryland will be one of the first states to deploy a new exposure notification tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Exposure Notifications Express is designed to help public health officials more quickly and easily provide notifications for their residents about potential COVID-19 exposure and guide them on recommended actions. This new technology will be optional for users.

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