Citing a leveling-off of hospitalizations due to coronavirus in Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan announced in a press conference today, May 6, that the state would begin to roll out parts of Phase One of its reopening effective tomorrow, Thursday, May 7. Updates to the stay-at-home order announced today include lifting the ban on such recreational outdoor activities as boating, fishing, tennis, golf, and camping; opening state parks and beaches; and resuming some elective procedures. “Twelve days ago, I said that if the numbers continued to have these kinds of trends, we’d be ready to move into Phase One, and we’ve had a good trend for the last seven or eight days,” he said in the press conference. Hogan did not initiate the opening of any additional businesses—a major component of his outline of what Phase One could look like—but said that those steps, as well as a full implementation of Phase One, could begin as early as next week if coronavirus trends continued. It was also announced that Maryland schools would remain closed through the end of the academic year.
Hogan emphasized that social distancing was still in place and gatherings still limited to no more than ten people—guidelines he warned that Marylanders should continue to follow to avoid a spike in numbers. He also said the state would continue to review the numbers to determine an appropriate time to begin Phase Two.