COVID-19 Updates: County Executive Elrich and County Health Officer Gayles Announce Phase I Reopening

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May 29, 2020 |  Bookmark and Share

A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends:

Yesterday, I announced, and today the County Council passed, a revised Executive Order that lifts some of the restrictions that have been in place. The revised Executive Order goes into effort at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 1.

The decision to lift some restrictions and slowly begin our reopening was made based on the science and the data. We used the data to determine what establishments and areas can open or need to remain closed. We considered the types of interactions that would take place at the various venues, the measures needed to keep people safe and the guidelines laid out in the Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order that was issued on May 27. We also considered the actions of our neighboring jurisdictions.

We cannot be less restrictive than the Governor ordered, so anything that stays closed under his Executive Order must stay closed in Montgomery County. As the Governor makes decisions to lift restrictions, our County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles, and I will review the conditions and decide if it is in the best interest of Montgomery County to lift specific restrictions in the same, or similar, manner. In the meantime, we are reviewing, considering and discussing possible future changes.

Some of you may have seen images from the press conference when I announced our reopening plans. As one TV reporter explained, it was a small but vocal group that disrupted the press conference with loud shouting, cursing and name calling. If I had been able to talk without interruption, I would have begun by acknowledging that all of us are eager to return to some sense of normalcy. I certainly am. Those of you who know me, know that I love going to concerts and I really miss the live music events. All of us could list the many activities and events that we are missing, but so many of you understand that we are proceeding cautiously to protect the health of our residents. It is my opinion that the restrictions we have lifted will allow us to keep public health in the forefront.

Success in this first phase of reopening requires all of us to do our part. If we do not follow the guidelines, we risk having to reduce or slow the reopening, and none of us want that to happen. So please continue to follow the guidelines – especially to maintain physical distancing and to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces and wherever physical distance cannot be maintained.

And don’t forget to support our local businesses whenever possible and check on friends, families and neighbors.

Marc Elrich

Modified operations WITH guidelines:

  1. Retail: Curbside only.
  2. Restaurants and bars: Outdoor seating (delivery and curbside pick-up continues).
  3. Childcare: Open for dependents of essential employees and Phase 1 reopening employees.
  4. Personal services: Hair salons and barber shops for hair only. By appointment.
  5. Houses of worship: Virtual or drive-in services or outdoor gatherings of 10 or fewer participants.
  6. Manufacturing: Fully reopen but with precautions.
  7. Car washes: Exterior service only.
  8. Outdoor produce pickings: Pick-your-own operations.
  9. Outdoor day camps: Following Maryland Department of Health guidelines.
  10. Outdoor youth sports: Following Maryland Department of Health guidelines.

Outdoor recreation continues to be allowed: Golf courses, archery, shooting ranges, marinas, campgrounds, horseback riding facilities.

County Executive Elrich and County Health Officer Gayles Announce Phase I Reopening


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles announced on May 28 critical benchmarks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have been achieved, allowing the County to begin a gradual reopening. Phase I will start at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 1. The County plans for an incremental reopening, based on public health data. 

Phase I allows additional businesses and activities to start and/or increase modified operations under specified guidelines.


Press Release

Pools in County Remain Closed; Pre-opening Inspections Permitted Now


As Montgomery County officials begin to reopen some businesses June 1, officials urge operators of public and private community pools to plan and schedule pre-opening inspections now. Although a specific date has not been set, swimming pools will reopen with limitations during Phase 2 of the County’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan. The County’s seven public outdoor pools will follow similar guidance.

Based on guidelines from the Maryland Department of Health, when outdoor pools open there will be restrictions on the maximum number of patrons allowed, which will be determined by the size of the pool. There also will be other restrictions.

Press Release

County Executive Elrich Suspends Time Requirement for the 2020 Business Personal Property Tax to Ease Hardships from Health Crisis

Montgomery county Emblem

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has issued an executive order suspending time requirements for the County’s 2020 business personal property tax. Executive Order 64-20, which went into effect on May 21, suspends the normal required date of payment. County Executive Elrich issued the order to assist businesses during the difficult economic times that have transpired from the COVID-19 health crisis.

The deadline for paying the tax will be extended until after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan lifts the state of emergency executive order he issued on March 12 and under which all of the State currently operates.


Press Release

Montgomery County Short Term COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Applications Will Be Accepted Monday, June 1, Through 2 p.m. on Friday, June 5

rental assistance

Montgomery County will launch a COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program for tenants who meet eligibility requirements. The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County will administer the program and accept applications and supporting documents from 10 a.m. on Monday, June 1, through 2 p.m. on Friday, June 5. Applications will be reviewed using a random selection method from the final pool of applications received by the deadline.

The COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program is intended to provide partial rent support to low-income County households that have experienced income loss due to the COVID-19 health crisis. An application for unemployment insurance is required, if eligible. Approved households may receive a maximum of $500 per month for three months, paid to their landlord. Households that apply must demonstrate the ability to maintain rent obligations using the rental assistance plus existing resources. 

A fact sheet and sample application form are available now in English and Spanish at


Press Release

Montgomery County Launches ‘Shared Streets’ Initiative to Support Safe Outdoor Activity and Speed Economic Recovery

shared street

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has launched its new “Shared Streets” program to support safe, physically distanced activity as the County enters Phase I of recovery from the COVID-19 health crisis. The initiative will involve looking for temporary ways to modify existing uses of County sidewalks, roads, on-street parking and parking lots to provide extra space residents and businesses could use to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spacing guidelines.

“I have directed our planners and engineers to think creatively about how we can adjust the use of our streets, sidewalks and parking facilities to best serve today’s needs,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Safe and accessible public spaces are a critical aspect of community health and vibrancy. MCDOT understands that our public rights of way are a key resource for residents and businesses and that the best use of those spaces may shift under changing circumstances. We are launching the Shared Streets initiative to aid the County’s recovery.”


Press Release

Census 2020


Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD


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