Phase 2 Reopening Starts Friday, June 19

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June 18, 2020 |  Bookmark and Share

A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

Marc Elrich on YouTube

Dear Friends,

Based on consultation with our public health experts and based on the data, we are entering Phase 2 of reopening at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, June 19.

But I cannot emphasize enough – Phase 2 comes with limitations and restrictions for businesses, organizations and individuals. Wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance is essential.

Retail businesses, houses of worship, swimming pools, indoor dining, nail salons, gyms and playgrounds will all reopen - with limitations. For more information about what is open and the restrictions, please see

Following the guidelines is essential to preventing a spike in cases. Even though all of us are eager to resume activities, we cannot get careless.

We will continue to watch the data and if conditions seem to get worse, we may have to re-impose some restrictions. I really don’t want to do that, so please follow the guidelines.

Also please read below about the “COVID Corps” that we have launched for this summer – to provide youth employment and meet some of the needs in this time.

Earlier this week, I announced that Police Chief Marcus Jones had worked with our police union to reach an agreement on what is known as “Duty to Intervene.” This will be an important measure for our residents and our officers.

The agreement means that if one police officer witnesses another officer using excessive force, the officer must intervene to try to stop the behavior. Over the past few years I have watched incidents with questionable behavior by one police officer while other officers have not intervened. This has been an issue across the nation, as highlighted by the death of George Floyd and others.

I asked Chief Jones to work with our police union to address this issue. I want to thank our police union for working to resolve it. This agreement is a significant step to clarify the role of any and all officers on the scene. I believe that it is an important step toward reassuring the community that all police officers understand their role and responsibility.

We will be taking other steps to improve policing in our County, to review hiring, training, promotions and evaluations – and policies. For example, we have already completed a study on the decriminalization of homelessness. This is the time for a top to bottom review of all aspects of policing in the County and to implement changes that will make it better and, most importantly, meet the expectations of our community.

And in closing I would note that tomorrow, June 19, is the 155th year of Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the official end of slavery more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is yet another reminder of the need to rededicate ourselves to dismantling institutional racism and ensuring that we create a County that values equity and inclusion for all residents.

Please continue to support your family, friends and neighbors through these difficult times.

Marc Elrich

Marc Elrich, County Executive


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Details on Phase 2 Reopening That Starts Friday, June 19

reopening phase 2 guidelines

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Health Officer Travis Gayles have  announced that the County has achieved its benchmarks and will officially enter Phase 2 of reopening at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19.

The County plans to continue with an incremental reopening, based on public health data. Phase 2 allows additional businesses and activities to start and/or increase modified operations under specified guidelines.

Among the activities addressed in the Phase 2 reopening guidelines—many with limitations—include indoor dining in restaurants, pools, gyms, nail salons, houses of worship, youth sports, child care and summer camps.


Read More

Updated Information on the Reopening of Pools

phase 2 public pools

The guidelines that announced Montgomery County would be moving to Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Friday, June 19, included provisions to reopen County pools. The County-operated pools are not yet ready to open, but when they are, they will operate under guidelines that will be based on space limitations.

The updated guidelines will have the maximum number of people permitted in the pool’s fenced enclosure (including the pool deck and grounds) determined by dividing the square footage surface area of the pool by 36. This will ensure six feet of separation between users in the pool.

All indoor and outdoor swimming pools can reopen once they inspected and approved by the County Department of Health and Human Services' Licensure & Regulatory Services program.

All hot tubs, spray or splash pads, wading pools and lazy river pools must remain closed until Phase 3 guidelines are put in effect.


Read More

‘COVID Corps’ Summer Employment Program Launched for Ages 16-23

covid corp

Montgomery County has launched “COVID Corps,” a summer employment program that creates a pathway between service and recovery for County residents ages 16-23. Members of the COVID Corps will be coached by County Recreation staff and will work throughout the County supporting its response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

COVID Corps is a key component of the County’s economic development and recovery plan for youth. Young people in the County are in critical need to find job-preparation skills and employment opportunities. Due to the high unemployment rate and program shutdowns, there likely will be few opportunities for young people this summer.

The County will provide everything that is needed for a crew’s success, including adult mentors and coaches for supervision, guidance and training.

Learn more from press release.


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New I-270 Interchange Off Watkins Mill Road Will Help as Traffic Increases Following Reopening

New I-270 Interchange Off Watkins Mill Road Will Help as Traffic Increases Following Reopening

All of Montgomery County has looked forward to the reopening of the County as the COVID-19 health crisis eases. However, the reopening of businesses, facilities and programs—even with limitations—will lead to traffic volumes gradually increasing as well.

There is some help now in place for I-270 users.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has opened a new interchange on I-270 that provides direct access from the interstate to Watkins Mill Road in Gaithersburg. The $124 million project will enhance access to Montgomery County’s technology corridor, which is home to dozens of thriving businesses and development.

The project, which includes a bridge over I-270 and ramps connecting Watkins Mill Road with I-270, will have an immediate impact. Construction began on the project in 2017.

Montgomery County contributed $4.9 million for design and engineering on the project. County Executive Marc Elrich participated in a virtual ribbon cutting hosted by MDOT SHA.


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Summer Read and Learn with the Library — Virtually

Summer Read and Learn with the Library — Virtually

The Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Summer Read and Learn Program 2020 kicked off on June 15. Library buildings are closed, but library is still providing many services virtually.

Summer Read and Learn Program will be one of those virtual programs. Kids and teens ages 17-and-uder can participate by completing fun activities or reading books. To participate, visit the Summer Read and Learn website.

The site provides an opportunity to register, download a game board, track activities, find suggested reading lists and more.

Summer Read and Learn is known for great programming, and despite being virtual this year, most of those programs are still available.

Summer Read and Learn 2020 runs through Aug. 31. Champion bags with prizes will be available at library branches Sept. 1-30, while supplies last.


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Child Care Providers Can Apply for Financial Assistance to Offset Reopening Expenses and Losses


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council are collaborating to develop a Child Care Recovery Program that will make available $10 million dollars in emergency funding to help child care providers.

Beginning later in June, child care providers who will be able to reopen by Aug. 31 can apply for financial assistance to offset reopening expenses and losses as the County begins to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 health. 

Licensed child care center programs, registered family child care homes and letter of compliance programs will be eligible for one month of expenses as programs reopen. They also will be eligible to apply for compensation for financial losses caused by the health crisis.

Funding will allocate $6.5 million to support licensed child care centers and letter of compliance programs and $3.5 million to support registered family child care homes. The maximum grant amounts are $75,000 per child care site for one site, $150,000 for two sites, $200,000 for three sites and $250,000 for four or more sites. The child care sites that are to be supported by a grant must be in Montgomery County and at least 60 percent of the children served at each site must be County residents.


Press Release

Volunteers Refurbish Used N95 Masks to Assist First Responders During COVID-19 Crisis

Volunteers Refurbish Used N95 Masks to Assist First Responders During COVID-19 Crisis

Early on in the COVID-19 health crisis, Montgomery County was among many jurisdictions to receive a large supply of unused, but “expired,” N95 masks from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). But what does it mean when valuable resources like this expire?

In this case, it meant that the elastic holding the masks securely in place was old enough to start failing. Like old rubber bands, the elastic ear bands in 46,000 masks the County received from the SNS rendered them useless if they could not hold the masks securely in place.

The N95 masks are considered the most effective barriers against the COVID-19 virus. They continue to be hard to source and are largely reserved for first responders at the highest risk of exposure through their work. During the pandemic, the masks have been selling at an average cost of $5 to $7 per unit, so Montgomery County did not want to see a large supply like this one go to waste.

Several County employees decided there had to be a way to salvage the masks. Chuck Crisostomo, operations chief with the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), and Charles Bailey, a division chief with the Fire and Rescue Service, sought to find an answer. Chuck enlisted the help of his colleague John Burke, the training and exercise coordinator for OEMHS. After some trial and error, they found a solution that involved using new elastic and glue guns.

Since early June, dozens of volunteers spend hours every weekday at the County’s Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg bringing life back to the masks. The masks will be distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, medical and dental offices and to other frontline responders at high risk of exposure.

Those volunteering to refurbish the damaged masks are from the Medical Reserve Corps, the Community Emergency Response Team, Community Organizations Active in Disaster and even local high school students, who can earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for their efforts. They have rehabilitated more than 10,000 masks so far and OEMHS staff expects them to complete repairs to all 46,000 masks by mid-July.

Volunteers interested in the mask revival effort can get more information here.

For more information on volunteer opportunities aiding with the County’s COVID-19 response, including those eligible for high school students seeking SSL hours, visit the Volunteer Center’s website.


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Boy Scouts of Troop 96 in Silver Spring Create Masks

Boy Scouts of Troop 96 in Silver Spring Create Masks
community organizations active in disaster

Cindy Douglas and Pearl Parker both wear many hats and their friendship spans a variety of organizations. They go to the same church, are involved with the Boys Scouts of America and are members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Their sorority is a partner organization with Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) and they are volunteers with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which assists the County during disasters like the COVID-19 health crisis.

When the scouts with Troop 96 at The People’s Community Baptist Church in Silver Spring needed to work on their Emergency Preparedness Merit Badges, badge counselor Douglas had a suggestion. She instructed the scouts virtually and figured out workarounds given the COVID-19 social distancing requirements. She also presented an Emergency Preparedness webinar for the scouts, and as a culminating service project, they elected to hand-make cloth personal protective equipment (PPE).

Utilizing resources on the County’s website about donating homemade masks, they used patterns provided on the CDC’s website to make the masks.

In the past 28 years, Troop 96 has produced 60 Eagle Scouts. The troop averages more than 500 hours of community service each year. After the scouts completed their mask projects, Ms. Douglas and Scoutmaster Derek Walker reached out to Ms. Parker, who arranged to have them delivered to the County’s donations tent. Ms. Parker regularly helps staff the donations tent in her capacity as a Medical Reserve Corps member and CERT volunteer leader.

The masks will be distributed by the County to frontline workers.

More information about the Troop 96 scouts is available at

Find more information on how a community organization can get involved in the County’s disaster response, visit the COAD page.


COAD Website