The novel coronavirus has caused a major disruption of daily life in the last three months. As COVID-19 cases now peak at 2 million across the U.S, many local governments continue to slowly reopen businesses, restaurants, and recreational facilities.
In Maryland, the government is now allowing businesses to operate at limited customer capacity with coronavirus infections starting to slow down. Even though the state is re-opening, it is important for patients to remain vigilant and cautious about COVID-19 risks.
The coronavirus spread rapidly from March to May 2020 because the nation had limited resources, awareness, and education about infection control for this specific virus. A gradual return to normalcy is welcomed by many but a lapse in infection prevention and awareness could spark another outbreak.
Below, AFC Urgent Care Edgewater recaps the recent announcements from Governor Hogan’s office about state re-openings and provides examples of how patients can stay safe. Additionally, patients that are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19 can visit book a screening with our providers to see if COVID-19 testing is appropriate for you.
What types of businesses are now re-opening in Maryland
Governor Larry Hogan allowed the re-opening of outdoor seating for restaurants, indoor gyms, outdoor recreational programs, and casinos, according to the Baltimore Sun and local news outlets.
Currently, restaurants and outdoor amusement facilities are allowed to operate at 50% capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines and infection control procedures. By June 19th, casinos and indoor gyms may reopen at 50% capacity with their own infection control protocols. The state government stressed the importance of routine disinfection, sanitation, and adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, such as keeping customers six feet apart from one another.
In addition, schools may reopen for limited summer sessions and high schools can gradually roll out summer sports programs. CBS Baltimore reported that State Superintendent of Maryland Schools Karen Salmon that schools may bring in 10-15 individuals at a time for limited summer sessions. She also explained that schools may prioritize hosting students with more educational needs to return for summer sessions.
COVID-19 Infection Control as Maryland Re-Opens
Patients that are eager to have a meal outdoors, go to the gym, or participate in other recreational activities still need to be careful about current COVID-19 risks.
The virus initially spread due to a lack of a vaccine, international travel, and mainly the spread of the virus within large crowds and communities. COVID-19 can linger in the respiratory droplets of infected patients and rapidly spread to multiple hosts within a few minutes. Even though businesses are re-opening, it doesn’t mean that the virus is any less infectious or dangerous than before.
When slowly returning to work, or participating in recreational events, make sure you still maintain the same infection control guidelines as issued by the CDC:
- Clean your hands often by washing them with hot water and soap and hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean & disinfect every day
- If you are sick, separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. Practice social distancing – minimum 6 ft.
- Stay home if you are sick except to get medical care
- Wear a facemask, particularly if you are sick