ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Dozens rallied in downtown Annapolis Saturday, calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to remove some restrictions the state has put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Protesters drove through the city’s downtown with signs and flags calling for Maryland to be “re-opened” and for restrictions on everything from boating to attending church services to be lifted or modified.

Those at the rally said they’re frustrated with the mass shutdowns of major aspects of everyday life.

“It’s time to get out and breathe fresh air and to start building up our immune system,” protester Ruth Brown said.

She added the restrictions have hit her family hard.

“My son-in-law may lose his business,” she said. “It’s closed and I’m very concerned about all that.”


The event was organized by a group called Reopen Maryland. According to its petition, the group wants Hogan to, “hear his constituents and immediately begin the responsible reopening of our state.”

PHOTOS: “Re-Open Maryland” Rally

The petition reads in part:

“We acknowledge the tragedy caused by COVID-19 and appreciate that it is a significant public health concern. However, the economic, social and educational disruption caused by shutdowns is guaranteed to cause significant, even greater, harm, leading to increased deaths, economic disruption, loss of livelihood, and educational challenges for Marylanders and their families, and far less disruptive means of managing the disease can be employed.”

“The businesses, the businesses they just got to open, and if they only let five (people) in at a time or whatever, they want people to stay safe and they want their employees to stay safe,” protester Katrina Venuto, a nurse, said.

Restrictions like those should be made at a smaller scale and not by the state government, she said.

“It’s so sad to see all these small businesses being shuttered and I think it’s a decision for a personal business if they can open safely or not,” she said.

The governor has said the number of cases in the state is still rising and the state is not quite ready to reopen just yet.

A spokesperson for Hogan said the event was peaceful and no arrests were made despite the governor’s order prohibiting large gatherings.

As of Saturday morning, state health officials reported at least 12,300 cases of COVID-19 in Maryland and 463 deaths from the virus.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

Comments (5)
  1. King Julian says:

    the state must meet the federal guidelines before they can open first, maybe they were protesting to the wrong government. go to DC and do it.

  2. Goth says:

    Hogan is right we need to keep Maryland shut down. The numbers are still rising. All schools need to remain closed! Sorry but no child should be used as a guinea pig! Online education needs to continue to keep the children safe!

    1. King Julian says:

      even if he opened schools no one will send their kids except for the non- vaxers

  3. Bill says:

    I say let these idiots congregate all they want. As long as they stay the %$#@ away from me and the rest of normal society. Let them bask in their ignorance, QAnon crazy and COVID particles. Maybe give them a big enclosed space to do it in. They can wave confederate flags, and rail against the tyranny of science and smallpox vaccinations. Every once in a while nature has a way of culling the herd.

  4. Lucille says:

    Hogan is right. If the numbers do not go down, then it is dangerous for the state to reopen. Protesters, go home!

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