ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Montgomery County officials announced they would move into the phase 1 reopening of the county on Monday, June 1 at 6 a.m.

County Executive Marc Elrich made the announced during a press conference Thursday afternoon that was interrupted by a large group of protesters who booed and yelled “fascist” and “Nazi” at him and the county health officer as they were speaking.

Protesters Boo, Yell ‘Fascist’ And ‘Nazi’ At Montgomery County Executive Marc Erlich During Coronavirus Press Conference

Curbside retail will be allowed and barbershop, hair salons will open with some limitations. Retail curbside pickup can begin.

Outdoor seating at restaurants will be allowed as well.

Elrich said the Department of Transportation is working to identify streets in the downtown areas that could be closed.

In order to provide more room for outdoor seating for restaurants, there’s obviously not enough outdoor seating for a lot of the restaurants to simply front on sidewalks,” Erlich said. 

Child care opens for dependents of essential employees and phase one reopening employees and there are limits on the number of people who can be in the child care facilities, per Gov. Hogan’s recommendations.

Houses of worship can do outdoor gatherings and do outdoor services. Manufacturing is fully open but with precautionary measures.

Car washes can do external washes, but nothing internal and they can’t have any contact with customers.

Outdoor produce picking is allowed, and for outdoor camps they will be following the governor’s guidance- no more than 10 people in a group- nine children and one adult.

Here’s a breakdown laying out what is allowed:

  • Retail; curbside only
  • Restaurants and bars; outdoor seating (curbside pick-up still allowed)
  • Childcare; State-approved emergency programs open for dependents of essential employees and Phase 1 reopening employees
  • Personal Services; hair salons and barber shops for hair only appointments
  • Car washes; exterior cleaning only
  • Manufacturing; fully reopen with precautions and guidance
  • Outdoor Day Camps: following Maryland Department of Health guidelines
  • Outdoor Youth Sports; following Maryland Department of Health guidelines

He said they are incorporating much of what came out of the governor’s press conference Wednesday night and are moving into phase one of recovery.

“We need to remember that the only reason this county did not have the steep curve that other jurisdictions had is that the steps taken by the governor and by the counties bent the curve,” the county executive said.

Prince George’s County’s health officer said they are closely monitoring metrics where they have seen improvements in hospital capacity to provide different levels of care and services as well as their testing capacity.

After being questioned by the audience why the sudden shift in his position, the county executive said they were waiting to hear about the governor’s plans before announcing any changes in their position on reopening in phase one and hadn’t known what the governor was going to say Wednesday.

“All the change was the governor told us what he was gonna do. The governor never, and you can ask every single county executive, we’re in the same boat, he never shared anything with us, ever. Never talked to us about what he was going to do. So if he talked to us, no county, no county, Republican or Democrat, is part of his team that’s working on a recovering opening strategy,” Elrich said.

He said if he had been told on Monday what they were going to do, then he said they would have been able to incorporate it and properly plan differently.

“We’re not the ones that didn’t provide information,” he said, met with jeers and yells from protestors.

The county health officer said they’re going to continue to look at the same metrics they’re looking at now to determine what activities are safe to move forward with.

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.

 

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