BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Much of Maryland moved into the third phase of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan Friday evening just in time for Labor Day Weekend. And while the holiday provides an opportunity to see friends and family and celebrate the unofficial end of summer, officials warn the threats posed by COVID-19 have not disappeared.

“We want everybody to enjoy the holiday weekend,” Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday. “We tend to feel safe around our family and friends but in fact that’s when we let our guard down.”

READ MORE: Two Days After Mandate Went Into Effect, The Vaccination Status Of Thousands Of City Employees Remains Unknown

Dr. Miriam Alexander from LifeBridge health echoed that warning.

“We must stay safe, we must keep others safe,” she said.


On Sunday, the state’s health department reported 112,119 total coronavirus cases, up just over 500 from the day prior.

Ahead of the weekend, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young laid out a number of rules officials said would keep people safe, including avoiding cookouts with those from outside their homes, wearing masks in public, practicing social distancing and proper handwashing.

READ MORE: Jonathan & Diana Toebbe Plead Not Guilty To Espionage Charges

Officials are well aware the holiday weekend is about getting together, but this year, that comes with a risk.

“There are many people who may be carrying the infection and we don’t know about it,” Alexander said.

Doctors said people who plan to have small gatherings should have them outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

That’s part of the reason the Harris family decided to spend part of their Sunday outside at Federal Hill Park.

“We’re in a park, open space, open air, fresh air, so I thought it was the best place to be,” Jessica Harris said.

“We talked about where we could go to have fun, get some good air,” Gregg Harris added.

MORE NEWS: State Agencies Say Labor Shortages Are Impacting Processing Times For Unemployment Claims

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.

Annie Rose Ramos