ROCKVILLE, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Just a couple of weeks after joining the rest of the state in entering phase one of Maryland’s reopening process, Montgomery County is on the verge of advancing on to phase two.
County Executive Marc Elrich announced on Wednesday that the suburban D.C. county could move onto the new phase next week.
Several suburban D.C. counties stayed behind Maryland’s reopening process, which Governor Larry Hogan announced on May 15.
While most counties in the state saw significant decreases in their COVID-19 case counts when they moved into phase one, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties still had unfavorable numbers.
The region’s first case was recorded in Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County surpassed it in having the highest number of cases in the state.
Together, the counties accounted for approximately half of Maryland’s cases.
Phase two of the reopening process will mean more relaxed restrictions for county residents and businesses.
For the rest of the state, the second phase’s features have been outlined by the governor.
Businesses that will be able to reopen include manufacturing, construction, large and small retail shops, specialty vendors, wholesalers and warehouses.
Offices including information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking and financial institutions, and insurance agencies also can open.
Real estate offices, travel agencies, auto dealer showrooms and bank branches also can reopen with public health and safety guidance recommendations in place, the governor’s office said.
That includes wearing face coverings during face-to-face interactions, taking workers’ temperatures and limiting the proximity of employees by rotating work hours.
Employees who can are being urged to continue working from home when possible.
Personal services such as nail and tanning salons, message therapy and tattoo parlors can reopen with 50% capacity and by appointment only.
A ban on indoor restaurant dining will remain in place. Fitness centers, senior centers, theaters, malls and amusement parks also will remain closed.