UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - On Monday, more businesses opened their doors as Prince George's County moved into stage 2 of reopening.
The second phase allows 50 percent capacity for restaurants to have indoor dining, customers to be inside stores, and private and public pools to reopen.
While Prince George's County has been a hot spot for COVID-19, the latest data shows a decline in new cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, and deaths. However, there is still an average of seven deaths per day.
“It doesn’t mean a lot,” said Donnell Long of Old Town Inn in Upper Marlboro when speaking about stage 2. “Some people are still paranoid like and even if we were to open our doors to the public, we probably would still be doing outside seating just as a precaution.”
“The rate that we are going at right now who knows you know?” said Chris Carter, a barber with Crown Royal in Lanham. “We are in limbo, I mean we may be working this week but then all of a sudden they (county health officials) are saying COVID-19 is rising but you can still bring people in, so it kind of makes no sense to me where there are few people in the beginning and they stopped us from working and now they are bringing us back to work and more people are getting sick.”
Carter said that even with the reopening the shop can allow customers by appointment only, rather than the usual walk-ins.
Carter said that when the shop reopened he texted about 170 of his clients and only 30 of them agreed that they might come in for a haircut.
Meanwhile, Long said that he applied for the business recovery initiative, a program that gives grants to businesses that have been struggled during the pandemic. He said he’s waiting to see how he will receive.
FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan also spoke with a representative of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation and was told that more that 900 applicants have completed the process and now it’s just a matter of who will qualify.
As of last week, $5 million in grant money has been distributed so far.
According to their website, the corporation is no longer accepting new applications for the COVID-19 Business Recovery Initiative.
If you have submitted an application, it is still being processed.
New features are expected to be added to the website that will allow applicants to check on the status of request.