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Several Maryland jurisdictions have seen increasing Covid-19 cases, with 925 new cases statewide on July 19 (the highest number in a single day since May 30). Local orders are now going into effect that are more prohibitive than existing state orders and local executives are asking Governor Hogan to reconsider re-closing or limiting business activity.

Earlier this week, health officers from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties asked the state to enact multiple Covid-19 restrictions, citing concerns regarding the recent increase in daily cases across the states. The requested restrictions include re-closing indoor bars and restaurants and requiring face covering mandates for indoor and outdoor activities.

Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch issued a new public health order yesterday (in effect from 9:00 a.m. on July 23) requiring all individuals ages 2+ to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces, and strongly encouraged residents to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces wherever six-foot social distancing is not possible. The new county advisory supplements existing state orders, which currently require residents to wear masks in some indoor locations including public transportation, retail and food service establishments. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said the county mandate differs from Maryland’s as it requires face masks in indoor recreational spaces and places of worship.

Today (July 24 at 5:00 p.m.) Baltimore City is suspending operation of indoor dining at bars and restaurants and will require masks in outdoor public spaces, through Mayor Jack Young’s Executive Order.

MSBA will continue to advocate on your behalf  with local leaders to obtain information and clarification regarding implementation of these orders and their impact on legal professionals, law offices, and required safety protocols. Please reach out to us at feedback@msba.org or directly to our Legislative Director, Richard Montgomery, at richard@msba.org with any questions or concerns. We’ll communication any interpretive guidance and clarifications to you directly as we learn more.