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Coronavirus Latest: Maryland Can Enter Stage 3 Of Reopening, Gov. Hogan Says

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland can officially enter Stage 3 of its Roadmap to Recovery Plan starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday afternoon.

Movie theaters and live entertainment venues will be able to open at 50 percent capacity, or up to 100 people at indoor venues, or 250 people at outdoor venues.

All retail stores, as well as churches and houses of worship, will be able to increase capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent.

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Gov. Hogan said the law still empowers individual counties to make decisions that are more restricted regarding the timing of Stage 3 reopenings in individual jurisdictions.

"I want to remind the people of Maryland that moving into stage three does not mean that this crisis is behind us and remind them that we must remain vigilant so that we can keep Maryland open for business, as we head into the holiday weekend," Gov. Hogan said.

Harford and Howard counties said shortly after Gov. Hogan's announcement they will move into Stage 3, citing their low metrics.

It's been 169 days since anyone's stepped foot into Horizon Cinemas in Fallston.

"We're extremely excited," Thomas Wienholt, Vice President of Horizon Cinemas, said.

With plastic shields in place and social distancing protocols, Wineholt said Horizon Cinemas, which has locations in Anne Arundel Baltimore and Harford counties, is ready to put the blockbuster hits back on the big screen.

"We're ready, and so at this point it's getting our employees rehired and everything in place so we can reopen," he said.

Baltimore City said it will continue to exercise its autonomy and that Mayor Jack Young is focused on harm reduction before moving ahead with reopening.

Press Conference - September 1, 2020 by Governor Larry Hogan on YouTube

The governor urged Marylanders to remain vigilant over Labor Day Weekend.

"The number one activity of those who have tested positive, since mid-July, reported by 41 percent of all those who were interviewed by contract tracers was attending family gatherings," Gov. Hogan said. "You hear about things and you think it's maybe dangerous to go to a restaurant or a bar or some business, but in fact, the number one thing reported is family gatherings."


The state positivity rate has been under five percent for 68 consecutive days, and under four percent for 24 consecutive days, officials said Tuesday. Fifteen of 24 jurisdictions have positivity rates below 3.5 percent.

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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