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Reopening Maryland: Curbside Retail Now Open In Baltimore As Mayor Lifts More Coronavirus Restrictions

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Curbside retail pickup is now available in Baltimore City, after Mayor Jack Young lifted additional coronavirus restrictions.

In addition to the opening of curbside retail, the city will create pick-up, drop-off zones to make it easier for customers and delivery drivers to pick up the food or goods. Those zones will be created in commercial districts.

Business owners who are not in commercial zones but are clustered with other businesses can also apply for a temporary pick-up zone as well.

Mayor Young also announced that outdoor exercise classes will be allowed for 10 or fewer people. Gyms must still remain closed.

At Charm City Run in Harbor East, General Manager Brian Nasuta was handling calls, online orders and curbside pick-up because customers are not allowed inside the store.

"It's been a challenge. We've tried to adapt our business from being completely closed to try to partially open some of our stores," Nasuta said.

Small retailers are now switching to online platforms, such as Instagram, to help show case their items.

Andrew Bruchey is the Owner of The Parisian Flea, an estate jewelry store in Hamden. He's adjusting to online sales and curbside pick-up. Instagram is now his showroom.

"I'm looking forward to being able to work with curbside pick-up," Bruchey said. "It's another hurdle that's being thrown at us, but it's a better hurdle than being closed."

A few miles away on Eutaw Street, at the International Fragrance store, owners of the family owned business are wondering how their customers will smell the fragrances before they buy.

"It's tough, for everybody actually it's tough, we are all in the same crisis," Rayhan Obey said. "It's confusing actually now because the way we interact with other customers it's tough, because they want to come inside and browse."

City officials announced a slight decrease in positive coronavirus cases in the city and said they are starting to see promising numbers.

"We at the Baltimore City Health Department are cautiously optimistic that some key COVID-19 data trend lines are showing signs of changing in a positive direction," Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, the city's health commissioner, said. "Over the past week, we saw a slight drop in the Baltimore City positivity rate from 21 percent to 17.5 percent. Our overall goal, based on World Health Organization guidelines, would be to reduce that positivity rate to under 10 percent, which can occur only with additional testing availability."

She continued to encourage residents to take COVID-19 seriously, to wear face coverings in public, social distance and wash their hands frequently.

Baltimore County Releases Guidelines For Restaurants, Bars When State Coronavirus Restrictions Are Lifted

"If all Baltimore City residents continue to follow these guidelines, we will continue to see improvements in the data, allowing us to consider further real things city services and businesses," Dzirasa said. 

Details of the reopening of curbside retail include:

  • Businesses or business districts can apply for a Temporary Retail Pick Up and Drop Off Zone by completing an application, which is available here.
  • Not every business can have its own zone. Businesses are encouraged to request one shared zone on a block, or over several blocks, or within a business district.
  • Current valet parking zones, passenger loading zones, or truck loading zones may be converted to Temporary Retail Pick Up and Drop Off Zones.
  • Applications for Temporary Retail Pick Up and Drop Off Zones will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and as City resources allow.
  • Temporary Retail Pick Up and Drop Off Zones may be removed at any time with little or no notice if circumstances dictate (i.e. the need for the zone is diminished; the need for more for parking outweighs the need for the curbside pickup zone; the zone is being abused; appropriate social distancing measures are not being practiced or the space is needed for multi-modal transportation purposes).
  • There will be no fees associated with the application for or installation of these Temporary Retail Pick Up and Drop Off Zones.
    Applications are available on the Parking Authority website.

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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