Governor Larry Hogan announced updates to his Recovery Plan Wednesday evening. Again, these measures were implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that authorized individual jurisdictions, like Frederick County and The City of Frederick, to make decisions regarding the timing of re-openings. As I shared early this afternoon and based on the local healthcare data, The City of Frederick will be adopting the Governor’s Stage One parameters in full, beginning at 5 PM tomorrow, May 29, 2020. The additional requirements for houses of worship and personal services per the City’s Executive Order (20-3) dated May 15, 2020, remain in place.
Despite the new Governor’s orders, the following City service operational adjustments, as previously announced, will remain in effect:
- The Edward P. Thomas, Jr. pool and the William R. Diggs pool will be closed through July 12, 2020. A re-evaluation will occur, and additional information will be provided as conditions warrant.
- While our spring recreation programs and camps have been canceled, Parks and Recreation is working to offer summer programs following the State’s guidelines. More information will be announced in the coming weeks on those opportunities.
- Pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed until the State increases the mass gathering size allowance (which currently stands at ten).
Regarding outdoor dining, I know the allowance of outdoor dining is a highly anticipated offering for both patrons and owners. As shared on Wednesday morning, The City has evaluated several options for safely increasing outdoor dining and pedestrian accessibility, especially in the space-limited downtown area. These options consider a reconfiguration of public spaces along sidewalks and parking areas to increase safe physically-distant pedestrian movement and table spacing as well as the repurposing of parking areas and parks to accommodate al fresco dining. The overview and survey remain available at bit.ly/frederickreopens. Please submit your feedback on these options by this Saturday at noon. We will be working quickly and strategically with our restaurant owners to implement a phased approached:
- Our first phase will begin Friday at 5 PM. Restaurants with current sidewalk cafes and outdoor dining areas may start to offer outdoor dining with the necessary measures in place per the Governor’s orders. The outdoor dining spaces must comply with the Sidewalk Café Ordinance (G-16-09) and must be within the footprint that has previously been inspected and approved.
- The City is committed to the timely development of the next phase of outdoor dining opportunities for our local restaurants and will share those details in the coming week. Due to these efforts, the City is not currently accepting new sidewalk café applications nor amendments to existing café approvals.
- The outdoor dining options being considered will require approvals from certain entities, such as the Frederick County Health Department and the Frederick County Liquor Board. Future communications with outline these requirements.
As we continue to move through the stages of recovery, I am committed to supporting our residents, our business and restaurant owners, our patrons, and workers in the City with a safe plan to enjoy The City of Frederick. Our continued reopening abilities rely on the willingness of residents and the community to continue to wear masks when in public places, continue to practice physical distancing, and practicing hygiene efforts. Our goal, together as a community, is to transition safely to ensure we can continue the course through reopening without having to retract into restrictive measures again. We must continue to keep the demand on our hospital low and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. Thank you for continuing these recommendations. As always, stay informed and up-to-date by visiting cityoffrederickmd.gov/covid19. Please continue to be safe and be well.