Young says ‘Big Eight’ executives may wait to reopen after state starts recovery

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Although Gov. Larry Hogan has said that Maryland might be able to begin the first phase of the state’s recovery plan as early as this week, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said today  he and other county executives do not yet feel ready to start easing restrictions.

“We don’t feel comfortable right now to really open right now,” he said. “We’re going to continue follow the advice of our health professionals and decide. When they say it’s time to relax some things, we’ll do it.”

Young said that when Hogan announces the state will begin the first phase of recovery, Baltimore City and the seven other largest jurisdictions in Maryland will decide jointly whether to reopen their respective jurisdictions.

The “Big Eight” jurisdictions include Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has already said his county will not lift some of the restrictions that are part of the first phase of the state’s recovery plan until the county’s health officer says it is safe.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, there have been 9,892 confirmed coronavirus cases in Prince George’s County; 7,130 in Montgomery County; 4,051 in Baltimore County; 3,404 in Baltimore City; 2,520 in Anne Arundel County; 1,282 in Frederick County; 1,234 in Howard County; and 614 in Harford County.

There have been 373 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 in Montgomery County; 355 in Prince George’s County; 188 in Baltimore County; 169 in Baltimore City; 117 in Anne Arundel County; 71 in Frederick County; 34 in Howard County; and 23 in Harford County.

The “Big Eight” jurisdictions account for nearly 81 percent of Maryland’s confirmed deaths due to coronavirus and 88 percent of Maryland’s confirmed cases.

Young said that he asked Hogan to give city officials a “heads up” when he plans to announce the state’s reopening, and Hogan agreed.

“A lot of times he’s had his press conference and we got it when you got it,” Young said. “We didn’t think that was fair to us, so we got all that squared away and we’re looking forward to our continued work with the governor.”

Hogan has a press conference scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. to discuss his administration’s plan, “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”

Marcus Dieterle

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