MARYLAND: Executive Order No. 20-03-30-01

March 31, 2020

Effective:  March 30, 2020

Expires:  After the termination of the state of emergency

On March 30, 2020, Governor Lawrence Hogan issued an Executive Order (“Order”) amending and restating the Executive Order of March 23, 2020.  This new Order requires all persons to stay at home, subject to the conditions and requirements set forth below.

The Order is accessible here.  This Order is in addition to the restrictions already placed in the State, which was summarized here.

DURATION

The Order went into effect at 8:00 PM on March 30, 2020.  The Order will remain in effect until after the termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the health emergency has been rescinded, or until the Order is rescinded, superseded, amended, or revised by additional orders.

STAY-AT-HOME GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

All persons living in Maryland must stay in their place of residency (effective 8:00 PM on March 30, 2020) unless:

  • To obtain necessary supplies or services for one’s self, family, household members (including pets/livestock) such as:
    • Groceries
    • Supplies for household consumption or use
    • Supplies needed to work from home
    • Laundry products
    • Products for essential maintenance of the home
  • Engaging in activities essential to the health and safety of one’s self, family, household members (including pets/livestock) such as:
    • Seeking medical/behavior health
    • Seeking emergency services
    • Obtaining medication/medical supplies
  • Caring for a family member, friend, pet, or livestock in another household, including transportation and obtaining necessary supplies.
  • Traveling to/from an educational institution to receive meals or instructional materials for distance learning;
  • Traveling as required by a law enforcement office or court order;
  • Traveling to/from a federal, state, or local government building for a necessary purpose.

Residents may still engage in outdoor exercise activities, but only if they are in compliance with CDC social distancing guidelines and are in a group no larger than ten persons.  This specifically does not include recreational boating.

In connection with the announcement of the Order, persons traveling into Maryland from anywhere outside Maryland are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

  • This does not include persons who regularly commute into or from Maryland from an adjacent state or D.C. (unless such persons must otherwise self-quarantine under CDC or MDH guidance)
    • For example, because of recent travel to New York
  • Self-quarantine also does not apply to persons who are passing through Maryland just to pick up fuel, food, or other necessary supplies and not making contact with anyone for more than three minutes at a distance of less than six feet. 

GENERAL APPLICATION OF ORDER TO BUSINESSES

While all non-essential business must remain closed to the general public, staff and owners of non-essential businesses may continue to travel to their business for “Minimal Operations” purposes.  Minimal Operations is defined as:

  1. Facilitating remote working by other staff;
  2. Maintaining essential property;
  3. Preventing loss/damage to property (including preventing spoilage of perishable inventory);
  4. Performing essential administrative functions, including picking up mail and processing payroll;
  5. Caring for live animals; and
  6. Continuing to sell retail products on a delivery basis.

All on-site work must be consistent with all applicable guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the Maryland Department of Health (“MDH”), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) regarding social distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfection.

Curbside pickup at non-essential businesses are now not permitted.  Businesses may continue to sell products on a delivery basis. Restaurants and bars are not classified as non-essential business, so they may continue to offer curbside pickup.

Additional businesses not required to close include auto dealerships, bicycle shops, private security firms, printer and sign shops, architectural and interior design firms, title companies, companies providing portable equipment like tents, lighting, toilets, and handwashing stations, greenhouses and nurseries, waste management services, residential cleaning services.

For a complete list from the Office of Legal Counsel, see here and here.

EMPLOYER DOCUMENTATION FOR COMMUTERS

To assist employees who must commute to and from work during the pendency of this Order, employers may provide a letter should the employee’s travel be challenged.  The Office of Legal Counsel suggests that the letter contain the following:

  1. Name and address of the employee;
  2. Name and address of the employer;
  3. Nature of the employee’s work;
  4. A brief statement of why the employer remains open for business; and
  5. A signature and contract information for the employer.

ENFORCEMENT

Penalties for breaking the Order include up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.  

PROCESS FOR REQUESTING A WAIVER

The Order does not specifically address waivers.  According to the Office of Legal Counsel, if a business is unsure about whether it is considered non-essential, it should:

  1. Carefully review the Order, guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (see https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructureduring-covid-19), and all Interpretive Guidance issued by OLC to confirm that the business is not addressed in some way.
  1. If status is still not clear, make a good faith determination about whether it is “non-essential” based on:
    1. The Order’s purpose – to “reduce the threat to human health caused by the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Maryland, and to protect and save lives;” and
    2. How similar businesses are treated under the Order.

If the business decides to remain open pending more detailed legal advice, it must strictly adhere to all applicable guidance from the CDC, MDH, and OSHA regarding social-distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfection.

REMOTE NOTARIZATION

In a separate order, Executive Order 20-03-30-04, Maryland has authorized remote notarization so long as the individual and the notary public are communicating and viewing each other in real time through  a communication technology like video conferencing. 

The notary must be able to verify the identity of the individual (through personal knowledge or government ID), confirm execution of the individual’s signature, note on the certificate that the act was via remote notarization, and retain the audio-visual recording of the notarial act.

 MARYLAND BUSINESS/NONPROFIT COVID-19 ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS – UPDATED FOR MARCH 30TH

Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund: Grants of up to $100,000 are available to manufacturers to (1) increase existing capacity to produce these critical need items or (2) quickly pivot operations to produce these critical need items.

  • Terms:
    • Applicants must be an established Maryland business and demonstrate experience, technical expertise and financial stability to implement the proposed project.
    • Additionally, they must be:
      • Be in good standing with the state and with OSHA/MOSH regulations;
      • Demonstrate an ability to quickly implement the proposed project in order to meet the urgent needs resulting from the COVID-19 response;
      • Manufacture the products in Maryland.
    • Eligible costs include but are not limited to capital expenses such as machinery and equipment, raw materials needed for production, and operating expenses associated with increased production.

Funds will be disbursed 50% at notice of award and 50% paid upon completion with proof of expenses.

Businesses can apply here.

Click here to view a downloadable PDF of the legal update.

This COVID-19 Legal Update is intended to keep readers current on developments in the law. It is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions, please contact authors Edward J. Longosz, II at 202.659.6619 or elongosz@eckertseamans.com, Mark A. Johnston at 202.659.6624 or mjohnston@eckertseamans.com, Jessica Arena at 202.659.6670 or jarena@eckertseamans.com, or any other attorney at Eckert Seamans with whom you have been working.

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Authors

Edward J. Longosz, II Photo Washington, D.C.

Edward J. Longosz, II

Member-in-Charge - Washington, D.C.

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Mark A. Johnston Photo Washington, D.C.

Mark A. Johnston

Member - Washington, D.C.

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Jessica Arena Photo Washington, D.C.

Jessica Arena

Associate - Washington, D.C.

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