A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich
Based on consultation with our public health experts and based on the data, we are entering Phase 2 of reopening at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, June 19.
But I cannot emphasize enough – Phase 2 comes with limitations and restrictions for businesses, organizations and individuals. Wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance is essential.
Retail businesses, houses of worship, swimming pools, indoor dining, nail salons, gyms and playgrounds will all reopen - with limitations. For more information about what is open and the restrictions, please see montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19-reopening.
Following the guidelines is essential to preventing a spike in cases. Even though all of us are eager to resume activities, we cannot get careless.
We will continue to watch the data and if conditions seem to get worse, we may have to re-impose some restrictions. I really don’t want to do that, so please follow the guidelines.
Also please read below about the “COVID Corps” that we have launched for this summer – to provide youth employment and meet some of the needs in this time.
Earlier this week, I announced that Police Chief Marcus Jones had worked with our police union to reach an agreement on what is known as “Duty to Intervene.” This will be an important measure for our residents and our officers.
The agreement means that if one police officer witnesses another officer using excessive force, the officer must intervene to try to stop the behavior. Over the past few years I have watched incidents with questionable behavior by one police officer while other officers have not intervened. This has been an issue across the nation, as highlighted by the death of George Floyd and others.
I asked Chief Jones to work with our police union to address this issue. I want to thank our police union for working to resolve it. This agreement is a significant step to clarify the role of any and all officers on the scene. I believe that it is an important step toward reassuring the community that all police officers understand their role and responsibility.
We will be taking other steps to improve policing in our County, to review hiring, training, promotions and evaluations – and policies. For example, we have already completed a study on the decriminalization of homelessness. This is the time for a top to bottom review of all aspects of policing in the County and to implement changes that will make it better and, most importantly, meet the expectations of our community.
And in closing I would note that tomorrow, June 19, is the 155th year of Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the official end of slavery more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is yet another reminder of the need to rededicate ourselves to dismantling institutional racism and ensuring that we create a County that values equity and inclusion for all residents.
Please continue to support your family, friends and neighbors through these difficult times.
Marc Elrich, County Executive