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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Statement on the reopening of Howard County from County Executive

This statement was issued to media outlets this evening
May 13, 2020
Media Contact:
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
County Executive Calvin Ball Statement on Governor’s Stage One Reopening
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement addressing the Governor’s announcement this evening:
“Governor Hogan has given individual counties and regions the discretion to review our own data and make decisions about when it is appropriate for us to relax certain restrictions. Howard County does not meet many of the criteria that the Governor outlined in his four building blocks to reopen.”
Ball continued, “Our testing capacity has increased; however, we have only tested about 2% of our Howard County population or nearly 6,000 individuals to date. Based on modeling to understand full exposure, we need to test up to 6,500 individuals a week. The Governor has demonstrated a commitment to acquire more testing, however, these tests will likely go to larger jurisdictions first. Additionally, we do not yet have a robust contact tracing operation, we have 11 out of 45 positions currently filled, and need more time to achieve 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents. Howard County has also not seen a decrease in cases or hospitalizations over the last 14 days, and borders six jurisdictions, a majority of which have significant case rates.”
“Lastly, while we have ramped up our supply of PPE, it is still scarce and reopening sectors of our economy will increase demand making it more difficult to secure a safe stockpile.
We do not have the building blocks in place that the Governor has outlined necessary for Stage One of reopening.
“We will continue to make decisions based on these data, and on the safety and welfare of our residents.

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