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Howard County eases additional restrictions

Most retailers can open at half capacity
Posted at 3:47 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:12:34-04

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Her ‘Make It Go Away’ sidewalk sale is recapturing a bit of her business lost to the COVID-19 shut down, but Kelli Myers says her store ‘A Journey From Junk’ still has a long way to go.

“I’ve gotten nothing,” said Myers. “I’ve gotten no unemployment yet. I couldn’t even sign up for the PPP loan. I got blocked out by my bank, and I built up my credit cards and they’re getting worse.”

With coronavirus numbers flattening out and progress made in the building blocks for reopening, such as hospitalizations, intensive care stays, contact tracers and PPEs, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced plans, which could shorten the retailers’ roads to recovery.

RELATED: Howard County stores, hair salons, religious services to partially reopen Friday

“Effective Friday, May 29 at 7 a.m., all retail, barbers and hair salons may open at 50-percent capacity and religious institutions and gatherings may resume outdoors for up to 250 people,” Ball announced early Tuesday.

That’s good news for the Ellicott City Seventh-day Adventist Church, which had been planning for lawn services behind the church, although with 250 members, its plan is to split congregants into a pair of smaller services in early June.

“The idea was to come up with some kind of… dividing the group in two groups and maybe having something outside and reducing the number as much as we can, but at the same time---having something,” said Pastor Paulo Macena, “You know, we kind of need the fellowship right now.”

Back on Main Street in historic Ellicott City, Kelli Myers is celebrating a chance to reopen her store, albeit at a much lower level than the county will soon allow.

“I’m still leery a little bit, but I think if we just keep a smaller group, you know it it’s family that’s coming in, we’ll let them in, but most likely we’ll probably let about three people in at a time,” said Myers.

Per the governor’s executive order, tattoo shops, nail salons and tanning salons will all remain closed for now.