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County News

Posted on: April 8, 2020





By Queen Anne’s County Health Officer, Joseph A. Ciotola, Jr., M.D.

April 8, 2020

While most of our retail establishments are taking measures to provide for social distancing that is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19, others are not accepting their civic responsibility to keep the public safe.

In the interest of protecting the citizens of Queen Anne’s County from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Governor has given me the authority to require modification of operations or to close retail establishments that are not complying with social distancing guidelines. Information about how to comply with these guidelines can be found at of the strategies include marking floors to ensure adequate distancing between customers, limiting the number of people at one time in the facility, establishing customer flow patterns to avoid contact between your customers, etc. It is also imperative to disinfect surfaces that customers regularly touch, including shopping carts, door handles, checkout areas, and other high-touch surfaces.

We will be encouraging Queen Anne’s County’s citizens to report issues with social distancing in retail establishments. If we find establishments NOT complying with these requirements, I will issue an Order to require the establishment to close until a social distancing plan is developed and implemented. We can provide guidance on a plan, but it is up to management of each retail establishment to determine what will work for them and ensure a safe environment for your customers. Repeated violations of social distancing requirements will result in an Order to close for the duration of the emergency.

If you have not yet implemented sufficient protocols for social distancing, you need to develop a plan and implement it immediately. If you have questions, call the Department of Health at 410-758-0720 and ask to speak with one of our nurses in infection control.

To our retail establishments that have already stepped up to meet their civic responsibility to keep Queen Anne’s County’s residents as safe as possible —I thank you.

Joseph A. Ciotola, Jr., M.D. Queen Anne’s County Health Officer

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