Wicomico Eyes First Reopen Phase

SALISBURY – Wicomico County announced its plans for reopening government facilities next week.

Last Friday, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver announced the county’s phase-one reopening.

“Wicomico’s reopening will strictly adhere to the guidance provided by the Governor’s Office, especially regarding social distancing and protective masks,” a statement reads.

Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the beginning of the first stage of the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,” which includes moving from a stay-at-home order to a safer-at-home public health advisory and the gradual reopening of retail, manufacturing, places of worship and some personal services such as barber shops and hair salons.

The first stage was also implemented with a community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopening.

In Wicomico County, government facilities will reopen to the public on Wednesday, May 27.

“Further information will be provided to the public regarding hours of operation, occupancy restrictions and social distancing guidelines,” the statement reads.

In response to Hogan’s decision to broaden the list of permitted outdoor activities, the county earlier this month also began easing restrictions on public use of park facilities.

One May 7, the Wicomico County Department of Recreation and Parks open park trails and day use areas, tennis and pickleball courts, disc golf courses, marinas and boat ramps effective immediately. Permitted outdoor activities included hiking, walking, running, biking, individual or small-group sports (10 people or less), outdoor fitness, horseback riding, recreational boating, and recreational fishing, hunting, shooting and archery.

Visitors must continue to limit gatherings to 10 people or less and practice social distancing using guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Maryland Department of Health.

“We encourage people to get outside and exercise, but in a safe and responsible manner,” said Steve Miller, director of Wicomico Recreation, Parks & Tourism. “Public cooperation with social distancing guidelines at county parks remains critical.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.