Shana R. Ginsburg, Esq.
Maryland fitness centers are closing. But childcare is open. Here’s why:
On March 30, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order imposing a statewide stay-at-home restriction which prohibits residents from leaving their home for non-essential travel or work.
You can’t work out at the gym. That’s non-essential.
But you can drop your baby off there for daycare.
Maryland – Order of the Governor No. 20-03-30-01, which became effective on March 30, 2020 closes, to the general public, any non-essential businesses that are not part of the critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Department of Homeland Security.
Critical Infrastructure Sectors:
(3) Critical Manufacturing;
(4) Commercial Facilities;
(6) Defense Industrial Base;
(7) Emergency Services;
(10) Food & Agriculture;
(11) Government Facilities;
(12) Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste;
(13) Information Technology;
(15) Healthcare & Public Health; and (16) Transportations Systems.
Gyms? Not listed.
Non-profits, media outlets, senior centers and daycare centers also stay open under the Order. Specifically, the Order does not require the closure of, or prohibit the movement of any staff or volunteer traveling to, or in connection with their duties at any:
• Federal, state, or local government unit, building, or facility;
• Newspaper, television, radio, or other media service; or
• Non-profit organization or facility providing essential services to low income persons, including, without limitation, homeless shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens.
While the order specifically non-essential businesses, the Order makes a careful exception in the “fitness center” example:
• Closes senior centers, theaters, recreational establishments (e.g., golf courses), establishments that provide esthetic services (e.g., hair salons), and fitness centers (except for purposes of providing child care services).
Mind the restrictions of the Order carefully— any person who violates the Maryland order, knowingly and willfully, will be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subject to imprisonment (not exceeding one year) or a fine not exceeding $5000, or both.
It’s a good idea for you and your family to have a clear understanding of this law, especially if your employment has or could be affected, or if you are facing a possible fine as a result of violating any of the Order’s restrictions.
If you have questions about the impact of the Order on your employment, contact an employment attorney and be sure your health - and job - are being protected.