Howard County Following State Reopening Guidance, Rec & Parks Opening Playgrounds, RTA Operations

Howard County will continue to align with Governor Hogan’s reopening plan. Today, the Governor announced the following reopenings effective Friday, June 12th at 5:00 p.m.:

  • Indoor dining at 50% capacity, with distancing and following strict public health requirements
  • Outdoor amusements and attractions, miniature golf and go-karts
  • Outdoor pools capacity increasing to 50%

Beginning next Friday, June 19th at 5 p.m.:

  • Gyms, indoor fitness centers, dance studios, martial arts at 50% with distancing and following strict public health requirements
  • Casinos, arcades, and malls

“Howard County continues to see our key metrics trend in the right direction, we now have a positivity rate of 6.4%,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “We will keep making reopening decisions based on our data and we are hopeful that this progress will be sustained throughout the coming months so that our community can recover. Our goal has always been to open as safely and as quickly as possible.”

Howard County key metrics are flat or have decreased over the past seven days. The seven-day rolling average for ventilator utilization has decreased from 23% a week ago to 21% today, ICU utilization rate has remained flat at 64%, and acute care utilization has decreased from 92% to 90%. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate peaked on April 29th at 28.21%. Today it is 6.4%, below the state average of 7.24%. Howard County has increased the averaged tests administered per day from 116 in April to 613 in June. Overall, the County has increased contact tracers from 2 to 43.

“The Mall in Columbia is excited to welcome back our many guests and employees as we return to our ‘new normal.’ We will be implementing new measures to ensure the health and safety of all who walk through our doors,” said Barb Nicklas, Senior General Manager of the Mall in Columbia. “Now more than ever, we appreciate the tremendous partnership and support we continue to receive from the Howard County Executive’s Office.  On behalf of the mall, thank you for your patience as we get back to work.”

“Restaurants in Howard County are thrilled to offer indoor dining beginning Friday,” said Joe Barbera, owner of AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar. “This past week we have demonstrated to our guests that we are ready to open and offer great food and hospitality in safe environment.”

“We are relieved and excited to welcome people back,” said Jay Winer, owner of Savage Mill. “I appreciate the ongoing discussion with the County Executive’s office.”

Department of Recreation & Parks Updates

The Department of Recreation & Parks will begin to reopen the playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts starting tomorrow, June 11th. All locations will be open by 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15th. Pavilions and boat rentals will remain closed. 

The Worthington Dog Park will go back to its regular schedule (6:30 a.m. – dusk) on Monday, June 15. Appointments will no longer be required.

There is not a start date for indoor camps or childcare at this time. Outdoor camps will resume on June 29th.

A list of all Howard County Recreation & Parks’ closures and openings may be viewed at

RTA Operations

The RTA announced a regular bus service will be restored, with limited evening and early-morning trips effective June 14th. Routes 402B, 406, and 414 will continue to NOT operate. For specific route information, visit


Here is the press conference today from Governor Hogan:

Guidance for Restaurants and Bars:

Scott E

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