State Clarifies Questions Surrounding Child Custody, Emergency Responders
The Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel offered interpretive guidance Monday designed to clarify part of the stay at home order Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) issued late last month to address the public health crisis.
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hogan issued a stay at home directive late last month, prohibiting Marylanders from leaving their homes unless for essential reasons, like seeking medical treatment, reporting to work or purchasing food.
Official interpretive guidance released Monday states that Hogan’s order does not apply to mission-critical training and education exercises for volunteer firefighters, EMS and search and rescue emergency responders.
The office clarified that these emergency workers should keep to social distancing guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health, including gathering for training in groups of 10 or less.
Hogan’s legal counsel also laid out directives surrounding dual-child custody, stating that the governor’s order still allows parents to leave the house to transport children for visitation or custody exchange.
This clarification applies both to visitation and custody agreements arranged by parents and mandated via court order.