Governor Hogan Takes “Unprecedented Steps” to Slow Spread of Coronavirus

Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of  “unprecedented” actions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, including the shutdown of all bars, restaurants, gyms, and theaters in Maryland, effective at 5 p.m. today. In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hogan’s Executive Order also bans social, community, religious, and recreational or sports activities with 50 or more people.

“We should continue to expect the number of cases to dramatically and rapidly rise, Governor Hogan said. “This is going to be much harder, take much longer and be much worse than almost anyone is currently understanding.”

According to The Baltimore Sun:

Other steps taken by Hogan included ordering state health officials to assess whether closed hospital facilities could be open across the state and take other steps to increase capacity by 6,000 beds.

He also activated 250 Maryland State Police troopers of the mobile field force to prepare for deployment.

Hogan said utilities – including electric, gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and Internet companies – are prohibited from shutting off residential customers or charging late fees. And he said his order barred the eviction “of any tenant” during the state of emergency. Hogan said the state has also activated the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps – 5,000 medical volunteers – to assist if necessary.

 

On Sunday, Governor Hogan ordered Maryland’s casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities to close until further notice.

“This situation continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically,” Governor Hogan said. “These are unprecedented actions in an extraordinary situation, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe.”

Hogan’s Executive Order allows restaurants to maintain drive-thru, carryout, and food delivery services. Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential services will remain open to the public.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, General Assembly leaders announced their plans to abridge the legislative session on Wednesday, March 18.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

For up-to-date information and resources regarding coronavirus, including confirmed case counts and clinician guidance, visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

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