Maryland Legislature Last Day

Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at a recent news conference in Annapolis. Behind him is Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced another sweeping round of new measures to combat the new coronavirus Thursday morning. His edict came just moments after disclosing the first death in the state due to the illness and first child diagnosed with the virus.

Hogan said the child is a 5-year-old girl in Howard County who tested positive, and the man who died was in his 60s, from Prince George’s County and had underlying medical conditions. He acquired the COVID-19 through community transmission.

Hogan then announced the following measures, along with other actions:

  • At 5 p.m. Thursday, all enclosed shopping malls and entertainment venues will close indefinitely.
  • Following updated CDC guidelines, gatherings of more than 10 people in public spaces are prohibited statewide.
  • BWI Airport is restricting access to the public, unless you are a ticketed passenger, badged employee or helping flyers with disabilities.
  • Travel on MARC, Metro, Amtrak or state buses is restricted to “emergency personnel” or people critical to the supply chain of getting medical supplies and other needs to hospitals and similar facilities.
  • Increasing the weight limits on trucks by up to 15 percent to ensure they can deliver medical supplies due to the surge in demand in the medical field.
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries can offer carryout and delivery of alcohol, subject to local liquor laws.

Hogan also signed emergency legislation Wednesday requiring health care providers and Medicaid to provide monetary assistance for coronavirus testing and a vaccine if one is developed. The legislation also gives the state Department of Health “more flexibility” with staffing regarding the emergency and prohibits retailers from price gouging for essential goods, among other actions.

Hogan emphasized that people should stay home if they can to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

“Some people are treating this like a vacation. ... Let me be very clear, if you are engaged in this type of activity, you are in violation of state law and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Marylanders,” Hogan said of the more than 10-person order.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner (D) seconded that statement in an interview Thursday.

“I really think one of the most important roles that we have as county leaders is to ask people to follow the rules,” Gardner said. “As the governor said today, this is not a snow day, this is not vacation time. We need people to stay home, and staying home is a civic duty.”

Hogan also said as of Thursday, more than 900 additional beds are available in hospitals and other medical care centers statewide, and by early April officials expect that number to grow to 1,400.

He also issued an executive order that allows emergency medical service personnel to more easily work with health care providers.

Fielding questions from reporters, Hogan said he doesn’t want to impose a statewide lockdown yet.

“We’re trying to avoid locking down society, and we’re trying to keep things as normal as possible,” Hogan said.

He praised people across the state for helping others in need during the pandemic.

“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges that our state has ever faced, but sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in people, and Marylanders are the best example,” he said.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(16) comments

Russian

It’s telling to see all the locals at local car wash socializing

sofanna

ADULTS! Please police your neighborhoods for young adults and teenagers who are not paying attention to how they could be responsible for spreading this C-virus. Some of them are rude and just don't want to hear it. If our State and County does not follow the safety measures in place, our Governor and County Executive WILL require a "shelter in place" or lock down situation. This will not be comfortable for anyone. However, it will be done for the protection of lives when others just don't care who they might be infecting. As soon as our Country is able to slow this infection down or stop it altogether (if possible) everyone can go back to their lives. This is for a short period of time. AGAIN, ADULTS please monitor your neighborhoods!!!

Jazztoon

Please everyone remember that adolescent brains are not fully developed, so yes if you have a friendly relationship with young people in your neighborhood and can communicate kindly, go ahead and have a conversation. However, please do NOT harass young people on the streets. Too many adults can get nasty and violent with kids and see them as older and more mentally capable than they are. Instead of policing the youth in your neighborhood, speak with the ADULTS and PARENTS and emphasize the need for THEM to engage with their teens about what is needed and expected right now. This will avoid potentially harmful clashes. You are NOT the police. Don't take that on. If that doesn't motivate you remember, adults are more in danger from the virus than kids, so they have less to lose if there's a physical exchange. Stay home and leave the chastising and monitoring to parents and public authorities.

joltinjoe

Increased testing is showing COVID-19 is an incredibly contagious but comparatively weak pathogen. Testing has resulted in the US COVID-19 mortality rate plummeting to less than 1.5% already. So much for the 4% the media has been hyping. This percentage declines every day and will be found to truly be much less than 1% as testing continues. We are wrecking millions of lives for something testing is proving to not be more dangerous (though I grant more contagious) than common illnesses.

LoneGoose

Totally agree!

CheetoBenito

Care to list credible sources for these assertations???

joltinjoe

The Hopkins GIS map... the one everyone is using. I don't think the comments section will let me paste a URL. But, go to the map and click US (we don't care about the cruddy universal Healthcare in other countries). Get a calculator and do the math. As of this writing, we have 19285 cases and 249 deaths. That is 1.29% mortality rate. This is lower than this morning and yesterday.

Tauraso'sDead

Totally agree with CitX- I cannot understand why the yoga and other studios are still open. I also know some hair salons and barbershops are open. Unreal behavior! Unbelievable that the owners of salons are this focused on money and not health and life

CItX

Why are places like Barre East and Sol Yoga still open?!? They are have classes as of Friday for members but not accepting new members. Totally irresponsible

Obadiah Plainsmen

Stay home voluntarily or by force the choice is yours.

Lev928

Exactly. The problem is the drones (higher-then-thou) and dregs (criminals) of society running amuck and not keeping themselves in check.

joltinjoe

So said the Nazis in Germany about the Jews.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup]

Obadiah Plainsmen

Thank you joltinjoe and Gabe at least the 3 of us know what’s going on.

lewisantq

Pay attention! Ignoring the Governor may cost your loved ones their lives. Bob Lewis

Lev928

Correct, Bob ... those that knowingly violate the restrictions can or will be arrested and prosecuted. Fair enough. Thus far.

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