Additional Maryland state troopers will soon be placed in every county statewide to educate the public and enforce restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.
Hogan (R) said Maryland state police will implement “high visibility compliance units” beginning Wednesday evening. Those units will work with county health departments and local liquor boards to ensure capacity limits, mask wearing and other restrictions are being met at businesses.
The governor said the Maryland Emergency Management Agency will also send an emergency alert to cell phones statewide at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a similar update and to remind Marylanders how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus: wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.
Maryland State Police is also operating a 24/7 hotline at 833-979-2266 or by email at email@example.com for Marylanders to report violations of public health orders or unsafe activities.
Hogan specifically noted the Frederick Police Department’s work with the Frederick County Liquor Board and Office of the State Fire Marshal, among other partners, in enforcing public health orders. The governor, as in previous news conferences, again called on Marylanders to take the simple but necessary steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus while the state and world awaits a vaccine.
Hogan specifically addressed some who felt the mask orders were unconstitutional.
“It’s sort of like saying, I have a constitutional right to drive drunk,” Hogan said. “[Or] I have a constitutional right to not wear a seat belt or to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater or to not follow the speed limit ... There’s no constitutional right to walk around without a mask. We did it in 1918. I don’t know why we can’t do it now.”
Hogan was joined by multiple county and state leaders on Monday, including Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. Olszewski (D) seconded Hogan’s stance on mask wearing.
He described the life accomplishments and impact of Lisa Alvey, a 49-year-old Baltimore County resident who recently died from pneumonia and the coronavirus. The county executive called on people to do their part to prevent deaths like hers.
“Skip the hugs and large family gatherings now so you can have them both for years to come,” Olszewski said. “Don’t gather in large groups. Visit with friends and family virtually instead of in person. And please, for the love of God, please wear your mask.”