Gov. Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan (R)

With key COVID-19 metrics spiking across the state, including Frederick County, Gov. Larry Hogan declared Maryland to be in a pivotal moment in its fight against the novel coronavirus.

But Hogan was not yet ready to impose further restrictions on businesses and gatherings to stem the spread of the disease, even though "the warning lights are starting to flash on the dashboard."

"I cannot stress this strongly enough. We cannot let our guard down," Hogan declared during a Thursday evening press conference from the Governor's Reception Room at the State House in Annapolis.

Hogan's remarks were delivered after 1,198 new COVID-19 infections were reported Thursday by the Maryland Health Department. That's the highest single-day increase since July 25.

In Frederick County, there were 43 new cases reported. That follows Sunday's spike of 52 new cases, which was the most since June 3.

The positivity rate in the county has been greater than the positivity rate in the state for most of the last week. On Thursday, it stood at 4.29 percent in Frederick County, compared to 4.21 for the state.

At her press conference Thursday, County Executive Jan Gardner said a decision could be coming soon about more restrictions. She pledged to provide an update next week.

"We are having conversations with our health officers, and I am having conversations with the county executives [statewide] ... Some counties are doing better than us. Howard County is doing significantly better than us. But we've had times where we're actually doing worse than Montgomery County."

Hospitals are once again filling up across the state. The Maryland Department of Health reported Thursday that 588 state residents were hospitalized by COVID-19. That's the highest number since August 1 (592) and includes 157 patients in intensive care.

At Frederick Health Hospital, there were 11 coronavirus patients on Wednesday, including one in intensive care.

At his press conference Thursday, Hogan declared, "We are in a much better place than we were at the beginning of the pandemic."

Despite the rise in cases and hospitalizations, the number of deaths has remained relatively low. There were 10 across the state and none in the county on Thursday.ย 

Hogan said that restrictive measures already in place have prevented hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and that hospital stays have become shorter and less severe on average.

But he warned "the weeks and months ahead will be difficult" and that staying on the current road to recovery with no further restrictions will depend on Maryland residents acting responsibly.

"I understand that there is very real COVID fatigue, and it's extremely frustrating to all of us that things are still not back to normal," Hogan said. "We had all hoped that this crisis would be behind us by now. But the simple fact is it is not.ย 

"The straight truth is this virus will be with us well into next year, and in fact our worst time may be over the next couple of months ... But I want the people of Maryland to know that we will get through this together, and we will come out of this stronger and better than ever before. I remain committed to telling it to you straight and to keeping the people of Maryland informed with the facts."

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek

(14) comments

bosco

We know how the virus spreads. We know how to keep the virus from spreading.

If someone who does still not believe that wearing a mask protects others and themselves were to get sick now, I have little sympathy for them.

Wear your mask.

[ninja]

olefool

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] bosco! Too many believe that they can break the rules "just this once", and it won't be a big deal. It is a big deal when you win the MAGIC lottery (my @$$ got infected coach) and come down with CoViD. Avoid crowds, keep distance, wash hands, wear a mask. Want to see your friends? Here's your free lottery ticket. Good luck, and play on America!

vodalone

If small family gatherings are said to be the main reason for this surge, then not much can be done. As the governor you can close down restaurants, stores, etc. but you won't be able to stop people seeing their family members, just no way to enforce that.

bosco

Such as Sue Johnson visiting her elderly neighbor - neither wearing a mask - as featured on the front page of the FNP a couple of days ago. Some idiot sees that and thinks it must be OK if she's doing it.

Geeze.

[ninja]

Greg F

It is painfully obvious something has to change. Both here and across the US. Trump officially gave up per his chief of staff. Gross negligence on Donnie Damage. It seems obvious the cold weather has played a part in driving people inside, though it also is no coincidence that we've seen rallies w/o masks, people now attending major sporting events, a vast increase in people who just don't care any longer about doing the right thing by wearing a mask properly, if at all, and no regard for distance in stores any longer, no sanitizing of carts any longer or reduction in numbers inside stores. In some places I have seen groups of 20+ people all gathered together, many without masks, including what appeared to be a scout group at Roy Rogers in Thurmont...many not wearing masks at all...and just socializing around after they ate. I sat outside watching it all eating there though it was kinda cold. I went into a doctor office yesterday....people sitting in waiting room chairs with no regard to distance, receptionist behind the desk mask down off her nose. I walked back out. We have a "leader" that cares nothing of others in Trump...who has mocked as recently as this week, people wearing masks...and we have all seen him flip flop halfheartedly for PR shots to say he was for them to change later that day. Hogan needs to take the lead here and put some further restrictions down before we end up like a lot of the dozen states that have record cases higher now than at any time since this started. Screw trump....it is time to realize his is not for the people.

NewMarketParent

@Greg F

We have to force our politicians to do the right thing and follow the science. We have let our institutions be attacked for far too long. These institutions are made up of our fellow citizens are doing our absolute best. The attacks have got to stop if we want to have a country worth living in. We the people need to commit to listening to people who understand this virus and have given us the tools to fight it (social distancing and mask usage).

Ann M Bullock

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

Dwasserba

I read yesterday that the problem with indoor air into winter isn't just inadequate filtration but inadequate humidity. Not only can infected droplets remain around, in dry air they remain suspended.

ma23464

Lockdown Larry

Greg F

Dumbazz.

ma23464

Nah. I just like to eat and have a roof to sleep under.

vjhughes

Wonโ€™t do you much good if youโ€™re on a ventilator in a hospital. Or dead.

NewMarketParent

@vlhughes

I thought dying to own the libs was a thing. Is it not a thing? I was told it was a thing. Oh Darwin, if it wasn't for the crabs in a barrel aspect of this virus, you would have this all sorted out.

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