Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Effective immediately, any gatherings or events with more than 250 people are prohibited in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced at a press conference Thursday.

Hogan also announced that the Maryland Emergency Management Agency would move to its highest level to be able to use all state resources to respond to COVID-19. Hogan also activated the National Guard and has them ready to respond to whatever the need is, he said.

“We cannot stop the spread of this virus without each and every one of you doing your part,” Hogan said. “But also I want all of you to know we’ll get through this together and our state has already faced and overcome daunting challenges before, and we will do so again.”

The announcement comes after Hogan issued a news release Thursday morning stating that Maryland had its first case of community spread, where a Prince George’s County man in his 60s contracted COVID-19 without a history or travel or exposure to someone with the disease. The governor did not announce new cases, keeping Maryland at 12.

There are no confirmed cases in Frederick County, the Frederick County Health Department announced Thursday evening via Facebook.

“We do expect that to change in the future, so we encourage all our residents to follow personal precautions like hand-washing and social distancing,” according to the department’s post.

All nonessential state employees authorized for telework are to do so, Hogan said. All state buildings, including the statehouse, are limited to the public.

Hogan also signed an executive order closing the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Baltimore, preventing any passengers or crew to disembark from a ship that made a call from a port outside of the United States. Two ships, which are due back in a couple of days, are exempt from the closure.

Among the efforts is also the extension of licenses, including driver’s licenses, permits and certification authorized by state agencies set to expire, until after the state of emergency ends.

All hospitals are to adopt new visitor guidelines, which include screening visitors and limiting them. Frederick Health Hospital already updated its guidelines, The News-Post previously reported. State prisons and county jails will likewise prohibit visitors, but state prisons will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates.

“For Marylanders, the actions that I have announced here today will be disruptive to your everyday lives,” Hogan said. “And they may sound extreme. And they may sound frightening, but they could be the difference in saving lives and helping keep people safe.”

Although he announced multiple changes, Hogan said that daily life should not come to a halt. People can still go to the grocery store, he said.

Starting Monday, Maryland will, however, close public schools for two weeks, said State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon.

This means the state is now moving to a mitigation phase, where the state works to slow the spread of the disease, as opposed to containment, where the state attempts to prevent the spread.

Three of the 12 Maryland residents who have tested positive for the new coronavirus disease have fully recovered and are out of quarantine, Fran Phillips, deputy secretary for public health services, said at the press conference.

Two of the people remain hospitalized, Phillips said.

More cases are expected in the state, Hogan said. Information is changing rapidly, and it is unclear how long COVID-19 will last.

Measures such as closing schools are part of an effort to “flatten the curve,” an expression used to describe bringing the curve that an outbreak takes down below what hospitals and the health care system can handle, Frederick County health officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer said Thursday night.

It is about preventing the health care system from being overwhelmed and instead making it more of a trickle, she said. It will also make it easier for families who might fall ill so that not all members are sick at once.

The state is under a state of emergency.

“This is a public health emergency. ... These are extraordinary measures that you have heard here today and this is an extraordinary time,” Phillips said.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

(112) comments

Lev928

The fools blasting the President or the governor about this virus need to focus on where it came from ... and the people that travel to and from there knowing it will risk not only their lives, but the lives of American citizens. Ceasing travel to and from these countries is common sense. TEMPORARILY closing public venues is also common sense. However, quarantine is only effective if mandated, not voluntary. This isn't the plague ... it's a flu-type virus and it can be contained to an extent. Those calling it a hoax should talk to a family member of someone that has died from COVID-19. Now, don't get me wrong ... there's plenty of hype, overkill and misunderstanding going around much faster than the virus. Look at Wall Street. Look at extensive statewide school closures. It's getting ridiculous. Take simple precautions and avoid risks. I will that say that some preppers are having a field day while the uneducated, ill-prepared public is screaming in fear.

enufalready

The president called it a hoax

gabrielshorn2013

Ummm...no he didn't.

awteam2000

To be more precise he called it ‘their’, ‘their hoax’, the Coronavirus (their) hoax is theirs.

Alice Jones

You’re gonna send mr horn into a tizzy, aw.

awteam2000

We’re penpals 🤗

gabrielshorn2013

aw, do you refute what snopes.com concluded? I wrote this below.

"don't know how many times I have to keep correcting you on this issue aw. Trump never called the coronavirus outbreak a hoax, although it seems to be a talking point among Dems. It was a misquote from Dana Milbank of the Washington Post that started this whole thing. Here is the snopes.com finding:

What's True

During a Feb. 28, 2020, campaign rally in South Carolina, President Donald Trump likened the Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the new coronavirus outbreak to their efforts to impeach him, saying "this is their new hoax." During the speech he also seemed to downplay the severity of the outbreak, comparing it to the common flu.

What's False

Despite creating some confusion with his remarks, Trump did not call the coronavirus itself a hoax.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-coronavirus-rally-remark/

No tizzy sam. Do you have trouble accepting the documented truth? The source of the misstatement is Dana Milbank of the WaPo. Where's your evidence that says otherwise? Or are you comfortable with lying? Everyone knows that DJT is a jackass, and I do not dispute that. So do you need to lie to further that cause? Not much of a cause then, huh?

awteam2000

You know you screwed up when others have to explain what you’re saying. “he meant”, “He was sayin’ “ ,”what he really meant”, Trump seems to have classic disposition of “foot in mouth”. “I meant he didn’t mean what he meant.””He meant what you think he meant not what he says.” “ you said what he meant he didn’t mean.” Is that clear? 😳

phydeaux994

What the heck difference does it make gab? Yes you did. No I didn’t. Yes I did. No you didn’t. Talk about stuff that matters. Like why is DJ Trump still trying to minimalize this disaster with his lies. “It’s all Obama’s Fault” “I will not admit that I ignored the problem for a month” “I accept no responsibility for this train wreck” “ I didn’t defund the Pandemic Study Committee, somebody else did” “Governor Inslee Is a SNAKE”. I’ll say it again, you’ve become jsk JR.

gabrielshorn2013

Ok, and you have become Putin's marionette. He is pulling the strings, and you dance to his tune without realizing it. Do you hear The Hut of Baba Yaga in your head when you type? Dr. Phiona Hill stated that in her CBS 20/20 interview last Sunday:

" Fiona Hill: Putin, sadly, has got all of our political class, every single one of us, including the media, exactly where he wants us. He's got us feeling vulnerable, he's got us feeling on edge, and he's got us questioning the legitimacy of our own systems.

Lesley Stahl: What about the Democrats? Have they also propagated any Russian disinformation?

Fiona Hill: Yes they have. In the sense of talking about the President being illegitimate.

So phy, when are you finally going to realize that the gadfly persona you adopted here is exactly how Putin planned it? I defend medical science, no matter who the President is/was, based on my education, training, and experience. And you....exactly what is it again that you do/did? Stay well phy.

gabrielshorn2013

Aw, that may be your internal thought process, but not mine. I provided you with the documented evidence from snopes.com, and you spin BS. Grow up.

Moon otter

Dear sir you are rambling. Things should have been implemented at least two weeks ago. Viruses are not like bacteria. Viruses will go dormant and they can mutate. I put the blame on your wonderful orange idiot for being the ostrich head in the sand. Now it is like state by state and it will get worse instead if being the US as a whole. No it isn't getting ridiculous. The saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth the cure

DickD

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-defends-cuts-cdc-budget-federal-government-hire-doctors-coronavirus-2020-2-1028946602

Trump defends huge cuts to the CDC's budget by saying the government can hire more doctors 'when we need them' during crises

Joseph Zeballos-Roig Feb. 27, 2020, 10:45 AM 

DickD

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/02/11/trump-proposes-16-cut-to-cdc-as-global-number-of-coronavirus-infections-and-deaths-rise/#1a31edc818da

DickD

Costco is wiping handles off all carts as customers come in. That is true for a day care center - wiping hands, etc. and meetings of caretakers is canceled. One church supper is canceled, one is going to be the last this lent.

bosco

I wonder how many of the people here, the media, the politicians, and the people hoarding toilet paper even bother to get the seasonal flu shot every year? Fifty percent of the US population.

bosco

Fifty percent of the US population don't bother to get the annual flu shot, and I'd be willing to bet a large portion of those are the ones in a panic now.

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.

jagman

Exactly. Some common sense cleanliness will go a long way here for most of us.

gabrielshorn2013

Yep, and avoid crowds whenever possible. Keep a personal small bottle of Purel with you to sanitize your hands after touching surfaces. I have no idea what all those hoarders age going to do with all that bleach or toilet paper. One gallon will make 100 gallons of effective sanitizer for the home, and a quart of that sanitizer, when applied properly, should last a week in the home for surface sanitization. A friend in Germany said folks are hoarding TP there too.

Moon otter

No sir. The flu shot doesn't prevent getting the flu. Viruses mutate jerk.

threecents

Moon, I think flu vaccines are about 60% effective at preventing flu, and they tend to reduce symptoms in those that get it. They make new flu vaccines every year in attempt to account for the mutations that occurred during the previous year.

Alice Jones

Moon - forgive them, their espousals are mostly the result of google searches and boredom.

gabrielshorn2013

Moon, smh, you do realize that there is an ANNUAL vaccination to account for the antigenic shift/drift, right? Last year's vaccine may not protect against this year's circulating strains, but three is absolutely correct that the vaccine is 60% effective in any given year. There are public meetings held by FDA to decide on which three strains of the circulating viruses to choose. Do you attend? I do every year. So why the name calling? Didn't you have a Microbiology class or two in your environmental science curriculum?

Comment deleted.
threecents

Pency's got this.

awteam2000

Potentially state governments, local communities, institutions, organizations and businesses taking the lead in social distancing as a remedy since the governments failure and inability to test, may save us from a catastrophe. Let’s hope.

Obadiah Plainsmen

That’s the way the Constitution is structured only ho to the Federal government as a last resort. I believe communism is a form of govt that you would enjoy. If martial law is declared then you will be told when and where you can go and for how long. No thinking necessary, right down you alley.

awteam2000

Even over national interest?🤦‍♂️ My bad! I always thought according to the Constitution the security of the nation to be the foremost responsibility of the federal government.

awteam2000

OP, again my bad 🤗. I guess Gov. Hogan shouldn’t have just close schools but cut off interstate commerce and travel, had John Hopkins come up with a testing kit for the coronavirus specifically for residence in Maryland and started testing a month ago without federal FDA and CDC approval. It’s Hogan’s fault.

phydeaux994

OP, DJ Trump’s two favorite people, one he’s scared of and the other writes him LOVE letters, are both vicious, murdering COMMUNISTS!! Don’t you know that?? DJ Trump loves the POWER of Communist Tyrants who can KILL their critics. DJ Trump has to KILL his critics by just ruining their lives.

bosco

And amongst all of the panic, the death toll in the US attributable to the coronavirus has skyrocketed to 41 as of this morning

Better buy some more toilet paper!

awteam2000

The United States as of Friday had surpassed 1,700 confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll climbed to 41 in three weeks. Kansas reported its first death on Thursday.

West Virginia has now closed schools. The president will declare a national emergency at 3 pm today. All because of a “hoax”. Could that turnout to be “ A day late and a dollar short”?

Obadiah Plainsmen

I think he is 959 lives ahead of Obama in declaring an emergency. He is learning from the mistakes of others.

awteam2000

OP, it won’t make any difference but you’re wrong. If I where you, I would stop comparing Trump to Obama.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/04/facebook-posts/president-obama-declared-h1n1-public-health-emerge/

Obadiah Plainsmen

Thanks for proving my comment and the link hope you read it in its entirety before posting. Obama and Trump are the same except Trump is acting a lot quicker.

“In other words, the Obama administration’s public health emergency declaration came more than six weeks before the pandemic designation.

Now to Obama’s second action.

On Oct. 24, 2009, six months after his administration declared H1N1 a public health emergency, Obama declared it a national emergency.

At that point, H1N1 had claimed more than 1,000 American lives, according to the CDC”.

threecents

OP, Flu kills about 35,000 Americans a year. The world - not just the US - decided not to take avian flu as seriously as we are taking Covid-19. I think that was a good decision. However, we did make a successful vaccine very quickly. While several vaccines against Covid-19 will be tested soon, it is not at all clear yet whether any of them will be successful.

gabrielshorn2013

don't know how many times I have to keep correcting you on this issue aw. Trump never called the coronavirus outbreak a hoax, although it seems to be a talking point among Dems. It was a misquote from Dana Milbank of the Washington Post that started this whole thing. Here is the snopes.com finding:

What's True

During a Feb. 28, 2020, campaign rally in South Carolina, President Donald Trump likened the Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the new coronavirus outbreak to their efforts to impeach him, saying "this is their new hoax." During the speech he also seemed to downplay the severity of the outbreak, comparing it to the common flu.

What's False

Despite creating some confusion with his remarks, Trump did not call the coronavirus itself a hoax.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-coronavirus-rally-remark/

awteam2000

Thanks for your patience with me but in the English language “ their” is a ‘possessive pronoun’ , there for, the ‘their’ being the (Coronavirus) as the noun. What other ’their’ was he referring to? Does he now know the virus isn’t party affiliated?

mrnatural1

I'm about as far from a Trump fanboy/cult member as you can get, but it is true that he did not call the coronavirus *itself* a "hoax".

Trump was referring to the 'Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the new coronavirus outbreak' as a hoax.

While we're on the subject, Trump never said, "All Mexicans are rapists and murderers...". He said, "They're sending us their rapists...and I assume some are good people..."

I'm the last person to defend Donnie, that is not my intent, but accuracy in reporting matters. Trump has told literally thousands of lies, and made so many idiotic statements it would be hard to know where to begin. In that particular case though, he was widely misquoted. What he actually said ("They're sending us their rapists...and I assume some are good people...") was bad enough. He implied that most people crossing into America illegally were 'rapists, murderers' etc, and that's clearly not true. There was no need for the media to embellish.