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Gov. Hogan issues stay-at-home order for Marylanders to stop spread of coronavirus

MD Gov. Larry Hogan at his first bill signing. (Rebecca Lessner/MarylandReporter.com/Flickr)
March 30, 2020

Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday issued a stay-at-home order for Marylanders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

That means no one should leave their home for any reason other than essential work, to get food or other fundamental reason. He said no one should travel outside of the state or ride public transportation unless it is “absolutely necessary.” The order takes effect at 8 p.m.

“We are no longer asking,” Hogan said.

Hogan said the state will enforce the directive. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the order is guilty of a misdemeanor.

“Marylanders need to know that, unfortunately, we are only at the beginning of this crisis and it is going to get considerably worse before it gets better,” Hogan said. “I realize this is incredibly difficult on everyone in our state, but I want people to know that we have been through difficult challenges before and that we are going to get through this together.”

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The state will be sending a public safety announcement to cell phones today to spread the word about the stay-at-home directive.

“This is a rapidly escalating emergency situation,” the governor said.

Hogan said he is especially concerned about an outbreak in the region because it is home to federal workers leading the emergency response. He said more than 404,000 federal workers live in Maryland, Washington and Virginia. Among the federal agencies based in Maryland are the National Institutes of Health and Federal Drug Administration. He said, currently there are 2,709 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area.

Hogan said he is grateful to the president and the Congress for coming together in a bipartisan way to deliver the stimulus package, including money for unemployment benefits, food stamps and child care.

Three drive-thru testing sites have opened at Motor Vehicle Administration emissions stations in Glen Burnie, Waldorf and Belair, Hogan said.

Additionally, a testing site has opened at FedEx Field in Lanover. Testing at the sites is “strictly limited” to those with orders and an appointment, Hogan said.

The state has ordered 500 new beds for on-site surge expansion at Maryland hospitals with an option for another 500 to be deployed based on any virus hotspots. Hogan said the state has also ordered more tests for hospitals to expand on site.

The state has ordered 500 new beds for on-site surge expansion at Maryland hospitals with an option for another 500 to be deployed based on any virus hotspots. Hogan said the state has also ordered more tests for hospitals to expand on site.

Hogan called doctors and nurses “true heroes” and said school systems have been donating needed medical supplies to help hospital workers be protected during their work

“We are all going to need to depend on each other, to look out for each and to take care of each other. We are all in this together,” Hogan said.

A week ago, thousands of applications have been received for resources in the state’s $175 million relief package with businesses and unemployed workers. Nearly $9 million has been provided to more than 400 small business, helping more than 8,000 Marylanders keep their job.

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© 2020 The Baltimore Sun