MD Coronavirus: Governor Hogan Issues Stay-At-Home Order
Gov. Larry Hogan is ordering Maryland residents to stay at home starting at 8 p.m. Monday.
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order Monday due to what he called a "rapidly escalating emergency situation." The order takes effect at 8 p.m. Monday.
"This is a deadly public health crisis," Hogan said. "We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so."
Hogan signed the "stay-at-home directive" Monday morning and added that all prior orders he issued remain in effect. (Stay-at-home order appears below)
"No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes," Hogan said.
"Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland," Hogan said. "Those businesses must also make every effort to scale-down their operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit in-person interaction with customers as much as they are able to, and to institute telework for as much of the workforce as is practical."
People can go out for a walk. "But you shouldn't be out shopping ... buying furniture or clothing. You should be buying necessary things you need to survive," he said.
An alert will go out Monday to everyone in the state through wireless carriers about the emergency order, according to the governor.
Marylanders should not travel to other states "unless travel is absolutely necessary," Hogan said. Those who have traveled outside the region in "recent weeks" should self-quarantine for 14-days.
"This is a rapidly escalating emergency situation," Hogan said. "It is going to get considerably worse before it gets better."
Hogan announced the stay-at-home order after the number of deaths from the new coronavirus in Maryland tripled over the weekend, from five Saturday to 15 on Sunday.
"This virus is spreading rapidly and exponentially," Hogan said. In two weeks, he said, experts forecast Maryland, D.C. and Virginia could look like New York and the Tri-State area.
State health officials said 1,413 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Maryland as of Monday morning. Overall, 13,316 negative test results have been recorded; 353 people have been hospitalized; and 43 have been released from isolation due to the virus, according to the Maryland Department of Health.
The number of cases across Maryland, D.C. and Virginia more than quadrupled in the past week, Hogan said. It took three weeks for Maryland to go from zero to 1,000 cases, Hogan said.
"It took just three days for the region to more than double from 1,000 to more than 2,500 cases," he added, noting that 51 people have died in the National Capital Region from the virus.
Testing Sites Open Amid 'Greatest Public Health Challenge Of Our Lifetimes'
"We are in this for weeks, if not months," Deputy Health Secretary Fran Phillips said Monday. "This will be a sustained effort by every one of us to battle this virus. This is indeed the greatest public health challenge of our lifetimes, and we all need to face this together. We have no vaccine t0 protect us against this virus. We have no treatments to cure this disease."
This week "very limited coronavirus testing sites" will open, she said.
A screening and testing site opens Monday at FedEx Field in Prince George's County.
Three Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) centers will be opening as drive-thru testing sites this week as well — in Bel Air, Glen Burnie and Waldorf.
People must have a referral from their health care provider or an appointment to be tested there.
At-risk or vulnerable populations who should not be tested in crowded physicians' offices or hospitals will be served by the VEIP centers.
"The point of these test sites is to pull people away from those health care facilities, to spare the emergency rooms and to allow for testing in an alternative site," Phillips said. "This is not for everyone."
Those with symptoms, of certain age or in other priority groups will be allowed to be tested there, according to Phillips.
There are "clusters of concern around the state," Phillips said, noting that while most people may be able to recover at home with rest and fluids, some may require additional medical attention.
Phillips called the virus "sneaky" because it does not always result in symptoms until days after someone has become infected.
"Don't go out," she said. "Only take a walk by yourself or with the people that you live with, and for a very short period of time. Don't do unnecessary things. You need to stay home. Do everything that you can online or by phone. If you must get out, particularly if you are vulnerable, you must stay 6 feet away from other people. Wash your hands frequently, and don't touch your face."
Read the governor's stay-at-home order.