Churches, businesses and several state lawmakers are suing Maryland officials to try to overturn Gov. Larry Hogan's stay-at-home order and other restrictions put in place to try to deter the spread of the coronavirus.
A group known as ReOpen Virginia joined Del. Dan Cox, a Frederick Republican, in a lawsuit filed Saturday in federal court.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the plaintiffs allege that their right to travel, free speech and assembly have been violated, and that businesses have sustained deep losses because of what they call unlawful orders. They also say Hogan's orders violate their constitutional right to practice their religion.
Reopen Maryland protested on Saturday in a demonstration that included people caravaning across the state.
Hogan addressed the protests Sunday during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union."
"I think everybody has a right to protest and express their feelings,” Hogan said. “A couple of dozen people did so yesterday. And they have every right to do that. We — sadly, we had far more people die yesterday in Maryland than we had protesters.”
Hogan's comments came as Maryland officials on Sunday reported that the state has confirmed 989 new cases of the virus and 26 more deaths since Saturday.
In total, Maryland has confirmed 25,642 cases and a total of 1,182 deaths.
As of Sunday, 1,635 people are hospitalized with the disease, which is 22 fewer than Saturday.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak