More than 100 people are now diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in Maryland, including a 5-year-old girl in Howard County, Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday.
A total of 107 people have been diagnosed across the state, an 88% increase from two days ago, the governor said.
She is the first child to contract the virus in Maryland, Hogan said. He didn't detail the condition of the girl or her family. Health officials are legally bound to protect patient privacy.
The state will close all enclosed shopping malls and entertainment venues across the state at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Hogan said.
Gatherings or events with more than 10 people in close proximity will be banned by an updated executive order from the governor. That includes all establishments and venues, the governor said.
Restaurants, wineries and distilleries will be allowed to offer carry-out sales and delivery of alcohol, subject to local laws and regulations, Hogan said. He urged people to be responsible.
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Some people have been ignoring health officials warnings and gathering in large groups despite health officials pleas to social distance, Hogan said.
"Let me be very clear. If you are engaged in this type of activity, you are in violation of state law and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Marylanders."
The BWI Terminal will be restricted to anyone besides employees and ticketed passengers. No one else will be granted access unless they are helping a disabled passenger, Hogan said. Officers will enforce this directive, Hogan said.
No one should take public transit, including MARC, Metro, Amtrak and buses, unless they need it to go to an essential job, including in health care, supply chain maintenance and law enforcement. "Essential travel only," Hogan said.
The National Guard is helping the state's effort against coronavirus by transporting goods across the state, officials said.
Hogan said escalating measures are necessary as diagnoses continue to grow and some people ignore the advice to socially distance themselves, but said that the state is not yet at the point where strict quarantines or shelter-in-place orders are necessary.
He also called on the federal government to funnel money to the states, saying that they have the best methods to support small businesses that need support.
More than 900 more hospital beds have already been opened and the state is trying to open 1,400 more in April in an effort to step up the state's capacity to treat more patients.
Hogan highlighted some rays of light from the community, such as distilleries making hand sanitizer, a business donating safety masks and a group in Baltimore that's helping the elderly.
"This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced. But sometimes, the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in people," Hogan said.
The state will launch a website to highlight ways and opportunities that Marylanders can volunteer and help their neighbors and communities, Hogan said. One pressing need is for blood donations.
The state announced its first coronavirus-related death on Wednesday, a man from Prince George's County. He was infected through community transmission.
"And while this is the first death here in Maryland, unfortunately, it will not be the last," Hogan said.
As the number of coronavirus diagnoses in the D.C. area surpassed 200, businesses, schools, governments and individuals are trying to help those suffering health or economic hardship.
Government officials at all levels are working to provide some relief to businesses, families and individuals who have taken a hit either because of social distancing orders or due to the illness itself.
The number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in D.C., Maryland and Virginia has surpassed 200. Maryland announced its first virus-related death on Wednesday, a man in his 60s from Prince George's County.
Even for those with mild symptoms, the federal government has directed patients and their families to stay home in self-quarantine for two weeks -- meaning many could lose out on work.
Thousands of workers are worried about making ends meet as industries scale back operations. Restaurants are mandated in D.C. and Maryland to only serve take-out or delivery options and in Virginia to serve no more than 10 patrons at once. Many large chains closed stores outright.
Compass Coffee, with locations in D.C. and Virginia, said it would lay off "the vast majority" of baristas and similar staff so they could file for unemployment benefits. Marriot hotels, headquartered in Bethesda, plans to furlough employees around the globe, paying health care benefits but cutting salaries.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a $100 billion-plus package of sick pay, emergency food aid, free testing and Medicaid money. Trump also said in a press conference Wednesday that the government would suspend foreclosures and evictions nationally.
Washington, D.C., on Tuesday passed a coronavirus response bill that expanded unemployment benefits, prohibited utilities from cutting off service and created a small-business grant program among other measures.
The Maryland General Assembly adjourned early for the first time since the Civil War on Wednesday after passing an emergency measure in response to the coronavirus and making of millions of dollars available to the governor to respond. The coronavirus measures aim to prevent price-gouging for critical items like food, water, medical supplies and cleaning products. The bill extends unemployment benefits to people who exhaust their sick leave and people who are caring for a family member.
Virginia has waived a one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits, made more people eligible for unemployment benefits and decreased eligibility requirements including the mandate to search for work. Here's more information.
Fairfax County announced it will begin delivering grab and go meals along five school bus routes serving the areas of Virginia Run and Bull Run; Lorton Station and Laurel Hill; Island Creek; Fairfax Pyramid and Fairfax City and Bonnie Brae. Here's detailed information.
That's in addition to pop-up grab and go nutrition sites and meals available at school locations.
You can find more information on how to get school meals for kids here.