Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has put the state under a stay-at-home directive as coronavirus cases surpass 1,400.
The stay-at-home order went into effect at 8 p.m. Monday and is set to remain in effect until the state of emergency is over. Violations can be punished with a misdemeanor charge.
"We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so," Hogan said.
What to Know
- Maryland will enact a stay-at-home order 8 p.m. Monday to slow the spread of coronavirus
- Residents should not leave unless for necesary reasons including buying food or seeking medical care
- More than 1,400 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Maryland, ranging from a 1-month-old infant to dozens of nursing home residents
People should only leave their homes for absolutely essential reasons like buying food or seeking medical care.
People are allowed to leave their homes to exercise in accordance with social distancing guidelines; go grocery shopping; go to an educational institution to pick up food; work an essential job; care for a relative or friend; care for livestock or pets; visit their own businesses for minimal operations and go to government buildings for necessary purposes, according to the order.
People are not allowed to go to social gatherings that violate distancing rules; go shopping for unnecessary items such as home decor or run a nonessential business beyond minimal operations such as securing the property.
Essential businesses can stay open, but they should try to limit operations, Hogan said.
Hogan urged Marylanders to use common sense. Penalties can include up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Anyone who traveled outside the D.C. region should self-quarantine for 14 days, Hogan said.
"Every single Marylander can be a hero just by staying home," Hogan said.
Maryland now reports 1,413 people in the state have become infected, ranging from a 1-month-old infant to dozens of residents at a nursing home in Mount Airy. One week ago, the state had less than 300 confirmed cases.
Fifty-one people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have died due to coronavirus, according to Hogan. The number tripled over the weekend.
Hogan urged all Marylanders to tune in before making the stay-at-home order announcement on Monday morning. He has called the state's coronavirus-fighting measures "unprecedented actions."
Hogan has been warning for weeks that the coronavirus' impact will drag on over months. He's repeatedly said it will be worse than most people anticipate.
“This is going to be much harder, take much longer and be much worse than almost anyone is currently understanding," he said on March 16.
Hogan says that the federal disaster agency FEMA has delivered 250 bed packages in the state. Another 500 beds have been ordered and the state has the option to get another 500 beds to medical sites on an as-needed basis, Hogan said.
Hogan previously sought to find 6,000 new hospital spots to deal with the anticipated increase in patients, News4 reported. The governor said last week that Laurel Hospital will reopen with 135 beds and a field hospital will open at the Baltimore Convention Center with 250 beds to help achieve that goal.
More diagnoses are expected as more testing becomes available, including at a testing site that opens Monday in the parking lot of FedEx Field in Prince George's County.
Saturday was the pandemic's deadliest day yet for the National Capital Region. Local leaders are working to slow the spread of the virus and deal with the high costs of providing health care, unemployment support and other relief.
Health officials are currently dealing with an outbreak at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy. More than 60 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 there, and man in his 90s has died.
On Thursday, Hogan said the state received a federal disaster designation, which will open up more funding for the state.
“This declaration will help provide much-needed funding for state and local governments and nonprofits, and it will be another important step in Maryland’s aggressive and coordinated response to COVID-19,” Hogan said in a news release.