Governor Hogan Announces Further Actions To Slow The Spread of COVID-19, Relaunches ‘Maryland Unites’ Initiative

Limits Gatherings to 10 People, Orders Closure of Shopping Malls Announces Five Requests Nation’s Governors Will Submit to President and Leaders of Congress Restricts Access to BWI Terminal and Urges Transit for Essential Travel Only Activates First Phase of Hospital Surge Plan: 900 Beds Available Immediately

Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of new actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland, including limiting gatherings to 10 people, ordering the closure of shopping malls, restricting access to the BWI Marshall Airport terminal, and urging the use of transit for essential travel only.

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COVID-19 Update March 19, 2020

“Despite all of our repeated warnings for weeks, and in spite of the rapid escalation of this crisis across our state, the nation, and the world, some people are treating this like a vacation or a spring break with parties, cookouts, and large gatherings,” said Governor Hogan. “Let me be very clear—if you are engaged in this, you are in violation of state law and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Marylanders.”

Today’s daily count shows that Maryland has 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an 88 percent increase over 48 hours. Last night, Governor Hogan announced the state’s first death as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and today the state reported its first case of a child contracting the virus.

“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced,” said Governor Hogan. “But sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in people. Marylanders are a shining example of that, and we have seen so many examples of compassion and generosity in recent days. We are all in this together, and if we all do our part to rise to this challenge and to meet this moment, we will get through this together.”

The governor also announced that later today, as chairman of the National Governors Association, he will submit five requests to the president, vice president, and leaders in both houses of Congress on behalf of the nation’s governors:

(1) Dedicate at least 50 percent of supplemental funding to the states, including direct funding, and act quickly on waiver requests

(2) Increase access to PPE, masks, test kits, extraction kits, and accelerating the production of life-saving equipment, such as ventilators

(3) Support Title 32 authorization to give governors maximum flexibility for use of the National Guard

(4) Provide guidance on implementation of Defense Production Act to include what health and medical resources Secretary of Health and Human Services Azar is prioritizing under his new authority

(5) Allow more time and flexibility for completion of both the Census and the transition to REAL ID

Below is a comprehensive list of actions the governor is taking today:

LIMITING GATHERINGS AND ORDERING CLOSURE OF SHOPPING MALLS: Governor Hogan has amended a previous executive order to reduce the size of social, cultural, and community gatherings to 10 people, and require the closure of all enclosed shopping malls, as well as bowling alleys and pool halls. Read the emergency order.