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Hogan Takes "Unprecedented" Actions to Mitigate Spread of Coronavirus

(center) Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

Not even 24 hours after Governor Hogan order all Maryland casinos, racetracks and betting faciltiies closed, there was another round of sweeping executive orders issued: all restaurants, bars, movies theaters and gyms were ordered closed by 5 p.m. Monday. At a news conference Monday morning, Hogan said grocery stores, grocery store delivery, drive thru's and food delivery services will continue.

As of mid-Monday,  the Maryland Department of Public Health said there were 37 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the state:

Anne Arundel (1)

Baltimore City (1)

Baltimore County (4)

Carroll (1)

Charles (1)

Harford (2)

Howard (1)

Prince George's (10)

Montgomery (15)

Talbot (1)

“We should continue to expect the number of cases to rapidly and dramatically rise,” said Hogan. “We have never faced anything like this before. This is going to be much harder, take much longer and be much worse than almost anyone is currently understanding. Unfortunately, far too many people have continued to ignore those warnings and are crowding into bars and restaurants—willingly putting the health and safety of others in grave danger.”

Hogan added that decisions makers of the federal and state level are going to have to take drastic actions right now that may seem scary, and may sound extreme.  “They will be terribly disruptive,” said Hogan. “But they are also absolutely necessary to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. We need to do our part to stop this deadly virus from spreading.”

Here are some of the actions included in Governor Hogan’s Executive Orders issued Monday:

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott issuied a statement saying he was glad the Governor is taking these drastic, but necessary steps to keep our community safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 as soon as possible.
“We have to focus on saving lives and keeping our most vulnerable neighbors safe, “ said Scott. “This won't be an easy adjustment, but we can't risk the level of illness and death that could come from not taking these steps.”

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young has also suspended all water cutoffs and all late fees, halted all evictions and activated sheltering in place for the homeless.  Starting this Wednesday, all city employees who are eligible must work from home until further notice.

Starting Monday, March 16, 2020 Mayor Young has instructed that:

  • All Senior Centers and Recreation Centers will suspend programs. These centers will be kept open as food distribution centers
  • The City of Baltimore has activated sheltering in place for our homeless neighbors. City-funded homeless day centers will remain open and people experiencing homelessness are encouraged to remain in shelters and will not be forced out during the day. The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, the Baltimore City Health Department and the Department of General Services are working to identify a site for community quarantining should our city require it
  • The City of Baltimore will only accept payments online, by mail, or, in limited cases, by phone.  We will suspend late fees through at least May 1st.  Payment windows at the Abel Wolman Building will be closed. Please click here for detailed payment information
  • The City of Baltimore will only accept permit applications online. This includes: Department of Transportation, Recreation & Parks, Health Department, Department of Public Works and Department of Housing & Community Development. For information about a specific type of permit, please call 311
  • All licenses that expire March 5 and after are extended until 30 days after the end of the Governor's State of Emergency
  • The City of Baltimore is suspending in person services at the City's Career and Youth Opportunity Centers. Our staff will provide services and appointments by telephone by dialing 410-396-3009

“I implore everyone to take care of your neighbors and remember we have a duty to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Young. “The most important thing you can do to reduce the spread of the virus is to stay home and maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing when you're out in public.”