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Limits Gatherings to 10 People, Orders Closure of Shopping Malls 

By: David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Staff Writer

Annapolis, MD- At a 10 a.m. Press Conference Governor Larry Hogan announced that the first Marylander to die from COVID-19 was a man with underlying medical conditions from Prince George’s County.

Also at this press conference, Hogan announced new measures in an attempt to “flatten the line”.

Maryland now has 107 cases of COVID-19 with its first juvenile case, a five-year-old from Howard County, MD. “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.”

Hogan is also the CHairman of the National Governor’s Association, which had a teleconference yesterday with all 50 State Governors. At the meeting, they came up with a list of five(5) requests they are submitting to the President trump, V.P. Pence, and both House’s of Congress today.

(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 the implementation of the 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 the REAL ID

The Governor also announced twelve(12) new actions or extensions of already enacted actions:

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.

RESTRICTED ACCESS TO BWI MARSHALL AIRPORT TERMINAL: Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Transportation to restrict access to the BWI Marshall Terminal to ticketed passengers and employees only. Exceptions will be made for visitors assisting disabled passengers. Maryland Transportation Authority Police will strictly enforce this policy.

TRANSIT FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY: The state is urging citizens to utilize transit for essential travel only, including emergency personnel, front-line health care workers, and anyone whose job is critical to the supply chain.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SPRING SEMESTER: Governor Hogan has asked the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to keep all students off campus and finish the spring semester online.

HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN: Governor Hogan announced that, as part of phase one of the hospital surge plan, 900 beds will be made available immediately. By early April, another 1,400 beds are expected to come online. The multi-phase plan calls for adding capacity of up to 6,000 beds.

FLEXIBILITY FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL: Governor Hogan issued an emergency order to allow greater flexibility for emergency medical services personnel to augment other health care providers. This action will help bolster the state’s hospital surge plan. Read the emergency order.

RELAUNCH OF MARYLAND UNITES: Governor Hogan announced the relaunch of the Maryland Unites initiative to connect Marylanders with resources and highlight stories of generosity and compassion amid the crisis. To learn more, visit governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites.

DELIVERY AND CARRY-OUT OF ALCOHOL: Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that allows for delivery and carry-out sales of alcohol by restaurants, bars, distilleries, and wineries, subject to liquor laws and other conditions imposed by local alcoholic beverage authorities. Read the emergency order.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS AT STATE HOUSE: The Department of General Services has instituted temperature checks and health screenings at the State House with the assistance of National Guard medical personnel.

LIFTING RESTRICTIONS ON DELIVERY TRUCKS: To help facilitate the movement of essential supplies, Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to lift restrictions on the capacity of delivery trucks. Motor vehicles transporting equipment or supplies directly related to the COVID-19 state of emergency are allowed to exceed legal weight limits by up to 15%. The State Highway Administrator may also temporarily waive or modify hauling permit restrictions and conditions deemed safe and appropriate. Read the emergency order.

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. Members of the business community are encouraged to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle will continue to follow Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s County Governments and Health Department for their updated actions. Along with that, we are following the State of Maryland and the Federal Government for important information from those agencies/offices.

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David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...