Governor orders all non-essential businesses closed to “Flatten the Curve”; State-wide closure of businesses order to begin Monday, March 23, 2020, at 5 p.m.

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

Annapolis, MD- At an 11 a.m. Press conference, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan enacted a closure of all non-essential businesses order for Marylanders to begin Monday, March 23, 2020, at 5 p.m.

Federal guidelines define essential businesses as health care, law enforcement, emergency workers, food, energy, water, transportation, public works, communications, government, critical manufacturing, financial services, chemicals, and defense. Liquor stores are exempted from the order. Daycare centers are not required to close.

Big Box stores will remain open, but the Governor stated he has asked local law enforcement to help with crowd control.

This move comes on the heels of stay at home orders beginning on Tuesday at 8 .m. in the State of Delaware, along Philadelphia enacting a Monday at 8 a.m. deadline.

As of Monday, New Jersey had 1,914 cases, Delaware 56, Pennsylvania 479, 219 in Virginia, 120 in Washington, D.C., and Maryland 288(10 am 3/23/2020). As of Monday, there were 632 confirmed cases in the DMV. Nationwide the United States has 35,224, including at least 458 deaths, with 178 confirmed recovered.

As of moments ago, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital says they have collected 270 samples in their Drive-up testing last week, more tests were collected a the Emergency room and in the hospital. St. Mary’s County has one confirmed in-county case and another from Washington, D.C., where the infected individual worked at MedStar St. Mary’s.

In an interview on the Today Show, United States Surgeon General and Chopticon High Graduate of ’92, Dr. Jerome Adams said,” I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad.”

The disease is spreading, he said, because many people — especially young people — are not abiding by guidance to stay at home and practice social distancing.

“Right now, there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously,” he said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said Sunday, that the new nationwide data( March 16) is showing that 40% of those hospitalized are between the ages of 20-54. Among the critical cases, 12% in ICU were 20-44, while 36% were 45-64. The fatality rate is highest among those over 85, and those with underlying medical conditions.

In a Friday morning interview on the Today show, “If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks in other areas, it’s at least going to be several weeks,” Fauci said. “I cannot see that all of a sudden next week or two weeks from now, it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that — I think it’s going to be several weeks.”

Note: Due to the rapidly evolving nature of this public health crisis, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency will update this dashboard daily at 10 a.m. based on the most recently available data from across the state. This chart is as of March 23, 2020, at 10 a.m. EST

The statewide non-essential business closure goes into effect on Monday at 5 p.m..

In a nutshell, all non-essential businesses are shut down and workers sent home. This does not mean you cannot go to the grocery store, pharmacy, work, etc. It boils down to if you have an essential job, and if your place of employment is open.

We are not in quarantine or lockdown. A quarantine would require you to stay in your home, and all essential needs for life would be delivered to you. You would not be allowed to leave your home. A lockdown would be very similar but is a term used in active-shooter incidents. Also, the term shelter-in-place is used for chemical spills and Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, major flooding. Using the correct terms, the populace can understand better what can be done and not be done.

Essential jobs can include, First Responders, Medical field, including specialized and primary doctors and pharmacies, Government employees and contractors, public works, and the list goes on. Some states have produced a list of the types of jobs considered essential, and we will publish a link here if Maryland does so. Governor Hogan states that these will follow the Federal Government Guidelines.

Many places will close, including public parks, retail stores outside of Malls, and bars that do not provide food or alcohol delivery, etc. Food establishments will remain able to provide carry-out/curbside and delivery. It is recommended that if you can use delivery, Door Dash, Uber Eats, or other food delivery service to use them. This can help slow the transmission of the virus, by limiting the number of people out and about.

If you are planning a grocery store trip, buy supplies for two(2) weeks if possible, not six(6) months. The stores are constantly being stocked, as President Trump has lifted certain restrictions for the trucking industry to continually resupply the country.

Many individuals are worried about their finances, and small businesses, both LLC and sole proprietors; are concerned about how they will survive this. Congress is currently working on an Economic Stimulus bill to provide businesses with low-interest loans(3.75%, 30/yr) and direct payment stimulus checks to American Families. It was worked on throughout the weekend but has failed to pass procedural votes with the parties split down the line. We will continue to watch for updates on that and will publish when it has passed and what is included.

This is a continually evolving story and we will update it as more information is received from the State Government and Governor Larry Hogan’s Office

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...