Updated: Jan 25, 2021
by Woodland Crisfield
Governor Larry Hogan addresses reporters on new Covid-19 guidelines at the Maryland State House. (Photo: WJZ13 Baltimore.)
At a November 23 press conference, Governor Larry Hogan announced additional guidelines that Marylanders should adhere to in the ongoing fight against recent surges in Covid-19 cases.
Starting on Thanksgiving eve state troopers with the assistance of local officials have begun statewide “compliance checks” with an emphasis on public venues capable of holding large gatherings. These include bars, restaurants, and convention halls.
The operation also focuses on educating the public about the new safety guidelines as well as the health advisories already in place. These address the lasting effects of hosting a superspreader event, which the Massachusetts General Hospital defines as an event in which a single infected individual infects an "unusually high" number of secondary cases.
State officials are also urging residents to report any violations of the state mandates by calling 833-979-2266, or sending an email to Prevent.Covid@maryland.gov.
Maryland bars and restaurants are mandated to close by 10 pm, except for takeout and delivery services.
Marshall Weston, head of Maryland’s restaurant association was supportive of Governor Hogan’s decision and told the Baltimore Sun: “We are hopeful that everyone does their part to help reduce the spread of COVID so that restaurants, bars and other businesses can remain open and the restrictions will be lifted soon”.
Starting on Tuesday, November 24, hospital visits will be restricted to parents or guardians of patients, to aids of physically disabled patients, and to psychological helpers.
Under the mandates, retail establishments, and religious institutions will be permitted to operate at 50% of their capacity.
During a November 23 press conference, Governor Hogan had emphasized the fact that Maryland had had 19 straight days with at least 1,000 additional Covid cases. These had brought the statewide 7-day positivity rate to 6.88%. Hospitalizations had gone up 80% over the preceding 2 weeks.
Governor Hogan was adamant about the new guidelines in his press conference saying, "I want to remind Marylanders that we remain in a state of emergency." Hogan continued by saying, "This is not the flu. It's not fake news. It's not going to magically disappear just because we're all tired of it and we want our normal lives back. We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning. Now more than ever, I'm pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus."