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Governor Hogan: Baltimore-Washington corridor designated emerging COVID-19 hotspot [VIDEO]

BALTIMORE, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday afternoon held a news conference from the Baltimore Convention Center in which he provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Hogan said that the makeshift field hospital at the Convention Center would be utilized for COVID-19 patients who needed to complete their care and fully recover. The makeshift hospital reduces the amount of time that patients spend in hospitals and frees up beds for people who need more urgent care.

The governor thanked Vice President Mike Pence for the federal government’s commitment to provide 200 ventilators. Maryland has approved 27 newly licensed assisted living facilities, 42 residential sites for individuals with developmental disabilities, 6 newly licensed residential service agencies to provide home-based services, and 14 newly licensed clinical laboratories to handle the surge.

After weeks of pressing for federal action, Governor Hogan said that the White House has designated the Baltimore-Washington corridor as an emerging coronavirus hotspot.

Working closely with Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young and city leaders, the administration is providing support to help the city set up a community-based screening site at the Pimlico Race Course parking lot.

Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health to immediately take actions to provide further demographic breakdowns of all Maryland case data, including hospitalization rates and mortality.

Beginning this week, the state will publish data on the racial and ethnic breakdowns of all COVID-19 cases. Governor Hogan cautions that there may be initial gaps in the data that is available, given that much of the testing is being done through private labs.

Governor Hogan announced that new strike teams announces would be used to help provide support to overburdened facilities. The teams will be composed of National Guard representative from local and state health departments and hospital systems.

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Governor Hogan has issued a new executive order empowering local health departments to take action against any businesses, establishments, and construction sites they deem to be unsafe or are not complying with the governor’s previous shutdown order. The health departments will be authorized to modify the business’ operations, or shut the facility down altogether. This new  executive order can be viewed here.

The governor also discussed the new Maryland Unites initiative at Tuesday’s news conference.

“While social distancing keeps us physically isolated from one another, there are so many examples of how in many ways this crisis is bringing Marylanders closer together,” said Governor Hogan. “We need more help, and we need more volunteers. Marylanders are encouraged to sign up at https://governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites.”

View video of the governor’s press conference below…

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