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Governor Hogan announces new dining, gathering restrictions [VIDEO]

UPDATE: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has issued the following statement:

“Statewide solutions remain the most effective public health actions, and I support the governor’s actions to protect the health of all Marylanders.  Baltimore County remains prepared to enforce these orders and do whatever we need to do to protect our residents from this disease.”

Original story below…

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NOTTINGHAM, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday provided an update on Maryland’s battle with COVID-19.

The governor began by stating that most of Maryland’s key metrics have “worsened considerably” since last week with widespread community transmission. Maryland has had seven straight days with more than 1,000 new cases. on Monday, for the first time since June 25, Maryland’s 7-day statewide positivity rate crossed over the 5.00% set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Nationwide, COVID-19 hospitalizations surged to a record high on Monday of over 59,000 patients. In Maryland, total COVID-19 hospitalizations are at 761 (highest since June 13) and 176 patients are in ICU (highest since June 27).

The state’s case rate has risen to 19.8 per 100K, a 36% increase in the past week. Case rates are above 10 per 100K in 18 jurisdictions and above 20 per 100K in 7 jurisdictions.

Revised Restrictions

Indoor Dining: Effective on Wednesday, November 11 at 5 p.m., the capacity for indoor operations at bars and restaurants will be reduced from 75% back to 50% for seated and distanced service only.

Indoor Gatherings: The Maryland Department of Health is set to issue a new public health advisory strongly warning against any indoor gatherings of 25 people or more.

Out-of-State Travel: The Maryland Department of Health is is issuing an expanded advisory for all out-of-state travel. All Marylanders are strongly advised to avoid all nonessential travel to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or an average case rate of 20 cases per 100K.

Mandatory Teleworking: Effective immediately, all state employees who are approved to telework must once again begin a period of mandatory telework except for essential, direct, public-facing services and essential personnel.

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Hospital Surge Capacity: The Maryland Department of Health is issuing an emergency order to activate the next level of the state’s hospital surge capacity planning by adding alternative care site capacity, and providing additional staffing support and clinical care to nursing homes.

Nursing Home Compliance: The Maryland Department of Health is also issuing updated guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Visitors should get tested, staff should avoid gatherings, and nursing homes should develop sufficient PPE stockpile.

“These actions are absolutely necessary to help us withstand this surge, to save lives, and to keep Maryland on the road to recovery and open for business,” said Governor Hogan.

The transcript from this press conference is available here.

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