ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced additional actions that would be taken statewide to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Maryland has now seen 13 straight days with more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19, including 2,149 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Statewide positivity is now 6.85%, the eighth straight day it has been over 5%. Twenty of the state’s 24 jurisdictions have positivity rates above the 5% benchmark.
The Maryland Department of Health is issuing an order to restrict hospital visitation statewide until further notice, with the exceptions of compassionate care, parents or guardians of minors, obstetrics, and support for patients with disabilities. MDH officials are also issuing an emergency order allowing hospitals that are full or nearing capacity to transfer patients to other hospitals that are equipped to provide the necessary care.
Until further notice, officials are limiting visitation at all Maryland nursing homes. Indoor visitation will generally be limited to compassionate care visits, and all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to visit. Tuesday’s order institutes mandatory, twice-weekly testing for all staff at Maryland nursing homes, and mandatory weekly testing for all nursing home residents, effective no later than Friday, 11/20.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
Effective Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m., all bars, restaurants, and facilities where food and/or alcohol are served will be required to close by 10 p.m. Takeout and delivery services are encouraged to continue, but in-person dining operations will not be permitted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
RETAIL AND RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS
Effective Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m., all retail businesses and religious institutions statewide will revert back to the Stage Two, 50% capacity restrictions.
STADIUMS AND RACETRACKS
Effective Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m., fans will no longer be permitted at any professional or collegiate stadiums or racetracks.
“In addition to masks, avoiding crowds, and social distancing, one of the most important things you can do to protect your friends and family is to get tested for COVID-19,” said Governor Hogan. “We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning. Now more than ever, I am pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus.”