The federal government has been accused of moving slowly in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Many state and local governments have moved forward on their own and now Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has moved the needle further than any other state.
He announced the following policies via executive order at 11:06 this morning.
- ALL Maryland bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms will be shut down at 5 pm today, Monday, March 16, 2020. Drive through and food delivery will continue.
- ALL essential service providers, grocery stores, gas stations, banks and pharmacies will remain open.
- Prohibiting all social, community, religious, recreational and sports gatherings and events of MORE than 50 people in close proximity in locations and establishments.
- Closed medical hospitals are being positioned to open to increase hospital beds by 6,000.
- Utilities (internet, cable, water, electric and gas) will not be interrupted.
- No evictions will take place.
- Three meals and a snack will be provided to school children.
- Maryland Medical Reserve Corp – 5000 medically trained are ready to assist. 700 members are activated for deployment.
- Over the weekend, activated 400 Army/Air National Guard to carry out needs in coming weeks.
- Today, 1,000 Maryland National Guard soldiers and airmen are fully activated.1200 are currently on enhanced readiness.
Hogan stated in a press release, “We are not fooling around anymore and that the local police, state police and if necessary, the National Guard will be enforcing these orders with strict penalties. They are no longer asking people for their cooperation. This is a crisis we have never faced before!”