Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced several emergency measures designed to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Maryland and neighboring states have seen a surge in new cases of Covid-19 as flu season approaches.
Hogan’s order comes as public health officials in Delaware and Gov. John Carney weigh their own measures. Both Maryland and Delawre have contact tracing efforts in place that have been offering insights into where people may have contracted the virus.
Small informal social gatherings have been cited as a source of spread.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Carney said officials are keeping tabs on neighboring states’ restrictions to ease the confusion that took place last spring.
For example, Maryland moved more quickly than Delaware last spring in reopening lodging facilities, a move that affected beach businesses in the First State. At the same time, Delaware moved earlier than Maryland in allowing indoor dining.
Changes announced by Hogan include:
- Dining capacity –The governor issued an emergency order reducing indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75 percent to 50 percent. Bars and restaurants in the state are permitted to be open for seated and distanced service only, with capacity restrictions. Restaurant and bar capacity in Delaware is now 60 percent, with no congregating allowed.
- Indoor gatherings – The state strongly advises limiting attendance to 25 or fewer.
- Travel – Residents are advised to avoid traveling to states with a positivity rate above 10 percent or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K. Delaware has seen rising rates but is believed to be below the Maryland figures.
- State agencies – Hogan ordered work to begin on moving state employees back to work from home status. Businesses are strongly advised to do the same.
- Hospitals – The order calls for preparations in using alternate care sites such as vacant hospital space and the Baltimore Convention Center should the need arise.
- Nursing homes – Care facilities are urged to have sufficient personal protective equipment and take other steps. Click here for home guidance.