Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Maryland’s positivity rate was above 5% for the first time since June, and health data rose across the country.
“Since last week, most of our key metrics have deteriorated significantly,” said Governor Hogan. “More and more people are becoming infected with the virus, more and more people are being hospitalized, more and more people are going to intensive care, and more and more Marylanders are dying. The steps we are taking today are absolutely necessary to weather this surge, save lives, and keep Maryland on the path of recovery and openness to business. “
NOTE: These are nationwide mandates and recommendations. The governor reiterated that the local authorities can implement more restrictive regulations. Steuart Pittman, Anne Arundel County’s executive, has stated that he is in favor of stricter restrictions but has not yet officially considered it.
EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER AT 5 PM:
- DINING CAPACITY REDUCED TO 50%. The governor issued an emergency decree that reduced indoor bar and restaurant operations from 75% to 50%. Bars and restaurants in the state of Maryland are only allowed to be open for seated and long distance calls with strict capacity restrictions. Read the governor’s instruction.
- PUBLIC HEALTH ADVICE TO LIMIT INDOOR AREAS TO 25 OR LESS. With contact tracing data showing an increase in cases resulting from family reunions and house parties, state health officials have issued a public health notice that greatly discourages indoor gatherings of 25 people or more. Read the health advice.
- EXTENDED TRAVEL ADVICE OUTSIDE THE STATE. The governor has directed the Maryland Department of Health to issue an expanded public health notice for out-of-state travel because contact tracing data shows an increase in confirmed cases related to out-of-state travel. Marylanders are strongly advised not to travel to any state with a positivity rate greater than 10% or any state with an average case rate of greater than 20 per 100,000. Anyone traveling from these states should be tested and self-quarantined until the results are in. This public health recommendation, effective immediately, applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity and / or fall rate decreases. Read the travel advice.
- GOVERNMENT OFFICES RETURN TO MANDATORY TELEWORKING. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to immediately conduct a period of mandatory teleworking between state agencies, with the exception of essential direct public services and other essential employees. State officials strongly encourage all businesses to take immediate action to expand teleworking.
NEW HOSPITAL EXCESS CAPACITY ORDER. State health authorities have issued an emergency decree expanding the capacity of hospital floods. Read the emergency health instructions.
- Provides government rescue workers the flexibility to move patients to alternative care locations such as the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, Laurel Hospital, and Adventist Takoma Park Hospital, and add capacity at these locations as needed.
- Requires hospitals to implement plans to stage and admit surge patients. All hospitals must begin preparations to improve COVID-19 surgeries by making sure they have enough beds and staff.
- Provides additional infection control staff from regional hospitals and other nursing homes to intervene and provide assistance through mutual assistance arrangements when outbreaks occur in a nursing home.
NEW GUIDELINES FOR NURSING HOME AND ASSISTED LIVING POSSIBILITIES. State health officials have issued new guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Read the nursing home instructions.
- Marylanders should take every precaution to protect their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living programs, including staying at home when they are sick and being tested prior to their visit.
- Nursing Home and Assisted Living Program staff should minimize exposure to large gatherings and work with their management to communicate early and frequently about infection control issues in their facilities.
- Nursing homes and assisted living programs are advised that indoor visits are not permitted if the facility is currently conducting breakout tests and is in compliance with federal guidelines in this regard. Each facility may limit visits to include the number of people admitted to the facility at any given time on a facility-specific basis, taking into account the facility’s circumstances and infection control policies.
- Nursing homes must continue to take steps to ensure adequate personal protective equipment for their staff.
ADVANCED CONSULTATION WITH LOCAL GUIDES. Under the direction of the governor, officials will increase conference calls with county and community leaders to provide additional real-time coordination.
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