Hogan closes non-essential facilities

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday morning announced that all non-essential businesses, organizations, establishments and facilities would be closed at 5 p.m. that afternoon. He said the measure was “absolutely necessary to protect the health of Marylanders and to save lives.”

Gov. Hogan said while the state was issuing additional measures to cope with the crisis, “We are not issuing a shelter-in-place directive.”
Essential functions include those involved with telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.

At the time of his live television speech at 11:15 a.m., the state had 288 confirmed cases of the disease, and had logged a 678 percent increase in cases over the weekend, with 21 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions reporting cases. At midday Monday, there were no confirmed cases in Dorchester County.

Gov. Hogan said he was grateful for the state’s small companies, which have been struggling to stay in business through the crisis. “We will do everything we can to help get you back on your feet,” he said. “Maryland is not just going to wait for — or rely on — action from the federal government.”

He announced a $175 million comprehensive business relief program in Maryland, offering a range of assistance to help small businesses survive the emergency. Among the features of the program is funding of up to $50,000 to help pay employees.

Applications for assistance can be found at www.businessexpress.maryland.gov.

He also had strong words for anyone engaged in price gouging. Those who are trying to profit unfairly from the crisis will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Gov. Hogan extended his thanks to those on the front lines of the crisis.
“I just want to take a moment to thank the countless healthcare professionals,” he said. He also expressed his gratitude to Maryland National Guardsmen who have been activated, and the individuals who have followed instructions and stayed indoors.

“Unfortunately, many people are still not taking it seriously,” he said. Those who continue to gather in groups and otherwise ignore instructions and state law, “You are literally endangering the lives” of family and others, he said.

“The truth is, none of us know how bad it’s going to get, or how long it’s going to last,” he said, speaking to Maryland’s citizens. “Together, we will get through this.”

COVID-19 first struck on Delmarva last week.
“We have our first confirmed case of COVID-19,” Wicomico County Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg announced at a press conference Thursday. “We have also learned that there are confirmed COVID-19 cases in Delaware and Accomack County, Va. So this virus has now arrived on Delmarva, and we anticipate the spread of the virus, is going to grow now that it’s here.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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