Hogan orders masks in all public places

Submitted photo
Gov. Larry Hogan, seen above in a distinctively Maryland-themed mask, has ordered face coverings in all public places.

ANNAPOLIS — Governor Larry Hogan announced July 29 the expansion of the statewide masking order and a public health advisory for all out-of-state travel. The governor also unveiled contact tracing data showing that family gatherings are the most common high-risk gathering and working outside the home is the most common high-risk location for COVID-19.

A recent increase in hospitalizations has triggered a ‘stop sign’ in the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ calling for a pause in further reopening plans, a statement from the Office of the Governor said.

“We find ourselves at a fork in the road—a critical turning point where we could either continue making progress and continue heading in the right direction, or we could ignore the warnings and spike back up like much of the rest of the country,” Governor Hogan said . “We are doing much better on our health metrics than most of the rest of the country, and we are doing much better on our economic recovery than most of the rest of the country, and we want to do what it takes to keep it that way. We have come too far together to lose the progress that we have made on the road to health and economic recovery here in Maryland.”

Expanded masking order
With the unanimous support of the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team, Governor Hogan is expanding the statewide masking order that has been in effect since April 18.
Under this order, which takes effect Friday at 5 p.m., all Marylanders over the age of five are required to wear face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses across the state.

Face coverings will also be required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing. The expanded order continues to provide certain exceptions, including for medical conditions.

Out-of-state travel advisory
Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to issue a public health advisory for out-of-state travel. Under this advisory, Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to states with positivity rates of 10% or higher. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results.
This public health advisory—which takes effect 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 rates decline.

This advisory applies to Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho. Read the travel advisory.

Contact tracing data
In addition to identifying individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19, Maryland is now using contact tracing data to find patterns of behavior, and to identify where and how the virus is spreading. The governor announced the following findings based on recent interviews conducted with COVID-19 patients:
Higher-Risk Gatherings (Percentage of Interviewed Cases):
• Family Gatherings – 44%
• House Parties – 23%
• Outdoor Event – 21%
Higher-Risk Locations (Percentage of Interviewed Cases):
• Work Outside the Home – 54%
• Indoor/Retail Shopping – 39%
• Indoor Dining at Restaurant – 23
• Outdoor Dining at Restaurant – 23%
Employment Information (Percentage of Interviewed Cases):
• Health care – 25%
• Other – Non-public Facing – 23%
• Other – Public Facing – 13%
• Restaurant/Food Service – 12%
All reach 10%
Gov. Hogan Sunday announced that all 24 of Maryland’s jurisdictions had met the goal of testing 10% of their populations, as the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 4.47%.
“Our aggressive statewide testing strategy is helping us to understand, identify, and stop the spread of this virus, and I want to commend all of our local jurisdictions for stepping up to meet our goal of testing 10% of their populations,” he said. “The State of Maryland continues to make unlimited quantities of tests available to any jurisdiction that needs them.”
• Cecil County Hits 10% — On June 18, state health officials urged county leaders to step up local testing efforts and meet the goal of testing 10% of their populations. With Cecil County testing 10.1% of its population, all 24 jurisdictions have now met this milestone.
• Nearly 1.25M COVID-19 tests — In total, Maryland has now conducted 1,245,767 COVID-19 tests, including 31,003 tests over the last 24 hours. 929,354 Marylanders have now been tested for COVID-19—representing 15.4% of the state’s population.
• Positivity rate is 4.47% — The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped to 4.47%, and has been below 5% since June 25. The daily positivity rate dropped to 3.44%. The positivity rate is above 5% in four of the state’s 24 jurisdictions: Baltimore County (5.53%), Baltimore City (6.12%), Prince George’s County (6.35%), Talbot County (5.49%).
In Hospitals — There are 592 total current COVID-19 hospitalizations, an increase of two, with 132 ICU beds in use.
New Cases — 55.8% of Sunday’s new cases are Marylanders under the age of 40. The positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 (6.25%) is 73.6% higher than the positivity rate for Marylanders age 35 and older (3.60%).
200+ sites — Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to find a site.

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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