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COVID Surge: Hogan Cuts Business Hours, Limits Nursing Home Visits

  • Anne Arundel County
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is fighting back against the surge in COVID-19 cases by cutting the hours of bar and restaurants and stopping most visits at hospitals and nursing homes in the state. 

He's also cutting capacity of all businesses and venues back to 50%. 

At a live press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Hogan said, "I've always been a straight shooter, so let me give it to you straight. The sad reality is that all across America more people are getting infected with covid-19, more are being hospitalized, more are going into intensive care, and more people are dying."

He said that Maryland is in better shape that most of the country but the state is seeing widespread community transmission.

"We have now had 13 straight days of 1,000 or more new cases of COVID-19.  Today, there were more than 2,000 cases in 24 hours." 

Hospital and Nursing Home Visits Banned

To help fight the spread of the virus, the Maryland Department of Health is issuing an order that will restrict hospital visitation statewide with the exceptions of compassionate care, parents or guardians of minors, obstetrics, and support for patients with disabilities.

The DOH also asked medical facilities to avoid elective procedures likely to require prolonged ventilation, ICU admission, or skilled nursing care. Hospitals at or near capacity may transfer patients to other hospitals.

Hogan also stopped all indoor visits at nursing homes with the exception of compassionate care. All visitors must have proof of negative COVID test results.

The governor said he realized it's difficult not to be able to visit grandparents and loved ones during the holidays, "But please know that by refraining from visits at this time, you're helping keep them safe.

There will be mandatory testing for nursing home staff and all residents, starting no later than November 20.

Earlier Closing Time For Bars and Restaurants

Hogan also cut hours at bars, restaurants, and other venues. Effective Friday at 5 pm all dine in service at bars, restaurants, and other establishments must close at 10 pm and not open until 6 am. He encouraged Marylanders to use takeout and delivery service.

Capacity at nearly all public spaces reverts back to the 50% limit imposed earlier in the year. Fans are no longer permitted at collegiate, professional sports, or race tracks.

The Virus Is Winning

Hogan pleaded with residents to take the virus seriously. "This is not the flu. This is not fake news. It's not going to magically disappear just because we are all tired of it and want our normal lives back. We are in a war right now and the virus is winning. Now more than ever, I'm pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus. Your family and friends are counting on you. Your neighbors and your fellow Marylanders are counting on you to stay Maryland Strong."

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