Gov. Hogan warns police will enforce new COVID-19 rules
Governor Larry Hogan is warning businesses and individuals that police will begin monitoring downtown areas looking for those not following the new, tighter COVID-19 restrictions. The rules were implemented last week to contain the surge in case numbers. The effort will be a wide-scale “compliance, education and enforcement effort.”
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“I know that there is growing frustration that we are all still fighting this virus,” Gov. Hogan said in a statement. “Many people are struggling emotionally and financially, and this is causing a great deal of stress for nearly everyone — but following the public health directives is the only way we will be able to stop this virus, keep Maryland open for business and keep hospitals from overflowing.”
The new restrictions include:
- 10 PM closure of bars and restaurants. All bars, restaurants, and venues serving food and alcohol must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for the purposes of carryout and delivery.
- Limited capacity for retail establishments. All retail establishments and religious facilities must reduce operations to 50% capacity.
- Additional hospital surge measures. All hospital visitation is prohibited until further notice with some exceptions — including end-of-life care, obstetrics, parents or guardians of minors and support for people with disabilities.
- Additional measures to protect nursing homes. Until further notice, indoor visitation at Maryland nursing homes is generally limited to compassionate care, and all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to their visit.
- Maryland’s statewide masking order remains in full force and effect. Marylanders are required to wear masks or face coverings in the public spaces of all public and private businesses, when using public transportation, and at all outdoor public areas whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
“Now more than ever, I am pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus,” Hogan said. “Your family and friends are counting on you, your neighbors are counting on you, and your fellow Marylanders are counting on you to stay Maryland Strong.”
Meanwhile, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) expanded its #KeepOnMaryland campaign, launching new radio and TV public service announcements featuring Hogan. The campaign, which extends the original #MasksOnMaryland messaging, encourages Marylanders to continue to wear masks, wash their hands and watch their distance to help protect themselves, their loved ones and communities from COVID-19 — especially as cases continue to surge and people combat “pandemic fatigue” both nationwide and in Maryland.
“We’ve been fighting the virus for what seems like forever, but we need to keep on — all of us,” Hogan said. “Keep on wearing our masks, keep on watching our distance, keep on washing our hands. A vaccine is on the way, but so is winter. Now more than ever, we must keep doing whatever it takes to slow the spread of COVID-19.”