With Maryland’s positivity rate exceeding 5% for the first time since June and health metrics spiking across the nation, Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Since last week, most of our key metrics have worsened considerably,” said Governor Hogan. “More people are getting infected with the virus, more people are being hospitalized, more people are going into intensive care, and more Marylanders are dying. The actions we are taking today are absolutely necessary to help us withstand this surge, to save lives, and to keep Maryland on the road to recovery and open for business.”
EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 AT 5PM:
- INDOOR DINING CAPACITY REDUCED TO 50%. The governor issued an emergency order reducing indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75% to 50%. Bars and restaurants in the State of Maryland are permitted to be open for seated and distanced service only, with strict capacity restrictions. Read the governor’s order.
- PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY TO LIMIT INDOOR GATHERINGS TO 25 OR LESS. With contact tracing data showing an uptick in cases resulting from family gatherings and house parties, state health officials have issued a public health advisory strongly discouraging indoor gatherings of 25 people or more. Read the health advisory.
- EXPANDED OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL ADVISORY. With contact tracing data showing an uptick in confirmed cases connected to travel outside of the state, the governor has directed the Maryland Department of Health to issue an expanded public health advisory for out-of-state travel. Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K. 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 and/or case rates decline. Read the travel advisory.
- GOVERNMENT OFFICES TO RETURN TO MANDATORY TELEWORKING. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to immediately execute a period of mandatory telework across state agencies, except for essential direct public-facing services and other essential personnel. State officials strongly encourage all businesses to take immediate steps to expand telework.
NEW HOSPITAL SURGE CAPACITY ORDER. State health officials have issued an emergency order expanding hospital surge capacity. Read the emergency health order.
- Provides state EMS officials with the flexibility to shift patients to alternate care sites such as the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, Laurel Hospital, and Adventist Takoma Park Hospital, and to add capacity at those sites if the need arises.
- Requires hospitals to implement plans to stage and accept surge patients. All hospitals will be required to begin preparations to increase COVID-19 related operations by making sure they have enough beds and staff.
- Makes additional infection control staff available from regional hospitals and other nursing homes to intervene and provide support through mutual aid agreements when outbreaks occur at any one nursing home.
NEW GUIDANCE FOR NURSING HOMES AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES. State health officials have issued new guidance for slowing the spread of COVID-19 at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Read the nursing home guidance.
- Marylanders should take all precautions to protect their loved ones at nursing homes and assisted living programs including staying home if sick and getting tested before they visit.
- Nursing home and assisted living program staff should minimize their contact with large gatherings and work with their management on communicating early and often about infection control issues at their facilities.
- Nursing homes and assisted living programs are reminded that indoor visitation is not permitted if the facility is currently conducting outbreak testing and in accordance with federal guidance on this subject. Each facility may restrict visitation, to include the number of individuals allowed in the facility at any given time, on a facility-specific basis given each facility’s circumstances and infection control guidelines.
- Nursing homes must continue to take steps to secure sufficient personal protective equipment for their staff.
EXPANDED CONSULTATIONS WITH LOCAL LEADERS. At the governor’s direction, administration officials will increase teleconferences with county and municipal leaders in order to ensure additional real-time coordination.