Maryland Governor Larry Hogan delivered an update on the state’s coronavirus response at the State House in Annapolis.
The Governor announced the closing of bars and restaurants, effective at 5 p.m. today. Drive thrus, carryout and delivery will still be allowed. Movie theaters and gyms will also be forced to close.
The Governor is limiting gatherings to 50 people, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
The Governor will also order the reopening of closed hospitals, clearing out space and adding additional capacity of up to 6,000 beds. He’s also activating the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps of 5,000 trained volunteers. 700 are already prepared to respond. The Governor will also expedite licensing for retired, inactive and out-of-state medical practitioners to help respond.
Governor Hogan will sign an order to prohibit electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable, TV and internet service providers from shutting off any residential customer’s service, or charging any residential customer late fees throughout the duration of the state of emergency.
In addition, the Governor is prohibiting the state’s courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant during the state of emergency.
The Governor is expanding the state’s capability to provide 3 meals a day and a snack to students who need it while schools remain closed. The state government and board of education has set up 138 centers that will distribute meals to children throughout the state.
Governor Hogan also announced that nine Marylanders who were on the Princess Cruise ship are being flown home today.