Maryland Governor Announces Further Coronavirus Restrictions: ‘We Are in a War … and the Virus Is Winning’

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at Union West on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced stricter coronavirus restrictions across the state during a Tuesday press conference, forcing bars and restaurants to close by 10:00 p.m. and requiring businesses to revert to 50 percent occupancy.

The governor explained that the state is now in the “red zone” for the number of cases per 100,000.

“We are now seeing widespread community transmission in every corner of our state,” Hogan said.

As a result, the governor is tightening restrictions in the state. Beginning Friday at 5:00 p.m., bars and restaurants will have to close by 10:00 p.m. Additionally, businesses — including but not limited to retail stores, religious institutions, and fitness centers — will be forced to cap their occupancy at 50 percent. Additionally, fans will no longer be permitted to attend events at stadiums or racetracks:

“I want to remind Marylanders that we remain in a state of emergency,” Hogan explained. “This is not the flu. It’s not fake news. It’s not going to magically disappear just because we’re all tired of it and we 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,” he continued.

On Tuesday, the Maryland Department of Health reported 169,805 confirmed cumulative cases of the virus in the state. The state reported 2,149 new cases on Tuesday, with the statewide positivity rate standing at 6.85 percent. According to the department, 4,186 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported:

Hogan also pled with residents to wear masks, calling it a “very simple step” and the “single best mitigation strategy that we have to fight the virus.”

“This is not a political issue. This is not a limitation on your right to infect other people. But it is the best way to keep you and your family members safe, to keep people out of the hospital and to save lives,” the governor stated.

Democrat leaders in nearby states have also taken action in recent days. Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a new set of restrictions, requiring restaurants, bars, and gyms to close by 10:00 p.m. His action also included a lockdown order on private homes ahead of Thanksgiving, limiting occupancy to ten. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) also announced the “retightening” of restrictions in the Garden State this week.

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