ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan activated the National Guard Thursday and announced more restrictions for residents after 12 people tested positive for coronavirus — including one community transmission case.
Maryland public schools will also be closed from March 16-27.
“We should expect the number of cases to dramatically rise,” Hogan warned.
Hogan said these drastic measures may concern some residents, it’s being done to prevent the spread of coronavirus further.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is also now at its highest level to mobilize all state resources.
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Non-essential state employees were asked to telework and public access to state buildings will be prohibited.
All events — religious, social or sports — involving more than 250 people are prohibited, Hogan added.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) March 12, 2020
Hogan also closed the cruise ship terminal at The Port of Baltimore. Two cruises are scheduled to port in Baltimore soon, but those passengers will be screened before they disembark.
All hospitals across the state must follow more restrictive visitor policies — no visitors under the age of 18; they will be screened for illness before visiting and one adult visitor per patient. All senior activities centers are also close until further notice.
Visits to state prisons have also been halted.
As for school closings, Hogan said private schools should also close. Spring Break can be used to make up school days as needed. The public schools will be cleaned while they are closed. Meals will continue to be provided to public school students.
The school closures left parents like Julia Timofeyeva wondering what to do about childcare.
“I think I just need to figure things out, what am I going to do in terms of childcare,” she said.
Hogan also deferred all state duties to Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford.
He did say grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies should remain open but offered no specifics about restaurants or bars.
Out of 12 patients with coronavirus, two remain hospitalized and three have fully recovered.
— Mike Ricci (@riccimike) March 13, 2020
Hogan’s spokesperson Mike Ricci said as of 2 p.m. Thursday, the health department had received more than 1,250 calls related to the virus.