ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan orders the closure of any enclosed shopping malls and entertainment venues across the state effective at 5 p.m. Thursday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Despite all of our repeated warnings for weeks and despite the rapid escalation of this virus across our state, the region, the nation and the world, some people are treating this like a vacation, or a spring break with parties and cookouts and large gatherings at some of our parks,” Hogan said, ” Let me be very clear: if you are engaged in this type of activity, you are in violation of state law and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Marylanders.”

READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.5K New Cases Reported, Positivity Rate Down

The order comes after Maryland reported its first COVID-19 death Wednesday night. A 5-year-old Howard County girl is among the newest coronavirus patients, Hogan announced Thursday.

“I know all Marylanders join me in praying for his family and his loved ones,” the governor said. “Unfortunately we are only at the beginning of this crisis. And while this is the first death here in Maryland, unfortunately, it will not be the last.”

The state’s cases went up 88% in the past 48 hours and now stand at more than 107.

READ MORE: Woman Dead After Crash On Pulaski Highway

“That’s why here in Maryland I’m continuing to take whatever actions are necessary to protect the health of millions of Marylanders and to save thousands of lives,” Hogan said.


Gov. Hogan announced another round of sweeping measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland, including travel restrictions, online instruction at universities, more hospital beds and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in any location.

Officials have added signage to all modes of transportation across the state urging Marylanders to stay home.

“No one, no one should get on a MARC train, metro, Amtrak train or bus or any of our transportation assets unless you are emergency personnel, a front-line healthcare provider or your job is essential to the supply chain,” Hogan said.

Thursday afternoon, Lexington Market and Baltimore Public Markets said they will also close at 5 p.m.

MORE NEWS: One Dead After Shooting In Northwest Baltimore

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff