ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland is starting to see a decrease in hospitalizations and a “flattening of the curve” when it comes to intensive care cases, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.

“When I introduced the roadmap to recovery, I said that if Marylanders continued staying home and continued practicing social distancing I was hopeful that the key numbers we were tracking the rate of hospitalizations and the number of patients in ICU would potentially plateau, perhaps as early as early May,” Hogan said. “Fortunately, we are beginning to see those encouraging numbers.”

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“Over the past seven days, we have seen a good trend and hospitalizations, with five straight days downward. And then a little bump up yesterday. But overall, we are down slightly from where we were a week ago,” Hogan continued. “Even more encouraging is that our ICU numbers have been basically flat level at a plateau for eight straight days.”

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If these trends continue into next week, Hogan said he will be ready to lift the stay at home order and to begin stage one of the state’s recovery plan.

Although the stay at home order remains, Hogan announced that starting at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, restrictions will be lifted on some low-risk activities like golfing, playing tennis, going boating, fishing and camping and participate in other outdoor activities.

The state will also reopen its state parks and beaches.

The governor also announced that some elective surgeries and procedures will be allowed, at the discretion of local hospitals.

“Many Marylanders may have put off important procedures, screenings and other things that they really need to attend to, if there’s something that you’ve had to delay like a PET scan or a biopsy, angioplasty or orthopedic procedure you should be able to now take care of those important and sensitive procedures now,” said David Marcozzi, COVID-19 incident commander for the University of Maryland Medical System.

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However, Maryland schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.

“It is thanks to all of you and your incredible sacrifices that we are making great progress, we are flattening the curve,” Hogan said to Marylanders.

According to the state health department, there are 28,163 cases confirmed in the state, up 1,046 cases since Tuesday. Currently, 1,338 people have died from the virus, with 99 probable deaths reported.

More than 115,000 Marylanders have tested negative for the virus and 1,903 people have been released from isolation.

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Hospitalizations saw a slight plateau in new cases, only up 14 since Tuesday. There are currently 1,707 people hospitalized in the state from the virus, with 1,123 in acute care and 584 in intensive care.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, 5,497 people have been hospitalized.

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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.