ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — More than 460,000 people signed up for the MD COVID Alert program in the first two days since it launched, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday.
The governor made the announcement during a news conference Thursday evening. The program alerts people of possible exposure to someone with COVID-19 using low-energy Bluetooth technology.
Thursday marked Hogan’s second coronavirus-related news conference this week. For more than a week, state health officials have reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases daily. The state’s positivity rate is over 5.6%, and half of the state’s jurisdictions have positivity rates over 5%, he said.
Hospitalizations have also spiked, with 863 Marylanders in hospitals with the virus, the highest number since June.
While Maryland is faring better than many other states, it’s still in the “red zone” as designated by the federal government, Hogan said.
As the number of cases continues to increase, Hogan warned the next several months “will likely be by far the most difficult that we have faced.”
He stressed that the state will get through the pandemic together if everyone does their part.
HOGAN NEWS CONFERENCE UPDATES:
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- Maryland Sets Aside $20M To Stockpile PPE To Prepare For COVID-19 Surge
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On Tuesday, Hogan announced the state would roll back capacity in restaurants and businesses to 50% after increasing it back in September.
Hogan and state health officials warned that family gatherings were the number one culprit for COVID-19 spread, a point he stressed by saying he had canceled his own Thanksgiving plans with his family due to the virus.
Android users can download the MD COVID Alert app from the Google Play Store, while iOS users can enable exposure notifications from the app in their devices’ settings. To learn more, click here.
WATCH BELOW: Hogan’s Full News Conference