BALTIMORE (WJZ) — 2020 was not a year without its trials and hardships and it will forever be intertwined with a global pandemic.
Since the first coronavirus cases were reported in Maryland back in March, WJZ.com has covered the spread of the pandemic and how it affected people’s livelihoods, businesses and more.
Here were the most-read stories about COVID-19 on WJZ.com this year:
Back on March 18, then-Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young held a press conference with other city officials to urge residents to put down their guns after a violent night. Officials were trying to keep hospital beds open for COVID-19 patients at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty about the virus.
Football fans were overjoyed when they learned football would be back in the fall. But with all the coronavirus restrictions, coaches and players had to get used to the new way of playing football. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was trying to figure out what face covering he would use during the game. After watching Chiefs Coach Andy Reid struggle with a plastic face shield during Thursday Night Football, Harbaugh opted to wear a face Gator.
Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order on March 16 to shut down dining at restaurants, restricting them to carry-out and delivery only. State police said they would be responding to complaints about businesses that do not comply.
Despite coronavirus numbers rising, the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, was packed the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Groups of ten or more were prohibited by law and masks were recommended, but not required at the time. Photos of the boardwalk went viral nationally after being shared across social media.
Businesses and attractions across Maryland, including museums, the zoo and aquarium, closed their doors to patrons after the governor’s executive order restricted sizes for gatherings. Then as things began to reopen in the summer, several positive cases were reported at bars and restaurants around the state.
As COVID-19 cases spread across Maryland in the spring, Gov. Larry Hogan was trying to explain the severity of the situation. Cases in New York were spiking and it was looking grim. Noting data at the time, Hogan said the number of cases in Maryland was expected to be as bad as New York around Easter.
Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all bars, restaurants to close indoor dining and ordered movie theaters and gyms to close while Maryland tried to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state on March 16. This was when Maryland had only reported 42 positive cases and there were about 100 cases across the DC metro area. A week later he would close all non-essential businesses.
On March 30, Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order in Maryland. Stay at home orders were issued in Virginia and DC as well. This came as 1,400 positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the state. Hogan asked residents not to leave their homes except for an essential job or reason such as getting food or medicine.
After nearly a month under a stay-at-home order, Marylanders were eager to get back out into society. On April 22, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he would soon reveal Maryland’s recovery plan which including how to safely reopen businesses like restaurants and gyms.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced on April 20 that he along with First Lady Yumi Hogan worked to acquire 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea. This came after he said the federal government was delayed in getting tests out to the state. A Korean Air Boeing 777 arrived with the tests.
If you want to see a timeline of how coronavirus spread through the state, click here.