Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on November 17, 2020, in the State House. The focus of the press conference was Maryland’s COVID-19 response. The Governor was joined by Dr. Tom Scalea, Physician-in-Chief, University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma; Dennis Schrader, Acting Secretary of Health, Maryland Health Department; and Jinlene Chan, M.D., Acting Deputy Secretary, Public Health Services, Maryland Department of Health.
Key Takeaways of the Press Conference
- The Governor continues to urge Marylanders to follow health guidelines and remain vigilant due to spiking COVID-19 infections.
- The State of Maryland issues additional restrictions on dine-in activities at bars and restaurants and capacity for businesses and other organizations.
- Maryland is taking additional steps to mitigate the overburdening of health care systems.
Governor Hogan’s Remarks
- The Governor said he has been focused on COVID-19, including a meeting with the White House Coronavirus Task Force on November 16, a meeting with the Maryland Coronavirus Task Force on November 17, another meeting later November 17 with the National Governor’s Association, and a meeting November 18 with President-Elect Biden’s COVID-19 team.
- He again urged the U.S. Congress to pass a stimulus bill.
- The Governor said COVID-19 infections continue to increase and Maryland is seeing widespread community transmission.
- Even with additional 6,000 beds in Maryland, hospitals are reaching capacity. The Governor is concerned about overburdening health care systems.
- There are 13 consecutive days of 1,000 or more cases and two days this week where Maryland has seen 2,000 or more infections.
- On November 16, the U.S. had 149,000 new infections, the 14th straight day of 100,000 or more.
- In Maryland, the positivity rate is 6.58%, which puts Maryland in the red zone for cases per 100,000. Maryland currently has 29 cases per 100,000 and case rates above 10 per 100,000 in every Maryland jurisdiction.
- There have been 4,186 Maryland deaths and 247,000 nationwide to date.
- For the first time since June 7, Maryland surpassed 1,000 hospitalizations. There are 73,000 Americans hospitalized nationwide.
Statewide Orders or Guidance
- Effective November 20 at 5 p.m., the State is requiring that all bars and restaurants statewide and other similar establishments must close by 10 p.m. and remain closed through 6 a.m. These and other health guidelines will be strictly enforced.
- Effective November 20 at 5 p.m., the State is requiring 50% capacity for retail businesses, organizations, religious institutions, personal services, bingo halls, bowling alleys, etc.
- The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is issuing an order restricting hospital visits statewide except in certain cases.
- MDH issued guidance to hospitals that they should avoid elective procedures that are likely to require prolonged ventilation, ICU admission or skilled nursing care.
- MDH urged Marylanders to take early and measured steps to prevent health care treatment to avoid increasing hospital capacity.
- The Governor is authorizing overcrowded hospitals in some areas of the state to move patients to other, less-crowded hospitals.
- The State is significantly limiting nursing home visits unless there is a negative test result and the visit is a compassionate-type visit.
- The State will not allow fans to attend games at Maryland stadiums.
- The statewide order continues that masks are required in indoor public areas, on public transportation and outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.
- Maryland remains in a state of emergency and all advisories and emergency health orders remain in effect.
- Marylanders are urged to get tested if returning from school or out-of-state travel.
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