Governor orders masks in all public places, starting Friday

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wears a mask with a pattern of the state flag of Maryland.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that — based on the state’s data-driven approach — the expansion of the statewide masking order and a public health advisory for all out-of-state travel.

The governor also unveiled contact tracing data showing that family gatherings are the most common high-risk gathering and working outside the home is the most common high-risk location for Covid-19.

A recent increase in hospitalizations has triggered a “stop sign” in the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,” calling for a pause in further reopening plans, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office.

“We find ourselves at a fork in the road — a critical turning point where we could either continue making progress and continue heading in the right direction, or we could ignore the warnings and spike back up like much of the rest of the country,” Hogan said. “We are doing much better on our health metrics than most of the rest of the country, and we are doing much better on our economic recovery than most of the rest of the country, and we want to do what it takes to keep it that way. We have come too far together to lose the progress that we have made on the road to health and economic recovery here in Maryland.”

Expanded masking order

With the unanimous support of the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team, Hogan is expanding the statewide masking order that has been in effect since April 18.

Under this order, which takes effect Friday at 5 p.m., all Marylanders over the age of 5 are required to wear face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses across the state.

Face coverings will also be required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing. The expanded order continues to provide certain exceptions, including for medical conditions.

Out-of-state travel advisory

Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health to issue a public health advisory for out-of-state travel. Under this advisory, Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to states with positivity rates of 10 percent or higher. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results.

This public health advisory — which takes effect immediately — applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity rates decline.

As of today, this advisory applies to Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska and Idaho. Read the travel advisory.

Contact tracing data

In addition to identifying individuals who may have been infected with Covid-19, Maryland is now using contact tracing data to find patterns of behavior, and to identify where and how the virus is spreading.

Wicomico stats

Wicomico County continues to lead the Eastern Shore counties with 1,260 total cases and 43 deaths.

So far, 16,403 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in Wicomico.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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