Governor Larry Hogan said Marylanders should avoid traveling to states where COVID-19 cases are rising, while also expressing concern about a high rate of young people contracting the virus.
“The positivity rate among Marylanders under the age of 35 is now 83 percent higher than Marylanders who are 35 and older," Gov. Hogan said.
On Wednesday, the state reported more than 700 new coronavirus cases for the second straight day. The two days marked the most new cases since early June.
Governor Hogan echoed his statement he released on Tuesday during a news conference Wednesday, saying the recent uptick in cases, especially among young people in their 20s and 30s, stems from bars and restaurants not enforcing virus rules. He reiterated his message, urging them to enforce public health orders.
“Young people should avoid crowded bars, house parties and large gatherings of any kind. You are not only putting yourselves at risk, but you are also risking the lives of your parents, grandparents and other vulnerable people in the community,"he said.
In recent weeks, several restaurants have been forced to temporarily close due to COVID-19, including 10 in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood.
As cases continue to rise across the country in a number of states, Governor Hogan said he is keeping an eye on the recent surge, including in neighboring states. He also said Marylanders should avoid traveling to the areas where cases numbers are rising, adding it is still "safer at home".
“Everyone should continue wearing masks in public areas, businesses and on public transportation, Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, staying 6 feet apart whenever possible," Hogan said.
Despite the new cases this week, the governor said key COVID-19 numbers are still promising, highlighting a positivity rate that continues to decline and hospitalizations that remain well below the peak from a couple of months ago.
"We did see a slight uptick of COVID-19 hospitalizations today, but they are still down 73 percent from their peak 77 days ago," he said. "The battle is not over yet. Not by a long shot."
As of Wednesday, the state has recorded 75,576 cases and 3,341 deaths.