ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Hogan provided an update to Marylanders on Tuesday on efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Effective on Wednesday at 5 p.m., the capacity for indoor operations at bars and restaurants will be reduced from 75% back to 50% for seated and distanced service only.
The Maryland Department of Health is also issuing a new public health advisory strongly warning against any indoor gatherings of 25 people or more.
They also issued an expanded advisory for all out-of-state travel.
All Marylanders are strongly advised to avoid all nonessential travel to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or an average case rate of 20 cases per 100K.
Effective immediately as well, all state employees who are approved to telework must once again begin a period of mandatory telework except for essential, direct, public-facing services and essential personnel.
The health department is issuing an emergency order to activate the next level of hospital surge capacity planning by adding alternative care site capacity, and providing additional staffing support and clinical care to nursing homes.
Hogan also advised visitors should get tested at nursing homes, staff should avoid gatherings, and nursing homes should develop sufficient PPE stockpile.
Local leaders can implement more restrictive policies if deemed necessary based on conditions in their individual jurisdictions. The state will take additional actions in the weeks ahead if the situation continues to deteriorate.
Hogan led by saying that most of the state's key metrics have “worsened considerably” since last week with widespread community transmission.
Maryland has had seven straight days with more than 1,000 new cases.
On Monday, for the first time since June 25, the 7-day statewide positivity rate crossed over the 5% benchmark of the CDC and WHO.
Maryland’s case rate has risen to 19.8 per 100K, a 36% increase in the past week. Case rates are above 10 per 100K in 18 jurisdictions and above 20 per 100K in seven jurisdictions.
Hogan stated Maryland is now in the 'red zone' because of the case rate per 100K.