ANNAPOLIS — Governor Larry Hogan provided a COVID-19 update on Thursday.
There are currently 149,964 confirmed cases, including 1,198 new cases over the past 24 hours, the highest one-day total since July 25.
Hogan stated Maryland’s seven-day positivity rate (4.21%), while still lower than 42 other states, is trending in the wrong direction. The state now have 7 jurisdictions above the 5% benchmark.
Maryland entered the federal ‘red zone’ for case rates and average cases per 100,000 has risen to 15, which is a 22% increase over the past week.
However, Hogan said statewide metrics do not yet warrant taking drastic immediate actions.
According to Hogan, while the state is much better prepared for this surge, residents “cannot afford to let our guard down. The weeks and months ahead will be difficult, and our collective actions will determine whether we can continue safely on the road to recovery.”
He also said the statewide masking order will remain in full force and effect, requiring everyone to wear masks or face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
"It’s simple. It’s not that hard. Just wear the damn mask," Hogan said.
With increasing reports of individuals and businesses not following the law, Hogan is also calling on local leaders, health departments, and law enforcement to step up enforcement efforts.
Maryland is renewing its travel advisory as well and warning Marylanders to avoid traveling to or from states with positivity rates of 10% or higher. Travel to these areas should be canceled or postponed.
Hogan said if you must travel to one of these locations, Marylanders are advised to immediately be tested for COVID-19 and should self-quarantine while awaiting results.
"The truth is that this virus will be with us well into next year, and our worst time may be over the next few months. But we will get through this together, and we will come out of this stronger and better than ever before," Hogan stated.