That’s until a vaccine is developed.
Annapolis, Md (KM) The coronavirus may be with us for a while, even after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. That comment comes from Dr. Tom Inglesby with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who spoke Friday during the Governor’s news conference.
Dr Inglesby expressed support for the Governor’s executive orders requiring Marylanders to stay home, stay at least six feet away from each other and not to gather in crowds of more than ten people as well as the closure of non-essential businesses and organizations. He says they have made a difference. “If we hadn’t put social distancing measures in place the way they have been instituted, the numbers in this state would still have been going up rapidly, perhaps doubling every five to six days, as they have in many places in the world,” Dr. Inglesby said.
Despite some positive signs regarding the pandemic, he said now is not the time to reopen the state of Maryland. “But it’s clear that if we opened the state today, we would risk a fast acceleration in the epidemic in very high numbers,” says Dr. Inglesby. “The early social distancing measures put in place by the Governor and his team have stopped the rapid rise in cases, and have flattened the curve in Maryland.”
For the restrictions to be lifted, he says there needs to be a period of decline in hospitalizations and patients admitted to the ICU, and the state isn’t at that point yet.
Even when the pandemic has ended, Dr. Inglesby says the coronavirus may be with us for a while. “Unfortunately, this virus is going to be in our state, in our country, until we have vaccine and our population gets immunity,” he said. “So even if the state does begin to reopen, it will be critical for the public to know that it’s own individual efforts will still be very important.”
He says that includes continuing to wear a cloth covering for your face, keeping a safe distance from other people and more telecommuting.
Tourism Takes Hit From Coronavirus
With the summer approaching, most businesses connected with the tourism industry in Maryland would be getting ready for the influx of visitors. But that’s not the case this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt that sector of the economy.
Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz says her agency has formed 13 recovery groups representing various industries which will determine how to restart their operations after the pandemic is over, and protecting the health of residents. “They’ll be identifying the critical steps that will need to be taken to get our tourism businesses up and running again: such as working with local health officials to possibly get approval of occupancies; rehiring the local work force; and learning how and wondering when to start restocking the goods and relaunching the services that they are performing,” she said
Schulz also said specialized panels within the tourism industry have been set up for restaurants and bars, accommodations, retailers, attractions, transportation, destinations and sports.
Secretary Schulz also spoke during the Governor’s news conference on Friday.
By Kevin McManus