He says ‘just wear the damn masks.’
Annapolis, Md (KM) Marylanders are strongly urged to continue being vigilant against COViD-19. During a news conference on Thursday In Annapolis, Governor Larry Hogan said there are 149,964 coronavirus cases in the state as of Thursday, ,including 1,198 new cases over the past 24 hours, the highest one day total since July 25th . There are also 588 patients are currently hospitalized, and 17,435 with COVID-19 have been hospitalized to date. He also said 4,085 Marylanders have died from the coronavirus.
“The indisputable fact is that we are now in the midst of a major surge of COVID-19 in America,” says the Governor.
Nationally, there were more 100,000 new coronavirus cases in the US on Wednesday, which is the nation’s largest one-day total ever. The virus has taken the lives of 233,777 Americans across the country.
The Governors says the surge was predicted by the experts during the height of the pandemic in the spring, and Maryland has been preparing for it. He says the state has built up a long term testing strategy, and robust contact tracing system. Maryland has also kept in place a hospital surge capacity plan of over 6,000 beds, and emergency management officials have distributed more than 78-million units of personal protective gear.
But Hogan says it’s important for residents to do their part in keeping the virus at bay, and that includes wearing a mask. “Wearing masks continues to be the single best mitigation strategy we have to fight this virus,” he says. “It is the best way to keep you and your family members safe, to keep people out of the hospital, save lives and to keep Maryland open for business.”
And he emphasized that point very strongly. “It’s that simple. It’s not that hard. Just wear the damn masks,” he says.
The Governor also said he’s concerned about the complacency on the part of some businesses and individuals when it comes to COVID-19, how some people are not wearing masks or taking other safety precautions. “Local leaders, county health departments, county liquor boards and, when necessary, local law enforcement agencies must immediately step up their efforts to the levels they were back in the spring to insure that all businesses in their individual jurisdictions are compliance with all public health regulations,” says Hogan.
The Governor noted that his mask order is still in effect. That requires everyone in Maryland from age five and older to wear masks when in public spaces of all businesses. Face coverings are required in in outdoor public areas where social distancing is not possible. There are exceptions such as medical conditions preventing someone from wearing a mask.
In addition, Governor Hogan said he has renewed his out-of-state travel advisory. Marylanders are strongly urged not to travel to areas where the positivity rate is 10% or more, and should postpone any non-essential travel to those areas. In addition, travelers coming into Maryland from these areas should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting the results.
“We had all hoped that this crisis would be behind us by now. But the simple fact is it is not,” Hogan said. “The straight truth is this virus will be with us well into next year. In fact. Our worst time may be over the next couple of months.”
By Kevin McManus