On Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the number of positive coronavirus cases in Maryland had climbed to 107. Among the new cases is a 5-year-old girl from Howard County marking the first time a child in Maryland has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Howard County officials revealed this afternoon that the girl is enrolled at Elkridge Elementary School. She has been recovering at home and health officials do not believe others at the school are at risk. Maryland experienced its first coronavirus death on Wednesday after a man who had been infected through community transmission passed away.
Governor Hogan warned that the fatalities will continue to climb. “And while this was the first death here in Maryland, it unfortunately won’t be the last.” During Hogan’s Thursday morning briefing, he said the number of confirmed cases had increased by 88% in 48 hours.
During that briefing, Hogan set new guidelines including closing all shopping malls and entertainment spaces at 5 PM on Thursday. Entertainment spaces include bowling alleys and pool halls. Gatherings of more than 10 people are now prohibited in the state of Maryland.
The BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport terminal will now be limited to guests with tickets and anyone needed to assist them while public transportation has been limited to essential personnel.
Hospital Surge Plan And College Students
Hogan announced that the state has activated phase one of its hospital surge plan. While 900 beds are immediately available, the state will have 1,400 more beds by early April.
College students will likely finish their semester remotely. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents has been asked to find ways to allow college students to finish the semester remotely.
Carry-Out And Delivery Of Alcohol
Governor Hogan has issued an executive order allowing carry-out and delivery of alcohol from breweries, wineries, distilleries, bars, and restaurants. The decision has been made to support local small businesses and encourage Maryland residents to stay at home.
New Website – Maryland Unites
Finally, the state has launched a new website that will help people find volunteer opportunities and other ways to help. The Maryland Unites website provides Maryland residents with access to resources such as Red Cross, Meals On Wheels, the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, No Kid Hungry, Maryland Food Bank, and others.
The new website also provides information about the executive orders issued by the Hogan administration and how they’re impacting local businesses and consumers.