MD Coronavirus: Public Schools To Close, Spring Break Changes
All Maryland public schools have been ordered closed for two weeks, and the National Guard has been activated to help fight the coronavirus.
ANNAPOLIS, MD — All Maryland public schools have been ordered closed for two weeks, and the National Guard has been activated to help fight the coronavirus, Gov. Larry Hogan said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Hogan has signed executive orders to help combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including the closure of Baltimore's cruise ship terminal and the shutdown of large events.
All public schools in Maryland will be closed Monday through March 27, and all buildings and buses will be cleaned to stop the spread of the virus before students and staff return. The days before spring break will be used as makeup days. Plans are in the works to provide meals to students who depend on them.
Schools will be open on normal hours on Friday, March 13. Teachers will spend the day reviewing lessons for the next two weeks. Dr. Karen Salmon, state school superintendent, said that school will instead be in session on days previously designated for Easter/spring break. For most districts, that means classes will be held around Easter on April 9, 10 and 13 to make up some of the days lost to the two-week closure.
Daily life shouldn't come to a halt, Hogan said, and essential businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants should remain open. But one of his actions prohibits any gatherings of 250 people or more.
"This problem continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically," Hogan said. "For Marylanders, the actions I have announced here today will be disruptive to your everyday lives. They may seem extreme, and they may sound frightening. But they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe."
Don't miss updates about the new coronavirus in Maryland.
HOSPITAL VISITATION POLICIES: Hospitals should limit visitation, including:
- No one under the age of 18 is permitted to visit, including in all waiting areas and common spaces.
- Only one adult visitor per patient in all areas of the hospital.
- Visitors should be screened for flu-like symptoms.
- Visitors who have traveled internationally may not visit for 14 days after arrival into the United States.
SUSPENSION OF VISITS TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES: The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional 五福彩票6688下载 is suspending all visits to its correctional facilities effective immediately. The department will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates.
- There have been no cases of coronavirus in our correctional facilities.
- At this time, facility programming will continue on a case-by-case basis.
- DPSCS will re-evaluate the situation often in an effort to restore normal visits as soon as possible.
TELEWORK FOR NON-ESSENTIAL STATE EMPLOYEES: Mandatory telework will begin March 13 across state agencies for all non-essential state employees.
The measures came after authorities uncovered the state's first case of the new coronavirus spreading to someone with no exposure to the disease via travel or an infected person. Hogan said midday Thursday that the first case of what is called the community transmission of COVID-19 is a Prince George's County resident whose illness was confirmed Wednesday night.
"The first case of COV-19 community transmission in Maryland means we are entering a new phase of working to mitigate and limit the spread of this pandemic," Hogan tweeted. "What we are seeing now is what we have been anticipating and preparing for over the last several weeks."
The World Health Organization said Wednesday it .
For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, visit .
At a Wednesday news conference, Hogan said businesses and schools need to prepare for extended closures because of the coronavirus, and organizers of large events should delay or cancel their plans. The
Calling the new coronavirus an evolving threat, Hogan on Wednesday outlined several statewide changes to help prevent spread of the infection:
- The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will immediately move to an appointments-only system for all transactions to reduce walk-ins, reduce foot traffic and keep crowds to a minimum.
- The Maryland Health Benefits Exchange is establishing a special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connections for coronavirus coverage. Even though the federal marketplace doesn't offer this kind of enrollment, "we wanted to do so to provide peace of mind to Maryland residents," he said.
- The Department of Public Safety and Correctional 五福彩票6688下载 is ending in-person visits for people in infirmaries, reducing programs in facilities, offering more video visits and requiring staff with any flu-like symptoms to stay 五福彩票6688下载.
- Effective immediately, nursing 五福彩票6688下载s, assisted living and retirement facilities will have restricted access to essential visits only. All staff members are prohibited from international travel. He recommends the facilities actively screen all people entering and restrict anyone showing symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.
Hogan said he is concerned that the number of cases outside China五福彩票6688下载 has increased thirteen-fold and the number of affected countries has tripled in the last two weeks. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told congressional leaders Wednesday that the coronavirus is roughly 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu, the governor said.
Federal officials have told Hogan that 12 Maryland residents are aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the California coast. All of them are being taken to military bases in Georgia and Texas for examination and quarantine.
Maryland was asked to take passengers who don't show any coronavirus symptoms, but Hogan said he has told federal officials that all 12 residents must be tested on a military base first. Once they are cleared by doctors, they can come back to Maryland.
"We want those Marylanders to be able to come 五福彩票6688下载. However, we also want to take every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our state," Hogan said.
Any Maryland resident who tests positive for the virus must stay in quarantine at a military base, he added.