To Fight COVID-19 Surge, Governor Hogan Announces Hospital Surge Measures, Statewide Capacity Restrictions
Emergency Orders To Restrict Hospital and Nursing Home Visitation, Alleviate Overcrowding at Medical Facilities
Institutes 10 PM Closure for Bars and Restaurants, 50% Capacity for Retail and Religious Establishments
ANNAPOLIS, MD—With widespread community transmission across the state and surging COVID-19 metrics across the country, Governor Larry Hogan today announced immediate actions to prevent overburdening the state’s healthcare system and to keep more Marylanders from dying.
“We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning,” said Governor Hogan. “Now more than ever, I am pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus. Your family and friends are counting on you, your neighbors are counting on you, and your fellow Marylanders are counting on you to stay ‘Maryland Strong.’”
Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief of shock trauma at the University of Maryland Medical Center, also spoke at today’s press conference.
In addition to today’s new actions, the governor announced that he will participate in a call on Thursday with President-elect Joe Biden and his transition team.
NEW ACTIONS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 AT 5 PM:
The governor has issued an emergency order that takes the following actions—effective Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m.:
10 PM CLOSURE FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS STATEWIDE. All bars, restaurants, and venues serving food and alcohol must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for the purposes of carryout and delivery.
LIMITED CAPACITY FOR RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS AND RELIGIOUS FACILITIES. Capacity at retail establishments and religious facilities will be reduced to 50%, bringing them into line with indoor dining and personal services businesses, as well as bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller and ice skating rinks, fitness centers, and social and fraternal clubs.
NO FANS FOR RACETRACKS AND STADIUMS. No fans or crowds will be permitted at racetracks or professional and collegiate stadiums across the state. The governor’s order reverts back to the previous order allowing 250 people onsite.
Businesses with questions about today’s orders should contact Secretary.Commerce@Maryland.gov.
ACTIONS ON HOSPITAL SURGE MANAGEMENT AND VISITATION:
HOSPITAL VISITATION PROHIBITED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. State health officials have issued an emergency order to prohibit all hospital visitation until further notice with some exceptions—including end-of-life care, obstetrics, parents or guardians of minors, and support for people with disabilities. Read the order.
NEW HOSPITAL SURGE MANAGEMENT ORDER. State health officials have issued an emergency order allowing hospitals that are either full or nearing capacity limits to transfer patients to hospitals that are equipped to provide them with the care they need. This will help alleviate the overcrowded hospitals in some areas of the state, and place patients in hospitals where beds are available. Read the order.
GUIDANCE ON ELECTIVE PROCEDURES. State health officials have issued guidance warning hospitals and other medical facilities to avoid any elective procedure admissions that are not urgent or life-saving—especially if they are likely to require prolonged artificial ventilation, ICU admissions, or may have a high probability of requiring post-hospital care in a skilled nursing facility. Read the guidance.
ACTIONS ON HOTSPOTS AND NURSING HOMES:
NEW LIMITATIONS ON NURSING HOME VISITATION. Until further notice, indoor visitation at Maryland nursing homes will generally be limited to compassionate care, and all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to their visit. Read the order.
NURSING HOME TESTING SURGE. State health officials have issued an order instituting mandatory twice-weekly testing for all staff at Maryland nursing homes, as well as mandatory weekly testing for all nursing home residents—effective no later than Friday, November 20. Read the order.
MORE RAPID RESPONSE TEAMS FOR HOTSPOTS AND OUTBREAKS. To tackle acute outbreaks, Governor Hogan is doubling the number of rapid response teams deployed to provide an extra level of triage and supplement local staffing needs.