It comes as the number of coronavirus deaths continues to rise statewide. Maryland topped the total of 5,000 coronavirus-related deaths earlier this week
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“This holiday season could present perhaps our most difficult challenge yet,” Hogan said at a press conference Thursday. “This is the time of year that many of us usually plan to travel to visit family and loved ones.”
Yet community transmission continues to have an impact.
“And we all look forward to hosting or attending family reunions and holiday celebrations,” he continued. “Unfortunately, these are precisely the things that contact tracing consistently shows to be the most dangerous things we can do. ”
There have been a total of 243,984 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. Forty-nine other Marylanders died Thursday from the virus with a total of 5,152 deaths reported.
Hospitalizations have decreased from 60 and are now at 1,702. The number of intensive care patients is again down slightly to 394 and there are 1,308 in acute care.
The statewide positivity rate has increased slightly and now stands at 7.73%. It is the 8th lowest in the country, Hogan said.
“After having performed so well for so long, we just cannot afford to let our guard down over the holidays during this very critical time,” Hogan said. “Our message today is simple: You are safer at home for this year’s vacation.”
“Making some difficult sacrifices over the next few weeks will absolutely help keep your family, loved ones and compatriots in Maryland safe,” he added. “It will help our hospitals meet demand and it will save a lot of money.”
“We want families to celebrate and enjoy the holidays in a way that is safe,” Hogan said, urging Marylanders to stay home for the holidays.
“Today, I am issuing an emergency order, which requires limiting travel to essential purposes only,” Hogan said. “Marylanders traveling outside of Maryland or people traveling to our state will need to test negative for COVID-19 or go into quarantine for 10 days. With testing so widely available to everyone across Maryland, it’s easier than ever. ”
This does not, however, include states bordering Maryland such as Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.
« [This] does not impact people who drive to and from states in the region, ”Hogan said. “We’re talking about flying out of state or traveling to places that are outside of our region.”
He said thousands of Marylanders leave the state daily to work in neighboring states.
The Maryland Department of Health has also issued a public health advisory, which lowers the gathering limit from 25 to 10. The Department of Health also advises Marylanders against all non-essential activities and vacation gatherings with people in attendance. outside of your immediate home.
Several hospitals administered the first dose of Pfizer vaccine to frontline workers. Hogan said earlier this week that nursing home workers and residents would start getting vaccinated next week.
WJZ will broadcast the Governor’s press conference live on air and on WJZ.com.
For the latest information on the coronavirus, see the Maryland Department of Health website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage at coronavirus in Maryland here.