ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan warned Marylanders about surging COVID cases in the state on Tuesday. He said the state is seeing widespread community transmission, not just in cities but in rural communities.

“There have been 7 straight days with more than 1,000 new cases. The 7 day average of positivity is over 5% for the first time in 137 days.”

He said 11 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions have risen above a 5% positivity rate.”

  “We’ve now moved into the red zone as designated by the federal government. More people are dying from this virus.”

The Governor said that family gatherings were responsible for most of the spread. “We have now crossed over into the danger zone. Too many residents and businesses have COVID fatigue and have let their guard down.”

He warned that the state would use every tool at their disposal to fight the spread of the virus. “We do not want to take actions that will further burden our struggling small businesses or to shut down our economy.”

Effective tomorrow at 5 pm, the capacity for indoor operations at bars and restaurants will be reduced from 75% to 50%. 

He said many bars and restaurant are ignoring COVID guideline. “This order will be enforced. In addition, the Maryland Department of Health strongly advised against gatherings of 25 people or more. MDOH also issued an advisory against all out-of-state travel.

Effective immediately,  all state employees who are approved to telework, they must begin mandatory telework.  He strongly advised all employers to limit in-person workforce to essential workers. He also suggested employees, split shifts and stagger start times. 

MDOH issued an emergency order to activate the next level of their surge capacity at hospitals.

“This must be an all hands on deck effort,” Hogan said. ” All of our existing and new health orders carry the full force of law. Failure to follow them will result in serious consequences.”

The governor pleased with Marylanders to stay the course in the fight against COVID.

“We have come to far and the stakes are too high. This virus does not care if you’re tired of it. It does not care if you have holiday plans. It does not care who you voted for. Marylanders crushed the curve once before and we can and we will do it with your help.”