Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced additional restrictions on businesses and activities this afternoon, as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the state and around the world. Effective Friday at 5:00 PM, Hogan has ordered all restaurants and bars statewide to close at 10:00 PM nightly. None will be allowed to open between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM.
Hogan also ordered most hospital visits to be suspended with some exceptions, and nursing home visitors will be limited to compassionate care visitors, who have to be tested 72 hours before visiting. The governor also banned all attendance at professional and collegiate sporting events, just weeks after fans were allowed to return to stadiums in the state.
Under the new restrictions, all retail stores and places of worship must reduce capacity to 50%. Hogan urged any students returning from college, or who plan to be around elderly relatives for Thanksgiving, to get tested for Covid-19 first.
The governor asked hospitals to postpone any elective procedures or treatments where possible. He said hospitalizations are up 100% since November 1. The number of patients in ICU beds is the highest since June 2020. Maryland's Health Department is issuing an order to allow hospitals that are full, or nearing capacity, to transfer patients to other hospitals.
"We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning," Hogan said. "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.”