Hogan Expands Mask Order Outdoors, Issues Travel Advisory, Announces Deputy Health Secretary’s Retirement

At a coronavirus news conference Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan made five big announcements about the state’s response to the public health crisis. Here’s what you should know:

1) Maryland will not move to phase 3 of reopening: Hogan says for the time being Maryland will remain in stage 2 of Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery plan because hospitalizations are up. Hogan said cases are especially rising for young people.

2) Mask must be worn outside where physical distancing isn’t possible starting Friday: The announcement was made because the state’s contact tracing data indicates that people are contracting coronavirus at outdoor gatherings and at work. In addition to the outdoor order, Hogan said there will be more rules about wearing masks while inside buildings. Here’s a look at the updated executive order.

3) Maryland Deputy Health Secretary Fran Philips is retiring: Phillips, who had been planning to retire before the public health crisis started, will be succeeded by Dr. Jinlene Chan, the assistant health secretary who leads the states coronavirus testing. Hogan said Phillips will continue to serve the state’s coronavirus task force in an advisory capacity. Chan warned Marylanders in her remarks that although the state’s positivity rate is under 5%, we must not “become complacent.”

4) Maryland issues out of state travel advisory: Upon the advice of the federal government, Hogan announced that an out-of-state travel advisory is in effect in Maryland. This means that people should avoid traveling to states where the positivity rate is above 10%: Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, Idaho. Anyone who travels out of state should get tested and self-quarantine. “Things are pretty much out of control in some of these states,” Hogan acknowledged.

5) Contact Tracing Data Shows Importance of Teleworking: Hogan unveiled new data from Maryland’s contact tracing team, that indicates that reminds many of the coronavirus cases can be linked to instances where people are leaving their homes. Contact tracing is essential for identifying patterns and how the virus spreads, Hogan said. For contact tracing to be effective, people need to answer the call from covid-19. Kata Hall, deputy communications director for Hogan, tweeted data about where coronavirus cases are being linked to:

Watch Full Press Conference:

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