Hogan Public Health Adviser Concerned With Some State Reopening Plans

Dr. Tom Inglesby disagreed with some of the decisions communicated in Gov. Hogan’s public health message on Wednesday. So, he took to Twitter to share his thoughts.

Inglesby, who directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and is a public health adviser to Hogan amid the pandemic, said in a series of tweets Thursday that ending limits on large indoor gatherings could pose new risks as the state has yet to see the full impact of reopening measures implemented May 29.

“We haven’t had time to see impact and in the last two weeks there have been sizable protests in the state that could contribute to increased spread of disease,” Inglesby said. “We should wait to see how the state does in the coming weeks before making more changes.”

The director’s statements come amid Gov. Hogan’s announcement Wednesday introducing a reopening timeline for businesses including malls and indoor gyms over the next few weeks. The plan will start with the reopening of indoor restaurants at 50% capacity June 12 at 5 pm. Some Maryland regions, including Montgomery County, will continue with slower-paced reopening plans.

Since May 29, the state has opened various outdoor restaurants and offices. Although hospitalizations from COVID-19 are on a downward slope, Maryland reported 519 new cases Wednesday. Restarting conventions and opening casinos or indoor restaurants still poses high risks, Inglesby said.

Inglesby commended the governor’s statement imploring residents to continue maintaining social distancing measures and wearing face coverings in public. The governor also reminded residents that confined spaces are a higher risk, and individuals should take extra caution, which Inglesby lauded.

States nationwide are also grappling with how to subdue the possible spread of the virus amid rising protests sparked in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. The affects of the protests could take at least two weeks to emerge, health experts say.

 

Earlier this month, at least 21 states announced increases in COVID-19 cases as lockdown restrictions eased up. Stronger management and diagnosis of cases and contact tracing can help subdue the virus in Maryland, Inglesby said. However, contact tracing is difficult with hundreds of new cases daily, he added.

“Our numbers are moving in right direction, but future success is about what we choose to do next,” he said, adding that some states with early success rates are seeing a rise in case numbers. “We should continue to strive to be a state that keeps driving numbers down until this virus [is] under tighter control.”

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Samantha Subin

About Samantha Subin

Samantha Subin is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, majoring in Multiplatform Journalism with a minor in General Business. Follow her on twitter @samantha_subin

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