Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday evening urged Marylanders to remain vigilant in response to the rising number of coronavirus cases both in the state and across the nation.
“I cannot stress strongly enough that we cannot afford to let our guard down. The warning lights are starting to flash on the dashboard and nobody should think for one minute that we are immune to the spikes that we are seeing spread in surrounding states in the region and across the country,” Hogan said at a news conference at the State House in Annapolis.
Hogan added: “The weeks and months ahead will be difficult and our collective actions will determine whether we can continue safely on this road to recovery.”
Hogan said he is concerned that seven of the state’s jurisdictions, several of which are located on the eastern shore-have positivity rates at or above 5%. However, the governor emphasized that Maryland’s metrics overall are better than that of 42 other states across the nation.
Hogan said right now new restrictions are not necessary but that the situation could change.
“We are going to continue to respond quickly and decisively to any changes in the situation as it develops. And we are going to continue to attack this virus with every tool at our disposal.”
Dr. David Marcozzi, who is a member of the Coronavirus Recovery Task Force and COVID-19 Incident Commander for the University of Maryland Medical System, said that he, like Hogan, is also concerned about the rising number of COVID cases in the state.
“Recent Maryland data has been concerning as there has been a noticeable increase in our state’s positivity rate and the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations from the virus. More of us are spreading this virus and more of us are becoming sick by this virus.”
Marcozzi said Maryland is entering a period of “high-risk” as the holiday season approaches because large indoor gatherings make it easier for the virus to spread.
There are 149,964 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Thursday morning, according to the state’s Department of Health, and 4,035 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state’s positivity rate is at 4.21%. Maryland has conducted more than 3.5 million COVID-19 tests.
Maryland entered the final stage of the state’s recovery plan in September.
There are have been more than 629,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide in the past week with 100,000 cases reported on Wednesday alone.