Governor Hogan Orders Close of “Non-Essential” Businesses

(Baltimore Sun)

In stepped-up efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday the state was ordering closed all non-essential companies, building on-the-fly hospitals in Baltimore and dedicating millions of dollars to help save small businesses.

The flurry of actions from the governor came as the Republican executive condemned some Marylanders for engaging in “irresponsible and reckless behavior” by gathering in large crowds in violation of an order limiting groups to 10. Hogan said the closure of additional businesses, including retail stores that had been allowed to remain open, was necessary to “slow the spread” of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

“Let me repeat, once again as strongly as I possibly can: if you are engaged in this activity, you are breaking the law and you are literally endangering the lives of your family friends and fellow citizens,” Hogan said.

The order, which takes effect at 5 p.m. today, does not include essential or critical industries as defined by the federal government: health care, law enforcement, emergency workers, food, energy, water, transportation, public works, communications, government, critical manufacturing, financial services, chemicals and defense. Restaurant carry-outs, liquor stores and daycare centers are among the businesses that can remain open.

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