Maryland Governor Closes Schools Over Coronavirus

March 12, 2020 Updated: March 12, 2020

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan confirmed Thursday that state officials will close schools between March 16 and March 27 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which cause the COVID-19 disease.

More than 12 people tested positive for COVID-19, including a case identified as community transmission.

“We should expect the number of cases to dramatically rise,” Hogan said in a press conference.

Hogan also directed senior centers to close and large gatherings to be canceled, while also closing the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Baltimore. Hogan also activated the National Guard.

Normal life shouldn’t stop, Hogan told the news conference, adding that businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants should stay open. No public gatherings above 250 people should be held, the governor added.

“They may sound extreme, and they may sound frightening, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe,” Hogan said.

All hospitals in the state are directed to use new visitor policies to limit the COVID-19 spread such as one adult visitor per patient, no visitors under the age of 19, and also said that people with flu-like symptoms should be screened. No prison visits can be scheduled.

“The first case of COV-19 community transmission in Maryland means we are entering a new phase of working to mitigate and limit the spread of this pandemic,” Hogan wrote on Twitter. “What we are seeing now is what we have been anticipating and preparing for over the last several weeks.”

On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also announced the closure of all public and private schools across the state.