ANNAPOLIS — Lawmakers and employees at the State House will see a relatively unfamiliar sight when they arrive Monday — additional military and police.
At least three military vehicles were parked along State Circle near the Capitol, and a marked Maryland State Police cruiser was stationed between the State House and the Governor’s Mansion. Inside, tables have been set up and state troopers and members of the National Guard were milling about.
Michael Ricci, a Hogan spokesman, said the additional presence is to support Hogan and his command center, which is overseeing the state’s day-to-day response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Ricci said, staff will establish a voluntary screening and temperature checkpoint.
“They’ll help us with that, too,” Ricci said in a tweet.
“I imagine it’ll be consistent with what White House is doing, everyone on campus,” said Ricci in an email. “But, to be clear, it’ll be voluntary.”
Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland in response to the COVID-19 virus on March 5. Last Thursday he announced additional measures, including the closure of state buildings, including the State House, to the public. He also mobilized the National Guard to assist in the response.
The State House and House and Senate office buildings in Annapolis are closed to all but state employees, lawmakers and credentialed reporters.
On Sunday, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson announced that the General Assembly would end its 2020 session on Wednesday, nearly three weeks early.