Gov. Larry Hogan is asking all returning spring break travelers to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Hogan, in an update on the COVID-19 response released Friday afternoon, said the state now has 149 confirmed cases.Two new cases are children including an infant and the first teenager. None of the children under 18 are hospitalized.
A number of colleges and universities in Maryland, including the University System of Maryland, have moved to remote learning for its spring semester.
“We are asking all returning spring break travelers to self-quarantine for the next 14 days, and to avoid people over the age of 60. Even though students are not returning to campus, this should not in any way be treated as an extension of your spring break,” said Hogan. “If you ignore this recommendation, you are endangering yourself and the health of others.”
Public and private schools are completing the first week of a two-week closure. It is not clear if schools will remain closed beyond that initial two weeks.
In the last week, Hogan has attempted to communicate the seriousness of the pandemic while also encouraging residents to remain calm. On Friday, the governor encouraged residents to take advantage of the temperate weather while being cautious.
“While we hope Marylanders will take advantage of today’s warm weather, we urge you to avoid crowds at all costs,” Hogan said in a statement. “Avoid all playgrounds, pavilions, and anywhere that groups of more than 10 people may congregate. Please do not take this guidance lightly.”
COVID-19 is from a family of coronaviruses that include severe acute respiratory syndrome — SARS – and Middle East respiratory syndrome. The virus takes its name for the spikes that appear on the surface of its cells that resemble crowns.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most people who catch the virus develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Hogan said Friday he continues to meet with his response team and Cabinet.
“At the state level, we are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our citizens, but everyone has a critical role to play,” said Hogan. “If every single Marylander steps up and does their part by making sacrifices now, it will slow the spread of this virus and save lives.”