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Md. governor worried social distancing still not followed

March 22, 2020 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday he’s aggravated by people failing to heed warnings about the necessity of social distancing to blunt the spread of the new coronavirus.

Hogan, who ordered last week a statewide reduction in the number of people allowed to congregate from 50 to 10, said those not heeding the warnings are “endangering not only yourselves but your fellow citizens.”

“We’ve got to get people off the streets and out of these crowds. It’s absolutely essential,” Hogan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Failing to heed the limit on assemblies is a violation of state law.

Maryland health officials reported Sunday more than 240 positive COVID-19 cases, or over 50 more compared to Saturday. The Department of Health reported late Saturday the state’s third death related to the virus as a Montgomery County woman in her 40s who suffered from underlying medical conditions.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever or coughing. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Over half of Maryland’s positive cases are in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, adjoining Washington, D.C.

Hogan said there have been meetings with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to work together as a region to combat the virus spread. Hogan was concerned when he learned about crowds this weekend around the blooming cherry blossoms in Washington.

Leaders in Ocean City, a popular beachfront destination, announced on Sunday that the beach and the city’s boardwalk were now closed through at least April 15. Only town residents will be able to use them for exercise or to walk their dogs.

Hogan, the chairman of the National Governors Association, said some progress by the nation’s governors has been made to push the federal government to ramp up supplies for medical professionals so portions of the nation’s health care system doesn’t buckle.

“Failures were made,” Hogan said about the federal government’s earlier response, but “instead of just talking about what didn’t get done, I just want to get things done.”

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