Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a series of dramatic executive orders today to prevent the spread of coronavirus. These actions are to be enforced by police and the National Guard.
According to WBAL-TV he ordered the following social distancing measures.
-shut down all bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters, effectively starting at 5 p.m. Monday. Drive through and carry out services will be allowed to continue.
-Following CDC guidelines, settings of 50 of more individuals will be prohibited across the state, including social and recreational events and religious and sports gatherings. (source)
These measures will be strongly enforced. Anne Arundel First Alert reports:
Hogan says State Troopers and National Guard will enforce orders saying "We're not playing around anymore." "Emergency orders will carry the full force of the law," Hogan re-iterated.
"We have never faced anything like this before, said Hogan. He continued, citing "Drastic actions" being taken right now. He warned Marylanders the orders may seem scary and may sound extreme, it is absolutely necessary. (source)
Hogan has ordered the activation of 250 State Troopers for emergency service, 400 Army and Air National Guard, and 1000 more MD National Guard. As well, 1200 Maryland guardsmen are on enhanced readiness status if they are needed.
They will also increase medical resources and provide financial relief.
As well, any hospitals that have been closed will be re-opened to increase the capacity in the state by 6000 beds. They will also allow doctors and nurses with out-of-state licenses to practice in Maryland.
For those who may be financially struggling, the following orders were put in place:
-Essential services such as grocery stores, banks and gas stations will be allowed to remain open.
-The executive order prohibits utilities, such as electric, gas, water, sewage, cable, internet and phone lines, to be cut off nor incur late fees.
-Evictions have been prohibited.
-Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon has applied for a Federal waiver to provide three meals a day plus a snack to those who need it. Statewide, 138 centers already up and operating. Visit MDSummerMeals.org to find all participating locations. (source)
To some degree, this answers our questions about whether or not utilities will remain working. It appears that governments will try to keep things like power, water, and internet running as normally as possible for as long as possible.
How long with these extreme measures last?
According to Gov. Hogan, "It is impossible to know how long this threat will continue."