Annapolis, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan asked Wednesday for a presidential disaster declaration for the state to provide funding for state and local governments amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Maryland Day, the state’s 386th birthday, Hogan recapped a timeline of the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland and expressed condolence for the four Marylanders who have died from the virus.
As of Wednesday morning, Maryland has 423 cases of the coronavirus in 22 of 24 jurisdictions.
"The higher numbers means we are testing more people. It doesn’t mean the percentages are going up," Hogan said. "The reality is this crisis is really just beginning."
Hogan said the first state employee, University of Maryland-Baltimore County research professor Dr. Maurice Berger, died from coronavirus in New York. UMBC tweeted, "A path-breaking art historian and curator, Maurice was a fierce advocate for social justice and an exceptionally caring human being."
"This will not be over in a matter of days or a matter of weeks," Hogan said. "A vast majority of people in Maryland who have tested positive are in their 40s with children as young as 10 months old."
Of Maryland's confirmed coronavirus cases, nearly half -- 217 -- are between the ages of 20 and 50.
"The vast majority of people in our state who have tested positive so far are in their 40s and we have children as young as 10 months old who have the virus here in Maryland," Hogan said.
Seventeen people have fully recovered from the coronavirus in Maryland. The governor said it's still too early to plot the apex of the outbreak in Maryland.
"It is critically important that every single person remains vigilant and continues doing their part by staying in place, in their homes, as much as possible so that we can break the back of this virus," Hogan said. "What we do know is that it is not going to be over in a matter of days or even weeks."
Hogan said he is continuously pushing the federal government to deliver 138,000 test kits and supplies that are desperately needed to see the scope of infections in Maryland.
SCHOOLS: Maryland school Superintendent Karen Salmon announced that the closure of schools is extended for four more weeks, through at least April 24. Salmon said it's possible that there could be an extended school year.
HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN: The governor's hospital surge plan has made 2,400 beds available, putting Maryland weeks ahead of schedule. The governor is directing the Maryland Department of Health to allow medical, nursing and medical technician students to staff clinics and field hospitals.
The governor said there have been 2,300 people sign up for the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps since Friday. Tap here for more information.
CHILD CARE: Essential personnel working in response to the coronavirus pandemic who need child care can register for these services through a free referral hotline called LOCATE: 877-261-0060.
"For those essential personnel that are unable to provide care, we have worked diligently in the past week to identify locations across Maryland that will provide child care," Salmon said. "While child care and day care facilities throughout the state may remain open at this time, our urgent focus is ensuring there are child-care options for the children of essential personnel."
SENIORS: The governor announced $4 million in federal funding to help communities provide at-home meals for senior citizens. There is also the Senior Call Check program, which offers a daily call to check on residents at home: 866-50-CHECK.
BLOOD DRIVE: Hogan said a Red Cross blood drive will be set up with the University of Maryland Medical Center to help aid in shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.
TRI-STATE TRAVEL: Another measure the governor announced Wednesday include a quarantine in place order for 14 days for anyone in Maryland who has visited New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. They must also limit all contact with others for at least 14 days.