ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Gov. Maryland has signed an executive order issuing a 'stay at home' directive for the state of Maryland.
The order is effective beginning at 8 p.m. Monday night.
Hogan said that there are now 1413 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state – including the youngest reported case in a 1-month-old infant. The number of deaths in Maryland has reached 15.
It took nearly three weeks for the national capital region to go from zero to 1,000 cases of COVID-19, Hogan said. "It took just three days for the region to more than double from 1,000 to more than 2,500 cases."
Hogan discussed Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimates that the outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the dire predictions over the weekend. Also over the weekend, President Donald Trump extended federal guidelines recommending people stay home for another 30 days until the end of April to prevent the spread of the virus.
"To put that in perspective," Hogan said, "that would mean more American deaths than the Vietnam War and the Korean War added together."
Hogan warned that Maryland and the D.C. region could have as many coronavirus related cases and deaths as the New York area in just two weeks.
Hogan issued the ‘stay-at-home’ directive saying, "No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes."
"In addition," Hogan added, "only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland and those businesses must also make every effort to scale down their operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit in person interaction with customers as much as they are able to and to institute telework for as much as work force as is practical."
"As we previously stated, no Marylander should be traveling out of the state unless such travel is absolutely necessary," Hogan continued. Any residents who have travelled outside of Maryland should self-quarantine for 14 days, Hogan added. Hogan emphasized that all residents should use remote communication when possible and re-schedule any non-essential appointments.
"This is a deadly public health crisis. We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so," Hogan said adding that the state will enforce the orders to ensure compliance.
Hogan said anyone who knowingly and willfully violates the order is guilty of a misdemeanor. If convicted, he said, they could face one year in prison, a $5000 fine, or both.
This is a developing story. Stay with us for updates.