News Release



As COVID-19 spreads in Maryland, Hogan should be setting a floor, not a ceiling for local protections
for Immediate Release

BALTIMORE --  Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has revised the state executive order barring local governments’ authority to issue blanket closures of schools, following his disagreement with a Montgomery County decision on Friday to shutter private as well as public schools until October 1st.

In response to the governor’s announcement, Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr issued the following statement:

"As the parent of two kids under three, I deeply understand that parents want it to be safe to send their children back to schools and daycare centers. As the Director of Maryland PIRG, I have called on Governor Hogan to hit the reset button on the state’s response to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"Cases, positivity rates, and hospitalizations are steadily increasing in many Maryland communities and statewide. According to health experts, the volume of positive cases in Maryland has reached a point where we likely cannot contain the virus through testing and contact tracing. The state should quickly tighten restrictions to save lives and bring the virus under control. 

"In the absence of state action, the Governor should not curtail local authority to protect public health, including local power to shift public and private schools to remote learning. When it comes to public health protections, the Governor should be setting a floor, not a ceiling. We know that interacting indoors for extended periods of time is high risk for spreading COVID-19 and a growing body of research suggests children spread the virus as much, if not more, than adults.

"Marylanders should stay home, going out only if they work in an essential service, need to get food and medicine, or to exercise and get fresh air. More than 1,000 health professionals from Maryland and nationwide have now signed an open letter to America’s decision makers urging them to shut it down, start over, and do it right this time to contain COVID-19 and save lives. 

"The sooner we take strong action to get the virus under control, the sooner our children can safely get back to schools and daycare centers, and the sooner we can begin to 'reopen.'"


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