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Maryland PIRG statement on Gov. Hogan’s COVID-19 Press Conference

As rates and cases rise, public interest group calls for bold action to protect public health
for Immediate Release

Baltimore-- Gov. Hogan announced today that while novel coronavirus (COVID19) is surging across the country and we are seeing an uptick in cases in Maryland, he is not enacting any new restrictions beyond a travel advisory. 

According to the COVID Exit Strategy Map, Maryland continues to trend poorly on the spread of COVID19. Cases and positivity rates are up across the state, hospitalizations jumped by 23 percent over the last two weeks, and we are averaging 15 new cases per 100,000 people. According to the expert at the Harvard Global Health Institute, cases should be lower than 1 per 100k before "reopenning."

Maryland PIRG Foundation recently released a report on PPE shortages in Maryland nursing homes. As of August 23rd, in every category, a larger percentage of Maryland’s nursing homes had no supply or a critical shortage of supply for all types of PPE such as N95 masks, gowns and hand sanitizer compared to the national average. Experts believe PPE shortages have gotten worse, not better, since the beginning of the pandemic.

In response to the Governor’s announcement, Maryland PIRG director Emily Scarr released the following statement:

“Public health experts have long warned that we may face a fall surge of COVID-19 cases. Now, as positivity and case rates increase in Maryland and nationwide, Governor Hogan must do more to curb the spread of the virus.

“COVID-19 does not respect county boundaries, and as the Governor, Mr. Hogan is uniquely positioned to stop a surge in our state, just as our President is best positioned to stop a surge nationwide.

“We should certainly prepare for a surge, but better yet, we should do everything we possibly can to prevent a surge. Otherwise, we will lose more lives unnecessarily, and prolong economic damage. 

“Recent experience has taught us that half measures won’t cut it when it comes to COVID-19. We need bold action from Governor Hogan now.” 

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Maryland PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.