Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order Monday due to what he called a "rapidly escalating emergency situation." The order takes effect at 8 p.m. Monday, March 30.
"This is a deadly public health crisis," Hogan said. "We are no longer asking or suggesting" that Marylanders stay home, but are directing them to do so, he said, noting he signed the "stay-at-home directive" Monday morning.
"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 other necessary activity, Hogan said. Only essential businesses may remain open. The governor said people can go out for a walk. "But you shouldn't be out shopping...buying furniture or clothing. You should be buying necessary things you need to survive," he said. Marylanders are not allowed to travel to other states. If they do, he said they need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The Havre de Grace Decoy Museum has canceled its annual Decoy & Wildlife Art Festival. This would have been the 39th year for the celebration of decoys .
The 39th Annual Decoy & Wildlife Art Festival was slated for May 2 and 3, a little less than six weeks away.
The Havre de Grace Decoy Museum closed March 20 to the public until further notice due to the outbreak of COVID-19. During the closure officials said they would be cleaning the museum and changing the exhibits.
Staff from the museum will reach out to those affected regarding refunds. People who have questions about the cancellation of the festival may call the museum at 410-939-3739, extension 1, or by emailing email@example.com.
During Wednesday's press conference with Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland school Superintendent Karen Salmon announced that schools will remain closed until at least April 24.
Maryland public schools students have been out of school for almost two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools have been closed since March 16th. Lessons were sent home in packets and online.
Salmon said it's possible that there could be an extended school year.
The state teachers union, the Maryland State Education Association, sent a statement to WHGM Gold, saying: "This is a tough decision, but the right call for the safety of our students, educators and state. The months ahead will be challenging, and we will work to make the best of them. It's heartbreaking to know that so many children will miss out on field trips, art projects, athletics, performances and the everyday enjoyment of being with friends and learning new things together."
The town of Bel Air has closed its parks in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It has also made some public works changes and requests.
Effective Monday, March 23, public works personnel in Bel Air will stop collecting or scheduling pickups for bulk trash. Yard debris collection will continue.
When residents put their trash out, officials also have a request: Bag it tightly to keep sanitation workers safe from the spread of the illness.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman on Wednesday declared a State of Emergency for the county due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, providing “flexibility in maintaining county government functions during the public health crisis.”
Also on Wednesday, county officials confirmed Harford’s third coronavirus case, a 47-year-old male, was among the 28 new cases state officials announced Wednesday, bringing Maryland’s total to at least 85.
While the 47-year-old has an address in Harford County, he was working in Boston, was tested there and is self-isolated there.
We have teamed up with Visit Harford to promote resaurants that are open and ways you can help support our local small busineses. By visiting Harford County Restaurant Week's website, you can find a full list of what is open and ways to support our local economy.
You can also support servers and restaurant staff that is currently without a job due to closings. View the Harford County Virtual Tip Jar
Here are Cecil County restaurants that are open and offering carry-out or delivery:
Pier 1 Restaurant
Steak and Main
Port House Grill
Market Street Cafe
Please, help us add to this list. Email us a location that we may have missed.
In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Harford Transit LINK will limit operations to protect the public while continuing to provide essential bus transportation services. The following changes are effective Thursday, March 19 until further notice:
Demand Response Service will continue for medical trips, such as dialysis and chemotherapy, to hospitals, clinics and health facilities, and trips to pharmacies and grocery stores. Demand Response service hours will be limited to 5 a.m. - 5 p.m. All previously scheduled non-medical/non-essential Demand Response client trips will be canceled and no new trips will be scheduled at this time.
Fixed Routes Service will continue to operate Monday – Friday, with service hours limited to 5:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Routes are being maintained at this time, but schedules within each route may be reduced over time, depending on ridership. Riders should review transit schedules in advance and plan accordingly: http://www.harfordcountymd.
Harford Transit Office, located in Abingdon, is closed to the public.
Bus tickets may still be purchased through the free Token Transit app, available at https://www.harfordcountymd.
Real-time bus locations and schedules are available through the free RouteShout 2.0 mobile app. More information is at http://www.harfordcountymd.
Harford LINK is also implemeting protocols for public safety that are aligned with recommendations from the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. For more information, please call 410-612-1620.
The Harford County Liquor Control Board passed a measure Wednesday to make it easier for restaurants to deliver alcoholic beverages to customers amid coronavirus-related closures.
Liquor license holders have always been able to deliver beverages, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, presuming they went through a board process and got approval.
To have alcopholic beverages delivered, the customer must live in Harford County.
Harford County Public Schools is offering free meals to children at 15 sites while schools are closed. One is in Bel Air.
Students in Harford County Public Schools and all children 2 to 18 are eligible and must be present to redeem the meal; parents cannot accept food on behalf of children. The meal program is open to all children, not just those who are enrolled in the Free and Reduced Meals program.
Food will be provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays during the state-mandated closure, unless specified. Meals at Bel Air Elementary School will only be available to 11 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays.
People are encouraged to bring a bag, as they will be receiving breakfast, lunch and dinner during the meal distribution times, and to refrigerate food once they return home.
Initially, 13 sites offered the free meals. On Tuesday, officials announced Bel Air and Dublin Elementary Schools had been added to the meal distribution site list.
Gov. Larry Hogan made additional announcements Tuesday afternoon:
Hogan announced he is postponing the April 28 primary until June 2, the latest possible date to comply with DNC rules. State Board of Elections will develop a comprehensive plan to conduct this election.
Maryland will proceed with the Special General Election for the 7th Congressional District to ensure the state has full representation in Congress as soon as possible. The state will implement a vote by mail system for the 7th district only.
While Maryland officials continue to impose restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, nursing homes statewide are being instructed to change visitor and staff policies.
Over the weekend, a resident at Lorien Elkridge, a nursing home facility in Howard County, tested positive for coronavirus. The resident has been hospitalized, and the facility is in the process of notifying all residents, staff and family members.
Following that positive case, the Maryland Department of Health reiterated its policies regarding nursing homes and other facilities that serve older adults:
The Maryland Department of Health also established a hotline for any who has questions about this information.
The toll-free MDH hotline is 1-877-319-1525. The call center is available every day from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
An executive order announced Monday by Gov. Larry Hogan enacts major developments to prevent the spread of coronavirus across the state, including closing many public places and prohibiting canceling public services.
At the advice of top doctors and senior leaders, Hogan announced the following:
Relief to Residents and Families
Activation of Additional Personnel
Hogan reiterated that all emergency orders incur the full force of the law.
"It is impossible to know how long this threat will continue. I do know we cannot afford to wait," Hogan said.
Salmon said starting Thursday, daycare centers will be opened for emergency personnel. Daycare center workers are being asked to keep groups under 10 and to keep up with extra cleaning procedures.
Watch the press conference here:
Harford County Public Library is closing all branches starting Sunday, March 15, through Tuesday, March 31, to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19.
The library has unlimited access 24/7 through its website at HCPLonline.org to eBooks, eMovies, eMagazines, comics, movies, TV, research databases and more for all ages. The library is waiving all fines and fees during this period along with extending due dates until April 15, 2020. Customers are encouraged to stay home and keep their items at home, too, until the crisis is over. Updates will be shared through social media, the library website and eNews as the situation changes.
Harford County Public Library’s listing of online resources to assist the community in learning the facts about the Coronavirus, COVID-19, is updated regularly and may be found at HCPLonline.org/coronavirus.php.
“This has been a difficult decision to make, but given the circumstances surrounding the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, closing our libraries is in the best interest of our community,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “Our extensive online resources are available 24/7 for our customers at HCPLOnline.org.”
For more than 74 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 6.3 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, attending classes and events. In 2019, Harford County Public Library received the Maryland Library Association’s first Excellence in Marketing Award. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman today issued the following update on the COVID-19 coronavirus:
“The Maryland Department of Health informed us today that Harford County has its second reported case of coronavirus COVID-19. The Harford County case is a 69-year-old who is a family member of the county’s first reported case, an 86-year-old woman who traveled overseas and remains hospitalized. The 69-year-old remains isolated at home and is asymptomatic.
Public health officials have warned that the number of cases will rise as more people are tested, and the state has begun to report new cases on their website https://coronavirus.maryland.
I encourage all Harford County citizens to continue following guidelines to limit the spread of the virus in our community. Stay calm, and stay informed through credible sources including the Harford County Health Department website https://harfordcountyhealth.