ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Maryland's coronavirus-related "stay-at-home" order has taken effect.
Gov. Larry Hogan issued the order for Maryland Monday. It became effective at 8 p.m.
"No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it's for an essential job or an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes," Hogan said in a press conference Monday.
"In addition, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland. And those businesses must make every effort to scale down those operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit in-person interactions with customers as much as they are able to, and to institute telework for as much of the workforce as is practical," he added.
This comes as Maryland surpassed 1,400 cases of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Hogan also said no Marylander should be traveling outside the state unless it's absolutely necessary. Anyone who returns to Maryland after traveling must self-quarantine for 14 days. The governor also reiterated that no one should be using public transportation unless they are essential personnel. Delaware issued a similar order Sunday night, while the leaders of Washington, D.C. and Virginia made similar announcements Monday.
Hogan added that family and friends, as well as businesses, should use virtual ways to communicate.
"We are no longer asking or suggesting Marylanders stay home, we're directing them to do so," Hogan said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic is a deadly crisis.
Hogan said there are still some people who continue to ignore his previous directives.
"Those individuals are endangering themselves and their fellow citizens," he said. "Anyone engaged in this type of reckless behavior is in violation of state law and is putting the lives of their family, friends and fellow Marylanders at risk."
Any person who knowingly or willing violates the order is guilty of a misdemeanor and if convicted, could be imprisoned up to a year or fined up to $5,000 or both.
Hogan will be sending an emergency alert Monday on residents' cell phones to ensure people are aware of this order.
"In two weeks time, the DC, Maryland and Virginia could look like the New York and tri-state area," Hogan said.
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"Every single Marylander can be a hero just by staying home," the governor said, "and by practicing social distancing."
Hogan clarified that the homeless and victims who are trying to escape domestic violence are excluded from the order.
He also clarified that walking, hiking, running or biking is allowed, but only in compliance with social distancing guidance by the CDC and Maryland Department of Health. If you engage in these physical activities, only do so with those you live with and stay at least six feet apart from others outside.
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