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Coronavirus Latest: What Does 'Essential' Mean In Maryland Per Gov. Hogan's Stay-At-Home Executive Order?

ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) -- Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order Monday morning redefining what certain essential activities and businesses can still happen during the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland.

The state has ordered that each law enforcement officer of the State or political subdivision will execute and enforce this order, and anyone who "knowingly and willfully violates this Order is guilty of a misdemeanor," and if convicted could be imprisoned no more than one year or a fine "not exceeding $5,000 or both."


"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.

This comes as Maryland surpassed 1,400 cases of COVID-19 cases in the state.

So what is allowed right now?

No, you're not locked in your home. 

People can still go out and get supplies or services for one's self, family, household members, pets or livestock. This includes going to get groceries, household supplies, equipment to work from home, do laundry and products to keep your house safe and sanitary.

You can go to the doctor. 

People can still go to essential doctor's appointments, including seeking medical or behavior health or emergency services and getting necessary prescriptions and medications or medical supplies.

You're allowed to care for others that need your help.

If someone needs your help, including a family member, friend, pet or livestock in another household, you can do the following:

  • Transporting a family member, friend, pet or livestock animal for essential health and safety activities
  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services to care for them.

You can travel to and from an educational institution, for necessary purposes.

Those who have to travel to and from an "educational institution" to get free meals or instructional materials for distance learning. This includes getting a free meal at a school site in your area or getting your learning packets/materials for children learning from home.

You can still get some exercise.

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.

Travel required by law enforcement or court order

If you are required by law enforcement or a court order to go somewhere, that is allowed.

Traveling to and from a government building

Those who are traveling to and from a federal, State or local government building can do so for a "necessary purpose."

Other things to think about if you're wondering "What is essential?":

  • Essential businesses must take more steps to scale down in-person operations and telework for as much of their workforce as possible.
  • All senior centers remain closed
  • Restaurants and bars can still operate with takeout and delivery
  • All fitness centers, theaters, malls, barber shops, beauty salons and other beauty services salons, as well as all other recreational establishments are still closed.

The order adds that this order does not apply to persons whose homes or residences have become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence and those experiencing homelessness.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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