Maryland governor shuts down all bars, restaurants, movie theaters to stop spread of coronavirus

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that all bars, restaurants and movie theaters would be closing at 5 p.m. in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus

Hogan also announced a prohibition on social, community, recreational or religious gatherings of more than 50 people in close proximity.

The governor said that failure to prohibit large gatherings is a crime, and will be enforced if businesses fail to comply. Last week, Hogan announced a prohibition against gatherings of more than 250 people.

"We have never faced anything like this before," Hogan said in a statement. "This is going to much harder, take much longer and be much worse than almost anyone is currenlty understanding." 

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The governor said the state is planning to make up to 6,000 more hospital beds available, in part by reopening closed hospitals.

Hogan also ordered a prohibition on electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer’s services or charging any late fees during the current state of emergency in Maryland.

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He also said the state will provide three meals a day and a snack to students who need it while schools are closed the next two weeks. Hogan said 138 distribution centers are already up and running.

Maryland has had 37 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The governor said people should expect the number of cases to dramatically and rapidly rise.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report