‘We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning:’ Maryland Gov Hogan announces new COVID restrictions

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced new restrictions on Tuesday in an effort to combat the resurgent novel coronavirus.

After months of falling metrics, the novel coronavirus has made a resurgence in late fall.


“We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning. Now more than ever, I am pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus," Hogan said.

The state is now in the so-called red- zone –– with the case rate having risen to 29, which is a 46 percent increase over the past week. 

The statewide positivity has risen to 6.85%, the 8th straight day it has been over 5%. Twenty of the state’s 24 jurisdictions have positivity rates above the 5% benchmark.

READ MORE: Travel restrictions by state: DC, Maryland and Virginia

In addition, Maryland hospitals are approaching capacity, despite an additional 6,000 beds provided by the state.

The governor says, "immediate action is required."

Hogan said the health department will issue an order today restricting hospital visits. Exceptions will be made for parents or guardians of minors, obstetrics, and support for patients with disabilities.

In addition, nursing home visits will be severely limited - with visitors being required to take tests 72 hours in advance of entering these facilities.

Also, effective Friday at 5 p.m., bars and restaurants will not be permitted to remain open for indoor dining or serving alcohol after 10 p.m.

Phase 2 restrictions will also be restored at businesses, which must now revert to 50 percent.

Stadiums and racetracks will once again be closed to fans.

READ MORE: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces $70M in aid to fight coronavirus

Hogan is also urging families to change their Thanksgiving plans, saying he and his wife will celebrate the holiday at home.

FOX 5's Josh Rosenthal went to a grocery store in Bethesda tonight and asked shoppers if they plan to heed the governor’s advice.

Every person FOX 5 talked to said "yes," they’re doing Thanksgiving differently this year due to COVID.

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The governor's announcement arrives after lighter restrictions were established earlier in the month.

Last week, Hogan announced a statewide reduction for indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75% to 50%.

READ MORE: New restrictions in place in Virginia

Neighboring Virginia asserted new restrictions over the weekend.

D.C. is seeing one-day totals it has not seen since May but has so far refrained from rolling back on the reopening process.