Maryland stay-at-home order: What’s allowed

(WTOP/Brett Snyder)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a stay-at-home order Monday, ushering in more restrictions on D.C.-region movement in an attempt to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

This is a shift from asking residents to stay home to demanding it.

Hogan’s order goes into effect at 8 p.m. and explicitly states that people are not supposed to leave their homes except for such essential purposes that are deemed essential, such as getting food, medicine or reporting to work.

See the governor’s full order here.

Essential activities listed by Hogan’s order include getting supplies or services for yourself, your family or your pets. That includes health care. And if you need to travel to an educational facility to either receive meals or to pick up distance-learning materials, you’re also exempt.

That includes:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies or services for one’s self, family, household members, pets or livestock, including, without limitation, groceries, supplies for household consumption or use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the home or residence.
  • Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of one’s self, family, household members, pets or livestock, including such things as seeking medical or behavior health or emergency services, and obtaining medication or medical supplies.
  • Caring for a family member, friend, pet or livestock in another household or location, including, without limitation, transporting a family member, friend, pet or livestock animal for essential health and safety activities, and to obtain necessary supplies and services.
  • Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning.
  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running or biking, but only in compliance with the order on gatherings of 10 or more and by applying social distancing guidelines from the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order.
  • Traveling to and from a federal, state, or local government building for a necessary purpose.

“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 for other necessary purposes,” Hogan said Monday.

“This is a deadly public health crisis. We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so.”

A stay-at-home order isn’t quite the same as a shelter-in-place order.

Shelter-in-place orders are generally issued when there’s a more immediate threat, like a tornado or shooter. But that doesn’t mean residents should shrug at the situation.

“For those who still refuse to take this pandemic seriously, and those who are still downplaying the severity of this crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said yesterday that we could expect millions of cases in the United States and 100,000 deaths,” Hogan said.

“To put that in perspective, that would mean more American deaths than the Vietnam War and the Korean War added together.”

Virginia and D.C. have also both issued stay-at-home orders.


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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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