Maryland – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Maryland Department of Health coronavirus resource page.

  • January 29, 2020—The State Emergency Operations Center’s activation level has been raised to “Enhanced” in support of a local incident and novel coronavirus response in Maryland.
  • January 29, 2020—The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has issued clinical guidance to the state’s 20,472 physicians, 2,786 nurse practitioners, 1,301 pharmacists, and local health departments. The department has held briefings for Maryland Strategic National Stockpile partners and public health and hospital emergency managers. In addition, the department has held an informational webinar for local health departments.
  • March 2, 2020—MDH has released public service announcements regarding statewide preparedness efforts.
  • March 3, 2020—Governor Hogan is submitting a $10 million emergency funding request to the General Assembly as part of a supplemental budget.
  • March 3, 2020—The Maryland Higher Education Commission is coordinating with University System of Maryland institutions that are bringing home students who are studying abroad in Italy and Japan.
  • March 3, 2020—MDH is coordinating with nursing homes and assisted living facilities to review and reiterate guidance on infection control and medical management.
  • March 3, 2020—MDH is coordinating with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to provide guidance to local school systems on protocols for school closures.
  • March 3, 2020—MDH is coordinating with the Maryland Hospital Association to work with all the local hospitals on surge plans and preparedness.
  • March 3, 2020—The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is actively engaged with travelers to ensure they have information they need and are following the CDC guidelines. The Port of Baltimore is also engaged in similar screening protocols.
  • March 3, 2020—All state agencies have reviewed their Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans and submitted them to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
  • March 5, 2020—Governor Hogan declares a state of emergency to coordinate response after coronavirus after confirming cases in Maryland. 
  • March 6, 2020—Governor Hogan issued a bulletin for health carriers regarding coverage for COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.  
  • March 9, 2020—Governor Hogan signed emergency legislation allowing his state to access rainy day funds, and formed a Coronavirus Response Team to advise on health and emergency management decisions.
  • March 9, 2020—Governor Hogan suspended all business-related out-of-state travel for state employees.
  • March 11, 2020—Governor Hogan enacted several recommendations and additional state actions:
     
    • The Department of Motor Vehicles moved toward an all appointment system for all transactions, to reduce walk-in visits and foot traffic.  
    • The Maryland Health Benefits Exchange established a special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connection for COVID-19. 
    • The Department of Corrections and Public Safety Services discontinued visitation services for an individual in infirmaries.  
    • For long-term care communities, access is restricted to essential visits only; staff are prohibited from international travel; and it is recommended that facilities screen all individuals entering the facilities.  
    • All state veterans’ facilities are required to follow state-issued guidelines for long-term care facilities.
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Hogan announced major actions including:
    • Maryland Emergency Management Agency moving to its highest action level.
    • Activating the National Guard.
    • All state government is raised to “elevated level two” and all non-essential state employees who are approved for telework will be required to do so.
    • Closing all public schools from March 16 through March 27.
  • March 15, 2020 – The Governor issued an emergency order closing all casinos, racetracks, and betting facilities. To support these businesses, the Maryland Department of Commerce and Labor compiled resources for employer and worker assistance, financial assistance, and licensing and permitting to help support the industry.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor ordered the closure of bars and restaurants and banned mass gatherings of over 50 people.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor issued an omnibus health care order that:
    • Increases hospital bed capacity by 6,0000;
    • Activates the states medical reserve corps;
    • Establishes policies and procedures for rationing, distributing and stockpiling resources received from the Strategic National Stockpile;
    • Allows for interstate reciprocity of practice for any individual that holds a valid health care license;
    • Allows for inactive clinicians to practice without first reinstating their inactive license; and
    • Allows for actions to control, restrict, and regulate the use of health care facilities in responding to a catastrophic health emergency.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor issued an emergency order that prohibits utility shutoffs and prohibits evictions for individuals who can show documentation that their inability to pay was due to COVID-19.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor, along with the Maryland Police Force, activated the Maryland State Troopers to be deployed across the state and activated two Area Support Medical Companies (under the National Guard) to carry out emergency functions.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor issued a proclamation  to postpone April 28 primary elections until June 2, while moving forward with the 7th congressional general election by implementing a vote-by-mail system.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor announced that all vehicle emissions inspection programs will be shut down, and steps will be taken to turn these facilities into drive-through testing centers.
  • March 17 – 2020 – The Governor announced that the state is moving to cashless tolling statewide in an attempt to limit interaction between the public and toll collectors.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor’s legal counsel issued guidance  on the prohibition of large gatherings, and on the closure of bars, restaurants, casinos and other facilities.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Maryland Department of Commerce posted Maryland Business Express Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Businesses
  • March 18, 2020 – The Department of Health hosted a webinar providing guidance for businesses in preventing the spread of coronavirus in the workplace.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Maryland Office of Child Care released guidance so child care providers can begin to evaluate their programs and make decisions on how to best support children of emergency personnel.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor announced that no one should use public transportation except emergency personnel, front-line health-care workers, or those whose jobs are essential to the supply chain.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor requested that all returning spring break travelers quarantine for the next 14 days and avoid people over the age of 60.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses.
  • March 23, 2020 – The governor announced more than $175 million to assist small businesses and workers, with $125 million in loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofits through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Another $75 million loan fund and a $50 million grant fund, with $1 million in grants dedicated to non-profits, will provide working capital to be used for payroll, rent, fixed-debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor announced that Maryland Commerce is also working on creating a $5 million fund to incentivize businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment and other supplies to satisfy the increasing needs of the healthcare industry.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor announced that he has allocated $5 million, and the Maryland Department of Labor has allocated $2 million, to collaboratively launch the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor toured the Baltimore Convention Center, which is to be turned into a field hospital and alternative care site with support from the Maryland National Guard.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor requested a presidential disaster declaration.
  • March 26, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved Maryland’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Maryland to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, extend fair hearing timelines, and waive public comment and tribal consultation requirements for certain changes to the Medicaid state plan.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced a joint partnership between the Governor’s office, Bloomberg Philanthropies and John Hopkins University to fund research into the potential therapeutic uses of COVID-19 convalescent plasma. The funding consists of a $3 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, in addition to $1 million in backing from the state of Maryland.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor issued a Stay at Home order and announced the opening of four new testing sites. Additionally, he announced updates on the state’s $175 million economic relief package for workers and small businesses, including an additional $2 million for the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order that amends the previous May 20 order regarding telehealth by expanding these services beyond audio-only methods, to methods such as email.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order ensuring that workers who provide important support services to the disabled will be treated as health care providers under the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • April 5, 2020 – The Governor issued new directives that requires nursing facilities to direct all staff who interact with residents to wear personal protective equipment, create separate observation and isolation areas for residents, and expedite all testing through the Maryland State Public Health Laboratory.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor issued a new executive order empowering local health departments to take action against any businesses, establishments, and construction sites they deem unsafe.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor directed the Department of Health —through the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities—to immediately take all actions necessary in order to provide further demographic breakdowns on race and ethnicity for all case data, including hospitalization rates and mortality.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor announced that the White House and federal officials have now designated the Baltimore-Washington corridor as an emerging hotspot.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state is instituting a budget and hiring freeze amid estimates that Maryland is facing a projected $2.8 billion shortfall due to this public health emergency. He also announced that he has directed the Maryland Department of Labor to take steps to bolster the state’s unemployment insurance process to handle an unprecedented surge in claims.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of COVIDConnect, a new registry for Marylanders who have recovered from COVID-19. This registry will serve as a community platform to share experiences and lend support to others who are coping with the recovery process.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state plans to hire 1,000 people to work in local health departments as investigators work to trace the path of the coronavirus.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that face masks must be worn while inside any retail establishment, including grocery stores, pharmacies or convenience stores, or while riding on any public transit.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that Maryland is now in a position to plan the gradual rollout of the state’s recovery phase. Tenets include expanding testing capacity, increasing hospital surge capacity, ramping up supply of PPE, building a robust contact tracing operation.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor, along with New York Governor Cuomo, issued a statement to President Trump requesting an additional $500 billion to address revenue shortfalls.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor  announced that the state’s roadmap to recovery will be unveiled next week.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the successful completion of ‘Operation Enduring Friendship,’ which brought 500,000 tests to Maryland as purchased through LabGenomics, a company in South Korea.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor sentletter to President Trump, accepting an offer to allow the state to use federal labs for coronavirus testing and to request guidance on how to proceed.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor’s administration released interpretive guidance allowing barbershops and hair salons to reopen by appointment only to serve certain essential workers, such as military personnel and first responders.
  • April 22, 2020 – As part of the Governor’s hospital surge plan, he announced that Laurel Medical Center has officially reopened. The Governor also announced additional measures and updates related to his reopening plan.
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor released his Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery which outline building blocks for recovery related to expanding testing capacity, increased hospital surge capacity, ramping up supply of PPE, and improving contact tracing operations.
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor directed the Maryland Department of Health to publish data related to COVID-19 cases and fatalities associated with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other facilities providing congregate living for residents.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor announced that Maryland awarded more than $1.6 million in a first round of grants to 20 Maryland companies for pivoting to or expanding production of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor announced an expanded testing strategy, a multi-state, multi-agency operation to address outbreaks at poultry processing plants, and new requirements for nursing homes.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor announced the Maryland Manufacturing Network Supplier Portal, which is the result of a partnership between the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership  to centralize PPE resources for buyers.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor announced the resumption of elective medical procedures and the broadening of permitted outdoor activities.
  • May 7, 2020- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Maryland’s second request for a Medicaid 1135 waiver. The waiver allows Maryland to waive consent requirements for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS),to allow for HCBS in additional settings, and to reimburse for personal care provided by legally responsible individuals, including family caregivers.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Governor announced the beginning of Stage One of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which includes moving from a Stay at Home order to a Safer at Home public health advisory and the gradual reopenings of retail, manufacturing, houses of worship, and some personal services.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of the Caregiver Services Corps, a program to support Maryland seniors who have been affected by the pandemic. The program will deploy volunteers and other resources to the homes of seniors who need urgent assistance with everyday tasks when their typical caregiver becomes unable to help.
  • May 19, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state has reached a critical milestone in its long-term COVID-19 testing strategy, surpassing 200,000 tests and completing testing of 3.5 percent of the state’s population, and now has the capacity and supplies to offer testing to Marylanders who may have been exposed to the disease even if they do not have symptoms.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor  announced that, as part of the state’s long-term testing strategy, Maryland will begin universal COVID-19 testing at all state-run correctional and juvenile facilities. He also announced that the state is delivering more than 20,000 tests per week to nursing homes, that the state’s Public Health Laboratory is producing up to 10,000 tubes of viral transport media on a weekly basis to overcome supply chain challenges and boost testing resources and that the state is distributing more than 33,000 additional swabs to local jurisdictions to help boost local testing capacity.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor announced that Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center became the first hospital in the nation to install STAAT Mod TM (Strategic, Temporary, Acuity-Adaptable Treatment) modular units to care for COVID-19 and other critically ill patients.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced a new free testing site at Six Flags America on May 29.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that due to successful Stage One reopenings across the state and improvements in key data and metrics, the State of Maryland can now safely move forward with the completion of Stage One of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which includes the resumption of outdoor dining and outdoor activities such as youth sports and youth day camps, and the reopening of outdoor pools and drive-in movie theaters.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Governor issued two additional COVID-19 emergency orders, extending a prohibition on utility shutoffs and residential late fees, and allowing breweries, wineries, and distilleries to provide service in outdoor seating areas.
  • May 31, 2020 – The Governor announced that Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 10.9%, and current total hospitalizations have fallen to their lowest level since April 15.
  • June 3, 2020 – The Governor announced that Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 9.5%—below 10% for the first time since late March—and total current hospitalizations have fallen to their lowest level since April 14.
  • June 3, 2020 – The Governor announced that Maryland will begin to move into Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with a safe and gradual reopening of workplaces and businesses, along with additional personal services.
  • June 10, 2020 – The Governor announced additional safe and phased reopenings through Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’, such as reopening indoor dining and outdoor amusement parks.
  • June 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that key health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, with the positivity rate dropping to 6.55%—and now in single digits in all 24 jurisdictions—and ICU bed metrics falling below 300 for the first time since April 6.
  • June 16, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Department of Health will begin operating a free COVID-19 testing site at the Baltimore Convention Center.