Hogan press conference 3-35-20

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks about the state's response to the new coronavirus during a news conference on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. Maryland schools will be closed another four weeks through April 24. Hogan said he has made a formal request for a presidential disaster declaration to help provide funding for state and local governments as well as nonprofits. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

ANNAPOLIS — Saying the COVID-19 crisis “is really just beginning,” Gov. Larry Hogan at a press conference on Wednesday announced his request for a presidential disaster declaration for Maryland.

The move would provide funding for state and local governments, as well as nonprofits, for initiatives including disaster unemployment insurance.

Additionally, in following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, Hogan said any Marylander or anyone visiting the state who has recently spent time in New York must quarantine in place for at least 14 days.

As of Wednesday morning, Maryland had 423 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which has claimed four lives in the state.

The latest new 74 cases marked “the largest one-day rise to date,” he said.

Allegany and Dorchester were the only counties to report no positive COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Allegany County Health Department reported that 246 residents had been tested for COVID-19, with 167 negative test results and 79 pending.

Hogan said a New York resident, who worked as a research professor at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has died of the disease.

Other folks who tested positive for the virus include two midshipmen at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

“While COVID-19 still appears to be more deadly to older citizens over 60, 217 individuals with the virus in Maryland are between the ages of 20 and 50,” Hogan said. “The vast majority of people in our state who have tested positive so far are in their 40s and we have children who are as young as 10 months old who have the virus.”

Maryland will expand capacity of clinics and hospitals.

Hogan directed the state health department to allow medical and nursing students to help in a program aimed to fight the disease.

He said $4 million in federal funding will provide at-home meals for senior citizens across the state.

“Maryland is also the first state in America to provide free telephonic service to check in on older residents,” Hogan said. To learn more, call 1-866-502-0560.

Over the next three days, University of Maryland Medical Center will partner with the American Red Cross and hold a blood drive to address the shortage caused by the pandemic.

Hogan talked of companies across the state that are changing their operations to help fight COVID-19.

Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit Distillery is making 54,000 liters of hand sanitizer, with plans to make more, for Johns Hopkins Hospital, he said.

Hogan and other governors across the country are set to talk to White House officials on Thursday.

“We will continue to push for greater progress on the priorities that we submitted last week,” he said and talked of the need for more medical personal protection equipment, COVID-19 test kits, ventilators and other necessary equipment. “We still need more federal resources directly to the states that are on the front lines of this crisis.”

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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