Gov Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (File photo)

CUMBERLAND — Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday ordered Maryland’s six casinos, racetracks and simulcast betting facilities to shut down, an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus as state cases climbed to 32.

There were no cases in Western Maryland, according to a Department of Health webpage that included a map of confirmed cases.

“This situation continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically,” Hogan said. “These are unprecedented actions in an extraordinary situation, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe.”

In a news release, the governor also said that failure to prohibit large gatherings is a crime, and will be enforced if businesses fail to comply. Last week, Hogan announced a ban against gatherings of more than 250 people.

“It is critical to public health and safety that bars, restaurants and other businesses across the state comply with the law,” Hogan said.

Casinos, including at Rocky Gap in Allegany County, were to close at midnight Monday. The order does not apply to hotels adjacent to casinos.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will work with casinos to facilitate an orderly shutdown of operations, Hogan said.

The closings will remain in effect until a state of emergency has ended or until superseded by other orders, according to the governor’s office. 

The geographic breakdown of virus Maryland cases, as of Sunday, was Montgomery, 12; Prince George’s, 9; Baltimore County, three; Harford and Anne Arundel, two; and Baltimore City, Charles, Howard and Carroll with one each.

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