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5 key points from Maryland Gov. Hogan’s Friday interviews on the coronavirus pandemic

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan has been a guest on many TV and radio shows, spreading a message that Marylanders need to take the virus seriously and stay at home.

Friday morning was another rapid tour of the airwaves for Hogan as he appeared on four radio shows ― Mix 106.5, WTOP, Hot 99.5 and 98 Rock ― within an hour.

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Here are five key points the governor made:

Younger people make up a majority of cases in Maryland

The state released more detailed age data for confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, showing 54% of those infected in Maryland are under the age of 50. About as many people in their 20s are infected as people in their 60s, the data show.

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Hogan warned younger Marylanders not to believe they’re “bullet-proof.”

“At first we were talking this thing affecting older people,” Hogan said. “That’s completely false. ... Most of our cases are actually younger people.”

Pass-fail school?

With public schools closed for another month in Maryland, the governor said school officials are pushing ahead with a more robust remote-learning plan that includes getting work packets and “laptops out to as many kids as possible.”

He said school districts might consider shifting to a pass-fail grading system for the final quarter of the year.

“They’re going to try to continue the school year without the buildings being opened,” Hogan said. “Maybe pass-fail for the end of the year? Nobody knows when this is going to end.”

But the governor was clear about one thing: “We can’t be sending kids back into school if they’re going to be getting sick and dying.”

Police patrolling state parks

The governor said that Natural Resources Police and park rangers are patrolling the state’s parks, breaking up any large groups congregating.

Hogan said he wants to keep parks open for solo or small group exercise.

“Go for a jog or a go for a run,” the governor said. “It’s probably not too bad for two people to play tennis on a tennis court with plenty of distance.”

But larger gatherings?

“We want to hear about those," he said. “The Natural Resources Police and the park rangers are shutting down any kind of activity.”

Emissions drive-thru testing stations are ‘close’ to ready, once the tests are

Hogan said the state has converted its vehicle emission testing stations into drive-thru testing stations for the coronavirus. The personnel and equipment are in place, but testing capacity isn’t yet.

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“We’re getting very close,” Hogan said. “All the stations are ready to open. .... We’ve got the guard. We’ve got the health care workers. We’re just waiting for all of the tests. We don’t want to open up a bunch of facilities and have people come through and have a huge backup with no ability to do the lab work.”

On being a cancer-survivor during the pandemic

In response to an interviewer’s questions about Hogan’s health, the governor said he’s taking the same steps as other Marylanders, such as washing his hands regularly and staying away from others, to try to prevent getting the coronavirus.

Hogan is 63 and a cancer survivor, meaning he is part of an at-risk group for the virus.

“I’m over 60 and have a compromised health system,” Hogan said. “I’m working 20 hours a day.”

The postponement of Orioles Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards helps him avoid the politician’s impulse to shake hands, he noted.

“Every year I’m out shaking 5,000 hands,” Hogan said, before joking: “The good news is yesterday was Opening Day and the Orioles did not lose a game.”

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