Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order Monday to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Although the order largely didn’t change anything since the Republican governor had already ordered severe restrictions that closed schools, colleges, sit-down restaurants, malls, casinos, gyms, theaters and nonessential businesses. And the governor previously had banned gatherings of more than 10 people.
Hogan said the stay-at-home directive was necessary given the concern that the virus could hinder the federal government’s ability to respond to the crisis. Additionally, he said, COVID-19 could spread to “literally thousands” of facilities in Maryland, including hospitals, detention centers and nursing homes.
“Every Marylander can be a hero, just by staying home,” Hogan said at an Annapolis news conference this week.
But days after the directive was issued, Marylanders still have questions and many are asking the governor’s spokesman, Mike Ricci, directly.
We’ve highlighted 10 of the most frequently asked questions Ricci has answered on Twitter since Hogan issued the order:
Yes, you can still go outside.
Walking or running around your block or going for a hike at a local county or state park is OK. Taking your dog for a walk is fine, too. The governor’s office just asks that you practice social distancing as you come across others and above all, use common sense.
Can my nanny still come watch my child?
Yes. Nannies fall under the category of “residential service," which is classified as an essential service, Hogan’s deputy communications director Kata D. Hall said in a tweet.
Can I set up a play date for my child?
Probably not the best idea.
Coronavirus is highly contagious and easily transmitted. Because of this, Ricci says play dates — and other nonessential gatherings — should be no-gos.
“We want people to use remote forms of communication as much as possible,” he said.
If I’m an essential employee, do I need to carry a letter that says where I work?
According to Ricci, the governor’s chief legal counsel said it is “advisable” for employers to provide workers with a letter in case they get stopped by law enforcement. But ultimately it is up to the individual organization to decide.
“The burden here is on the employer,” the legal counsel told Ricci.
I commute to a different state for work, groceries or essentials. Can I still go?
Yes. People are encouraged to try to limit their travel as much as possible, but if it is a necessity to go across state lines, it is OK, Hall said in a tweet.
I’m supposed to move to a new place to live. What now?
You can still move to a new residence, Ricci said. However, it is important to take extra precautions. But as long as the individual is “confident” in those measures, Ricci said, moving should be no issue.
Sometimes I like to just get out of the house and drive around. Can I still do that?
Yes again. Drivers should try to not venture too far out of the region if possible, Ricci said, but if you are inside a car and not in direct contact, aside from those who may live with you, there should be no problems.
I want to go hunting or fishing. Is that OK?
If you are getting food for you or your family, it is allowed. However, social distancing guidelines still must be followed and no groups over 10 people are allowed. Same goes for fishing in a state park or crabbing and fishing from a boat, Ricci said.
It’s a nice day. Can I take my kayak or boat out on the water?
Until the state of emergency is lifted by Hogan, recreational boating is prohibited. However, activities like kayaking and paddleboarding are considered to be a form of exercise and are permitted. But all participants must still practice social distancing and abide by the social gathering limit.
When does the stay-at-home order end?
The stay-at-home order will end when the state of emergency is lifted. Hogan has not yet indicated a potential end date.