Gov. Larry Hogan announced a travel advisory last week “strongly recommend[ing]” Marylanders avoid non-essential travel out of Maryland to states with high COVID-19 positivity or case rates.
The states that fall under the Maryland Department of Health’s advisory all have case rates of above 20 per 100,000 people over the past seven days or a testing positivity rate above 10%, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contact tracing data analysis suggests out-of-state travel is to blame for a “substantial increase” in cases, Hogan said.
“You should immediately cancel or postpone travel to any of these states with spiking metrics,” Hogan, a Republican, said.
According to the state’s methodology listed in the order, as of the latest data available Monday afternoon, just California, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont are exempt from the travel advisory due to their metrics.
Neighboring states Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, along with Washington, D.C., are also exempt from the recommendation, which came ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
If they weren’t exempt, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia’s metrics would put them on the advisory.
Hogan announced the travel advisory Tuesday along with more stringent restrictions on restaurant capacity as of Wednesday. He also strongly discouraged gatherings of 25 or more. The moves come as the virus continues to surge in Maryland.
Maryland has now reached 13 straight days with at least 1,000 new cases, and the state’s 14-day new case average set a record high for the eighth consecutive day, up to 1,476 from 774 two weeks ago.
The state recommends any Maryland resident returning from out-of-state travel to get tested upon arrival or within 72 hours before returning to Maryland. Any Marylander who travels to one of the states on the travel advisory should get tested and self-quarantine until test results come back, according to the advisory.
Out-of-state residents visiting Maryland are also encouraged to get tested for the virus within 72 hours before arriving and stay at home between getting tested and arriving in the state, or to self-quarantine when arriving in Maryland.