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Maryland governor orders all malls, entertainment venues closed

Maryland governor orders all malls, entertainment venues closed
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Thursday announced the state’s malls and entertainment venues would be ordered closed later in the day to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Hogan said during a news conference that his order would be effective as of 5 p.m.

He added that the number of Maryland residents testing positive for the virus increased 88 percent over the last 48 hours to a total of 107 people, including a five-year-old girl.

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"Despite all of our repeated warnings for weeks ... some people are treating this like a vacation or a spring break with parties and cookouts and large gatherings at some of our parks,” Hogan said.

“Let me be very clear: If you are engaged in this type of activity you are in violation of state law and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Americans," he added.

Hogan also ordered all universities in the state to convert to online classes for the rest of the semester.

The order comes after at least three mall owners in the state announced temporary closures in recent days, the Baltimore Sun reported. Howard County officials also announced earlier this week that The Mall in Columbia would be closed for a seven-day period.  

Hogan had previously issued an emergency order Monday banning sit-down dining at bars and restaurants.