Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have all issued stay-at-home orders for their residents as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the U.S.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) all urged residents to only leave their homes to buy food and carry out essential tasks.
Hogan earlier in the day announced the order, saying nonessential businesses must remain closed, and essential businesses will have to scale down their operations and allow telework as much as possible. The Maryland order goes into effect at 8 p.m. Monday. The Virginia order goes into effect immediately.
"Unfortunately we are only at the beginning of this crisis, and it will get considerably worse before it gets better," Hogan said.
In addition, Hogan said any resident who has traveled outside the region in recent weeks should self-quarantine for 14 days.
In two weeks time, Hogan said the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas could look like the New York tristate area, which is struggling with more than half the country's coronavirus cases and a death toll of more than 1,000.
Despite repeated warnings, Hogan said people have been ignoring his executive orders and directives for more than three weeks. Those individuals are "endangering themselves, and their fellow citizens," Hogan said.
Hogan said he is concerned about the virus spreading to “literally thousands” of facilities in Maryland.
"We are no longer asking or suggesting Marylanders stay home, we are directing them to do so," Hogan said.
Any person who violates the order will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Hogan clarified that Marylanders “are not locked in their homes," but said residents should use “common sense.”
He said running, hiking, biking or walking are allowed, but congregating in a park with hundreds of others or shopping for home furnishings is not.
Hogan acknowledged the order will be "devastating" to the state budget.
"We're going to tap into, or perhaps drain the entire rainy-day fund. We've already asked for half of the next stimulus package from the federal government to the states," Hogan said. "We're talking about nationally, 25 percent unemployment. Revenues should be down dramatically."
Northam made his announcement shortly after Hogan, imploring residents not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.
“I want to be clear: Do not go out unless you need to go out. This is very different than wanting to go out,” Northam said.
Bowser issued the order later on Monday afternoon, saying, "Our message remains the same: stay home."
She added that residents who violate the order may be guilty of a misdemeanor.