Gov. Larry Hogan says that Maryland has first case of community-transmitted coronavirus

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Thursday that the state has confirmed its first case of coronavirus spread through the community, meaning that health officials haven't been able to trace the origin of the infection.

"The patient, whose case was first announced last night, is a Prince George’s County resident who had no known exposure to coronavirus through travel or an infected individual," Hogan said in a tweet.

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At a 4 p.m. press conference, Hogan announced that he was activating the National Guard through executive order. In doing so, he raised Maryland’s emergency activation system to its highest level.

Hogan also signed orders prohibiting gatherings and events of more than 250 people and closing the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Baltimore.

Additionally, the governor said that the day-to-day operation of state government would be delegated to Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) so that Hogan can focus on the fight against the virus full-time.

Also at the press conference, Maryland's Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said that all public schools in the state would be closed for two weeks beginning on Monday.

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In a separate tweet, Hogan said that he would be giving a press conference at 4 p.m. to lay out "major actions" that state health officials are taking "to protect public health and safety."

According to Maryland's Department of Health website, there have been 12 confirmed cases of the virus within in the state.

Last Thursday, Hogan declared a state of emergency for Maryland.

More than 127,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The situation has escalated this week, with the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic. 

In the U.S., there have been more than 1,300 confirmed cases and more than 38 related deaths.