WASHINGTON — Stay-at-home orders have been issued in Maryland, Virginia and D.C., and Maryland State Police wants people to know they are taking violations seriously.
Since March 24, MSP has conducted over 21,617 compliance checks and responded to roughly 1,720 calls concerned about people violating Gov. Larry Hogan's coronavirus executive orders. Of the 21,617 compliance checks, 35 people have been arrested and charged in the state, MSP wrote in a statement.
Gov. Hogan signed the executive order on March 30, mandating that Marylanders can only leave their home for essential reasons, such as grocery store shopping or essential work. If somebody chooses to disobey the order, they can face a misdemeanor charge that carries an up to $5,000 fine and potential jail time of up to a year.
Montgomery County Maryland is adopting a similar policy.
"We will not randomly stop community members for compliance checks of the Governor’s orders," a statement from the agency said.
However, the department noted: “If we encounter people via a traffic stop, police call for service, investigations or a gathering of individuals, we will inquire if individuals are in compliance with the Governor’s Order.”
During the stay-at-home order, residents are still allowed to do certain essential things such as:
- Go to the grocery store to buy groceries, or supplies for you and/or your household.
- Engaging in activities that are essential for your health and safety of one's self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including such things as seeking medical or behavioral health or emergency services, and obtaining medication or medical supplies.
- Caring for a family member, friend, pet, or livestock in another household or location, including, transporting a family member, friend, pet, or livestock animal for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services.
- Traveling to and from an educational institution to receive meals or instructional materials for distance learning.
- Engaging in outdoor exercises, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking while abiding by CDC social distancing guidelines.
- Go to a restaurant for drive-through or carryout only.