On Sunday, Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order to protect nursing home residents from the spread of COVID-19.

The order requires caregivers to follow CDC guidelines and wear Personal Protection Equipment at all times in the presence of nursing home residents. The equipment consists of face masks, gloves, eye protection and gowns.

“As we have been saying for several weeks, older Marylanders and those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable and at a significantly higher risk of contracting, getting more severely ill, and dying from this disease,” Hogan said. “Of major concern is that we currently have cases or clusters of cases at 81 nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state. Our highest priority is keeping Marylanders safe, and we will use every tool at our disposal to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

The order also calls for a quick turnaround on testing and requires that each nursing home assign a team to care for those infected, or those exhibiting symptoms, in an area that is isolated from other residents in the facility.

Willful non-compliance carries a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or imprisonment of one year.