Updated: Dec 17, 2020
County hospital occupancy rates have generally been reported by the Anne Arundel County Health Department to have gone up about twenty percent since late October. As the number of new coronavirus cases have been reported going up this fall, state agencies are asking the public to play it conservative while celebrating the holidays.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is echoing that call, urging motorists to travel only for essential trips and remember face covering, hand washing and social distancing precautions if travel is necessary.
“We want everyone to do their part by avoiding travel and large family gatherings in the hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19," said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith. “If you must travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, please do so safely and allow for plenty of time to reach your destination."
MDOT SHA’s website – roads.maryland.gov – provides reliable, current traffic and road closure information, as well as weather-related traffic events and conditions.
The Maryland Department of Health has issued a travel advisory strongly recommending that residents curtail nonessential trips to other states. MDOT SHA encourages everyone to comply with the advisory for the safety of themselves and others.
During the holiday week, lower than usual traffic volumes are anticipated. Still, volumes could be high along routes including interstates 95 and 270, and US 50.
MDOT SHA will suspend non-emergency construction lane closures from 5 a.m. Wednesday, November 25 through 9 a.m. Monday, November 30.
Typically, the best times to travel will be off-peak hours including:
Tuesday, November 24, and Wednesday, November 25 – before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.; and
Thursday, November 26, through Sunday, November 29 – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
If you must travel, remember the following safety tips:
Before leaving on a trip, check over your vehicle’s tires and fluids.
Pack supplies and an emergency kit.
Have a backup plan for an alternate route.
Move over or slow down for emergency vehicles, tow truck drivers and service and utility vehicles on the side of the road.
If your vehicle becomes disabled, move as far as possible from the travel lanes to a safe location on the side of the road. If there is an opportunity to reach an off-ramp or parking lot, consider that option.
Call #77 or 911 in an emergency (when able to safely make the call).
MDOT SHA’s Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) emergency patrols will be fully staffed to respond to breakdowns and incidents.
Plan ahead, and go to roads.maryland.gov for live traffic cameras, weather information, real-time roadway conditions, active incidents and more. For more information on highway safety strategies, visit ZeroDeathsMD.gov/RoadsideSafety.
--compiled from press release