COVID Diary: CenturyLink Boosts Mercy’s Comms; VA/MD Push Stay-Home Orders

Here’s a quick read on some of the latest COVID-19 developments:

Navy Hospital Ship Mercy Gets Communications Boost Courtesy of CenturyLink

When the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship Mercy pulled into port in Los Angeles last week on its latest mission to provide extra healthcare facilities to the L.A.-area during the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t long before the vessel was hooked up with high-speed network communications capability courtesy of CenturyLink.

The communications provider said it waived installation fees and is providing a one-gigabit Ethernet circuit at no charge for the next year that connects the Mercy to the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Naval Air Station North Island facility.

“Due to the critical and complex nature of the work onboard, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) needed a technology company that could provide high-capacity network services safely, securely and quickly,” CenturyLink said.

The Mercy is providing 1,000 extra hospital beds and more than 800 medical personnel to handle non-coronavirus cases while land-based facilities in the Los Angeles-area concentrate on virus cases.

Virginia Governor Issues ‘Stay at Home’ Order Through June 10

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a “stay at home” order today that requires state residents to stay at home until June 10, unless the order is rescinded sooner than that. Exceptions to the order – instituted to help halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus – include traveling outside the home for food, medical services, essential social services, visiting family, and getting outside for exercise with proper social distancing requirements, among many others.

Maryland Puts Teeth in Stay at Home Order

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also issued a “stay at home” order directing citizens to stay put to help curb the coronavirus spread, or face penalties of up to one year in prison and $5,000.  The order has many of the same exceptions as those adopted by other states, including the ability to leave home for food and medical service among a variety of other reasons. The order takes effect tonight, and has no fixed end-date. “We are no longer asking or suggesting Marylanders to stay at home, we are directing them,” he said.

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