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VERIFY: Can you be pulled over for driving during stay-at-home order? Breaking down biggest coronavirus rumors

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency launched a brand new Rumor Control Page. The Verify Team spoke with organizers to highlight the state's biggest rumors.

REISTERSTOWN, Md. — The Verify Team exists to break down online rumors, and dispel misinformation. That's why the brand new "Rumor Control Page," launched by The Maryland Emergency Management Agency caught our eye. 

To learn more, we spoke with spokesperson Jorge Castillo, who broke down some of the biggest rumors in the state. 

"We want to make sure that individuals are getting the correct information," he said. "It matters a lot now because information travels a lot faster than before."

Let's get to the rumors. 

Question 1:

Will State police troopers in Maryland pull you over, to ask if you are traveling for an essential reason? 

Answer 1: 

Castillo said that this is a complete rumor. 

"Law enforcement is not just going to stop you ... to ask if you are performing essential duties," he said.

However, if a driver is pulled over for another reason, or if they are involved in an accident, there could be punishments for driving for non-essential reasons. The rumor page has the following description:

"If, in the course of the regular performance of his/her duties, such as during a crash investigation or a traffic stop, the trooper develops information indicating the individual was engaged in non-essential travel, enforcement action can be taken, in consultation with the state's attorney's office in that jurisdiction." 

Question 2: 

Can you get the coronavirus by ordering carryout/delivery? 

Answer 2: 

The Verify Team answered this question in February. This claim remains false all this time later. 

"There's no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19," Castillo said.

The MEMA page continued with the following: 

"It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. CDC notes that in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures," Castillo said.

Question 3: 

Will the academic calendar year 2019-2020 be repeated again next year? 

Answer 3: 

This is a question that's been asked by a lot of parents at home, trying to figure out if students will need to repeat a year. Castillo said this is not currently the situation.

"You know at this time," he said. "There has been no decision by the Maryland State Department of Education that suggests that."

The MEMA rumor page reads the following: 

"At this time, schools are closed through April 24, 2020 and no decisions have been made about additional school closures. There is no plan to repeat the 2019-2020 academic school year." 

To see the full list of rumors, addressed by MEMA, you can visit their Rumor Control Page.

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