“A major outbreak among our critical federal workforce could be catastrophic, crippling the national response,” warned Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who with others expressed growing fears that the region could look like New York by Easter.

With his counterparts in Washington and Virginia, Hogan moved in recent days to strengthen his state’s stay-at-home order designed to slow Covid-19’s spread across densely-populated metro areas.

Escalating numbers across the area, which represents the third-largest economy in the nation, could impede the government’s ability to deliver unemployment checks, small-business loans and safety-net services. Last week brought fresh anxieties that national security could also be at risk when four employees at Fort Meade in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County tested positive for the virus. And on Wednesday, BuzzFeed first reported on an internal Department of Homeland Security report stating that 349 employees tested positive for the coronavirus while 7,000 are quarantining or self-monitoring.