News From Annapolis | May 22, 2020
Delegate Susan Krebs, District 5
Please forward this email to your family and friends.
Important COVID-19 Information Below Including:
  • Expanded COVID-19 Testing including the CVS in Eldersburg
  • 2020 Graduate information
  • Robust Contact Tracing Operation Launched
  • Paycheck Protection Information (PPP) for small businesses
  • MARBIDCO - Pandemic Adjustment Funding for Agricultural, Forestry & Seafood Businesses
  • New! Caregiver Services Corp to Help Maryland's Older Adults
  • Business TeleFile System Available
  • The Hogan Administration's COVID-19 A-Z Guide
  • Comprehensive List of COVID-19 Resources
Memorial Day Greetings & Updates
Hello friends,

As we approach this Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial kick-off of summer, we continue to work diligently on your behalf to advocate for you through the challenges many of you are facing navigating the new rules and regulations, unemployment system, small business program and other restrictions that only a few months ago would have been unimaginable. I apologize to those who have faced the many failures of the new unemployment system- it is inexcusable.

I am optimistic that we are finally moving in the right direction to open our economy back up and to get back to work.

As we face the COVID-19 crisis and its health and economic impact, we have been in constant communication with the Hogan administration with your concerns and issues. I was on a long conference call last night with the Maryland House Republican Caucus and we are doing everything in our power to convey to the Governor the sense of urgency in opening up more Maryland businesses to get people back to work.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus remains highly contagious and dangerous, but we have found that the danger overwhelmingly applies to seniors and those with compromised immune systems.

Research from investment bank JP Morgan allegedly found coronavirus infection rates decreasing in states and nations that have lifted their lockdown measures.

We are encouraging the Governor to allow people to go back to work while focusing on protecting the vulnerable and elderly and isolating the infected.

A tourniquet can stop the bleeding and save a life but, if you don’t loosen the tourniquet from time to time, you cut off the blood for too long and lose the limb. Maryland must loosen our coronavirus lockdown or risk losing our economy. It is long past time to stop picking winners and losers, open our small businesses and get back to work.

All 50 U.S. States have taken steps toward lifting restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak just in time for Memorial weekend. While we are all disappointed that we will not be able to participate in our traditional Westminster Memorial Day Parade, let’s take a moment to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Memorial Day has been celebrated since the Civil War and evolved into a holiday to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars in order to advance the freedoms and liberties we have always enjoyed in our great nation. More than ever we are realizing how important those freedoms are as we have had some taken from us.

Memorial Day 2020 takes on a special meaning this year as we remember those families who have been impacted by coronavirus. Let us also honor all the front-line heroes who have helped us as we battle COVID-19 . Health care workers, emergency personal, police and fire fighters and those who work with the elderly have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Let’s celebrate our teachers who are committed to giving their students the best possible learning experience under very extraordinary conditions, and lets help support the many that are unemployed, through no fault of their own, and are worried about when they will get their next paycheck.

To our 2020 Graduates:

The Class of 2020 has been faced with unprecedented challenges and we are continually impressed by students’ resilience. Lives have been disrupted yet you continue on in very unique and creative ways. Congratulations graduates!  You are an inspiration and we can’t wait to follow your personal and professional success!

Update on Delegate Susan Krebs Scholarships
If you are a graduating high school senior and applied for the Delegate's Scholarship, thank you for your patience. In the past, applications were considered and approved prior to the high schools’ awards ceremony.

We received a record number of applications this year, and due to our attention being focused on constituents and their COVID-19 related issues, we have not had the opportunity to get the scholarship committee to review the applications, therefore the awards will not be announced prior to the virtual awards ceremonies. Applicants will be notified by mail or email by mid-summer.

IMPORTANT! If you applied for a scholarship and have decided to attend a different school than on your application, please email our office with the change.

We will continue to try to provide you with the most up to date information that we have as we reopen our state and get back to a new normal. We definitely do not have all of the answers but hope that this information is helpful. There is a ton detailed information in the links provided below, it is constantly being updated so keep checking back for the most up to date information..

Feel free to forward this info to anyone who may be interested.

I wish you and your families and safe and healthy holiday. 

Susan
Board of Education Should Be Allowed To Create A Safe Graduation Plan
Carroll County’s legislators sent a letter to the health department and the Board of Education sent a letter to the governor’s office. Each correspondence sought to find a way to allow high school seniors to have modified graduation exercises.

Del. Susan Krebs, Sen. Justin Ready, Del. April Rose, and Del. Haven Shoemaker requested “a common-sense provision for socially distanced outdoor graduation ceremonies,” noting that they were confident a plan could be fashioned to mirror the governor’s safer-at-home provisions.

Health Officer Ed Singer responded that the governor’s current executive order “restricts gatherings to 10 or fewer people, and graduations are not listed as exempt from this restriction.” When the school board voted to send a letter to the governor requesting to be allowed to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies, Singer said they shouldn’t be surprised if they receive a quick “no.”

That’s a shame. Because there is clearly an arbitrary nature to aspects of the executive orders designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Schools are being forced to abide by directives of 10 or fewer people in massive auditoriums or stadiums. Meanwhile, customers are free to roam big-box stores by the dozens if not hundreds.

Carroll Christian School is going ahead with its graduation, having received permission from the governor’s office according to an email to the Times from Principal Matthew Reisberg. (Carroll Christian has 29 seniors, far less than Carroll’s public high schools.)

State guidance is a bit of a moving target. On May 13, Gov. Larry Hogan said houses of worship may begin to hold religious services again, at up to 50% capacity. For some churches, 50% means hundreds of people.

It is hard to make a case that it’s OK to allow a few hundred people — many of whom are in the age group most vulnerable to the coronavirus — inside a confined space, but it’s not OK to find a way to spread a few hundred 17- and 18-year-olds across a football field that is 120 yards long and, counting sideline space, probably 70 yards wide.

It seems as though with smart minds and proper planning, using social distancing, there should be a way to make this happen in a stadium, in as safe a manner as possible for anyone who wanted to participate. As an example, board members brought up the Naval Academy commissioning ceremony where midshipmen gathered in smaller groups of 200 while seated at a distance from one another in a ceremony closed to the public.

Understanding it seems unlikely a graduation ceremony for an entire class will be allowed, Carroll County Public Schools unveiled a plan Wednesday that would let families schedule a time to come into a school building one at a time so seniors can walk the stage and receive a diploma from their principal, accompanied by four family members.

Jackson Klingenberg, a senior at Manchester Valley High School who serves as student school board representative, said he thought some students will be happy that the ceremony is more than just a virtual one, but others will not be satisfied as they are still mourning lost sports seasons, proms and other milestones.

Indeed. This solution is better than nothing, better than a strictly virtual approach. Perhaps it’s the best anyone could come up with under the current executive order. But it is a far cry from allowing a senior class, many of whom have attended school with each other for 13 years, to gather once more to celebrate one of life’s most important milestones, together, with laughter, tears, reminiscences and selfies during a final, memorable, shared experience, albeit at a social distance, without hugs and high-fives.

Board Vice President Marsha Herbert made the motion to petition the governor’s office, saying they owed it to the students to try one last time.

The seniors are owed that. And more. We hope the governor grants the school board the leeway to come up with a creative, safe way to hold graduations.

May 22, 2020
New Announcements!
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Information

No more stopping to pay tolls! Be sure to mount your E-ZPass transponder properly to avoid receiving a video toll Notice of Toll Due (NOTD) in the mail.

Passenger-vehicle drivers without an E-ZPass will be mailed a notice - the current two-axle Video Toll is $4 (will become $6 - 30 days after Marylands COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted.



Carroll County Leads State in Census

Census Timeline Extended

Recent federal census data show Carroll County leads the State of Maryland in the 2020 Census response rate and ranks 29 th  nationally, out of 3,215 U.S. counties. As of May 20 th , Carroll County achieved a self-response rate for the 2020 U.S. Census of 75.8%.

In 2010, Carroll County also led the state with a final response rate of 83% and the county is asking residents to help surpass this percentage in 2020. To see the self-response details and follow the daily updates, visit the  U.S. Census Response Rates page. Mailed invitations to participate in the U.S. Census began in mid-March.

“The Census is very important to our Carroll County community and I am thrilled our residents are fantastic at completing the census questionnaire,” said Carroll County Census Coordinator Laura Russell. “There is still time to complete the information and we encourage everyone to do so as each uncounted person costs the county over $18,000 in federal funding.”

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting its 2020 operations. It is estimated that field activities will resume after June 1. These dates will vary by state depending on the COVID-19 phase. The self-response phase of the U.S. Census is now extended from July 31 to October 31, 2020. Residents who have not completed the census by mid-June will receive a paper questionnaire at their residence and starting mid-August, census enumerators will begin going door-to-door to interview households which have not yet responded. The U.S. Congress also changed the deadline to deliver census data to the President from December 31, 2020 to April 30, 2021.

If you receive your mail through a P.O. Box, as do those who live in New Windsor and Union Bridge, you will not receive any mailings from the U.S. Census Bureau. To participate in the census, go to  my2020census.gov  or call 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

The census is important, easy and safe. If you have any questions, please contact
Laura Russell, Carroll County Census Coordinator at 410-386-2512, email at  lrussell@carrollcountymd.gov , or visit the  Carroll County 2020 Census webpage .
Important COVID-19 Updates
Expanded COVID-19 Testing

More Marylanders will be able to get tested for coronavirus. A new governor's order allows people without symptoms to be tested at select testing sites.

Identifying people who have the virus and isolating them, tracing their contacts, can limit how many people will be affected.
Governor Hogan and CVS Health announced 17 new drive-thru COVID-19 test sites including:

Carroll County 
CVS Pharmacy, 6040 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg, MD 21784

Patients must register in advance at  CVS.com  beginning Friday, May 22 to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions. A CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.


Contact Tracing Operation Launched to Support Local Health Departments


Maryland’s statewide contact tracing operation across all 24 of the state’s jurisdictions will be fully operational next week. To launch this operation, Maryland has more than quintupled its disease investigation capacity, and will have more than 1,400 case investigators statewide.

To support our local health officials, the state has built a robust contact tracing operation and massively expanded Maryland’s disease investigation capacity,” said Governor Hogan. “This will be a partnership across all 24 jurisdictions, and an all-hands-on deck effort to ensure health officials on the ground can trace and isolate the virus.”

“This is a way everyone can contribute to keeping each other safe and healthy, while helping us find and fight the virus,” said Fran Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health at the Maryland Department of Health. “Participating with the state’s contact tracing program helps keep you, your family, your neighbors, co-workers, and community safe from this disease. Please answer the phone if you see ‘MD COVID’ on the screen; working with our COVID-19 case investigators truly can help save lives.”

MORE THAN 1,400 TRACERS STATEWIDE:  At the start of the crisis, the state had a total of 250 case investigators working at local health departments. On April 22, Governor Hogan  announced a contract  with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the nation’s oldest and largest university-based research firm, to hire and train additional case investigators. Maryland is on track to have more than 1,400 case investigators statewide.

CAPACITY TO TRACE 1,000 CASES AND 10,000 CONTACTS DAILY:  Local health officials, with support from the state, will have the capacity to track 1,000 cases and 10,000 contacts on a daily basis. After an individual tests positive, case investigators will then reach out to those individuals by phone within 24 hours to begin a trace investigation. Based on information collected about the COVID-19 positive individual’s symptoms and contact history, case investigators will call other people with whom the individual has had contact and provide necessary guidance about monitoring symptoms and isolating at home.

STATE-OF-THE-ART COVID LINK PLATFORM : The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) partnered to develop COVID Link, a state-of-the-art data management platform, to facilitate the state’s contact tracing partnership with local officials. The platform was onboarded earlier this month as a pilot program in Baltimore City, rolled out to additional counties—including Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County— and will be fully operational in all 24 jurisdictions next week.

The innovative COVID Link platform uses medical data from the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) and incorporates it into Salesforce, which populates the data to allow the contact tracers to ask questions of the patient who has tested positive. These questions—and follow-up questions when necessary—will allow health officials to gain crucial information to determine if more steps need to be taken to lower the risk of the virus being spread further.

The platform features the ability to:
  • Customize interview questions, call flows, and interviewer screens
  • Determine call timeframes, escalation points, and follow-ups
  • Manipulate real time data and view detailed metrics
  • Integrate with Google API, AWS, and call center platforms
  • Digitally intake contacts, support self-reporting, and customize forms

WHAT MARYLANDERS CAN EXPECT:  When the phone rings, the caller ID will read “MD COVID.” Depending on whether the contact investigator is calling directly from NORC or a local health department, there will also be a list of phone numbers provided to verify the caller’s identity. They will ask about one’s health, any potential symptoms, and the duration of those symptoms. They may ask about an individual’s whereabouts and interactions for a specific period of time. Guidance will be provided regarding self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms. They will ask for verification of date of birth and additional contact information, and if an individual has already tested positive for COVID-19, they may request details regarding that test. 

A contact investigator will never ask for a Social Security number, financial or bank account information, or personal details unrelated to COVID-19. They will not ask for photographs or videos, passwords, or payment. 

PRIVACY PROTECTIONS:  Maryland’s contact tracing workforce is trained to ensure that all personal information is collected in accordance with regulations and guidelines to protect privacy and personal health information. During a trace investigation, a person will be notified that they may have come into contact with an infected individual, but the infected person’s name is not disclosed and minimal information is conveyed.

For more information on contact tracing in Maryland, please visit  https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing

Paycheck Protection Information (PPP)

The U.S. Treasury Department released a long-anticipated 11-page  application for PPP forgiveness  last week.

NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) continues to offer weekly webinars on a variety of subjects for small business owners trying to navigate this crisis. The latest is on the PPP loan forgiveness process. Like every NFIB webinar, this week’s event delivers valuable insights and practical advice from our staff to your constituents.


Thank you to our friends at NFIB for providing these resources.

Governor Hogan Announces Pandemic Adjustment  Funding for Agricultural, Forestry, and Seafood Businesses
Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) will receive $2.2 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to help Maryland agricultural, forestry, and seafood businesses make operational adjustments caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

MARBIDCO will be using half of the funding to establish a new Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund to help Maryland's food and fiber producers, harvesters, and primary processors make necessary adjustments in their business operations which are necessitated by the impact of the pandemic. The program will enable applicants to 
receive grants for qualifying capital equipment purchases and facility upgrades for on-farm production, processing and storage, as well as wood processing and seafood processing, on the condition that these businesses are making pandemic-related
 business improvements. Grants ranging from $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 (or $75,000 for wood and seafood processors or agricultural cooperatives) are available up 
to 80% of the eligible project cost. Applications requesting $20,000 or less will likely 
have a higher priority for funding.

The other half of this relief funding will be used to continue a recently-launched 
Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund program designed to help Maryland's farmers and 
other rural businesses make necessary adjustments in their business enterprises and to help diversify operations to make them more economically sustainable in light of the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Low-interest loans of up to $10,000 are available
for working capital and equipment purchases under very favorable terms.

Applications for the Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund must be submitted 
by June 10. Applications for the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund must be submitted 
by June 15. Application forms for both programs and additional information is
 available on the MARBIDCO website at  www.marbidco.org . For questions, 
please call the MARBIDCO office at (410) 267-6807.
New! Caregiver Services Corps to help Maryland's Older Adults
Maryland Continues To Take Aggressive Action to Support Older and Vulnerable Citizens

Governor Larry Hogan announced the launch of the Caregiver Services Corps , a program to support Maryland seniors who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Caregiver Services Corps is able to quickly deploy volunteers and other resources to the homes of seniors who need urgent assistance with everyday tasks when their typical caregiver becomes unable to help them due to COVID-19 exposure, illness, or other challenges.

 “Since the beginning of the public health crisis, we have been focused on the impact of COVID-19 on older Marylanders, and we are pursuing every course of action to protect their health, safety, and quality of life,” said Governor Hogan.
Primary Election is June 2nd!
Business TeleFile System Available
Franchot Urges Businesses To Use
TeleFile To Report Zero Taxes Due

 Automated 24/7 access will satisfy filing requirements

Businesses temporarily closed due to COVID-19 are encouraged to take advantage of the Comptroller of Maryland's Business TeleFile system. This automated system is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week and streamlines the filing of sales and use tax, as well as withholding taxes when no taxes are owed for a filing period.

One phone call, placed at the convenience of the filer, prevents unnecessary delinquent notices and keeps them focused on operations and sales. 

"Businesses have been hit hard by this pandemic and they don't need any undue burden placed upon them," Comptroller Franchot said. "Business TeleFile is the fastest, easiest way to meet filing requirements, while allowing owners to focus on re-opening their businesses and keep Maryland's economy going." 

The process is straightforward. Businesses simply need their 8-digit Maryland central registration number when they call 410-260-7225 to file zero tax due employer withholding or sales and use tax reports by telephone. 

For more information contact us at  taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov  or visit our website:
The Hogan Administration's COVID-19
A-Z Resource Guide

  • Apple Screening Tool. Apple has partnered with the CDC and HHS to develop a screening tool to help users understand their risk for contracting COVID-19. Users can take the questionnaire online or by downloading the app. If you are exhibiting respiratory symptoms or feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider.
 
 
  • Beaches. Maryland is opening closed activities at state parks, including all state beaches, for walking and exercise, as well as safe playgrounds at state parks. Marylanders must continue to practice physical distancing at beaches and other public places.
 
 
  • BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Transportation to restrict access to the BWI Marshall Terminal to ticketed passengers and employees only. Exceptions will be made for visitors assisting disabled passengers. Maryland Transportation Authority Police will strictly enforce this policy.
 
  • Caregivers. Providing care for children, senior citizens, or individuals with special needs at those individuals’ homes is considered an essential activity. Read the interpretive guidance.
 
  • Casinos. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to close all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities to the general public indefinitely. Read the executive order.
 
  • Census. Marylanders are encouraged to participate in the 2020 Census from home by responding by phone, by mail, or online at https://my2020census.gov/.
 
  • Child Care.  (See also Caregivers, above.) Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, all child care programs are to be closed. During this State of Emergency, child care programs have been established by the State to serve only designated essential personnel at no cost. Eligible programs may be found on the MSDE website at earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org or by using the LOCATE: Child Care resource, a telephone service that is available by phone Monday – Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Visit the MSDE website.
 
  • Churches, Synagogues, and Other Places of Worship. Churches and houses of worship may begin to safely hold religious services, at up to 50 percent capacity, with outdoor services strongly encouraged. Religious leaders are strongly urged to do everything possible to keep their congregants safe, and particularly to protect the elderly and vulnerable within their congregations. Read guidance and best practices for religious services.
 
  • Commuting. Out-of-state travelers returning to Maryland are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This is not expected of people who regularly commute into Maryland from an adjacent state or the District of Columbia, or vice-versa, unless such persons should otherwise self-quarantine under applicable CDC or MDH guidance, or people traveling through Maryland who made minimal contact (ie. stopped briefly for gas). Read the interpretive guidance.
 
  • Cruises. No passenger or crew member will be allowed to disembark at any terminal at the Port of Baltimore from any passenger vessel that has made a call at port outside of the United States since January 31, 2020. Read the executive order.
 
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. Coronavirus updates and other resources for the Deaf and hard of hearing community can be found at odhh.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
 
  • Donations. Businesses or organizations offering capabilities, personnel, and equipment should email psector@maryland.gov. Individuals or nonprofits offering assistance should email ngs.mema@maryland.gov. UPDATED MARCH 29: Disaster relief agencies are partnering to open four locations around the state to accept donations of specialized medical equipment and some cleaning supplies to support the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies: learn more.
 
  • Drive-Thru Testing. Drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing sites are being operated at several VEIP stations throughout the state. Testing is strictly limited to Marylanders who have a referral from their health care provider and who have an appointment to be tested. Learn more.
 
  • Elections. Governor Hogan has issued a proclamation postponing the April 28 primary to June 2. The State Board of Elections was directed to develop a comprehensive plan by April 3 for conducting the primary election in a way that maintains public confidence and trust while preserving public health and safety. The special general election for the 7th Congressional District took place on April 28, and Marylanders were strongly encouraged to vote by mail if possible. Read the governor’s proclamation.
 
 
 
  • Evictions. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of COVID-19—for example, because of lost or reduced unemployment, or needing to care for a school-aged child—or because they are diagnosed with, or under investigation for, COVID-19. Read the governor’s emergency order.
 
  • Farms, Food Supply Chain. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is emphasizing the need for businesses involved in the state’s food supply chain to continue production. Any business involved in food distribution, production, processing, sales and supply will be considered essential, including but not limited to farms, farmers markets and food banks, food and meat processors and manufacturers, and seafood processors/watermen. Learn more.
 
  • Farmers Markets. The Maryland Department of Agriculture considers farmers markets an essential business and an important source of food for many Marylanders. The department is asking that farmers markets remain open during the current state of emergency. Learn more.
 
  • Free and Reduced Meals. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) applied for a federal waiver and has the capability to provide three meals a day, and a snack, to students impacted by the statewide closure of schools. MSDE has hundreds of meal distribution centers across the state, which can be found at mdsummerschools.org.
 
  • Food Assistance/SNAP. The Maryland Department of Human Services is expediting services for their customers. Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online here, and by calling the DHS Call Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258), available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
 
  • Gatherings. Social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. Read the updated executive order.
 
  • Hospitals. The Maryland Department of Health has advised hospitals to adopt new procedures to limit visitation, including screening visitors for flu-like symptoms and allowing only one adult visitor per patient in all areas of the hospital. On May 6, Governor Hogan directed the Maryland Department of Health to issue guidance that allows hospitals and licensed health care providers to resume elective and non-urgent medical procedures. Providers must exercise their independent professional judgment in determining what procedures are appropriate to perform, which appointments should occur, and which patients to see in light of widespread COVID-19 community transmission. Read the Maryland Department of Health’s order.
 
  • Insurance. (See also “Unemployment” below.) The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is establishing a special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connection specifically for the coronavirus. Learn more. Uninsured Marylanders can enroll by June 15, 2020.

  • Licenses and Permits. All licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations issued by the state, its agencies or any political subdivision that would expire during the current state of emergency will be extended until the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted. Read the executive order.
 
  • Malls. Governor Hogan has expanded his emergency order to require the closure of all enclosed shopping malls and entertainment venues, including bowling alleys, bingo halls, roller rinks, and amusement parks. The Governor’s Office has issued interpretive guidance for grocery stores, pharmacies, and health care providers in malls. Learn more.
 
  • Masks. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order which will require the wearing of masks or face coverings when inside any retail establishments, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores, or when riding any form of public transportation in Maryland. It also requires all essential retail locations to require their staff to wear face coverings, and requires those businesses to put appropriate social distancing measures in place in order to keep customers and their staff safe. The order took effect beginning Saturday, April 18, at 7 a.m. Read the CDC guidance regarding how you can make and use homemade cloth face coverings.
 
  • Medical Reserve Corps. The governor directed the Secretary of Health to activate the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, a community-based, civilian volunteer program that helps build the public health infrastructure and response capabilities of Maryland communities. The network consists of dedicated responders who stand ready to volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies. Learn more.
 
  • Mortgages. Governor Hogan enacted an executive order that stops lenders from initiating the mortgage foreclosure process. Nearly 70 of Maryland’s largest banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, state agencies, and other financial entities have collaborated to provide additional flexibility to borrowers. Learn more.
 
  • National Guard. The governor has activated the Maryland National Guard in order to carry out any necessary emergency functions, such as food distribution or other critical areas of need. As of Monday, March 16, one thousand Maryland National Guard soldiers and airmen are fully activated and another 1,200 guardsmen are in a state of enhanced readiness. Read the executive order.
 
  • Notaries. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that temporarily waives the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Maryland for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, subject to guidance provided by the Secretary of State’s office. Read the updated guidance from the Secretary of State’s Office.
 
  • Nursing Homes. Governor Hogan has issued a series of directives to protect residents and staff at nursing homes. As of April 29, these included universal testing of all residents and staff at all Maryland nursing homes, mandatory compliance and cooperation with state strike teams, daily evaluation of residents by healthcare professionals, and development of surge staffing plans to ensure continuity of care in the event of an outbreak. Learn more.
 
 
  • Out-of-State Travel. (see also Commuting, above) No Marylander should be traveling outside of the state unless such travel is absolutely necessary. Those who have traveled outside of the state should self-quarantine for 14 days.
 
 
  • Pharmacies. Pharmacies are essential businesses and are to remain open. The Governor’s Office has issued interpretive guidance for pharmacies and health care providers located in malls.
 
  • Poultry Industry. Governor Hogan has activated a multi-state, multi-agency operation to address outbreaks at Delmarva poultry processing plants. The state has dispatched epidemiologists to the affected areas to focus on testing support, contact tracing, occupational health, communications and outreach. In order to enhance testing capability, Wicomico County is standing up a testing site at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury specifically to test workers at the Perdue plant in Salisbury and the Amick processing plant in Hurlock. Learn more.
 
  • Prisons. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has modified its operations significantly to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and has robust emergency plans in place designed to protect the incarcerated population, staff and their families. The Department has shut down intake, suspended visitation while making remote communication free to inmates, eliminated group programming and contact activities, and is requiring staff to undergo health screenings at all entry points. Parole and Probation staff are now on telework.
 
  • Recovery, Reopening, and Reentry. After weeks of consulting with leading scientists, business leaders, and public health experts, Governor Larry Hogan has introduced the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which provides a safe, effective, and gradual approach to reopening the state as it continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. All Marylanders should continue to avoid crowds and gatherings, and they should continue to practice physical distancing and to take precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their fellow Marylanders. Read the plan.
 
  • Repossessions. Governor Hogan has issued an executive order that prohibits lenders from initiating the mortgage foreclosure process and prohibits the repossession of cars and trucks, as well as homes that are not considered “real property,” such as mobile homes, trailers, and live-aboard boats. Read the executive order.
 
  • Safer at Home Advisory/Stay At Home Order. Effective Friday, May 15, at 5:00 pm, Maryland will move from a Stay at Home order to a Safer at Home public health advisory. Marylanders, particularly older and more vulnerable Marylanders, are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible. Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees when possible. Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so. Marylanders should continue taking strong precautions, including citizens should continue wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, washing their hands often, and frequently sanitizing high-touch areas.
 
  • Schools. UPDATED MAY 6: State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced that schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. While online and distance learning opportunities will continue, the department will release ‘Maryland Together: Recovery Plan for Education,’ a comprehensive plan for long-term recovery. Learn more from the Maryland State Department of Education.
 
  • Senior Call Check. The Maryland Department of Aging has a first-in-the-nation, free senior call check program, which provides peace of mind by checking in on seniors living at home alone. Register by calling 1-866-50-CHECK or learn more here.
 
  • Senior Centers. Senior centers closed beginning on Friday, March 13, 2020 until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded. Read the executive order.
 
  • Social Distancing. The practice of preventing people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. This is the objective of limiting gatherings, encouraging telework, and closing public places. Marylanders are advised to keep a distance of at least six feet from other individuals who do not live in their household.
 
 
  • State Facilities. Until further notice, all public access to state buildings, including the state house will be restricted.
 
  • State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe.

 
 
  • Text Message Updates. To receive alerts, tips, and resources related to COVID-19 and other threats and hazards affecting or that may affect Maryland, text “MdReady” to 898211.
 
  • Testing. Like all laboratory tests, testing for COVID-19 is a clinical decision made by a health care provider. Several drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing sites have opened in Maryland, but testing is strictly limited to Marylanders who have a referral from their health care provider and who have an appointment to be tested.  Learn more about testing.
 
 
  • Transit. Maryland’s Department of Transportation is taking action to support social distancing while still ensuring the movement of critical resources and personnel. The state is urging citizens to utilize transit for essential travel only, including emergency personnel, front-line health care workers, and anyone whose job is critical to the supply chain. To protect riders, masks are to be worn on public transportation.
 
 
  • Universities. Governor Hogan has asked the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to keep all students off campus and finish the spring semester online. Students and their families should stay tuned for updates from their respective colleges and universities.
 
  • Utilities. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer’s service, or charging any residential late fees. The order was recently extended to be effective through June 1. Read the governor’s emergency order.
 
 
Carroll County News
Grant Awarded!

The Board of Public Works approved a request to certify matching funds and enter into a grant agreement for a $25,000 grant  to the Board of Directors of the Gamber and Community Fire Company for the upgrade to and burial of the electric service at the  Fire Company’s Carnival Grounds.  
Additional COVID-19 Resources
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