CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19 UPDATES)
CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19 UPDATES)
Team Maryland: Community Champions
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so many people have stepped up to help their community. These incredible people deserve recognition. That’s why I’m proud to announce my “Team Maryland: Community Champions” campaign, highlighting the Good Samaritans of this crisis.
If your friend, neighbor, community member, or local frontline worker has gone above and beyond during this pandemic, you can nominate them to be the Team Maryland: Champion of the Week. These champions will be highlighted on my social media pages.
You can nominate your champion here.
COVID-19 Business Resources
Businesses across Maryland have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. My team and I have compiled the below resources to help you take advantage of state and federal programs during this time.
Business Resource Webinar with Congressman David Trone, the Small Business Administration, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Department of Labor (4/1/2020)
COVID-19 Nonprofit and Small Business Resource Webinar with Congressman David Trone, Senator Ben Cardin, Small Business Administration, Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Labor, Maryland Nonprofits, and Montgomery County Office of the County Executive (4/30/2020)
COVID-19 Mental Health Resources
COVID-19 Mental Health Webinar with Congressman David Trone, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (4/16/2020)
COVID-19 Scam Prevention Resources
Protecting Yourself Against Coronavirus Scams Webinar with Congressman David Trone, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maryland Attorney General's Office, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (4/24/20)
COVID-19 Volunteerism: How You Can Get Involved Webinar
Volunteerism: How You Can Get Involved Webinar with Congressman David Trone, Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, Garrett County Community Action, Feed Western Maryland, United Way of Frederick County, I Believe in Me, Montgomery County Volunteer Center, Identity Inc, and BROTHERS Academy (5/14/2020)
Updates from Maryland
Special Enrollment Period: Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange --Maryland’s health insurance marketplace -- will hold a special open enrollment period. Marylanders without health insurance can sign-up and get covered from Monday, March 16th through Monday, June 15th. Find more information here.
Latest Updates from the Governor: The Governor has enacted measures in Maryland in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. These include:
- Rolling out of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan developed to reopen our state. More information can be found here.
- Announcing the relaxation of the “Stay at Home Order” effective May 15th, at 5 pm. Interpretive guidance can be found here.
- Creating a tool to track the status of re-openings in counties across Maryland. This tool can be found here.
- Authorizing remote notarizations in Maryland. Find out more information here.
- Closing of all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities
- Closing all Maryland schools for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year
- Restricting access to BWI airport to include only travelers and employees
- Limiting gatherings to 10 people, per CDC guidance on social distancing
- Activating the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps, including 5,000 trained volunteers
- Prohibiting all utilities, including electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable, TV, and your internet service provider from shutting off service or charging late fees during the state of emergency.
- Postponed the primary election in Maryland from April 28th to June 2nd
Bi-weekly Maryland updates can be found here.
Updates from Congress
The House passed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the third COVID-19 package which the President signed into law. The $2 trillion investment will address both the healthcare and economic crises facing our nation. The CARES includes direct payments to the American people to help make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals making up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married workers) will receive payments of $1,200 with an additional $500 payment per child under age 17. The payments decrease for workers who earn more than $75,000 per year and stop altogether for single workers making more than $99,000 ($198,000 for married workers and $218,000 for a family of four.)
These rebates will be delivered by mail to Americans who file individual federal income tax returns, or via electronic direct deposit in place of a physical check when available.
In order to receive these rebates, taxpayers must have valid Social Security Numbers for themselves and qualifying children.
Congress will continue to work to address this public health crisis. Prior to the CARES Act, Congress passed a $8.3 billion emergency funding package to fully fund a strong and strategic response to coronavirus, including vaccine development, funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), support for state and local governments, and assistance for small businesses affected by the virus.
On April 23rd, the House passed the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, replenishing depleted funds from the CARES Act. These funds will provide small businesses and health care facilities with financial assistance to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The President has since signed this bill into law.
The House also passed the bipartisan Families First Act, which was signed into law by the President. This act ensures free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. It also provides two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of family and medical leave for eligible workers, while enhancing Unemployment Insurance and supporting small businesses by fully reimbursing them for providing leave. The bill also strengths food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors' meals, and food banks.
I will continue to work with the Maryland federal, state, and local delegations to coordinate a robust response to the outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask (facemasks are only needed for those who show symptoms of coronavirus).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
For more information on the coronavirus, please visit here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that folks who are at risk for serious illness, such as seniors and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, avoid cruises and non-essential air travel--especially to geographic areas of concern. Individuals who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 and those who have traveled to or live in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 are also at greater risk of contracting the virus.
According to a study by disease analysts at Johns Hopkins University, most people start showing symptoms of COVID-19 about five days after infection. The most commonly reported symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia. If you believe that you have contracted COVID-19, call your healthcare professional.
For more information about the coronavirus and the resources available to you, please visit the below:
To learn more about what our state and counties are doing to keep us safe, visit the links below:
If you are planning on traveling, please visit the CDC's Information for Travel guide.