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Below is a comprehensive list of the actions taken by the State of Maryland under Governor Larry Hogan’s direction to date: 

April 17, 2020

“MARYLAND STRONG: ROADMAP TO RECOVERY.” Earlier this week, Governor Hogan announced the four building blocks that will be necessary to begin the state’s recovery process. The state continues to make significant progress in all four of the following critical areas:

  1. Expanding testing capacity
  2. Increasing hospital surge capacity
  3. Ramping up supply of PPE
  4. Building a robust contact tracing operation

Further updates will be provided throughout the coming days, and later next week Governor Hogan plans to introduce the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”

SCHOOL CLOSURE EXTENDED TO MAY 15. State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced the extension of school closures through May 15 after extensive consultation with the State Board of Education and leading public health officials. School systems are in the process of developing plans for additional digital learning and the recovery of any lost instructional time in the form of expanding summer school programs. Additionally, state and local school officials are actively preparing for a number of scenarios depending on when educators and students will be able to re-enter school buildings.

UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program is officially launching today on Friday, April 17. This program provides unemployment insurance benefit recipients with an additional $600 per week payment on top of their current regular benefits. On April 24, the Maryland Department of Labor is launching a new one-stop shop comprehensive online application for independent contractors, self-employed Marylanders, and all other types of claims, including federal employees, multi-state wage claims, and members of the military. This will ensure that every Maryland applicant, whether they are a W2 employee or not, will have the option of filing online, which will dramatically decrease call wait times, and it will also help more Marylanders get their checks faster and more efficiently. Read the Department of Labor’s release.

$8 MILLION FOR FOOD BANKS. In order to bolster the efforts of food banks around the state, the State of Maryland is investing an additional $4 million dollars to Maryland Food Bank and the Capital Area Food Bank. Additionally, the state has worked with local jurisdictions to match that investment bringing that total to $8 million dollars for these food banks. The Maryland Department of Human Services is also working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to dramatically accelerate the implementation of the state’s online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) pilot initiative, which will enable families to purchase meals online for free delivery.

FEDERAL STIMULUS. Governor Hogan announced that he has asked President Trump to weigh in and help break the logjam in the U.S. Senate in order to secure an additional $500 billion in relief to help address revenue shortfalls in the states. Last week, the governor announced that Maryland is instituting a budget and hiring freeze amid estimates that the state is facing a projected $2.8 billion shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE. The governor announced that $8 million dollars of Maryland’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is a critical pillar in Maryland’s $175 million relief package, has already been provided to 410 small businesses across the state, helping more than 9,000 Marylanders keep their jobs. To date, the Maryland Department of Commerce has received more than 9,100 applications for the state’s $50 million COVID-19 relief loan fund and more than 20,200 applications for its $75 million COVID-19 relief grant fund.

GRANTS FOR CRITICAL MANUFACTURING. The state created a $5 million fund to incentivize Maryland businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to meet the current needs of the healthcare industry. The state awarded grants to three Maryland small businesses:  DVF Corporation in Washington County, Awesome Ninja Labs in Baltimore City, and NRL & Associates, a Queen Anne’s County manufacturer. The state will award grants to dozens of additional Maryland companies in the days to come.

April 15, 2020

FACE COVERINGS ORDER: Governor Hogan announced an executive order which requires the wearing of face coverings when inside any retail establishments or when riding any form of public transportation in Maryland. The order also requires all retail locations to require staff to wear face coverings and requires those businesses to put appropriate social distancing measures in place. To give retailers time to make these adjustments, the order will go into effect Saturday, April 18 at 7 a.m. The CDC has issued detailed guidance and instructions regarding homemade cloth face coverings which can be found at coronavirus.maryland.govRead the governor’s order.

STRIKE TEAMS UPDATE: Governor Hogan announced that statewide strike teams, which have become a national model, have now responded to outbreaks in 16 nursing homes and assisted living facilities and 15 group homes for medically fragile children. In partnership with FEMA and HHS, Maryland has augmented these strike teams with three federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) made up of physicians, paramedics, and safety officers.

CAPITAL REGION COLLABORATION: Governor Hogan has convened a teleconference with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday to discuss regional issues and collaboration. The three leaders issued a joint statement on March 23 regarding their regional partnership.

SHAREHOLDER MEETINGS: Governor Hogan has enacted an emergency order allowing public companies incorporated in Maryland to delay shareholder meetings, or convert previously scheduled in-person meetings to be virtual meetings. Read the governor’s order.

PRESERVING THE SUPPLY OF NECESSARY DRUGS: Governor Hogan has enacted an emergency order to put restrictions on the dispensing of drugs that may be necessary to treat COVID-19, including hydroxychloroquine. Read the governor’s order.

RECOGNITION OF NATIONAL ASL DAY: Governor Hogan presented a citation to Jimmy Beldon, the Certified Deaf Interpreter for the governor’s press conferences, in recognition of National ASL Day. Read the governor’s citation. 

April 10, 2020

BUDGET ACTIONS. After Comptroller Peter Franchot announced a potential $2.8 billion shortfall in the coming months, Governor Hogan outlined a series of budget actions:

  • Budget freeze. Effective immediately, all agencies must stop discretionary purchases of items or services not related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic or necessary to support core agency functions.
  • Hiring freeze. Effective Monday, April 13, all vacant positions in the executive branch of state government will be frozen with the exception of those currently subject to COVID-19 response pay.
  • Budget restrictions. The Office of Budget Analysis will be sending state agency budget reduction targets for FY 2021 within the next two to three weeks.

The governor also announced that it is unlikely any bills that require increased spending will be signed into law. In addition, the state will be tapping into and spending much, perhaps even all, of the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS PROCESS. Governor Hogan directed the Maryland Department of Labor to take action to bolster the unemployment insurance process to handle the unprecedented surge in claims. While over 94 percent of claims are currently processed online, aggressive steps are being taken to improve service for those who attempt to file by phone.

  • The Maryland Department of Labor is in the process of more than doubling staffing at claims center across the state, and will expand call center hours to Saturdays.
  • Starting next Friday, everyone eligible for benefits ending the week of April 4 will begin receiving an additional $600 per week as part of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program on top of current regular benefits. Marylanders will begin to see the increase in their next regularly scheduled payment.
  • The Maryland Department of Labor is also partnering with a vendor to expedite and streamline the implementation of additional programs under the CARES Act:
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program or PUA, which will expand eligibility to those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, those who have insufficient work history, and more. These individuals can visit mdunemployment.com and enter their email address to be notified directly as soon as this program is available.
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which will allow Marylanders currently receiving benefits, as well as newly approved claimants, an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.

REGISTRY FOR RECOVERED PATIENTS. Governor Hogan announced the launch of COVIDConnect, a new registry for Marylanders who have recovered from COVID-19. This registry will serve as a community platform to share experiences and lend support to others who are coping with the recovery process. COVIDConnect will also provide opportunities for these recovered patients to learn about potential research or clinical studies that may contribute to scientific progress in the treatment of COVID-19 through vaccine testing or medication trials. To become part of this new registry, recovered coronavirus patients can visit health.maryland.gov/covidconnect.

EXPANSION OF STRIKE TEAMS. Governor Hogan announced that the state has expanded its strike teams for nursing home facilities to include assisted living facilities and group homes for medically fragile children.

LARGE-SCALE TESTING INITIATIVE. Governor Hogan announced that the state is investing $2.5 million in a joint partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine to provide the technology to launch a large-scale COVID-19 testing initiative. Read the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s release.

NEW DECONTAMINATION SITE FOR PPE. The Maryland Department of Transportation, in coordination with FEMA, is setting up a new site at BWI Marshall Airport to decontaminate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The site will give Maryland the ability to clean and sterilize up to 80,000 N95 masks per day.

JUNE 2 PRIMARY. Governor Hogan executed a proclamation to ratify the State Board of Elections’ comprehensive plan to hold the June 2 primary by mail. While the board’s plan requires select polling places for those unable to vote by mail, the governor urged all Marylanders who can vote by mail to cast their ballot by mail. Read the governor’s proclamation.

REMOTE WITNESSING. Governor Hogan enacted an emergency order today to allow wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives to be witnessed remotely, i.e. by video conference. Currently, the law requires witnesses to be physically present when these documents are signed. Read the governor’s order.

April 6, 2020

STRIKE TEAMS FOR NURSING HOMES: Governor Hogan announced the formation of statewide strike teams, the first such effort in the nation, to provide support to nursing home facilities. The teams will be composed of members of the National Guard, representatives of local and state health departments, and EMS clinicians, as well as doctors and nurses from local hospital systems. These strike teams will be activated in response to requests from nursing homes, local health departments, and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) infectious disease experts. There will be three types of teams:

  • Testing teams, to identify those in close contact with a confirmed case, and collect and send out specimens for the fastest test available.
  • Assistance teams, to quickly assess the situation on-site, determine equipment and supply needs, and triage residents.
  • Clinical teams, which will include doctors, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses from major hospital systems, tasked with providing on-site medical triage and stabilizing residents.

SHUTTING DOWN UNSAFE FACILITIES: Governor Hogan has issued a new executive order empowering local health departments to take action against any businesses, establishments, and construction sites they deem unsafe. The local health department, working with local law enforcement, can modify operations, limit movements to and from the facilities, or shut them down altogether. Read the governor’s order.

BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON CORRIDOR: After weeks of pressing for action, Governor Hogan announced that top federal officials have agreed to designate the greater Baltimore-Washington corridor as a priority and emerging hotspot. This includes Baltimore City and Baltimore County, as well as Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s counties.

RELEASE OF ADDITIONAL DEMOGRAPHIC DATA: Governor Hogan has directed MDH—through the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities—to immediately take all actions necessary in order to provide further demographic breakdowns on race and ethnicity for all case data, including hospitalization rates and mortality. This week, MDH’s coronavirus resource page, coronavirus.maryland.gov, will begin displaying available data on racial and ethnic breakdown of COVID-19 cases, with updates as new data becomes available.

BALTIMORE CITY EFFORTS: Governor Hogan announced that the state will continue to support Baltimore City’s efforts to fight COVID-19, including the field hospital site, where COVID-19 patients who no longer require hospitalization will be able to complete their care and fully recover. The state will continue to provide support to the Baltimore Police Department as needed, and help stand up the community-based screening site at the Pimlico race course.

HOSPITAL SURGE UPDATE: Governor Hogan provided an update on the state’s hospital surge plan, announcing that the state has—on an emergency basis—approved 27 newly licensed assisting living programs, 42 residential sites for individuals with developmental disabilities, six newly licensed residential service agencies to provide home-based services, and 14 newly licensed clinical laboratories.

MARYLAND UNITES: Governor Hogan also encouraged Marylanders to donate and volunteer through the Maryland Unites initiative, saying, “While social distancing keeps us physically isolated from one another, there are so many examples of how in many ways this crisis is bringing Marylanders closer together with compassion and generosity.” Thousands of Marylanders have already answered the governor’s calls to action by registering for the Maryland Responds Reserve Medical Corps, making appointments to give blood, and donating to the Maryland Food Bank and other critical organizations.

April 5, 2020

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR STAFF. All personnel who are in close contact with residents of nursing homes shall wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a face mask, appropriate eye protection, gloves, and gown. The PPE should be worn at all times while providing care to residents in the facility and personnel should follow CDC guidance for using personal protective equipment. Facilities must use the process established by MDH to request PPE from the state.

EXPEDITED TESTING FOR SYMPTOMATIC RESIDENTS. All facilities must use the most expeditious means available for testing. This includes using either a COVID-19 test kit provided by the state laboratory or another lab to send specimens to the state laboratory for expedited COVID-19 testing of residents and staff. Symptomatic residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities are among the patient groups prioritized by the state laboratory, alongside hospitalized patients and symptomatic health care providers and first responders.

SEPARATE OBSERVATION AREAS. All facilities must designate a unit of staff who are assigned to care for known or suspected COVID-19 residents; designate a room, unit, or floor of the nursing home as a separate observation area where newly admitted and readmitted residents are kept for 14 days on contact and droplet precautions while being observed every shift for signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and designate a room, unit, or floor of the nursing home to care for residents with known or suspected COVID-19.

PLACEMENT OF DISCHARGED PATIENTS. MDH’s Office of Health Care Quality will assist acute care hospitals, if necessary, in discharging patients who require nursing-home level care.  Facilities must cooperate with the Office of Health Care Quality and hospitals in the placement of discharged patients.

RIGHT OF RETURN FOR RESIDENTS. Nursing home residents admitted or seen at a hospital for COVID-19 must be allowed to return to the nursing home as long as the facility can follow the approved CDC recommendations for transmission-based precautions. If the residents must temporarily go to other facilities, every effort must be made by the receiving and original nursing homes to transfer the residents back to their original nursing homes as soon as possible.

Governor Hogan’s order makes compliance with these directives mandatoryAnyone who knowingly and willfully violates this order is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding $5,000—or both.

April 3, 2020

MOMENT OF PRAYER. While it is currently unsafe to gather together in churches, temples, and other places of worship across the state, Governor Hogan issued a proclamation declaring a statewide moment of prayer and reflection at noon on Sunday, April 5.

“This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, and Wednesday is the beginning of Passover for our Jewish community,” said the governor. “In the Christian faith, we use this time to remember and reflect on the sacrifice of one, for the redemption of many. Each and every one of us is now being asked to make sacrifices that may very well help save the lives of others. At noon this Sunday, I am calling on all Marylanders to join together at home, or wherever you are, in a moment of prayer or reflection for those we have lost, those who are sick, and the doctors, nurses, clinicians, health care workers, and first responders on the front lines around the clock working to bring about a new dawn in our history.”

FINANCIAL RELIEF PACKAGE. Governor Hogan enacted an executive order which builds on an earlier order that prohibits residential evictions arising from a tenant’s substantial loss of income due to COVID-19. The latest order is now extended to commercial and industrial evictions. The order also:

  • Stops lenders from initiating the mortgage foreclosure process
  • Authorizes the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation to suspend certain lending limits for Maryland banks and credit unions, on a case-by-case basis, in an effort to make more credit available to businesses
  • Prohibits repossession of cars and trucks
  • Prohibits repossession of homes that are not considered “real property,” such as mobile homes, trailers, and live-aboard boats

Read the amended executive order.

Consistent with applicable guidelines, Marylanders may be eligible for the following opportunities upon contacting their financial service providers:

  • 90 Days of Payment Forbearance or Deferral. Mortgage lenders and servicers will provide up to a 90-day forbearance or deferral period for mortgage payments.
  • Waiving Late Fees. Mortgage lenders and servicers will not charge late fees during the forbearance or deferral period.
  • Credit Reporting. Mortgage lenders and servicers will not report negative information to the credit bureaus during the forbearance or deferral period.
  • 90 Days Forbearance from Foreclosure Initiation. All mortgage lenders and servicers will follow the forbearance and reduced payment programs established by federal authorities.

HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN. Governor Hogan has ordered the acceleration of the state’s hospital surge plan in order to be completed six weeks ahead of schedule. Work is underway to create capacity immediately through expansions to existing facilities, like hotels and convention centers.

  • Baltimore Convention Center. Initial construction is complete on the field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center, including facilities for patient and staff areas. Partitions and other necessary fixtures are being finalized this weekend, and 100 staff members have already been hired. 
  • Medical Tents. The first wave of advanced medical tents have been assigned to hospitals and to Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services facilities, and more will be allocated in the coming days.

NEW DRIVE-THRU TESTING SITES. On Monday, three vehicle emission inspections stations were opened in Glen Burnie, Waldorf and Bel Air. Two additional testing sites at emission inspection stations will be opened in Columbia in Howard County and White Oak in Montgomery County. All patients must obtain a referral from their doctor and will be seen by appointment only.

NEW GUIDANCE FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES. As multiple long-term care facilities in Maryland experience COVID-19 outbreaks among vulnerable residents, the Maryland Department of Health has issued new guidance to these facilities to promote the use of procedure or surgical masks for employees at all times and in all areas. Read the full guidance here. 

GOVERNOR HOGAN ENACTS TELEHEALTH EXPANSION. Prior to today’s press conference, Governor Hogan enacted HB448/SB402 and HB1208/SB502. This emergency legislation enables health care providers in Maryland to provide remote health care services so long as those services follow proper standards of care, and expands coverage of mental health services provided via telehealth.

April 1, 2020

Governor Hogan issues Emergency Orders to Expand Telehealth, Designation of Disabilities Services Personnel

EXPANDING TELEHEALTH SERVICES IN MARYLAND. Governor Hogan issued an executive order that amends the previous May 20 order regarding telehealth by expanding these services beyond audio-only methods. With this order, healthcare providers may engage in asynchronous telehealth services, such as email, provided that any and all telehealth practices are clinically appropriate, properly documented, and otherwise comply with proper standards of care. These telehealth services are also eligible for reimbursement by Medicaid. Read the amended executive order.

HEALTH CARE DESIGNATION FOR DISABILITIES SERVICE PERSONNEL. Governor Hogan issued an executive order ensuring that workers who provide important support services to the disabled will be treated as health care providers under the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This order officially recognizes the essential function of services for the disabled—including in-home care, interpreting services, social services, and support systems for substance abuse and mental illness—and designates those who provide these services as essential health care providers. Read the executive order.

March 30, 2020

STAY AT HOME ORDER. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.

  • Additional Guidance for Businesses. In addition, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland, and those businesses must make every effort to scale down their operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit interactions with customers, and to institute telework for as much of the workforce as is practical. This order does not change what businesses are deemed essential or nonessential.
  • Out-of-State Travel. 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.
  • Penalties. This order is to be enforced by state and local law enforcement. Knowingly and willfully violating this order is a misdemeanor, and on conviction, offenders may be subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
  • Curbside Pickup. Restaurants may continue selling food and drink on a carry-out or drive-through basis; however, because residents of Maryland are not permitted to leave their homes to purchase products from nonessential businesses, curbside pickup at nonessential businesses is no longer permitted. Read the interpretive guidance.
  • Guidance for Campgrounds. Campgrounds are now required to close, with the exception to residents of recreational vehicles at campgrounds who genuinely have no other viable place of residence. These individuals should continue to comply with CDC guidelines regarding social distancing. Read the interpretive guidance.

This afternoon, Marylanders received a wireless emergency alert regarding this order, which will become effective at 8:00 p.m. Read the governor’s order.

NEW TESTING SITES FOR PATIENT REFERRALS. Governor Hogan announced the opening of four Maryland drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing sites. There is no charge at any of these sites. However, testing is strictly limited to Marylanders who have a referral from their health care provider and who have an appointment to be tested.

  • In coordination with the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the State Highway Administration, the Maryland State Police, and local partners have begun offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at three Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations in Glen Burnie, Waldorf, and Bel Air.
  • A Prince George’s County COVID-19 screening and testing site opens today at FedEx Field in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System, the National Guard, the Maryland State Police, and Prince George’s County Police. Residents can call the Prince George’s County Health Department at (301) 883-6627 for more information.

HOSPITAL SURGE UPDATES. The governor provided the following updates on the state’s ongoing hospital surge efforts:

  • FEMA delivered 250 bed packages to the Baltimore Convention Center field hospital and the Maryland National Guard is currently constructing the site.
  • The State of Maryland assisted the University of Maryland Medical System in starting construction to reopen the 135-bed Laurel Hospital and is currently contracting for staff and equipment for the site.
  • The state ordered 500 additional bed packages for on-site surge expansion with an option for another 500 beds, which will be deployed to sites based on need and the location of any coronavirus hotspots.
  • The state ordered 100 advanced medical tents to provide for an additional 1,000 beds for on-site surge expansion at hospitals and convention centers.
  • Maryland is coordinating with the D.C. government to ensure that regional surge capacity is addressed by engaging MedStar and Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser is planning to surge another 500 beds throughout the region, including an increase of 218 beds at their Maryland facilities.

UPDATE ON ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE. Governor Hogan provided an update on the $175 million economic relief package he announced last week.

  • He is authorizing an additional $2 million to the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, bringing this fund to a total of $9 million.
  • $8.8 million has been provided to more than 400 small businesses across the state to help more than 8,000 Marylanders who work in small businesses keep their jobs.
  • More than 5,300 applications have been submitted for the state’s small business relief fund, and more than 11,000 applications have been submitted for new grant funding.
  • Information and resources about these programs are available at businessexpress.maryland.gov.

WAIVING FAMILY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MARYLAND CHILDREN’S HEALTH PROGRAM. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order which temporarily suspends any requirement that families have to pay premiums into the Maryland Children’s Health Program so that families will not lose coverage during the crisis. Read the governor’s order.

REMOTE NOTARIZATIONS. The governor has issued an order temporarily waiving the in-person requirement for notarizing documents. Read the governor’s order.

March 23, 2020

CLOSURE OF ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Governor Hogan has enacted an emergency order to close all non-essential businesses across the state, effective at 5 pm today.

  • ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE: Governor Hogan announced more than $175 million to assist small businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information and resources about these programs is available at businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
    • The Maryland Department of Commerce will offer up to $125 million in loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofits through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. A $75 million loan fund and a $50 million grant fund, with $1 million in grants dedicated to non-profits, will provide working capital to be used for payroll, rent, fixed-debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs. Businesses and nonprofits with under 50 full- and part-time employees will be eligible, and loans will range up to $50,000 and grants up to $10,000. Additional eligibility requirements can be found here.
    • Maryland Commerce is also working on creating a $5 million fund to incentivize businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to satisfy the increasing needs of the healthcare industry.
    • The Department also has a number of existing financing programs, like Advantage Maryland, which provides conditional loans for new businesses or business expansions; the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority and Fund (MIDFA), which provides loan guarantees; the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), which provides financial assistance to economically disadvantaged businesses; and the Non-Profit Interest-Free Micro-Bridge Loan Program, which provides loans to nonprofits to support ongoing operating costs while waiting on a future government grant or contract. A total of about $40 million is available through these existing programs.
    • Governor Hogan has allocated $5 million and the Maryland Department of Labor has allocated $2 million to collaboratively launch the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. A total of $7 million in funds will be available to provide flexible rapid response services to proactively support businesses and workers undergoing economic stresses due to COVID-19. Funding can help Maryland’s workforce adhere to social distancing policies by purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, providing on-site cleaning and sanitation services at businesses that have workers delivering essential services, and implementing other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures in the business community.

AN ORDER TO PROHIBIT PRICE GOUGING: Governor Hogan has signed an emergency order to protect families from price gouging on everyday household items and essentials. Retailers who attempt to exploit this crisis for profit or personal gain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Read the emergency order.

FIELD HOSPITAL AT BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER: As part of the state’s hospital surge plan, Governor Hogan has ordered the establishment of an Alternate Care site at Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Hotel. This will be a joint partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Johns Hopkins. The governor has asked FEMA to deliver 250 beds and 50 bed packages to support the initiative.

REOPENING OF LAUREL HOSPITAL: As part of the state’s hospital surge plan, UMMS has agreed to reopen Laurel Hospital, which will make another 135 beds available.

PILOT ASSESSMENT LOCATION AT FEDEX FIELD: Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland National Guard and the Maryland Department of Health to collaborate with Prince George’s County and UMMS on a pilot assessment location at FedEx Field in Landover.

FAST-TRACK PROCESS FOR TESTS: The governor has enacted an emergency order to authorize a fast-track process to bring more testing capacity online without FDA approval—dramatically shortening a process that would ordinarily take several months. Read the governor’s order.

NEW HEALTH TESTING ORDERS: The Maryland Department of Health is issuing an order requiring health care providers to prioritize tests for hospitalized and chronic care patients, symptomatic first responders, and symptomatic nursing home patients; and requiring all health care facilities to cease elective or non-urgent medical procedures at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Read the Health Department’s order.

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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

 

March 18, 2020

LIMITING GATHERINGS AND ORDERING CLOSURE OF SHOPPING MALLS: Governor Hogan has amended a previous executive order to reduce the size of social, cultural, and community gatherings to 10 people, and require the closure of all enclosed shopping malls, as well as bowling alleys and pool halls. Read the emergency order.

RESTRICTED ACCESS TO BWI MARSHALL AIRPORT TERMINAL: 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.

TRANSIT FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY: 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.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SPRING SEMESTER: Governor Hogan has asked the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to keep all students off campus and finish the spring semester online.

HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN: Governor Hogan announced that, as part of phase one of the hospital surge plan, 900 beds will be made available immediately. By early April, another 1,400 beds are expected to come online. The multi-phase plan calls for adding capacity of up to 6,000 beds.

FLEXIBILITY FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL: Governor Hogan issued an emergency order to allow greater flexibility for emergency medical services personnel to augment other health care providers. This action will help bolster the state’s hospital surge plan. Read the emergency order.

RELAUNCH OF MARYLAND UNITES: Governor Hogan announced the relaunch of the Maryland Unites initiative to connect Marylanders with resources and highlight stories of generosity and compassion amid the crisis. To learn more, visit governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites.

DELIVERY AND CARRY-OUT OF ALCOHOL: Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that allows for delivery and carry-out sales of alcohol by restaurants, bars, distilleries, and wineries, subject to liquor laws and other conditions imposed by local alcoholic beverage authorities. Read the emergency order.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS AT STATE HOUSE: The Department of General Services has instituted temperature checks and health screenings at the State House with the assistance of National Guard medical personnel.

LIFTING RESTRICTIONS ON DELIVERY TRUCKS: To help facilitate the movement of essential supplies, Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to lift restrictions on the capacity of delivery trucks. Motor vehicles transporting equipment or supplies directly related to the COVID-19 state of emergency are allowed to exceed legal weight limits by up to 15%. The State Highway Administrator may also temporarily waive or modify hauling permit restrictions and conditions deemed safe and appropriate. Read the emergency order.

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. Members of the business community are encouraged to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

March 17, 2020

PROCLAMATION TO POSTPONE APRIL 28 PRIMARY, IMPLEMENT VOTE-BY-MAIL SYSTEM FOR 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT: In order to protect public health and preserve the integrity of the democratic process, Governor Hogan has issued a proclamation postponing the April 28 primary to June 2. The State Board of Elections is 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.

In addition, to ensure that Maryland has full representation in Congress during this crisis, the special general election for the 7th Congressional District will still occur on April 28, but the State Board of Elections is directed to implement a vote-by-mail system. Read the governor’s proclamation.

DISCUSSIONS TO POSTPONE THE PREAKNESS STAKES: Governor Hogan announced that the state is in active discussions to postpone the Preakness Stakes. This follows the announcement earlier today that the Kentucky Derby will not be held in May for the first time in 75 years.

REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF FEDERAL REAL ID DEADLINE: Governor Hogan sent a letter to the Trump administration today on behalf of the nation’s governors to request an extension of the federal REAL ID deadline. Read the REAL ID letter.

CONVERSION OF VEHICLE EMISSIONS INSPECTION CENTERS: Governor Hogan announced that all Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) centers will be shut down, and steps will be taken to turn them into drive-thru testing centers across the state.

BWI AIRPORT TERMINAL: The state is encouraging residents to avoid unnecessary travel, and access to the BWI Marshall Airport terminal will be monitored and strongly discouraged except for passengers who are traveling and employees reporting to their job sites.

MTA SERVICE CHANGES: Consistent with steps taken by Metro, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will reduce service on MARC and Commuter Bus, while still running transit services with a focus on making sure emergency and health care personnel can get to their jobs. For Mobility customers, service will be continued with a focus on medical appointments, dialysis, pharmacies, and grocery stores only. Read the MTA’s update.

CASHLESS TOLLING: The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will move to all-cashless tolling statewide to limit interaction between the public and toll collectors. Read the MDTA’s announcement.

MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION CHANGES: The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is implementing a series of operational changes at branch offices and Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations statewide. All non-commercial driver skills tests are canceled until further notice. Read the MVA’s announcement.

New Interpretive Guidance. Goovernor Hogan’s Office of Legal Counsel has issued interpretive guidance regarding the governor’s order prohibiting large gatherings and ordering the closure of senior centers, bars, restaurants, gyms, and other facilities. Read the interpretive guidance.

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. Members of the business community are encouraged to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

March 16, 2020

Social Distancing

CLOSURE OF BARS, RESTAURANTS, FITNESS CENTERS, AND THEATERS: Governor Hogan has issued an amended executive order to close all bars and restaurants in the state, as well as fitness centers, spas, and theaters, effective at 5:00 p.m. today. Read the emergency order. 

  • The order allows for restaurants to continue carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery services, and allows for eateries in health care facilities to remain open.

PROHIBITION ON GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE: Effective immediately, gatherings of more than 50 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues. Read the emergency order.

  • Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

Public Health Surge

“At my direction, we are marshaling every tool in the arsenal of public health to combat this crisis and slow the spread of this pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “It is impossible to know how long this threat will continue. What I do know is that we cannot afford to wait to take action. While these measures may seem extreme, if we don’t take them now, it could be too late.”

Governor Hogan has issued an omnibus health care order that puts into place the following:

STANDING UP AN ADDITIONAL 6,000 BEDS: Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to work with providers to reopen closed hospital facilities across the state and take other measures necessary to immediately increase our capacity by an additional 6,000 beds.

ACTIVATION OF MARYLAND RESPONDS MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS: At the governor’s direction, the Secretary of Health has activated the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, a trained and dedicated force of 5,000 volunteers from across the state.

RESOURCE CONTROL: The Secretary of Health is ordered to establish and implement appropriate policies and procedures for receiving, stockpiling, rationing, and distributing all assets received by the State of Maryland from the Strategic National Stockpile and all assets needed for COVID-19 testing.

INTERSTATE RECIPROCITY FOR HEALTH CARE LICENSES: Under the order, any person who holds a valid, unexpired license as a health care practitioner that is issued by another state may, at a health care facility in Maryland, engage in the activities authorized under that license.

INACTIVE PRACTITIONERS: Any inactive practitioner may, at a health care facility in Maryland, engage in activities that would have been authorized under his/her inactive license without first reinstating his/her inactive license.

ELECTIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURES: The Secretary of Health is authorized and ordered to take actions to control, restrict, and regulate the use of health care facilities for the performance of elective medical procedures, as necessary to respond to the catastrophic health emergency.

Relief for Residents and Families

PROHIBITION ON UTILITY SHUTOFFS: 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. Read the governor’s emergency order.

PROHIBITION ON 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.

EXPANSION OF AVAILABLE SCHOOL MEALS: State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) applied for a federal waiver and beginning today, has the capability to provide three meals a day, and a snack, to students impacted by the statewide closure of schools. MSDE has 138 meal distribution centers across the state, which can be found at mdsummerschools.org.

Activation of Additional Personnel

NATIONAL GUARD: After issuing an executive order last week directing the National Guard to move to a higher state of readiness, the governor announced the activation of two Area Support Medical Companies in order to carry out any necessary emergency functions and critical areas of need in the coming weeks. At the direction of Major General Timothy Gowen, as of Monday, 1,000 Maryland National Guard soldiers and airmen are fully activated and another 1,200 guardsmen are currently in a state of enhanced readiness.

MOBILE FIELD FORCE: At the direction of Colonel Jerry Jones, the Maryland State Police has activated its Mobile Field Force, which is composed of 250 Maryland State Troopers who are ready to be deployed across the state.

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. Members of the business community are encouraged to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

March 15, 2020

In light of the serious public health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to close all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities to the general public indefinitely.“This situation continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically,” said Governor Hogan. “These are unprecedented actions in an extraordinary situation, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe.”

The following properties are affected by the governor’s emergency order, which takes effect at midnight on Monday, March 16, 2020 and will remain in effect until the state of emergency has been terminated or until superseded by other orders:

  • MGM National Harbor
  • Live! Casino & Hotel
  • Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
  • Hollywood Casino Perryville
  • Ocean Downs Casino
  • Rocky Gap Casino Resort
  • Laurel Park
  • Pimlico Race Course
  • Timonium Race Course
  • Fair Hill Races
  • Rosecroft Raceway
  • Ocean Downs
  • All simulcast betting facilities in the state

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will work with casinos to facilitate an orderly shutdown of operations. This order does not apply to hotels adjacent to casinos. Read the governor’s emergency order.

Additionally, Governor Hogan reiterated that failure to follow his order prohibiting large gatherings is a crime, and will be enforced if businesses fail to comply.

“It is critical to public health and safety that bars, restaurants, and other businesses across the state comply with the law,” said Governor Hogan. “Anyone who hosts or is part of the crowds in bars this weekend is jeopardizing the health of others and must avoid any contact with family members or friends over the age of 60 or those with underlying health conditions.”

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. We encourage members of the business community to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

March 14, 2020

Enhanced Guidelines for Child Care Programs

Additionally, Superintendent Salmon has issued enhanced guidelines for child care programs and day care facilities to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Every child care and day care provider in our state is essential to our mission of maintaining essential services in this time of crisis,” said Dr. Salmon. “We are providing these guidelines to make sure that child care programs can continue to operate while helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Child care programs must take extraordinary precautions beyond what is normally recommended to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including:

  • Mandating social distancing and keeping children in small groups (no more than 10 children clustered in an activity): absolutely no large group activities.
  • Instructing staff to monitor for symptoms, and stay home if they are sick.
  • Instructing parents/guardians to keep children home if they or any member of the household exhibits symptoms.
  • Mandating frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing one’s nose. Teachers should help young children do the same. If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, closely supervise use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to avoid ingestion. Providing children with soap and water to wash hands; adults may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, but this is very toxic to children.
  • Advising persons to avoid touching their face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands).
  • Increasing the early childhood program’s cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, while being careful with children in the near vicinity. Emphasizing cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and cleaning hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).
  • Providing adequate supplies for good hygiene, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol‐based hand sanitizer.
  • Restricting field trips.
  • Restricting outside visitors and volunteers.

Special processes beyond routine cleaning are not necessary nor recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Programs should follow standard procedures for cleaning as recommended below by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands‐on learning items, faucet handles, phones and toys.

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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

March 13, 2020

“With Maryland in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature’s sole focus should be those measures immediately necessary to protect the public health and safety of Marylanders.

“Members of the General Assembly must take these three actions no later than Tuesday, March 17:

1) Approve the FY21 budget to assure the government remains open and functioning.

2) Confirm Colonel Woodrow J. Jones as Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

3) Pass the emergency legislation to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.

“It is impossible at this time to know how long this public health emergency will continue, and it is critical for legislators to take these actions immediately in the event that this rapidly evolving situation requires them to immediately adjourn.”

March 12, 2020

RAISING MEMA ACTIVATION LEVEL TO FULL: Governor Hogan raised the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) activation level to full, meaning that the State Emergency Operations Center is now operating at its highest level and that there will be full coordination of state response activities and resources.

ACTIVATION OF NATIONAL GUARD: The governor directed the National Guard to move to a higher state of readiness in order to carry out any necessary emergency functions, such as food distribution or other critical areas of need. Read the executive order.

PROHIBITION ON MASS GATHERINGS AND CLOSURE OF SENIOR CENTERS: Effective immediately, gatherings of more than 250 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues. Read the executive order.

  • Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.
  • All senior citizen activities centers shall be 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.

CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS: Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) State Superintendent Karen Salmon is directing that beginning on Monday, March 16, all schools throughout Maryland will close through Friday, March 27, 2020. Read the MSDE press release

  • During the time of school closure, all school buildings and school buses should be cleaned and disinfected to prevent spread of the virus upon the return of students and staff to school. MSDE is additionally recommending that days previously scheduled for school closure during spring break be used as days off during this identified timeframe.
  • Administrators, faculty, staff, and parents/guardians should begin to immediately prepare for and implement measures for the continuity of educational services during a prolonged period of school closure.
  • Plans regarding childcare services are being developed by MSDE at this time to ensure that the children of emergency services personnel have access to childcare throughout a prolonged period of school closure.

CLOSURE OF CRUISE TERMINAL AT PORT OF BALTIMORE: 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.

  • The only exceptions to this order are the Carnival Pride and the RCL Grandeur of the Seas, which are due to return to port in the coming days, provided that no person on board such vessel has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or is under investigation for COVID-19.
  • Except as necessary to perform a duty required by law, no person shall board any covered passenger vessel at any terminal or port facility in the ports and harbors of the state.
  • Each owner of a terminal or port facility in the state that receives cargo vessels shall develop and implement procedures for screening and controlling the movement of crew members who desire to disembark from cargo vessels that have, since January 31, 2020, made a call at any port outside the United States.

EXTENSION OF PERMITTING DEADLINES: Because renewing expiring permits or licenses often requires the public to enter public buildings and interact with state employees; 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.

GUIDANCE TO HOSPITALS FOR VISITATION POLICIES: The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is advising hospitals to adopt new procedures to limit visitation, including:

  • No one under the age of 18 is permitted to visit, including in all waiting areas and common spaces.
  • Only one adult visitor per patient in all areas of the hospital.
  • Visitors should be screened for flu-like symptoms.
  • Visitors who have traveled internationally may not visit for 14 days after arrival into the United States.

SUSPENSION OF VISITS TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES: The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is suspending all visits to its correctional facilities effective immediately. The department will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates.

  • There have been no cases of coronavirus in our correctional facilities.
  • At this time, facility programming will continue on a case-by-case basis.
  • DPSCS will re-evaluate the situation often in an effort to restore normal visits as soon as possible.  

MANDATORY TELEWORK FOR NON-ESSENTIAL STATE EMPLOYEES: Governor Hogan is directing the Department of Budget and Management to implement a period of mandatory telework, beginning Friday, March 13, across state agencies for all non-essential state employees. Read the executive order here. Read the Department of Budget and Management’s guidance here.

DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF STATE GOVERNMENT: As he continues to manage the crisis, Governor Hogan is delegating the day-to-day operations of state government to Lt. Governor Rutherford.

STATE OF EMERGENCY: This week, the World Health Organization 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. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.