HOGAN SHUTS NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Monday that he has issued an executive order to close all non-essential businesses in Maryland by 5 p.m. Monday to control the spread of the coronavirus, Bryan Renbaum writes in MarylandReporter. Hogan said he made the decision because many Marylanders are not adhering to social-distancing practices required under previous executive orders.
- Hogan said his decision largely stemmed from reports of large crowds and workers continuing to assemble,
despite the repeating warnings from state and federal officials regarding the need to practice social distancing, the Sun’s Hallie Miller reports.
- Hogan also announced that the state is building makeshift hospitals in Baltimore and dedicating millions of dollars to help save small businesses, Luke Broadwater, Yvonne Wenger and Hallie Miller report in the Sun.
- The number of confirmed cases in Maryland rose to 288 from 244 a day earlier, Bryan Sears writes in the Daily Record.
- It won’t be clear for another week-and-a-half to two weeks how effectively business closures may have decelerated the rate of infection around the state, because it takes so long for symptoms to show up and severe illness to develop, Scott Dance reports in the Sun.
- A “shelter in place” order has not been announced, but Hogan said he and state officials have taken strong action to prevent large gatherings, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports.
- Here’s a Sun graphic of all the cases in Maryland.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Jessica Iannetta explains for the Baltimore Business Journal what businesses would qualify as “essential” under the governor’s order.
SETTING UP NEW HEALTH FACILITIES: Maryland is reopening a number of facilities, including Laurel Hospital, as well as adding new facilities, like a field hospital outside of the Baltimore City Convention Center to be set up by the Maryland National Guard in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. Another facility will open at the Hilton Hotel across the street, Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters reports.
OPINION: SHELTER IN PLACE: The editorial board of the Sun urges Gov. Hogan not to get cold feet, to be bold and call his order what it is to avoid confusion and impart the seriousness of the situation, writing, “We can handle the words ‘shelter in place.’ … What we don’t appreciate is the kind of dithering we are seeing from just down the road in the nation’s capital.”
STATE OFFERS BUSINESS LIFELINES: A state program of more than $175 million will provide businesses with grants, loans and other relief to help pay workers, suppliers, landlords and other expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff Barker explains how the program works for the Sun.
- Hogan said he and other governors are also pushing the federal government for $100 million in dislocated worker grants, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record is reporting.
- Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post speaks with small business owners about how they are coping with the shut-down order. Some are filling out loan paperwork and some want to know if they are considered essential.
PROTECTIONS FOR PRISON STAFF LACKING: Union officials representing correctional officers and other frontline employees in prisons across Maryland are sounding the alarm about inadequate protections for staff and inmates against COVID-19, Glynis Kazanjian of Maryland Matters reports.
CDC: KEEP HOMELESS CAMPS: People living in outdoor homeless encampments should not be evicted during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus unless they can be moved to individual housing units, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended late Sunday, Ryan Little of Capital News Service reports.
TWO POSITIVES: A civilian employee at Aberdeen Proving Ground tested positive for the novel coronavirus that is sweeping across Maryland and the world, according to a post made to the base’s Facebook page, James Whitlow of the Aegis reports.
- John Bessler, a University of Baltimore law professor and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s husband, has tested positive for the coronavirus, Phil Davis of the Sun reports.
WHAT ARUNDEL LAWMAKERS DID: Olivia Sanchez and Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette report that Anne Arundel lawmakers charged into Maryland’s 441st legislative session in January with a long list of priorities: create a funding structure for jurisdictions around the state to fight the effects of climate change; revamp local liquor laws; protect public housing residents and give counties the authority to implement progressive taxing structures. What were they able to accomplish in this shortened session.
OPINION: HELPING HBCUs: The editorial board for the Sun praises “decisive action” by the General Assembly to give Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities $580 million over 10 years. This “could finally bring to an end the 13-year lawsuit brought on behalf of a coalition made up of alumni” from those four universities. “And it’s about time.”
REAL ID DEADLINE DELAYED: President Donald Trump is pushing back the deadline for when Americans will be required to have the new Real ID credential to board domestic flights. Gov. Hogan, chair of the National Governors Association, sent a letter to the Trump administration last week saying the coronavirus outbreak was already disrupting states’ efforts to issue the credential and calling for a delay of the deadline, Luz Lazo of the Post reports.
500 SCHOOL FOOD DROPOFF SITES: Despite the mandated closure of Maryland schools over a week ago, kids and parents are still flocking to public school sites — not to drop students off for a day full of learning, but to pick up food provided by the state to fill bellies that might otherwise go empty, Hannah Gaskill writes for Maryland Matters.
GOVS SEEK FEDERAL SUPPLY LINES, ECONOMIC AID: The nation’s governors – led by Gov. Hogan – kept pressing the federal government for supplies and economic aid to battle the new coronavirus in a conference call with the White House on Monday without getting the assurances they were hoping to hear, Brian Witte writes for the AP.
HOPKINS DIRECTOR OPPOSES TRUMP SUGGESTION: President Trump expressed frustration during a White House media briefing Monday evening about how shutting down public activities nationwide amid the coronavirus pandemic threatens to disrupt the U.S. economy. Hours later, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security sounded off on Twitter that curtailing the restrictions would be detrimental, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.