HOGAN ORDER TARGETS NURSING HOMES: Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday issued an emergency order aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes, with measures including requiring staff who interact with residents to wear personal protective equipment, which includes a face mask, appropriate eye protection, gloves and a gown, nd Daniel Oyefusi write in the Sun.
Hogan said violation of the order will be considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine, or both, Dave McMillion of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record quotes Hogan’s statement: “Of major concern is that we currently have cases or clusters of cases at 81 nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state.”
- Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland have increased to at least 3,609 on Sunday, with the death toll now at 67, officials said. The state added 484 cases and 14 deaths since Saturday. Almost 25,000 people have tested negative for COVID-19 and 936 have been hospitalized, Daniel Oyefusi reports in the Sun.
- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County has more than doubled to 693 in less than one week, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat reports.
- Here’s a Sun map and chart of the known coronavirus cases in Maryland as of Sunday.
OPINION: COVID TESTING WOULD HAVE STOPPED SPREAD: The editorial board for the Carroll County Times opines that had widespread testing for the COVID-19 been available early, tragedies such as the one at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy could have been avoided.
FAMILIES RAISE CONCERNS: Wanda Bowman is worried about her 95-year-old grandmother, Tena Charles. Charles is one of the residents at Frederick Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home with one of the recent outbreaks of COVID-19. Heather Mongilio writes the story for the Frederick News-Post.
COVID-19 STORIES: A Frederick County woman describes what it was like to suffer from COVID-19, in an article written for the Frederick News-Post by Heather Mongilio.
- The Sun’s Kevin Rector interviews one young Baltimore couple who coped at home while ill with COVID-19.
- Jeff Barker of the Sun writes about what happens when U.S. citizens are overseas and are trying to get home. It can be a long, arduous process as a number of Marylanders have found out.
A RETURN TO NORMALCY? Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter wries that “Gov. Larry Hogan said on Friday that it is unclear when the fight against the coronavirus will reach a point at which Marylanders will be able to resume ‘normal life.’ ”
- Scientists are watching and waiting to see whether Gov. Hogan’s stay-at-home order and social distancing directives work. “People’s behavior has a big effect on the computer models that show how this pandemic may unfold — and when doors to school, businesses and homes might begin to reopen and everyone may take steps back toward normalcy,” Meredith Cohn writes for the Sun.
STILL DRIVING: Katherine Shaver and John Harden of the Post write that two days after the District, Virginia and Maryland enacted stay-at-home orders, daily car trips in the region were at 51% of the normal number in Washington, 53% in Maryland and 59% in Virginia, according to a British company that collects data from sensors in some passenger vehicles.
THE EVERYWHERE GOVERNOR: Gov. Larry Hogan is getting a lot of press attention these days, thanks to his position as head of the National Governors Association and his matter-of-fact, no b.s. attitude about COVID-19 and the much-needed federal response.
- Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times writes about Hogan, his response and his reaction. “We’re still not satisfied” with the federal response to states’ needs, Hogan is quoted as saying.
- In an article in the Post, Erin Cox, Josh Dawsey and Ovetta Wiggins write that Hogan phoned his favorite country radio station and made a confession. He can’t listen anymore. The coronavirus pandemic consumes his every waking moment. “Do you ever get tired of being interviewed?” the host asked. “Because I’m seeing you everywhere.”
PIMLICO LOT BECOMES TESTING SITE: Emily Opilo of the Sun writes that a Pimlico Race Course parking lot will be used as a drive-thru COVID-19 screening site. The Maryland National Guard is assisting with construction at the site, which does not yet have an opening date. The race track property, owned by The Stronach Group, was selected because of its accessibility.
FARMS LOSE AGRITOURISM BIZ: While farming is considered an essential business by the state government during the coronavirus outbreak, agritourism is not, Janene Holzberg writes for the Howard County Times. During the pandemic, the emphasis on buying local may be more important than ever to farmers who are losing agritourism business as strict regulations are put in place, said the director of agricultural business development at the Howard County Economic Development Authority.
TENT RENTAL BUSINESSES SUFFER: Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports that Brian Remsberg was blunt about the current state of his tent/party rental company. “Business has come to a screeching halt,” said Remsberg, owner of US Event Structures. Multiple owners of tent/party equipment rental companies say the coronavirus and state directives prohibiting large gatherings has hurt business, as weddings, parties and other gatherings have been canceled or postponed in the coming months.
HEALTH CONCERNS FOR HOME MANUFACTURER WORKERS: The mayor of Thurmont has been interceding on behalf of workers at home manufacturer NVR, which is considered an essential business, but whose workers have said they are concerned about coming in. What happens in such a situation? Erika Riley of the Frederick News-Post reports the story.
RX POT SALES SPIKED IN MONT CO: Medical cannabis sales at Montgomery County dispensaries and an apothecary rose rapidly last month during the first few weeks of the coronavirus disease pandemic, according to area shops, Dan Schere reports in Bethesda Beat.
SIX CITY COPS OUT WITH COVID-19: The Baltimore Police Department announced Sunday that six police officers and two civilian employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, and an additional 219 are out on quarantine, Tre Ward of WBAL-TV reports.
JUDGE WON’T FREE 2 IMMIGRANTS: The AP is reporting that a federal judge declined to order the release of two people from immigration detention facilities in Maryland after their lawyers argued that the detainees are at a high risk of death or serious illness from a coronavirus infection.
THE HOYER CHALLENGER: Samantha Hawkins of Maryland Matters writes about a Prince George’s woman who is challenging the second most powerful person in the House of Representatives for a seat in Congress. Hawkins writes, “It wasn’t until Mckayla Wilkes felt that she had been personally harmed by the policies supported by U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), that she considered running for his seat.”
COLLABORATION OVER COVID IN CARROLL: As the number of COVID-19 cases identified in Carroll County and the region continues to grow, municipal, county, state and federal officials have been collaborating to respond. And they are looking at the Agriculture Center’s Shipley Arena as a temporary hospital, Jon Kelvey of the Carroll County Times is reporting.
CARROLL BUDGET PLANS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: Carroll County’s commissioners, facing a budget planning process with more uncertainty than usual thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, on Thursday sought ways to reduce expenses by raising fees, Mary Grace Keller reports in the Carroll County Times.
TOWNSEND FAMILY MOURNS LOSS OF DAUGHTER, GRANDSON: Former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend issued a statement Friday night about her eldest daughter and grandson, who were missing after a witness saw them struggling in a canoe on the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday, about 10 miles south of Annapolis, the Sun reports.
- Townsend acknowledged that the search for her daughter and grandson, who are missing after their canoe apparently capsized in the Chesapeake Bay Thursday afternoon, “has turned from rescue to recovery,” Josh Kurtzwrites for Maryland Matters.
B’MORE COUNCIL TO MEET REMOTELY: After a brief suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Baltimore City Council will reconvene remotely Monday, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports. The board did not meet as scheduled March 23 due to the growing pandemic. Maryland remains under a stay-at-home order, and City Hall is closed to the public.
DR. WEN, HUSBAND WELCOME BABY GIRL: Former Baltimore city health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, who has lent her public health expertise to numerous TV programs regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., gave birth to a baby girl, Isabelle Wen Walker, on Friday, Christina Tkacik writes for the Sun. The couple has a 2-year-old son.