Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera

JUDGE ORDERS SOME YOUNG INMATES FREED: Maryland’s highest court ordered judges throughout the state late Monday to try to reduce the number of young people held in juvenile detention facilities to minimize their exposure to the deadly novel coronavirus, Ann Marimow reports for the Post.

  • Tim Prudente and Phillip Jackson of the Sun report that Maryland Public Defender Paul DeWolfe said through a spokesperson that Maryland Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera’s order affirms efforts by prosecutors and public defenders of some jurisdictions who have already set about identifying and releasing vulnerable inmates.
  • The coalition of prisoners’ rights organizations, including the Lifer Family Support Network, issued a list of demands to Gov. Larry Hogan last week, calling on him to limit the transfer of new offenders into state facilities, release medically vulnerable prisoners and improve safety conditions for those who must remain incarcerated, among other requests, Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes.

SINGLE HIGHEST NUMBER OF DEATHS: Maryland reported 40 coronavirus deaths Tuesday, the most in the state in a single day so far, as the casualties mounted above 300. The state is closing on another grim benchmark, with 9,432 confirmed cases Tuesday. Maryland is expected to become the nation’s 14th state to confirm more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19, on Wednesday, report Scott Dance, Taylor DeVille and Mary Grace Keller of the Sun.

  • Ana Faguy of the Howard County Times reports that most of the 403 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Howard County are congregated in two parts of the county — the Columbia/Ellicott City area and Mount Airy — according to ZIP code data released by the Maryland Department of Health this week.
  • Four residents have died as a result of COVID-19 at the Genesis Loch Raven Center in Parkville, WJZ is reporting. A spokesperson for the nursing home and rehab center said 44 other residents and 14 staff members also have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Three women and two men were among the latest Montgomery County residents to die from COVID-19, according to newly released information from the Maryland Department of Health, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat reports.

MARYLAND WORKS ON REOPEN PLANS: While Northeast states have announced a pact to figure out when and how to lift restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Maryland continues to coordinate its response to the pandemic with its southern neighbors in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, Luke Broadwater is reporting in the Sun.

  • As Maryland officials work on a plan to ease restrictions that already have kept residents home for weeks, they are not only seeking to isolate those who test positive for the COVID-19 infection but want to bring on an army of workers to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, Meredith Cohn, Scott Dance and Luke Broadwater report for the Sun.
Attorney General Doug Gansler

Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler (MarylandReporter)

GANSLER: TRUMP DOESN’T HAVE UNILATERAL POWER: Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler poured cold water on President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he alone has the power to decide when state economies shuttered by restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus will reopen, reports Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter.

 

OPINION: BYE BYE KIRWAN? Opinionator Barry Rascovar, in his Political Maryland blog, writes that, “the inevitable hammer blow to government budgets is starting to hit closer to home with the preliminary forecast that Maryland’s short-term red ink from the Covid-19 pandemic lies between $1.5 billion and $3 billion. Can you say, ‘Bye-Bye, Kirwan?’ ”

CECIL PRIMED TO WEATHER COVID-19 ECONOMICALLY: Economic impacts are being felt across Cecil County as a result of the COVID-19 virus, writes William Carroll for the Cecil Whig, but thanks to planning on the part of county officials, Cecil County could be primed to weather the storm better than other counties in Maryland.

BA CO REVENUES TAKE $40M HIT: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. has proposed a $3.9 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2021 that includes over $2 billion for education, funding for his public safety plan and two previously negotiated pay raises for all county employees, Wilborn Nobles writes in the Su.

  • John Lee of WYPR-FM reports that Olszewski said county revenues have taken a $40 million hit, and that number could grow even as the county council reviews the budget over the next month. Olszewski said there is not much room for extras.

Maryland blue crabs (bigbirz/Creative Commons)

SEAFOOD INDUSTRY ADRIFT: Maryland’s commercial crab season opened April 1, but those in the business, from watermen to processors, say they’re in uncharted waters because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joel McCord of WYPR-FM reports.

P.G. PREPS FOR PATIENT SURGE: Leaders in Prince George’s County, the “epicenter” of Maryland’s COVID-19 outbreak, received a sobering assessment of challenges facing frontline hospital workers and administrators as they scramble to prepare for a surge in patients, Bruce DePuyt writes for Maryland Matters.

ARUNDEL MANDATES FACE MASKS: Anne Arundel County on Wednesday will begin requiring all store employees and shoppers to wear face coverings inside the business. The order was signed by county health officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, following Gov. Larry Hogan’s April 5 executive order, Don Harrison of WMAR-TV reports.

B’MORE MULLS REQUIRING FACE MASKS: Baltimore Mayor Jack Young on Tuesday said his office is looking into requiring people to use face coverings while in public, but he added there would be no way to enforce such a policy, writes Marcus Dieterle for Baltimore Fishbowl. Young said not all Baltimoreans can afford to buy a traditional face mask, and the city cannot afford to provide one to every resident.

B’MORE ADS TARGET COVID MYTH: Baltimore officials are planning a targeted ad campaign to reach the city’s black residents in hopes of combating rumors that black people cannot get the new coronavirus, Emiy Opilo writes for the Sun.

MD. LAWMAKERS CALL FOR HOTSPOTS, RURAL HOSPITAL FUNDING: The Maryland congressional delegation sent a letter Tuesday to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging him to reconsider how future money is allocated to Maryland hospitals under the CARES Act, specifically to consider COVID-19 hotspots and under-served areas of the state in future disbursements, Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes.