The state is now reporting almost 11,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 400 deaths in Maryland, Mike Hellgren reports for WJZ. The numbers were released Thursday.
- Republican lawmakers from parts of Maryland that have seen fewer cases of COVID-19 infection are pushing back against state restrictions imposed on residents and businesses, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.
- Gov. Larry Hogan was on the Today Show on Thursday saying this week “would be the worst possible time” to lift coronavirus restrictions, J. Edward Moreno reports for The Hill.
- In Montgomery County, the first county employee has died of COVID-19 and the state is reporting 56 total deaths and 14 probable deaths from the virus, Dan Schere reports for Bethesda Beat.
- As COVID-19 charges through nursing homes in the U.S., Milford Center in Sussex County has confirmed 12 deaths due to the virus, Taylor Goebel writes for the Salisbury Times.
- COVID-10 outbreaks are suspected at two Charles County nursing homes, Glynis Kazanjian reports in the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
- The Baltimore branch of the NAACP is sending out a rolling soundstage into the city’s streets to spread a loud “stay-at-home” message amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Jonathan Pitts reports for the Sun.
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS DROP FOR FIRST TIME DURING PANDEMIC: The first drop in the number of unemployment claims in Maryland was reported since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, David Collins reports for WBALTV.
- “An additional 61,170 Marylanders filed for first-time unemployment claims in the last week as businesses around the state have been under an order to close for about a month because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reports Bryan Sears for The Daily Record.
- But a number of jobless workers still haven’t been able to file claims, Mallory Sofastaii reports for WMAR. The state is expected to implement new systems for taking unemployment applications for self-employed workers and independent contractors granted coverage under the federal CARES Act, but it hasn’t happened yet.
CONCERN FOR STATE WORKERS, PRISONERS AMID OUTBREAK: “The union that represents Maryland prison workers is asking the state to take more measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which can cause COVID-19,” Mike Lewis reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
- It’s a concern for all workers at state facilities in Western Maryland who say agency officials are failing to protect them, their families and communities from the spread of COVID-19, Teresa McMinn writes in the Cumberland Times-Dispatch.
- An advocate for prisoners’ rights also is asking about oversight in Maryland detention facilities as her clients disappear, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters. “Julie Magers, the director of the Maryland Prisoners’ Rights Coalition, said that she has had multiple clients exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 removed from the Hagerstown facility overnight and transported to an undisclosed location.”
- “Civil rights advocates, public health experts and the state’s Democratic lawmakers in Congress say Hogan is not doing enough to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus among the state’s vulnerable prison population,” Ann E. Marimow and Ovetta Wiggins report for the Post.
TRUMP’S THREAT COULD BE NEGOTIATING TACTIC: Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said President Donald Trump’s threat to adjourn Congress to make recess appointments without Senate approval in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic could be a negotiating tactic, Bryan Renbaum reports for MarylandReporter.com.
THREE IN-PERSON VOTING SITES: Maryland election officials announced the locations of three in-person voting centers for the upcoming special general election for the 7th Congressional District on April 28, Emily Opilo reports for the Sun.
- The decision to open polling places in the election is causing some controversy since it comes as the virus could be peaking, Keith Daniels reports for WBFF Fox45.
HARFORD HOSPITAL CONSOLIDATION PLAN APPROVED: Members of the Maryland Health Care Commission voted Thursday to approve the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s plan to consolidate its hospital services in Harford County, David Anderson writes for the Aegis.
- The commission will delay closing the old facility until the new one opens in two years, Tim Curtis reports for the Daily Record.
FIVE YEARS AFTER FREDDIE GRAY’S DEATH: Five years after the death of Freddie Gray sparked riots in Baltimore, Sandtown residents say not much has changed in the neighborhood where he was arrested, Colin Campbell writes in the Sun.
OPINION: Fredricka Gray remembers her twin brother, Freddie Gray, recounts the hardships her family has endured since his arrest and questions what his legacy is in the city he loved, in a poignant tribute in the Sun.
STATE REACTS TO ILL PRIESTS BROUGHT IN FROM PA: State officials had no role in the decision of Stella Maris moving four sick priests to the long-term care facility, Lowell Melser reports for WBAL-TV. The priests ended up testing positive for the coronavirus.
BUSCH’S NAME MISPELLED IN LIBRARY SIGNS: Anne Arundel County Public Library officials said they were “disappointed and angered” Thursday night by the discovery that signs for the new Annapolis branch misspelled the first name of Michael E. Busch, the late Maryland speaker of the house, the Capital Gazette staff writes.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HELP PREVENT EVICTIONS, PREPARE HOMELESS: St. Mary’s County will provide tents, health screenings, temperature checks and daily check-ins for a homeless encampment in Lexington Manor, Madison Bateman reports for the St. Mary’s Enterprise.
- Anne Arundel County will offer an eviction prevention program for the pandemic funded by slot machine proceeds, Neal Augenstein reports for WTOP. The casino is closed since March.
CARROLL LANDFILL WILL REOPEN UNDER NEW GUIDELINES: Carroll County Commissioners voted to reopen the Northern Landfill in Westminster one week after a 3-2 vote to close it to residential self-haulers, reports Mary Grace Keller for the Carroll County Times.
BALTIMORE COUNTY TEST SITE LIMITS HOURS: A test shortage is limiting hours for a new drive-thru testing site in Baltimore County, John Lee reports for WYPR.
FEDERAL PROGRAMS HELPING MD BUSINESSES: An electronics and data recycling business in Frederick was able to get aid from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, Erika Riley writes in the Frederick News-Post about local experiences with the program.
- Maryland airports received more than $100 million in federal relief funds this week, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.
HOWARD REDISTRICTING NOT CHANGED BY PANDEMIC: Massive school redistricting begun in Howard County last year will continue through the pandemic, Jess Nocera reports for Baltimore Sun Media.
ALCOHOL SALES UP: Beer and liquor store owners are reporting a surge in sales, Edward Lee writes for the Sun.
MALL IN COLUMBIA WILL BE READY TO REOPEN WHEN SAFE: As the country plans to reopen the economy, leadership at the Mall in Columbia is looking forward to reopening and welcoming the community back, Susan Kim reports for The Business Monthly. No opening date has been set.