State Roundup: Hogan previews tiered reopening plan

State Roundup: Hogan previews tiered reopening plan

The State House in Annapolis (MarylandReporter.com photo)

HOGAN FORESHADOWS REOPENING ANNOUNCEMENT: In a video-streamed interview with Politico on Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan conceded that Trump has occasionally been irritated by his prodding representing the National Governors Association on coronavirus conference calls, Bruce DePuyt writes for Maryland Matters. But Hogan said he tries to be direct and fair.

  • The interview included a preview of Maryland’s reopening, Bryan Sears of The Daily Record reports. Maryland could return to work slowly under a plan that would allow lowest-risk businesses to begin to open as metrics show sustained declines.
  • “Hogan’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ will have businesses split into high, medium and low risk categories,” reports Elijah Westbrook for WBFF. “Those categories will be based on factors like the ability for social distancing and contact between customers and staff.”
  • Metrics to reopen could be reached in June, Ashley Hinson of WBAL-TV reports on a new modeling map.

Christine Ross (Courtesy: Maryland Chamber of Commerce)

FEDERAL SUPPORT CRITICAL FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Maryland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Christine Ross said a federal $484 billion stimulus package would provide “critical” support for small businesses that are suffering due to restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, Bryan Renbaum reports for MarylandReporter.com.

VIRUS SPREADS TO HOMELESS SHELTERS: As the coronavirus spreads in Baltimore’s homeless shelters, about 150 people staying in the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center will be moved to city hotels, Yvonne Wenger reports for the Sun.

  • “The decision was made after a nurse and four residents in the city-owned, Catholic Charities-operated facility’s convalescent dorm tested positive for the virus,” WBAL-TV reports.
  • Baltimore Mayor Jack Young is being criticized for cutting off a deaf interpreter from relaying the words of a homeless man protesting at the mayor’s press conference, reports Louis Krauss for Baltimore Brew. The protest, which included people honking horns from vehicles as well, was also cut from the city’s official video of the briefing.
  • Young said Thursday that his actions were not intended as a “slight to the deaf community,” adding that he has a brother who is deaf, writes Talia Richman for the Sun. But experts say the deaf and hard of hearing people should not be denied access to getting an accurate sense of what is happening.

ALL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS GO ONLINE: Marylanders will be able to avoid long wait times on the phone by filling all types of unemployment benefit claims online Friday morning through the state labor department, reports McKenna Oxendon for the Sun.

NURSING HOMES IMPACTED BY VIRUS NOT BEING DISCLOSED: Scott Dance of the Sun writes Maryland health officials have denied a request from the newspaper for a list of nursing homes across the state with confirmed coronavirus outbreaks, responding that “the disclosure serves no public health purpose.”

  • One week after state officials were called for help, the number of COVID-19 cases at a Cumberland nursing home had increased by five times the amount, Teresa McMinn writes for the Cumberland Times-News.

POLICE TARGET BAR PROVIDING TAKEOUT: Police from several agencies responded to  Cecil County restaurant Lee’s Landing Dock Bar on Sunday to investigate possible violations of state COVID-19 regulations, Jane Bellmyer for the Cecil Whig reports. Information has been sent to the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution, but the owner told the Whig that he was following social distancing regulations for takeout operation.

Dana Jones (Courtesy: Junior League of Annapolis)

GOVERNOR MAKES DELEGATE APPOINTMENT: Dana Jones has been appointed to the House of Delegates, Hannah Gaskill writes for Maryland Matters. Hogan appointed Jones Thursday to fill a vacancy left by Del. Alice Cain’s resignation.

ROCKVILLE TAKES BACK EMERGENCY POWERS: After granting the city manager the power last month to suspend certain laws during the coronavirus pandemic, Rockville changed its mind and rescinded the ordinance, Briana Adhikusuma reports for Bethesda Beat.

RELIEF FOR MOCO RENTERS: The Montgomery County Council has placed limits on the amount landlords can increase rent during the coronavirus pandemic, Michelle Basch reports for WTOP. The COVID-19 Renter Relief Act applies to renters with leases up for renewal.

CARROLL HELPS SMALL BUSINESSES: Carroll County is sending out checks of $1,250 to small businesses through a local emergency relief fund, Mary Grace Keller reports for the Carroll County Times.

STATE NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN DECISION TO KILL CHICKENS: The Maryland Department of Agriculture is monitoring plans for killing nearly 2 million chickens that poultry processers can’t handle, but is not directly involved in depopulations not being done because of animal health concerns, Lorraine Mirabella reports for the Sun. Processing plants are experiencing staff shortages due to coronavirus concerns.

OPINION: CHOICE IS TRULY LIBERTY OR DEATH: As a COVID-19 survivor, Jack Flanagan writes in the Baltimore Post-Examiner that he “wouldn’t wish this disease and its effects on anyone, including the misguided protesters clogging the streets of state capitals, or the ‘experts’ and lawmakers who say a loss of life is OK so that corporations can make their money and politicians can win elections – even our idiotic president who said the disease that nearly killed me was a ‘hoax.’”

Robin Ficker

FICKER RUNNING FOR GOV: Boyds Republican Robin Ficker will be back on the ballot in 2022, this time to run for governor, reports Dan Schere for Bethesda Beat.

COURTS STILL OPEN FOR SOME CASES: Talbot County Circuit Courts are closed but still hearing some emergency cases like domestic violence petitions, bail reviews, juvenile detention hearings and search warrants, reports Jessica Duerstine for The (Easton) Star Democrat.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at: Meg@MarylandReporter.com

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