3.5M BALLOTS SENT OUT: Maryland’s primary next week is sure to be different from any other election held by the state. The primary was originally scheduled for April but was rescheduled by Gov. Larry Hogan due to the coronavirus. In-person voting will be held only on a limited basis and the election will be conducted largely by mail. McKenna Oxenden of the Sun writes about what you need to know about this election process.
- The Post’s Jenna Portnoy reports that as of Friday, about 3.5 million ballots had been mailed to voters, and about 461,000 completed ballots had been returned.
- Adam Pagnucco of the Seventh State blog reports mail-in turnout is “off to a slow start,” and lists ballots received by county.
WHAT WILL SCHOOLS BE LIKE? Liz Bowie of the Sun writes about what parents and students can expect whenever schools re-open. Student desks 6 feet apart. Temperatures taken at the door. Some students come on Mondays and Wednesdays, others on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Elementary students return to school first while middle and high schoolers learn at home.
HOSPITALIZATIONS RISE AGAIN: Maryland’s lengthy streak of declining coronavirus hospitalizations came to an end Tuesday, though overall virus-related hospitalizations have fallen generally during the past 20 days, Nathan Ruiz reports for the Sun.
- Frederick County continues to see a decline in current COVID-19 hospitalizations as the state saw the first increase in 10 days, Heather Mongilio of the Frederick News-Post reports.
- Montgomery County’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased about 2% on Tuesday to 10,291. As of Monday, there were 10,111 known cases in the county, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.
‘VIRUS IS GETTING IN:’ Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matter reports that the state’s deputy secretary for public health said on Tuesday that despite efforts to protect nursing home residents from COVID-19 by limiting access to essential staff, “the virus is getting in.”
REGION EXPECTED TO HIT TESTING, TRACING TARGETS: Robert McCartney of the Post reports that public health officials in D.C., Maryland and Virginia say that despite having one of the highest rates in the country of people testing positive for covid-19, the Washington region is expected to achieve its desired capacity to conduct testing and tracing in June or early July.
FULL TRIAL COURTS TO BEGIN IN OCTOBER: Maryland’s trial courts will return to “full operations” including jury trials on Oct. 5 following a summer of gradual resumptions of court proceedings, including evictions, foreclosures and bench trials, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
HOWARD OPENS SOME BIZ, PLACES OF WORSHIP: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said Tuesday that some of the restrictions imposed on retail establishments, hair salons and places of worship that are aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus will be lifted on Friday morning, Bryan Renbaum reports for MarylandReporter.
- While outdoor religious services can be held with up to 250 people, all participants must maintain 6 feet of distance. According to the county, indoor services are still limited to a 10-person maximum, Ana Faguy writes for the Howard County Times.
- Starting at 7 a.m. Friday, retail stores, barber shops and salons will be able to open at 50% capacity, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
- Speakers at a Reopen Howard County rally in Ellicott City Wednesday took credit for some of Ball’s reopening measures, according to MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick.
PICKUP ZONES IN B’MORE: Adam Bednar of the Daily Record writes that starting Wednesday, businesses in Baltimore City may request permission to create a temporary pickup and drop-off zones for customers and delivery drivers to acquire their purchases curbside.
- Gyms and fitness centers must remain closed, but the city will permit outdoor exercise classes with no more than 10 people, Marcus Dieterle of Baltimore Fishbowl writes. Class instructors and attendees must continue to abide by social distancing and face covering protocols, Mayor Jack Young said.
CARROLL CUTS $1.2M FROM BUDGET: With no way of knowing how deeply COVID-19 will affect people and the economy, the Carroll County commissioners adopted a $417.6 million operating budget that is $1.2 million less than the year prior, reports Mary Grace Keller for the Carroll County Times.
HOGAN TO GET NEW CHIEF OF STAFF: Gov. Larry Hogan announced chief of staff Matthew Clark will be stepping down and replaced by the current CEO of the Maryland Environmental Service, Roy McGrath. Clark is leaving to become senior vice president of marketing and communications at the University of Maryland Medical System, Holden Wilen of the Baltimore Business Journal reports.
OPINION: KLACIK UNFIT: In a column for Red Maryland, Brian Griffiths takes Republican candidate for Congress to task for tweeting that “Now meddling in the mayoral race? Influencing voters this way can’t be legal.” She was referring to the Baltimore Sun’s endorsement of Brandon Scott for mayor. “This is weapons-grade stupidity and ignorance from Kimberly Klacik and shows that she is unfit for public office,” he writes.