State Roundup: Primary Election day; Covid-19 testing up 117%; protests continue

State Roundup: Primary Election day; Covid-19 testing up 117%; protests continue

A voter drops off a ballot in the drop box outside the Howard County Board of Elections office in Columbia.. Ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. today, MarylandReporter.com photo by Len Lazarick.

COVID-19 CASES ROSE 117% IN MAY: The number of coronavirus tests conducted in Maryland rose 117% in May-marking a total of 357,545 tests statewide since the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday. Also, the number of positive cases in the state has dropped almost 60% since the virus peaked in mid-April, reports Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter.

  • Maryland health officials confirmed 549 new cases of the coronavirus statewide Monday and 20 more deaths due to the disease. The additions bring the state’s total to 53,327 cases of COVID-19. As of Monday, 2,431 people have died in Maryland due to the disease or complications of it, Phil Davis of the Sun reports.
  • Frederick County had a positivity rate of 8.5% of those tested and was one of five Maryland counties to fall below the state average. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Frederick County rose by 22 over the last 24 hours and now stand at 1,961 overall, according to the county health department. There were no new deaths reported and those released from isolation rose by 40 to 1,274, Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post reports.

NURSING HOME CASES: Throughout the nation, more than 25,000 residents died and 60,000 were infected as the coronavirus swept through nursing homes in recent months, particularly affecting facilities with a history of low marks for staffing and patient care, Debbie Cenziper, Peter Whoriskey and Joel Jacobs report in the Washington Post. There’s a map of the depth of the virus spread state by state.

  • Older adults are among those most vulnerable to COVID-19, so the Carroll County Adult Public Guardianship Program has adapted its practices throughout the pandemic to ensure its clients are cared for and kept safe, Mary Grace Keller of the Carroll County Times reports.

FLOYD PROTESTS CONTINUE AROUND STATE: A Sun team reports that thousands of people converged Monday on the streets of Baltimore, marching through downtown, shutting down Interstate 83, closing City Hall and echoing their rallying cry against police brutality from here to Minneapolis. “No justice, no peace!”

  • It was the fourth day of protests in Baltimore. Monday’s crowd was sprawling and diverse but focused and on message, Louis Krauss of Baltimore Brew writes. “Destroy White Supremacy,” one sign read. “Who do we call when the police murders?” asked another. “Justice for our slain.”
  • Activist groups throughout the city organized marches that launched from various points in the city. The demonstrations converged at City Hall late in the afternoon, and remained peaceful at The Daily Record’s print deadline, Adam Bednar of the Daily Record reports.
  • A large crowd of around 200 students rallied in Rio in Gaithersburg on Monday to express their outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.
  • George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody drew a few more people to the streets Monday in downtown Hagerstown. At one point Monday afternoon, seven protesters gathered in Public Square, Dave McMillion of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports.

MERCHANTS REACT TO PROTESTS: Merchants in downtown Baltimore have expressed solidarity with the protesters, some even saying they would have liked to march with them. But they all are concerned with the safety of their businesses as well, writes Ethan McLeod for the Baltimore Business Journal.

  • Bethesda Row merchants were boarding up their businesses this week as they anticipate a peaceful protest on Tuesday — and whatever might happen that isn’t planned, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat writes.

ARUNDEL YOUTH SHARE EXPERIENCES: Young black Anne Arundel County residents shared Monday pain and frustrations stemming from racism and discrimination, while offering insight and solutions the county could tackle. During an online event hosted by County Executive Steaurt Pittman, county residents spoke on a panel and provided comments revolving around challenges within the county, Naomi Harris of the Capital Gazette reports.

AND THEN THERE’s AN ELECTION … TODAY: Don’t think of it as election night. It’s really more like an election week. Emily Opilo of the Sun writes that with Tuesday as Maryland’s first primary held almost entirely by mail, local elections officials have one big request: your patience.

  • Voters casting ballots in Tuesday’s Maryland primary election will choose presidential nominees, the next Baltimore mayor and members of Congress, all as the region reels from the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, Jenna Portnoy of the Post reports.
  • The Baltimore Board of Elections closed early on the eve of the state’s primary amid concerns about safety at its office, which is near where protests were centered over the weekend, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.
  • As this unprecedented primary kicks off, writes Greg Larry for the Cumberland Times News, Allegany County has set up a drop-off box for ballots in front of the county office building on Kelly Road. In-person voting will be available at the Allegany County Office Complex only. Under normal circumstances, there are 36 polling places at locations across Allegany County.
  • Leah Crawley of WBFF-TV reports on what you need to know to vote in Baltimore City.

PUSH FOR VOTING RIGHTS: Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes that in an already hairy primary election cycle, some Marylanders don’t even know that they have voting rights. “It’s kind of alarming that this legislation was passed — what, four years ago, right? — and 40,000 Marylanders across the state have access to the ballot and many of them still don’t know,” said Nicole Hanson-Mundell, executive director of the group Out For Justice.

ARUNDEL TO ADD POLICE BODY CAMERAS TO BUDGET: Body cameras for the Anne Arundel County Police Department are likely to be added to the proposed budget after a week of unrest across the country due to recent instances of police brutality, officials said Monday. The initial cost of the equipment and technology would add roughly $4 million to the $1.72 billion budget, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports.

ARUNDEL BUDGET ADDRESSES WINERIES, BREWERIES: The Anne Arundel County Council passed legislation Monday updating zoning rules for breweries and wineries, expanding forest conservation law grandfathering rules and continuing the debate on changes to community-based assisted living laws, Olivia Sanchez reports for the Capital Gazette.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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