State Roundup: Hogan wants bars to enforce virus rules; teachers urge distance learning

State Roundup: Hogan wants bars to enforce virus rules; teachers urge distance learning

This is not how the first day of school would look, if teachers have their say. First day of school by woodleywonderworks with Flickr Creative Commons License

HOGAN PUSHES PROTOCOLS AS NUMBERS RISE AMONG YOUNG ADULTS: The governors of Virginia and Maryland moved Tuesday to enforce mask and social distancing requirements inside bars and other businesses after an increase in coronavirus cases stirred worries that the region is facing a resurgence of the virus seen in other parts of the country, Antonio Olivo, Dana Hedgpeth, Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins report for the Post.

  • More than 100 new cases per day have been reported among people ages 20 to 29 in Maryland over the past week, the Sun’s Christine Condon reports, according to an analysis of state data by The Baltimore Sun.
  • Ethan McLeod of the Baltimore Business Journal reports that Hogan noted most bars around the state have complied with state-ordered social distancing and capacity restrictions, seating limits and face-covering requirements for workers — “but some are flagrantly violating the law and endangering public health.” “Violators should be warned, fined, have actions taken regarding their licenses, or closed if necessary,” Hogan said.
  • At least five bars and restaurants in Ocean City have closed temporarily for cleaning following reports of employees who tested positive in the last week. Hogan, citing a number of “concerning trends,” warned that the state might be forced to reimpose restrictions because of what he called flagrant violations, Bryan Sears reports in the Daily Record.

LARGEST DAILY INCREASE IN MORE THAN A MONTH: Maryland health officials reported 733 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Tuesday — the state’s largest daily increase since June 5 — prompting Gov. Larry Hogan to warn that the state has a long road ahead in managing the pandemic, Nathan Ruiz and Pamela Wood of the Sun report.

EDUCATORS URGE DISTANCE LEARNING: Groups representing Maryland’s teachers urged state officials to make virtual learning uniform for the first half of the 2020-21 school year because of concerns associated with the spread of COVID-19, writes Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter. “We are calling for the 2020-21 school year to begin with virtual learning and instruction for at least the first semester,” Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost said at news conference held via Zoom on Tuesday.

  • Hallie Miller of the Sun reports that Bost, citing the acute “digital divide” already revealed between children in low-income neighborhoods and their more affluent peers, said that deciding on a virtual-only start to the year now would give school districts six weeks to iron out the kinks associated with remote learning.
  • Schools in Maryland have been closed to in-person learning since March 13. Parents and educators have given the virtual learning experience that followed mixed grades and educators acknowledge that students in poor communities in Baltimore and rural areas have not had the tools to properly access lessons, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
  • Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Darryl L. Williams said he is leaning toward remote learning with a phased-in return as the school board considers how to reopen schools for the 2020-21 academic year, Taylor DeVille reports for the Towson Times.

MO CO SURVEY: 42% OF PARENTS FOR IN-PERSON SCHOOL: Results of surveys about the Montgomery County school district’s approach to fall classes show a divide between parents’ and teachers’ preferences as the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the United States. The results, shared during a school board meeting on Tuesday, showed that 42% of parents who responded plan to have their children participate in face-to-face learning, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.

CAROLINE PREPS SCHOOL RESTART PLAN: In accordance with the Maryland State Department of Education’s requirements to prepare for school in the fall, Caroline County has conducted the first of two parent/stakeholder surveys to help guide the final Recovery Plan, Hannah Combs of the Easton Star Democrat reports. The first survey closed on July 8, and the second will be conducted at the beginning of August. According to MSDE, the Recovery Plan must be made available by Aug. 14.

STATE TOUTS LITTLE-KNOWN JOBLESS BENEFIT: With unemployment at dramatic highs and the state benefits fund shrinking, Maryland is touting a little-known unemployment insurance program that can save the state millions of dollars while getting some workers back on the job, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.

NEW STATE JOBLESS CLAIM SYSTEM: Maryland will likely roll out an updated unemployment filing system in the fall after claimants spent weeks waiting for benefits earlier this year in the midst of the global pandemic, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports. The state’s unemployment system software, which debuted in 1998, was in the midst of a federally funded modernization when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany P. Robinson told lawmakers Tuesday.

4 MD COMMUNITIES SEE MORE HIGH TIDE FLOODS: Four out of five coastal Maryland communities regularly monitored by the federal government experienced a record number of days of high-tide flooding in 2019, according to a study issued Tuesday. The fifth community withstood its greatest number of high-tide flooding days — a phenomenon where a coastal area floods even if there has been no rain or severe weather — in 2018, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters.

FRANCHOT PRAISES HOGAN: Comptroller Peter Franchot applauded Gov. Larry Hogan’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “The aggressive leadership by Gov. Hogan and his team has been commendable as far as the pandemic and the public safety aspects,” Franchot told Bryan Renbaum of in a phone interview. “ … every state was left to itself by the White House and the national government. The federal government has had a pitiful weak performance.”

TRUMP FOREIGN STUDENT PLAN RESCINDED: The Trump administration on Tuesday dropped its much-criticized plan to require international college students to leave the United States unless they are enrolled in the fall term in at least one face-to-face class, Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga of the Post report.

ARCHDIOCESE GETS $25M IN PPP: The Archdiocese of Baltimore received at least $25 million in taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program loans spread among its churches, schools and central office, taking advantage of a special exemption to U.S. Small Business Administration rules that typically bar religious groups from receiving money, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

HOWARD BIZ GET PPP: More than 100 Howard County-based businesses received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released last week by the federal government, Jacob Calvin Meyer reports for the Howard County Times. The loan program, created to infuse cash into small businesses to prevent layoffs amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has paid out at least $10 billion to Maryland businesses.

CARROLL REVISES SCHOOL SAFETY POLICIES: Catalina Righter of the Carroll County Times reports that with more than a year operating under the Safe to Learn Act, Carroll County Public Schools has put forth some revisions to its policies on threats, violent acts, firearms and other weapons in hopes of reflecting “how our best practice has evolved as we’ve implemented the new legal requirements,” Superintendent Steve Lockard said in the Board of Education’s July 8 meeting, when the proposed changes were discussed.

HOGAN BOOK TOUTS PRO-LAW ENFORCEMENT IMAGE: Jeff Barker of the Sun writes that Gov. Larry Hogan, seeking to sharpen his national profile as he ponders his political future, casts himself as a tough-minded Republican ally of law enforcement in a memoir that could foreshadow a 2024 presidential bid. “It really looks like the model of the very type of book that a presidential candidate would write before they spring a run,” said Roger E. Hartley, dean of the University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs.

OPINION: SZELIGA ON COLUMBUS TOPPLING: In an op-ed for the Sun, Del. Kathy Szeliga criticizes the ‘ho-hum’ attitude of some Baltimore City leaders to the toppling of the statue of Christopher Columbus, opining that “We should have a debate about the proper placement of monuments honoring certain figures. These are decisions that require public input, not leaving the fate of public property in the hands of a small group of thrill-seekers and vandals.”

FREDERICK TO ADD CRISIS PROS TO POLICING HELP: Frederick County announced plans Tuesday to increase the number of crisis professionals who could join law enforcement when responding to calls related to addiction, mental health problems or similar issues, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports.

FREDERICK SCHOOLS TO POLL STUDENTS ON RESOURCE OFFICERS: Frederick County Board of Education members asked that data be collected on student perceptions of School Resource Officers after an overview of the program was presented to them last week. Some board members such as Liz Barrett and Karen Yoho seemed concerned that there were minimal student testimonies in the presentation, Katryna Perera of the Frederick News-Post reports.

TANEYTOWN BLM PROTEST: When a small group of demonstrators gathered last month in Taneytown for a Black Lives Matter protest, it was met with periods of backlash and anger. Pat Stoetzer of the Carroll County Times writes that the latest rally took place Saturday, back in Taneytown, with a much larger number of protesters thanks to dedicated promotion and social media attention. Meghann Puckett, one of the event’s planners, said the experience was quite different.

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 newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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