VACCINES EXPECTED TO ARRIVE THIS WEEK: As coronavirus cases continue to rise, doses of a highly anticipated vaccine could start arriving in Maryland as soon as this week. Gov. Larry Hogan said during a news conference that the first shots are reserved for hospital workers and nursing home residents and employees, McKenna Oxenden and Ben Leonard of the Sun report.
- Maryland prison inmates considered high risk for suffering severe COVID-19-related illnesses will be among the first in the state to receive the coronavirus vaccine, state health officials confirmed late Friday, Glynis Kazanjian reports for Maryland Matters.
- Frederick Health Hospital will receive and store nearly 1,000 coronavirus vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech in the coming days, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports.
- Two Montgomery County hospitals in the Adventist HealthCare system expect to each receive 975 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.
PERDUE SEEKS VACCINE PRIORITY FOR WORKERS: Poultry processor Perdue Farms has asked Gov. Larry Hogan to give the state’s meat and poultry workers priority for the coronavirus vaccine that’s being delivered to hospitals and nursing homes this week, Lorraine Mirabella of the Sun reports. The CEO of Salisbury-based Perdue wants its 2,196 Maryland processing plant workers given priority in the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
2,314 NEW COVID CASES, 24 MORE MARYLANDERS DIE: Maryland reported another record-breaking day of coronavirus-related hospitalizations Monday as well as 2,314 new confirmed cases and 24 deaths tied to COVID-19, Ben Leonard of the Sun reports.
- It took nearly seven months for Carroll County to reach 2,000 cases of COVID-19. Ten weeks later, that number has more than doubled. Data reported by the Carroll County Health Department on Monday showed that Carroll eclipsed 4,000 total cases over the weekend, setting a new weekly high in the process, Pat Stoetzer of the Carroll County Times reports.
- Montgomery County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has continued to increase steadily this month, along with the sharp increase in cases and deaths from the virus, Bethesda Beat reports.
CAN EMPLOYERS REQUIRE VACCINATIONS? When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available in the U.S. next year, employers may face a tough question: whether they should – or even can – require their staff to get vaccinated. Sarah Kim reports on the issue for WYPR-FM.
BA CO BARS CITED FOR NON-COMPLIANCE: Bars in Perry Hall and Kingsville were among the businesses cited Monday afternoon by Baltimore County’s Board of Liquor License Commissioners for not complying with coronavirus-related orders, Taylor DeVille of the Sun Media Group reports.
B’MORE RESTAURATEURS PROTEST SHUTDOWN: A group of Baltimore city restaurant owners spoke before cameras yesterday protesting new Mayor Brandon Scott’s order to shut down indoor and outdoor dining.
FROSH JOINS FIGHT AGAINST PANDEMIC INCOME SCAMS: The Maryland attorney general’s office said Monday it has joined a nationwide crackdown on deceptive income schemes, and taken action to halt a number of questionable investment opportunities, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports. Income scams have been soaring during the coronavirus pandemic, Attorney General Brian Frosh and officials of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said during a call announcing “Operation Income Illusion.”
MARYLAND’s 10 ELECTORAL VOTES GO TO BIDEN: President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received Maryland’s 10 Electoral College votes as the state’s presidential electors voted unanimously Monday to cast their ballots for the Democratic ticket, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes. The vote took place at a meeting at the State House in Annapolis.
- Wearing masks, the electors met Monday in Annapolis at the State House, the country’s oldest continuously operating state capitol. Maryland is just one of six states that has participated in every Electoral College vote, starting in 1789, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said at the event, Ben Leonard of the Sun reports
- In a perspective piece for the Post, Robin Gihvan writes “when it was all done, President-elect Joe Biden received his 306 electoral votes and President Trump was given his 232. It was boring. And it was beautiful.”
- Mike Lewis of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail writes about an elector from Hagerstown, Peter E. Perini Sr. There were no surprises, he said.
OPINION:DON’T OVERTURN HOGAN VETO OF DIGITAL AD TAX BILL: In an op-ed for Maryland Reporter, Rebecca Snyder of the MDDC Press Association, Matthew McDermott of the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore and Lisa Reynolds of the Maryland-DC-Delaware Broadcasters Association urge the General Assembly not to override Gov. Larry Hogan‘s veto of a first-in-the nation tax on digital advertising, saying that it would be “a ‘gut-punch’ to Maryland businesses and consumers at a time when they’re already financially vulnerable.”
ZIRKIN BECOMES ANNAPOLIS LOBBYIST: Add to the list of newly registered lobbyists former state Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), who finished his 21-year legislative career at the beginning of this year as chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, Josh Kurtz writes in Maryland Matters. Zirkin, whose one-year “cooling off period” for ex-legislators who want to become registered lobbyists ends on Jan. 3, has launched Zirkin & Schmerling Government Relations & Public Affairs.
WENDI WINTERS RECEIVES HIGHEST CIVILIAN HEROISM HONOR: The Capital journalist Wendi Winters has been posthumously awarded the highest honor for civilian heroism in the U.S. and Canada, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Monday. Lilly Price of the Capital Gazette reports that survivors credit Winters for saving their lives when she picked up a trash can and recycling bin and charged a gunman who blasted through the glass doors of the Capital’s office on June 28, 2018. Winters was shot and killed trying to protect her colleagues.
PROGRESSIVE MAYOR TO CHALLENGE HOYER: Six weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) romped to re-election, winning a 21st term in the U.S. House of Representatives. This week, Colin Byrd, the 28-year-old mayor of Greenbelt, declared his intentions to challenge the veteran lawmaker on Facebook. Byrd cast himself as a progressive alternative to the 81-year-old House majority leader, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.