MARYLAND CLOSING MASS VAX SITES, WILL USE MOBILE CLINICS: With demand for coronavirus vaccinations falling, Maryland has started closing the state’s mass-inoculation sites, Rachel Chason reports for the Post. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Thursday that the state is shifting resources to mobile and community-based clinics and has already closed the Greenbelt mass-vaccination site.
- Because the sites are closing and cannot offer second doses weeks in the future, the sites are all currently offering only Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccines, Johanna Alonso reports for The Daily Record.
- The Carroll County Health Department is debuting its Health on Wheels RV on June 13, providing vaccines to those attending the Food Truck Sunday Funday at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Madison Bateman reports for the Carroll County Times.
- The state’s daily positivity rate has dropped below 1% to .74%, reports Lindsay Renner-Wood for the Cumberland Times-News. The reported case rate is the lowest the state has seen since March 29, 2020, and hospitalizations have decreased by 73% since the middle of April, she writes.
- Hospitalizations have increased slightly in the past three days, however, Alex Mann reports for the Sun. Despite that increase, hospitalizations are almost six times less than the pandemic peak in Jan.
CALLS FOR HOGAN TO REVERSE UNEMPLOYMENT DECISION: Del. Stephanie Smith (D-Baltimore City) Thursday slammed Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent decision to discontinue Maryland’s participation in federal unemployment benefits, saying it will hurt the state’s most vulnerable residents, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter. Democrats are contemplating possible legislative action if Hogan refuses to reverse course, but Republican lawmakers said Hogan’s decision was long overdue as a return to normalcy and work.
- The Unemployed Workers Union is also blasting the decision, Amy Kawata reports for WJZ.
- U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, told WBAL 11 News on Thursday that his office has been getting a lot of calls from people who need “a little bit more time ” with this emergency help, and called for the governor to reconsider.
HIRING AGENCIES: FEWER WORKERS TO FILL JOBS: Hiring agencies in Frederick are seeing fewer applicants to fill positions as more businesses open back up, Erika Riley reports for The Frederick News-Post.
EARLY POLL SHOWS BAKER, FRANCHOT AHEAD FOR GOV: An early poll of the 2022 Democratic primary for governor puts two familiar names on top: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and state Comptroller Peter Franchot, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters. But more than 40% of voters said they are still undecided, and other candidates are less well known.
WOMAN HAD SOUGHT PROTECTIVE ORDER BEFORE FAMILY MEMBERS KILLED: Before a man burst through the front door of their Maryland City home and started shooting, a woman had gone before a Howard County judge asking for a yearlong protective order from him, but was denied, Lilly Price reports for the Capital Gazette. Six months later, her ex-boyfriend, Shawn Price, killed Jaime Hunnicutt’s 31-year-old son, her daughter-in-law and shot her 10 year-old grandson multiple times before killing himself, police said. State Del. Sandy Bartlett, who lives across the street in Maryland City where the murder-suicide occurred, said she’s examining for next General Assembly session how to raise awareness of extreme risk protection orders as an option for domestic violence victims.
LAWYERS FOR TENANTS FACING EVICTIONS LACKS FUNDING: A bill to provide low-income tenants access to legal representation in evictions cases became law, but a corresponding bill providing funding through court filing fees and summary ejectment surcharges for landlords failed to pass, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters. The bill became law without the governor’s signature, but now advocates are hoping he will fund it because otherwise the new law states it is “subject to the availability of funding.”
MOCO SCHOOLS: 25%-30% EMPLOYEES UNVACCINATED AS IN-PERSON LEARNING PLANNED: County public schools officials are estimating about 70% of the system’s employees are vaccinated, leaving 25% to 30% who are not despite an early push to offer vaccines to all employees, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat. The school system is making plans for most teachers to return to classrooms in the fall.
FREDERICK JAIL ALLOWS VISITS AGAIN: The Frederick County Adult Detention Center will start offering in-person visits for family of inmates since the first time since March of last year, Mary Grace Keller reports for The Frederick News-Post.
FACIAL RECOGNITION TECH DEBATED IN BALTIMORE: Several Baltimore City Council members gathered outside City Hall Thursday to urge the passage of Councilman Kristerfer Burnett’s second attempt to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the city government, arguing with progressive groups that the threat of misidentification and technological bias is too great, Emily Sullivan reports for WYPR.
RETIRED JUDGE SCHWAIT DIES: Allen L. Schwait, a lawyer, retired Baltimore City Circuit Court judge and former chairman of the University of Maryland Board of Regents, died May 27, Frederick Rasmussen reports for the Sun. Schwait was a proponent of drug treatment efforts and education, a “rock of stability” in higher education during challenging times.