HOUSING ADVOCATE URGES HOGAN TO END EVICTIONS FOR NOW: Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes that one of the state’s leading housing advocates said Wednesday that while the Biden administration recently issued a new eviction moratorium for areas of the country that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, it is still necessary for Gov. Larry Hogan to issue an order to halt evictions in Maryland for at least the remainder of the year.
EVICTION PROTECTION WON’T AID ALL MARYLAND: The new federal government order to protect renters from losing their homes only applies to communities experiencing high coronavirus transmission rates and may not help much of Maryland — including large jurisdictions such as Baltimore and Montgomery counties, Pamela Wood and Hallie Miller report for the Sun.
- Tens of thousands of Marylanders behind on their rent could benefit from the CDC’s new eviction order, but many are still at risk of losing their homes as tenant protections provided by the state of emergency are set to expire in less than two weeks, Ray Strickland of WMAR-TV reports.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new, more limited protections for tenants will affect 14 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions based on current COVID-19 transmission levels, according to CDC data, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports. Those protections mirror prior orders in providing tenants with an affirmative defense to use a substantial pandemic-related loss of income to temporarily avert an eviction, but apply more narrowly based on county-level COVID numbers.
I-270/I-495 PROJECT STILL MUST MEET ENVIRO STANDARDS: After a critical vote in July, an I-270/I-495 widening project must undergo a review to see whether it meets federal environmental standards. The review is expected to take nine months, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.
COVID BREAKTHROUGH CASES RISE: While so-called breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are on the rise, the overarching message from public health officials is that vaccines are working and are the best line of defense against serious illness. Official reports of breakthrough cases, fully vaccinated people becoming infected, remain low in Maryland and around the country, Meredith Cohn reports for the Sun.
SECTY CARDONA URGES RETURN TO SCHOOLS: U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited a public school in Baltimore on Wednesday morning, urging districts throughout the state to do everything they can to bring students back to the classrooms full-time this fall, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports.
- The Return to School Roadmap calls for school leaders to encourage and provide access to vaccination for all eligible students and staff members; vaccines are approved for children 12 and up, Emily Sullivan reports for WYPR-FM. It recommends that administrators follow the CDC’s masking guidance for K-12 schools, which recommend “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
WHERE YOU MUST MASK: Some counties in the Baltimore area are reinstating mask policies as the delta variant of COVID-19 contributes to an uptick in cases. However, Gov. Larry Hogan said he is not considering reinstating a statewide mask mandate, Clara Longo De Freitas of the Sun reports.
OPINION: COVID BREAKTHROUGH PATIENT ON TURNING THE PANDEMIC: Hopkins biomedical researcher Allan Massie writes about being one of those breakthrough cases of Covid, what it is a like and what he would recommend that states, local jurisdictions and medical professionals can do to bring this pandemic under control.
MO CO COVID CASES CONTINUE RISE: Montgomery County’s COVID-19 metrics have continued to show a steady increase in cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations, Bethesda Beat reports. The county recorded 98 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, tied for the most since late April. The county also added 98 cases on July 31.
ELRICH: COUNTY WORKERS MUST GET VAXX OR BE TESTED: County Executive Marc Elrich said Wednesday that county employees will soon either have to get vaccinated for the coronavirus or be regularly tested, as case counts have increased in recent weeks, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.
MO CO MANDATES INDOOR MASKING: Montgomery County could be the first in Maryland to return to indoor masking requirements as soon as tomorrow as county officials say they expect coronavirus cases to continue to rise, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.
FREDERICK PARENTS PROTEST SCHOOL MASKING: Jillian Atelsek of the Frederick News-Post reports that about 75 people gathered outside the Frederick County Board of Education building Wednesday, protesting the school system’s recent decision to require masks when school resumes in two weeks.
CARROLL PETITIONS SEEK FEEDBACK ON SCHOOL MASKING: Two petitions are circling social media, both regarding wearing masks during the upcoming school year at Carroll County Public Schools. One is calling for masks to be mandatory and the other is calling for it to remain optional. As some Central Maryland districts have required mandatory masking for the 2021-2022 school year, Carroll has so far stuck with its optional rule. Ed Singer, the county health officer, said at a July 14 meeting that if transmission of COVID-19 remains low, he does not see a need for mandating masks, reports Kristen Griffith for the Carroll County Times.