State Roundup: MoCo vaccine passport plans stymied due to record access

State Roundup: MoCo vaccine passport plans stymied due to record access

The Board of Public Works Wednesday approved two contracts for the construction and operation of a major Southwest Airlines maintenance facility at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). The board approved a $44.6 million construction contract to develop the site and lease agreement for Southwest Airlines to build and operate the maintenance facility. The 27-acre site will include a hangar to accommodate up to three Boeing 737 aircraft and an apron space to accommodate up to eight Southwest Airlines jets, along with associated office and workshop space. Total cost is $135 million with $90 million coming from the airline.

INFORMATION GAP STOPPING VACCINE PASSPORTS FOR NOW: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said Wednesday that there are no immediate plans for the county council to move forward with his proposal to implement a COVID-19 vaccine passport program, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter. Renbaum spoke with Elrich and the county’s Office of Emergency Management director as they grapple with how to get the necessary information to verify someone’s vaccination status.

  • Leaders in two Maryland counties, including Montgomery, have said they want a vaccine passport program but the state has rebuffed requests for access to its vaccination records — so far at least, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record.

SCHOOLS CAN ASK STUDENTS FOR VAX PROOF: A state Senator is hoping Maryland schools will begin to collect proof of student vaccination status — something they are permitted to do according to a state legal opinion, Elizabeth Shwe reports for Maryland Matters. Maryland schools can ask for the COVID-19 vaccination status of students and require proof of vaccination, even if the schools themselves are not mandating vaccines, the legal opinion states.

FRANCHOT OPPOSITION OF TAKOMA PARK DEVELOPMENT: A development plan intended for revitalization of Takoma Park has an unusually strong challenger, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, Katherine Shaver writes for the Post. A stone’s throw from his own house, Shaver writes that Franchot, who serves on the state’s powerful Board of Public Works, has met several times with the highway agency that rejected a delivery loading space application critical to the project. The first time was at a community meeting, where many residents voiced concerns.

SCHOOLS REPORT CASES FROM FIRST WEEK IN SCHOOL: As schools move forward with in-person learning, COVID-19 disruptions in classroom instruction and other components of academic normalcy have created challenges for the region’s public school system, Marty Madden reports for Southern Maryland News. A staff member from Charles County public schools died from COVID over the weekend.

  • In Anne Arundel, 84 public school students and four teachers are positive for COVID-19, or presumed positive, a week into the return of fully in-person learning, with cases in 50 schools, Rachael Pacella reports for the Capital Gazette. The school system said 570 students are quarantined as of Wednesday.
  • Numbers are out for Carroll County as well, where Kristen Griffith reports for the Carroll County Times. Carroll County Public Schools report 136 people in its buildings have COVID-19 and are in quarantine.

WESTERN MD HOSPITAL DIVERTS AMBULANCES, CONNECTION WITH COVID UNCLEAR: Ambulances in Cumberland temporarily had to travel up to 75 minutes away Wednesday as UPMC Western Maryland deflected patients to other hospitals, Theresa McMinn reports for the Cumberland Times-News. The diversion was possibly due to COVID-19, but information about the cause was not provided.

TASK FORCE TO HELP WITH DENTAL COSTS, ACCESS: Policymakers and dental practitioners are putting their heads together to create more equitable access to oral health care for Marylanders as the new Task Force on Oral Health in Maryland starts meeting, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters.

ZOO WILL VACCINATE SOME ANIMALS FROM COVID: The Maryland Zoo will begin vaccinating species that are “most likely to contract” the coronavirus, including North American river otters, chimpanzees, and cat species, such as the Amur leopard, cheetah, bobcat and lion, Marcus Dieterle reports for Baltimore Fishbowl.

FORMER PRINCIPAL: BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM WAS AWARE OF GHOST CLASSES, STUDENTS: A former Baltimore City Schools principal says she believes there’s an organized effort in city schools to push kids through the system at any cost, even if it means enrolling them in “ghost classes” that don’t exist, Chris Papst reports for WBFF. The allegations come from a principal who is suing over wrongful termination, arguing she is protected by whistleblower laws. This also expands the scandal at Augusta Fells to other schools in the city.

ROSENBAUM TALKS TECH EXPERIENCE, JOB CREATION: Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Baltimore tech entrepreneur Michael Rosenbaum has been talking about his experiences as a job creator, and his belief that nontraditional job candidates can thrive in the workforce with adequate training and support, Josh Kurtz profiles for Maryland Matters.

INCUMBENTS LEAD IN LOCAL FREDERICK RACE: With the majority of city ballots still to be counted later this week, incumbents are leading in the City of Frederick primary vote totals, Ryan Marshall reports for The Frederick News-Post.

TAX CREDIT AVAILABLE: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and state lawmakers want middle- and low-income residents are reminding residents to take advantage of a homeowners’ property tax credit program before the Oct. 1 application deadline, Steve Bohnel reports in Bethesda Beat.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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