Governor Larry Hogan yesterday held a press conference to announce additional relief for Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Larry Hogan yesterday announced a series of actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland. “Our strongest defense against this virus continues to be the cooperation and the vigilance of the people of Maryland…Our message today is simple: you are safer at home for the holidays this year,” said Hogan.
Maryland today reported 2,569 new COVID-19 infections, the seventeenth consecutive day of at least 2,000 new cases.
Gathering Limits Lowered, Stringent Travel/Testing Advisories
The Maryland Department of Health has issued a public health advisory lowering the gathering limit from 25 to 10 people and advising Marylanders against all non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside of an immediate household. Marylanders are now required to limit travel to essential purposes only and those who travel out of state or travel to Maryland must obtain a negative COVID-19 test or self-quarantine for 10 days.
Suspension of Customer-Facing Operations
Maryland has instituted mandatory telework for state employees, and beginning Monday, December 21, we will be temporarily suspending all in-person, customer-facing operations at state facilities for the next 2 weeks. Hogan encouraged businesses that are able to institute telework policies to do so and to limit in-person interactions as much as possible.
Federal Relief Package
While Hogan commended Congress for reaching a bipartisan consensus on a federal COVID-19 relief package, he voiced his disappointment that the package does appear to leave out support for state and local governments.
Additional Maryland Relief
Hogan announced an additional $180 million in immediate emergency economic relief to help families and small businesses that are being hit the hardest during this pandemic.
- $50 million for hotels and hospitality businesses will be distributed by counties for payroll expenses, rent, and utility assistance.
- $30 million in additional restaurant relief, bringing the total funding to $80 million.
- $15 million in additional relief for entertainment venues, provided through the Maryland Department of Housing’s main street program, bringing the total to $35 million.
- $5 million for rural businesses to help socially or economically disadvantaged businesses, specifically in rural counties.
- $40 million to provide a boost to the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefit over each of the next six months.
- $40 million for developmental disability providers to accelerate their 4% increase to begin on January 1, with more than 17,000 Marylanders to benefit from these services.
Hogan ended the press conference by announcing the administration will be proposing a larger economic and stimulus relief package when the General Assembly returns for the 2021 Legislative Session.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for the latest updates.