Task Force Develops Triage Plan to Address Potential Crush of Coronavirus Patients

A task force is working on finalizing a triage plan to determine how to allocate ventilators if supply falls short of the demand during the coronavirus crisis. The plan, which is one of the few state plans to involve public input, will be presented to the Governor for approval. From The Baltimore Sun: The state’s final plan is still being written by doctors, ethicists, disaster planners and state officials from across Maryland. It’s expected to…

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Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites Open in Maryland

As reported in The Baltimore Business Journal the Governor has announced three new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Glen Burnie, Waldorf, and Bel Air and an additional testing site at FedEx Field: There is no charge for testing at any of these sites, but testing remains limited, [Governor Larry] Hogan said. ... Maryland Deputy Health Secretary Fran Phillips noted that to be tested, people must have symptoms and have an order from a medical provider…

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Maryland Courts to Stay Closed to Public Through May 1

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has extended the order restricting judiciary operations to May 1. Under the order, courthouses are closed to the public and operating with essential staff only to handle emergency matters. From Southern Maryland Newspapers Online: Courts throughout the state will continue to conduct remote proceedings using various communication platforms consistent with the court systems pervious order on the matter. All non-emergency matters scheduled for a court hearing…

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State Prison System Sees First Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Officials have confirmed that three individuals -- one inmate and two non-correctional contract employees -- from two different Maryland state prison facilities have tested posted for COVID-19. The Baltimore Sun reports: “The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has COVID-19 Response Teams working to determine whether any other staff or inmates may have had contact with the three individuals who tested positive,” the system said in a statement. The statement said DPSCS has been…

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Opinion Piece Praises Local Public Health Depts, Calls for Support Now and in Future

An opinion piece in Maryland Matters praised state and local public health efforts as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, but also called on leaders to recognize the daily importance of public health professionals. The author, Leni Preston, urges elected officials to ensure local health departments are properly supported with sufficient funds and supplies not only in times of crisis but everyday for the unseen and often underappreciated work they do keeping the population safe…

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NACo Releases Comprehensive Guide to Congress’ Third COVID-19 Supplemental

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress has passed two bipartisan emergency packages to address the challenges the nation faces and now has a third package on the way. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released a comprehensive analysis of that third package, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. From NACo: Last night, the U.S. Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The bill (H.R. 748) now heads…

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Montgomery Plans to Create $20 Million Fund for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

The Montgomery County Council has introduced legislation designed to get money flowing quickly to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The $20 million fund would provide companies with $75,000 each to deal with the burdens. The Washington Business Journal reports: The full County Council introduced legislation on the topic Tuesday with County Executive Marc Elrich’s support. The new grants will be open to any business or nonprofit with 100 or fewer full-time employees, a bid…

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City Releases COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan for People Experiencing Homelessness

Baltimore City Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young has released an emergency response plan for people experiencing homelessness. From a city news release: Mayor Young directed the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) to work in partnership with homeless service providers and public and private agencies, to implement a range of prevention and response strategies to support individuals who are at particularly high risk of contracting communicable diseases and unable to self-isolate at home. The city's plan contains…

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Baltimore Convention Center to Transform into Makeshift Hospital

The Baltimore Convention is being prepped to become a temporary hospital as part of a push to add 6,000 more hospital beds statewide. State and local officials are working to open closed facilities and free up other bed space as they prepare for a surge of coronavirus patients. The Baltimore Sun reports: The federal government has pledged to deliver 250 beds for the downtown Baltimore facility, which will be jointly run by the University of…

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City’s Board of Estimates Delays Approval of Surveillance Plane

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates met via video meeting Wednesday and voted to delay a contract that would have approved the use of a surveillance plan by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). From The Baltimore Business Journal: Scott said the pilot surveillance program was deferred because the spending board's members felt the program requires public discussion, as well as conversation within the City Council, before it can be approved. The item was also protested…

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