MACo: Contact and Service In Weeks Ahead

MACo will remain actively working to represent, serve, and assist our member counties during the weeks ahead. MACo takes our responsibilities seriously, as an important resource for county officials across Maryland. To that end, we remain committed to serving and informing counties in the weeks ahead, through all the public and private effects of the novel coronavirus. The MACo Annapolis office will largely be closed, effective tonight (Friday March 13). Meetings scheduled for the MACo…

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Medicare Getting On Board With More Telehealth

The widespread Medicare Advantage program will feature broadened access to telehealth services, under a newly adopted rule. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a new rule, seeking to expand access to telehealth services for the many users of Medicare Advantage, effective June 1. From an article on the site HealthCareFinanceNews.com: CMS is giving MA plans more flexibility to count telehealth providers in certain specialty areas such as Dermatology, Psychiatry, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Nephrology, Primary…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – June 3, 2020 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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Frosh, State AGs Urge Congress to Dedicate More Funds for Broadband

The National Association of Attorneys General recently wrote to Congress, asking that they help close the digital divide by dedicating more funds to state and local governments. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for households to have adequate access to the internet. With telehealth, online learning, and teleworking becoming more prevalent, access to the internet is essential. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh along with 38 other attorneys general signed on to a letter urging…

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EPA Seeks Comments on Draft Water Quality Criteria

EPA is asking for public comments on recently released water quality criteria recommendations for nutrients in lakes and reservoirs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued updated draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations for nutrients in lakes and reservoirs, and is seeking public comments.  EPA's criteria is non-binding, and acts as a resource for government agencies that work to mitigate the effects that excess nutrients have on water quality. The last approved criteria was…

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Howard County Appoints New Fire Chief

County Executive Calvin Ball announced William Anuszewski as Howard County's Department of Fire and Rescue Services Chief effective May 25, 2020. Anuszewski has been serving as Acting Chief since March. From Howard County's press release: “We have no doubt Chief Anuszewski will continue to lead Fire and Rescue Services with the steady wisdom and experience of his 30-year career,” said Ball. “He stepped into the role of Acting Chief just as this public health crisis…

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USDA Extends Flexibilities for Continued Meals for Students
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USDA Extends Flexibilities for Continued Meals for Students

The United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service recently announced the extension of three waivers giving child nutrition program operators continue flexibility through the summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Waivers will extend school disticts' grab-and-go meal sites through the summer, allow parents to pick up meals for their children, and provide flexibility in when meals are serve in order to provide multiple meals at one pick-up- minimizing how many times families will need…

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Letter From Six Local Leaders to Hogan Urges More Resources, Support for Safe Reopening

A letter to Governor Larry Hogan from the County Executives of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties and the Mayor of Baltimore City urges greater coordination and support as the state reopens. The Baltimore Business Journal reports from the letter: “We need the state’s leadership to ensure Maryland’s counties are not competing against one another on the open market,” the letter said. “Accordingly, we ask you to please use the purchasing…

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Frederick Debuts COVID-19 Data Dashboard

Frederick County unveils new COVID-19 data dashboard. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner this week unveiled a new online dashboard that allows the public to track local COVID-19 statistics. The dashboard includes charts and data about testing, cases, and hospitalizations, which will be updated daily. Statistics on nursing homes will be updated each week. “We want to be transparent and provide the public with a reliable source of information,” Executive Gardner said. “County staff created an…

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School Nurses in Anne Arundel Become an ‘Army’ of COVID-19 Contact Tracers

Ahead of state-led efforts, Anne Arundel has reassigned school nurses to perform COVID-19 contract tracing to help identify how far the virus has potentially spread from an identified patient.  While the state works to start a pilot program with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to hire tracers, Anne Arundel already has employed 100 people, including 86 school nurses, to work as contact tracers. The Washington Post reports on the contract tracing…

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Marylanders to Receive More than $250M in Insurance Premium Relief

Maryland property and casualty insurance consumers will receive more than $250 million in premium relief during the COVID-19 state of emergency. In the wake of Governor Hogan's COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) encouraged all property and casualty insurers active in the state to consider making rate filings providing temporary relief to consumers during the emergency. At the same time, the MIA waived all filing fees for rate relief filings and instituted expedited…

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