Frederick Announces Stage Two Recovery, Key COVID-19 Health Metrics Improve

Frederick County announced improvements in key metrics relating to COVID-19 and therefore most non-essential businesses may reopen today at 5pm.  Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Frederick County has dropped to 8.4%, below the 8.9% average of Maryland. Frederick County has also shown a decline in overall hospitalizations, intensive care unit beds and acute care bed counts. Gardner also reporter that six of the last seven…

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St. Mary’s Testing Wastewater for COVID-19

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is partnering with St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), and the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission to run a pilot project that will track COVID-19 through local wastewater. With the number of individuals getting tested lower than experts would prefer, many have high hopes that monitoring COVID-19 in wastewater will help identify areas where the virus is spreading. This would help health officials predict where the next outbreak…

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Statewide Utility Shutoff Moratorium Extended to July 1

The executive order extends the moratorium against the terminating resident's utilities or charging them late fees to July 1, 2020.  The order helps protect individuals who have lost work or income due to the coronavirus pandemic from experiencing shutoffs of critical utilities. As reported by The Baltimore Fishbowl: The order stops electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV and internet service providers from shutting off services at residences or charging households a late fee for…

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Less Than Half of Maryland’s Child Care Programs May Survive COVID-19

A survey conducted by the Maryland Family Network shows that 51% of child care programs in the state may close if children are home for extended periods of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Family Network survey was sent to all licensed child care providers in Maryland (over 8,000) with responses from every single jurisdiction and representing all types of child care businesses. Over two-thirds of child care businesses are reporting financial losses…

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State Health Officials Brief COVID-19 Legislative Workgroup

Representatives from the Maryland Department of Health briefed the joint legislative workgroup on bed surge, PPE, testing, and contact tracing.  The workgroup was joined by Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall, Chief Operating Officer Dennis Schrader, and Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips. Highlights of the department's presentation included: Bed Surge: The department worked with the Maryland Hospital Association, individual hospitals, and local leaders to identify 6,700 beds to address COVID-19 surge in wave one. Under…

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Worcester Budget Maintains Core Services, Fully Funds Schools, Keeps Tax Rates Steady

The Worcester County Commissioners yesterday adopted the County's $204.3 million fiscal 2021 Operating Budget. The budget holds the line on income and property taxes, fully funds the maintenance of effort requirement for Worcester County Public Schools, maintains core services, and provides funding for other post-employment benefits (OPEB) for County and school employees. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the County last month cut $17 million from the FY 21 budget in order to account for the…

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Baltimore County Offers Online Scheduling for Free COVID-19 Tests

Starting today, Baltimore County residents can visit the County's website to quickly and easily reserve a slot for free COVID-19 testing. “Improving access to testing is important to continue our gradual reopening. Allowing people to schedule tests online makes it even easier for any County resident who wants to be tested to do so quickly,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We’ll continue working to put measures in place that reduce the spread of the virus…

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Fed Again Expands Lending Program for State and Local Governments

The Federal Reserve will expand a $500 billion lending program designed to help state and local governments better manage cash flow stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Until now, the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) -- which will purchase up to $500 billion of short term notes -- was open to states, as well as counties with at least 500,000 residents and cities with at least 250,000.  Although eligible state-level issuers may use the proceeds to…

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MDH Launches Campaign to Promote Contact Tracing Awareness

Maryland Department of Health kicks off statewide campaign to educate residents about the importance of contact tracing. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today will begin rolling out a new statewide campaign to educate Marylanders about the importance of contact tracing and how it is a vital tool in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. Contact tracing, a core disease control measure employed by public health personnel for decades, is a key strategy for…

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