Montgomery to Launch Telework Assistance Program

Montgomery County businesses and non-profit organizations may apply for grants to cover expenses related to implementing a telework policy to keep employees safe amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The Montgomery County Council last week approved a special appropriation of $250,000 to provide grants to businesses and non-profit organizations for eligible teleworking equipment and software purchased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each eligible business and non-profit may be awarded a grant up to $2,500 telework-related…

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Survey Shows Many Still Unaware of Telemedicine

As stay-at-home orders continue throughout the country, there has been a rise in telemedicine, but many remain unaware of the offerings available to them. A recent study conducted by healthinsurance.com found that more than half of the more than 1,000 respondents had not received any information from their doctors or health insurers about telemedicine. From HR Dive: "We’ve had telemedicine for years, but engagement rates for those [solutions] are abysmally low," Kate Brown, leader of Mercer’s…

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Howard to Partner with MD National Guard on Cyber Security
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Howard to Partner with MD National Guard on Cyber Security

Howard County's Department of Technology and Communication Services (DTCS) will partner with the Maryland National Guard Joint Cyber Security Task Force in order to increase cyber protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that Howard would be the first county in Maryland to collaborate with the Maryland National Guard during the pandemic as a way to increase cyber readiness in a "time of increased vulnerability." From the press release: In early…

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces $5 Million in COVID-19 Response Grants

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced it will commit $5 million in grants to help support the emotional and mental health of educations an families across the county with a focus of increasing access to high-quality learning opportunities for all children. Three grants ranging from $250,000 to $275,000 each will help support professional development and five grants ranging from $75,000 to $200,000 will each help to expand broadband solutions and ensure students have access to infrastructure…

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Join Virtual Tech Panel on Government Social Safety Nets

Code for America will host a virtual panel, "Delivering a Human-Centered Social Safety Net In a Time of Crisis," on Thursday, April 23. The event will focus on how government agencies are working to modernize the social safety net during the COVID-19 crisis and the importance of a human-centered approach to the crisis. From Code for America: Our participants from state government, policy, consulting, and Code for America, will discuss these topics and more: ~How…

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State Launches Joint Task Force to Protect Against Cyber Threats Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Maryland National Guard is assisting in protecting virtual communities through the development of a joint task force composed of Guardsmen and their cyber partners in the Maryland Defense Force and the Maryland Department of Information Technology. The joint team is responsible for evaluating Maryland government websites to ensure they are functioning properly and displaying accurate information amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These sites are providing critical information to the public, including avenues for applying for…

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School Districts Banning Zoom Due to Security Concerns

As online learning platforms are becoming the norm for continuing education through the COVID-19 pandemic, some school districts have started to ban one in particular, Zoom, due to security concerns. New York City Department of Education, which runs the largest school district in the country, states that teleconferencing for education should be conducted through Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts Meet, not Zoom. From The Washington Post: The FBI issued a warning to the public earlier…

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Caroline County Public Schools Announces Free “Parking Lot Wifi”

Caroline County Public Schools today announced the availability of free Wifi in front and/or side parking lots of all schools. Families and students may visit any school parking lot between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm. “This is a way to provide access to our students and families who do not have the internet at home,” said Dr. Patty Saelens, Superintendent of Schools. “Our technology staff, instruction, and safety and security staff planned and completed…

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FCC Order Aims to Bolster Rural Broadband Access Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless internet services providers serving 330 counties in 29 states, including Maryland, in order to serve rural communities facing increased broadband demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary order allows these providers to use the lower 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for 60 days. "Like everyone else, rural Americans are facing an increased need for broadband…

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Howard to Host Virtual Town Hall on Coronavirus, Census, Upcoming Elections

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will host a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, March 26th at 6:30 pm to answer questions and concerns from County residents concerning COVID-19 and the local response, the census, and upcoming elections. “I want the Howard County community to know that our government is working tirelessly to keep our public safe and informed,” said Ball. “We’re hosting this town hall to provide updates, clarity, and reassurance to our residents as…

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