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Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad

Track the number of cases, find out what the state and local governments are doing to slow COVID-19's spread, and hear how the disease is impacting people's everyday lives

Mayoral, City Council President, and Comptroller Races All Very Close

Read About The Results Of A New Poll From WYPR, The Baltimore Sun, And The University Of Baltimore

WYPR News

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The deadline to mail in ballots for Baltimore’s citywide primaries are next Tuesday. This week, WYPR is airing audio profiles of the major Democratic mayoral candidates. Today, we’ll take a ride along with Brandon Scott, the City Council President from Park Heights. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan reports

AP/Patrick Semansky

  


  Only about a fifth of likely Baltimore voters think the city is moving in the right direction, while 65 percent believe the opposite, according to a new poll from WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore.

That may explain why two of the top three mayor’s race candidates, Mary Miller and Brandon Scott, are polling so well, said Roger Hartley, the dean of the University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs.

The numbers add to “the mantra that voters are looking for a fresh new face,” Hartley said. “With someone like Miller surging or someone like Brandon Scott, who's still doing well and has increased his support, they are those fresh new faces.”

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski relaxed Thursday COVID-19 related restrictions on churches and businesses in the county.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore County Council debated what it means to be under a state of emergency and whether it should be extended.

At a morning news conference, Olszewski said retail stores can reopen starting at 9 am Friday. But no more than 10 people, including staff, can be inside the store at a time.

Courtesy of the candidates' campaigns

A new poll from WYPR, The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore shows Del. Nick Mosby, former councilman Carl Stokes and councilwoman Shannon Sneed packed tightly together in the Baltimore City council president Democratic primary race, and Comptroller Joan Pratt with a slight edge over councilman Bill Henry in an unprecedentedly heated race for comptroller.   

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Stores in Baltimore City are closed. In Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, retail is open for curbside pickup and delivery. In Harford and Carroll counties, customers can actually go inside stores.

When Gov. Larry Hogan replaced his stay-at-home order with a “Safer at Home” advisory and lifted some other statewide restrictions last week, he said what’s considered safe will necessarily vary county by county. He pointed to Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which together account for more than half of the state’s COVID-19 cases. He left it up to local officials to decide how to move forward into the first phase of his recovery plan. 

 

The result is a patchwork of rules that change as you cross county lines. Some county health officers told state lawmakers on Wednesday that the variation forces them into a defensive position as they explain their choices to confused residents. 

More News
An evening roundup of WYPR's latest reporting on Maryland's COVID-19 response, a summary of essential state and local updates, and a forum for locals who want to share.

Still Serving You!

WYPR would like to acknowledge area businesses and companies that are still serving you, staying open in this time of need.

Out of the Blocks

Wendel Patrick

Lexington Market, part 3: On a Humble

Well, this long-overdue episode wasn’t originally intended to be an audio time-capsule, but, you know… life. Here’s a final look back at a venerable city market that’s now temporarily closed to the public, and partly demolished.

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WYPR, NPR, AND REGIONAL NEWS

Widespread testing for the coronavirus is key to safely reopening the country, but the U.S. has struggled for months to get to the level of testing many experts say we need — even as states and cities begin to loosen restrictions.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The deadline to mail in ballots for Baltimore’s citywide primaries are next Tuesday. This week, WYPR is airing audio profiles of the major Democratic mayoral candidates. Today, we’ll take a ride along with Brandon Scott, the City Council President from Park Heights. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan reports

On this Memorial Day weekend, beaches have reopened and people are venturing outside.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the illegal drug trade in ways not seen since World War II, affecting nearly every country and many different kinds of drugs, according to a report compiled by the United Nations.

Back in pre-pandemic times, Richard and Denise Victor would get to see their four grandchildren almost every day. One set of kids lives around the block from them in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; the others are half an hour away, all close enough for frequent visits and sleepovers.

"With the younger ones, we have a routine of stories when they spend the night," Richard Victor says.

official photo

Incumbent Mayor Jack Young is one of six Democrats in the race. He represented a Northeast Baltimore District on the City Council for 14 years before becoming City Council President in 2010. He became mayor in May 2019 after Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned in the fall-out from the Healthy Holly scandal. He placed last in the most recent WYPR, Baltimore Sun, University of Baltimore poll with only 5%.

 

Speaking with Midday host Tom Hall in May, Young emphasized his ability to collaborate with partners to produce results.

 

“That's what I've done my whole career is work in partnership and trying to get a win-win out of everything that I've done since I’ve been on city council and as mayor and I’ve been able to do that.” 

T.J. SMITH FOR MAYOR CAMPAIGN

T.J. Smith grew up in Northwest Baltimore. He spent two decades in law enforcement, first as a police officer in Anne Arundel County, then later as spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department. He left the department in 2018 and became press secretary for Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.

 

This is Smith’s first run for political office. Speaking with On the Record host Sheilah Kast in May, he asserted that Baltimore needs a non-politician in leadership.

 

“I feel like many of the failures that we’ve seen have been because of politicians doing political things. I don’t have a desire to be anything more than the mayor of Baltimore. I’ve been a public servant, that’s what I am.”

President Trump is barring the entry of most non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil within the past 14 days, the White House announced on Sunday, citing concerns over Brazil's rapidly worsening coronavirus crisis.

"Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

New York is "decidedly in the reopening phase," Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday, as the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic gave sports leagues, campgrounds and veterinarian offices the green light to start up again, with modifications.

Professional sports leagues in the state are now able to begin training camps, Cuomo said during his daily press conference, adding that having teams come back, even without spectators, would mark a "return to normalcy."

Can Americans return to fun in the sand and in the water while keeping themselves safe from the coronavirus? That's a question being put to the test this Memorial Day weekend as many Americans flock to newly reopened beaches, like Los Angeles' famed Venice Beach.

Except for still-closed stores that usually sell souvenirs to tourists and signs reminding people to wear masks, Venice Beach looked much like its normally eclectic self this weekend.

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