coronavirus in maryland | WYPR

coronavirus in maryland

As Maryland’s General Assembly reconvened in Annapolis Wednesday, Senate President Bill Ferguson said fixing Maryland’s “broken unemployment insurance system” is among his top priorities.

Meeting with reporters after the Senate’s opening session, Ferguson said one way to alleviate the backlog of 41,000 claimants still awaiting unemployment benefits is to beef up the staff.

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Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday a $1 billion package of tax relief and direct payments to some Marylanders in an effort to shore up the state’s flagging economy.

Courtesy of the Comptroller's Office

State Comptroller Peter Franchot is pushing the idea of a Maryland stimulus package to supplement the federal package Congress passed in December.

He says the $600 checks in that package will be of little help and that Maryland should issue the $2,000 checks that Congress rejected, and that President Trump called for in his criticism of the bill.

Courtesy of the Comptroller's Office

State Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Wednesday that he is extending the filing and payment deadlines for certain business taxes.

Franchot said at the Board of Public Works meeting that business taxes and quarterly estimated income tax returns and payments that normally would be due in January, February or March won’t be due till April 15.

Joel McCord

The Oyster Recovery Partnership has been picking up oyster shells from restaurants, bars and even landfills around Maryland for 10 years, part of a project aimed at restoring the bivalves to the Chesapeake Bay and cleaning the water as well.

But the supply of shells has dropped dramatically since the pandemic hit, putting a crimp in those efforts.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council will consider a bill to halve the fees that third-party delivery services such as GrubHub can charge restaurants.

The announcement Wednesday came less than a week after Mayor Brandon Scott closed indoor and outdoor dining operations amid growing COVID-19 rates.

The day after Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced new COVID-19 related restrictions, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman issued new restrictions for his county.

Like Scott, he ordered bars and restaurants closed, but will allow carry-out, delivery and curbside pick-up. Unlike Scott, he said he wouldn’t impose the closings until 5 p.m. next Wednesday to give those establishments time to sell food they have already purchased.

Screen shot from Dec. 1, 2020 news conference


Gov. Larry Hogan put out a call Tuesday for more medical help as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Maryland and around the country.

He said in a news conference that while Maryland is doing better than at least 41 other states in the nation, hospitalization numbers continue to rise and are expected to reach a record high in the coming days.

And that’s creating problems for health care workers.

A Christmas Carol Opening

Nov 27, 2020

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, Maryland theaters are turning their eyes to holiday productions. At the Annapolis Shakespeare Company, that’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

On a recent Saturday morning, the cast and crew of the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s version of A Christmas Carol ran through scenes to get it right. They wore masks and street clothes as they rehearsed on the beautiful Victorian set.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

With the numbers of COVID-19 cases rising rapidly in Maryland and across the country, Gov. Larry Hogan and local leaders have issued new limits on social gatherings, bars and restaurants, churches and other places where people congregate.

The new state restrictions go into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. Most of the local restrictions have been in place for at least a week.

Here’s a round-up of those restrictions and advisories.

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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman joined local leaders throughout Maryland Thursday in announcing new restrictions aimed at tamping down the increase in COVID-19 cases.

He complemented Gov. Larry Hogan for taking steps earlier this week, but said he didn’t go far enough. For example, Pittman said, the governor’s limit of 25 people at a social gathering wasn’t strict enough.

Governor Larry Hogan/Facebook

After two consecutive days of 1,000 plus new COVID-19 cases in the state, Gov. Larry Hogan urged Marylanders Thursday to reinvigorate their efforts to contain the spread of the disease.

Joined in a late afternoon news conference by Dr. David Marcozzi, a member of the governor’s COVID-19 task force, Hogan said that Maryland’s statewide metrics do not yet warrant taking drastic, immediate actions. But the upticks here and the spiking numbers in other states point to the need to renew public efforts to keep the virus at bay.

Misskprimary / Flickr

As Maryland school system leaders grapple with how to safely resume in-person learning, one thing is clear:  It will be very expensive. Four superintendents told a state Senate committee Wednesday that they need millions from the state to make it work. 

The Challenge of Arts Education In A Virtual World

Sep 21, 2020

While educators throughout Maryland face the challenges of virtual learning, arts teachers are in a particularly difficult situation as they try to recreate rehearsal and performance spaces online.

Arts teachers in Baltimore City say they are focusing on students’ well-being as well as new ways to teach.

Joel McCord

The presiding officers of Maryland’s General Assembly disappointed a coalition of progressive activists Wednesday night, telling them they would not call for a special session to act on issues such as housing, worker protection and police reform.

Members of the coalition, from groups like Progressive Maryland, Jews United for Justice and CASA, spread out on 141 socially distanced folding chairs—the same number as in the House of Delegates—in a field outside an Annapolis school. They were trying to demonstrate that lawmakers could safely hold legislative hearings and votes.

The Office of the Mayor

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approved Wednesday a $30 million rental assistance package aimed at staving off an eviction crisis.

The move came two days after courts in Maryland began hearing eviction cases and the day after the Centers for Disease Control issued a national moratorium on evictions.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Why is it so hard to get a comprehensive count and description of the health care workers who have died from COVID-19? Are agencies … not keeping track, or hiding what they find? ProPublica recently told of an anesthesiologist who was disturbed by that question … and made tracing the ‘lives lost’ her mission. Journalist Nina Martin’s article is: Nobody Accurately Tracks Health Care Workers Lost to COVID-19. So She Stays Up At Night Cataloging the Dead. Plus Yvonne Slosarski from healthcare workers union 1199 SEIU talks about how they advocate for personal protective equipment and crisis pay. Visit the Lost on the Frontline site here.


Gov. Larry Hogan announced yesterday that all of Maryland’s public schools should plan for in-person learning this fall. The announcement comes just days before the start of the school year. 

“It is absolutely critical that we begin the process of getting our children safely and gradually back into the classrooms,” Hogan said at a late afternoon press conference.