WYPR Coronavirus Coverage | WYPR

WYPR Coronavirus Coverage

Screenshot via CharmTV

  Mayor Brandon Scott announced Wednesday morning he will lift some COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants. Beginning Friday morning, those establishments may operate indoor dining at 25% capacity and outdoor dining at 50% capacity. 

Bars without a food license may operate at 25% capacity. Scott also will enact a one-hour seating limit in all dining and bar establishments. 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch has told county school officials they must run COVID-19 vaccination clinics for their employees.

Branch told the school board Tuesday night that if BCPS cannot run the clinics, its employees will have to get in line with everyone else waiting to get the vaccine.

The Daily Dose 1-19-21

21 hours ago

University of Maryland Medical System

Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson is criticizing the state health department for a slow vaccine rollout and blaming the governor’s pick to run the department, Acting Health Secretary Dennis Schrader. 

Ferguson told reporters Tuesday that the Senate is unlikely to confirm Schrader as health secretary unless vaccine distribution improves.

Sean Naron, Baltimore County

Baltimore County teachers and staff will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week, but it is unclear how that will affect when school buildings reopen for students. All of the county’s school buildings have been closed since March.

The Johns Hopkins University


Today, it's another edition of Midday on Mental Health.  Last April, just a few weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, we talked about the concept of "psychological first aid" with Dr. George Everly, who literally wrote the book about ways people can cope with the psychological effects of traumatic events: think 9/11, or hurricanes.  Can those same techniques be employed in dealing with a prolonged crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic? 


We’ve invited Dr. Everly back today to talk about how we can deal with the anxiety and stress that, for some, has accelerated as the pandemic has dragged on. 

Dr. Everly is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  He also teaches international health at  the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He’s a columnist for Psychology Today and the author of more than 20 books, including The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid.

Professor George Everly joins us on Zoom…

Flickr/Creative Commons

January 18, 2021 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday established by the US Congress in 1983 to honor the life and work of the slain civil rights leader and, in the words of this year's presidential proclamation, to "encourage all Americans to recommit themselves to Dr. King’s dream by engaging in acts of service to others, to their community, and to our Nation." 

Midday marks this year's MLK Day of Service by focusing on the work of three local individuals for whom every day is a day of service. 

The Daily Dose 1-15-21

Jan 15, 2021

Governor Hogan accelerates Maryland’s vaccine rollout plan. The state expands tele-health services for mental and behavioral wellness. Baltimore’s mayor maintains tight Covid-19 restrictions. The State Senate overrides 16 of the governor’s vetoes. And an expert looks into the ethical considerations of vaccine distribution.

Screenshot via CharmTV

  Mayor Brandon Scott will keep Baltimore’s Phase 1 COVID-19 in place  the city’s intensive and acute care units approach the limits of their  capacity..

“Unfortunately, we are still seeing the impacts of New Year's Eve in our data,” the Democrat said at a news conference. “These are not decisions that I made lightly.” 

Scott said the plight of restaurant owners and restaurant workers, whose businesses are only open for carryout, keeps him up at night. 


Maryland officials plan to accelerate the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, making 1.5 million residents eligible for the vaccine by the end of the month.

The Daily Dose 1-14-21

Jan 14, 2021

Governor Hogan accelerates Phases 1B and 1C of the state's vaccination plan.  The Maryland General Assembly convenes for a session greatly altered by the pandemic. And after technical difficulties, Baltimore City Council reconvenes virtually to consider housing relief legislation.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland General Assembly convened for its annual 90-day session Wednesday, and it is already unlike any session the state has seen before. Rachel Baye and Nathan Sterner discuss how lawmakers have adjusted their long-held traditions for a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. 

The Daily Dose 1-13-21

Jan 13, 2021

Baltimore County teachers struggle, at a distance, to help students in crisis. New legislation is proposed to protect tenants and homeowners who are hurt financially by the pandemic.  Addressing Maryland’s bottlenecked unemployment system is also a top priority for state lawmakers who reconvened in Annapolis today.  And curbside recycling is finally back on track in Baltimore.

Baltimore County Public Schools

Baltimore County teachers told the school board Tuesday night that they need help dealing with their students who are in crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a public hearing on the proposed budget for the coming year, the teachers pleaded with the school board to ask the county for more money to pay for mental health professionals and social workers.

The Daily Dose 1-12-21

Jan 12, 2021

Governor Hogan announces a redistricting commission. Technical difficulties cut short Baltimore City Council’s first meeting of the year. Baltimore County Schools propose a budget that reflects a damaged economy. And the cause of an August residential explosion in Northwest Baltimore is revealed.

John Lee

The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are driving Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams’ proposed $1.77 billion budget that goes before a public hearing Tuesday.

For example, Williams said, more of the county’s students qualify for free and reduced-price meals because of the pandemic.

The Daily Dose 1-11-21

Jan 11, 2021

Governor Hogan announces his top priority for Maryland’s upcoming legislative session, a billion-dollar emergency coronavirus relief package. Bills to address housing insecurity to go up before Baltimore City Council. And why are dentists having such a hard time getting the COVID vaccine?

Baltimore City Health Dept

Welcome to another edition of Midday with Tish the Commish, our recurring series of live conversations with Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, the Commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department and the city's chief public health advocate.

In today's program, Dr. Dzirasa provides an update on the pace and local availability of the COVID-19 vaccination program, and how the city is faring during Maryland's current upsurge in new cases, daily deaths and hospitalizations.   For more information on the coronavirus pandemic and when you can get the vaccine, visit the City's COVID-19 dashboard, linked here

Dr. Letitia Dzirasa joins us on Zoom.

Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

When‌ ‌the‌ ‌General‌ ‌Assembly‌ ‌begins‌ ‌its‌ ‌new‌ ‌session‌ Wednesday,‌ ‌lawmakers‌ ‌will‌ ‌face‌ ‌a‌ ‌crucial‌ ‌question:‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌protect‌‌ thousands‌ ‌of‌ ‌Maryland‌ ‌families‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌brink‌ ‌of‌ ‌eviction?‌

The Daily Dose 1-8-21

Jan 8, 2021

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore City will stay in amended Phase 1 COVID-19 restrictions that ban indoor and outdoor dining, Mayor Scott announced Friday. He said he arrived at his decision after reviewing numbers that indicated a surging post-holiday spread and rising positivity rates.

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.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland General Assembly returns to Annapolis Wednesday for its annual 90-day legislative session, and it will be unlike any session the state has seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic will shape not just how the laws are made, but is expected to be a focal point of the policies written. 

The Daily Dose 1-7-21

Jan 7, 2021

Governor Hogan calls for Trump to step down and let Mike Pence lead until the presidential transition. Baltimore County officials report on vaccine administration progress. The County Executive wants local oversight authority to hold the county’s school system more accountable. And Dr. Leana Wen examines federal-level bottlenecks in the vaccine rollout.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County has received more than 11,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines thus far, and County Executive Johnny Olszewski promised Thursday that “no vaccine will go to waste.”

The Daily Dose 1-6-21

Jan 6, 2021

Governor Hogan announces plans to speed up the state's COVID-19 vaccine process. Comptroller Peter Franchot extends deadlines for certain business taxes. State lawmakers aim to make it easier for Maryland college students and military members to vote. And the pandemic delays a ban on plastic bags in the city.

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.

Senator Bill Ferguson

When the state legislature convenes next week, Senate President Bill Ferguson says, its goal will be to target help to those hit hardest by the pandemic, including renters at risk of being evicted. Another priority is reforms to raise confidence in police. And Democrats intend to push to fund HBCUs and to override Gov. Hogan’s veto of the Kirwan Plan, the multibillion-dollar blueprint for public schools.


Gov. Larry Hogan announced new steps Tuesday designed to speed up the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.


The latest state data show that just under 77,000 Marylanders have received the vaccine, correlating with about 28% of the doses Hogan said have been distributed to health care providers. 

The Daily Dose 1-5-21

Jan 5, 2021

Baltimore’s mayor cautiously eyes easing restrictions as the city saw a 19% drop in positive Covid-19 cases, in the four weeks before Christmas gatherings. And Governor Hogan lays out the timeline for Maryland’s vaccine distribution phases.