WYPR Coronavirus Coverage | WYPR

WYPR Coronavirus Coverage

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public health experts have said to expect a “second wave” of COVID-19 cases as soon as the late summer or early fall. When the new surge arrives, Maryland officials may not force businesses to close again.

 

Speaking with a subcommittee of the state Senate Budget and Taxation Committee via Zoom on Thursday, Health Secretary Robert Neall said his department is preparing for a new surge in COVID-19 cases. He said this time, there will be a new challenge.

The Daily Dose 6-25-20

Jun 25, 2020
Luis Navas-Migueloa

Baltimore housing advocates warn of a wave of mass evictions in the city. And the head of a Baltimore nursing home shares a personal story about the harrowing reality that his residents and staff have endured since the onset of COVID-19.

Profiles PR

The torrent of news that NPR and its affiliates around the country need to cover would be daunting in the best of times, but to cover it while the health risk is high and revenue is down presents unprecedented challenges.

About a year ago, when LaFontaine Oliver took over as president and general manager of WYPR, we talked with him on this program about his plans for our station moving forward. We promised to have him back occasionally to give listeners an update on where the station is heading. Today, we are keeping that promise...

Rachel Baye / WYPR


More than half a million Maryland residents have filed for unemployment insurance since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state is still working through a backlog of about 34,000 of those applicants whose claims have not been processed.

 

During a Zoom meeting Wednesday, Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson told state lawmakers that the state has so far sent $2.7 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 400,000 residents. But she said Labor Department staff members are still reviewing applications received in May and the first half of June.

The Daily Dose 6-24-20

Jun 24, 2020
WYPR

Maryland hasn’t dealt with some 34 thousand residents who are still waiting to be processed for unemployment insurance. Baltimore County’s School Board cuts back a planned pay raise for teachers. Plus, a conversation with Wes Moore about racial inequity, police reform, and what the rest of the country might learn from Baltimore’s experience.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Six out of ten people who have died from Covid-19 in Maryland lived or worked in a nursing home, assisted-living facility or group home. Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun’s reporter on the story, reviews how the state has tried to control the pandemic and the implications going forward. Then, how are some nursing homes using the information in patients’ medical charts to gain an edge on the virus? Scott Rifkin runs Real Time Medical Systems in Linthicum, that mines the data.

The Daily Dose 6-23-20

Jun 23, 2020

Mounting frustration over trash collection in Baltimore City, and a new contract for teachers in Baltimore County. Plus a look ahead to the upcoming presidential election: How is the COVID-19 pandemic and a wave of social change going to influence voters in November?

Baltimore County Public Schools

Update to the story: 

By a 78% majority, The Baltimore County Teachers Union voted to ratify the contract which takes effect July 1.

Original post: 

Baltimore County teachers this week are voting on a new contract.

Under the proposed deal, teachers would get a raise, but not as much as they had expected.

Brian Witt / AP

We begin today with a check on the state of Maryland’s efforts to mitigate the coronavirus and continue Gov. Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery. 

Tom’s first guest is Fran Phillips.

She is Maryland’s deputy health secretary for public health services and a member of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Coronavirus Response Team.

Before being named to her current role in the Maryland Health Department, Phillips was the health officer of Anne Arundel County for many years.

LifeBridge Health

A public health crisis can create a sea of need--so deep and vast it can be difficult to know where to start. A pandemic is an emergency--no time or resources to waste. Dr. Susan Mani, Chief Population Health Officer of LifeBridge Health, tells us about the statewide ‘Task Force on Vulnerable Populations’ she leads. Its aim is to identify those who are at high risk for COVID-19 to pinpoint where to deploy information and resources.

Spring Dell Center

The pandemic and the safety restrictions to control it have had a big impact on people with disabilities and the organizations that serve them. Some believe that the deep hit state revenues are taking will translate into budget cuts in disabilities support. We hear from several people in the system about how it works and what’s at risk. First: Laura Howell is executive director of a nonprofit association of about 100 nonprofit agencies and organizations that work with people with developmental disabilities, called the Maryland Association of Community Services, MACS. Then we hear from Greg Miller, CEO of Penn-Mar, a private nonprofit company that offers day programs and employment services and operates 30 homes in northern Maryland. Also joining us is Jim Pitts, whose severely disabled adult son lives in a Penn-Mar home.

The Daily Dose 6-22-20

Jun 22, 2020
Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

Maryland’s governor promised universal COVID-19 testing for the state’s juvenile detention facilities, but the facilities’ residents and staff are still without tests. With Baltimore’s trash and recycling services hindered by the pandemic, residents are taking a DIY approach. And Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olzsewski is frustrated with the state’s inconsistent reopening schedules.

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

It’s been almost two weeks since Baltimore’s Department of Public Works shut down its curbside recycling program and limited trash collection because of an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Eastern Sanitation Yard on Bowleys Lane.

In the meantime, some Baltimoreans have been taking trash into their own hands. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan announced on May 20 that the state would do “universal testing” for COVID-19 at juvenile detention facilities. But the vast majority of both the youth residents and the staff at these facilities have yet to be tested, and the state Department of Juvenile Services doesn’t expect to finish the first round of tests until the end of July.

Charm City TV

Mayor Jack Young announced today that Baltimore City will enter Phase 2 of re-opening from coronavirus shutdown at 5 p.m. Friday. Religious facilities could re-open for indoor services at 50 percent of capacity, he said, as well as restaurants, bars, gyms and retail stores.

Childcare facilities and camps are allowed to operate with up to 15 individuals per classroom.

His announcement comes a week after Gov. Larry Hogan announced similar changes.

The Daily Dose 6-19-20

Jun 19, 2020
SETH SAWYERS/FLICKR

Baltimore City’s Mayor is easing restrictions and allowing more businesses to open. In-person summer school is off the table for Baltimore County kids. And, with enhanced safety measures, hospitals are getting back to business, but not quite business as usual.

Seth Sawyers/flickr

 

There will be no in-class summer school in Baltimore County this year.

School officials had been considering having small groups of students in classes this summer, but a spokesman for the county schools said they want to keep everyone safe from COVID-19, so have decided not to do that.

Joe Kane / WYPR

  

Joe Kane grew up in East Baltimore with his cousins, aunts and uncles close by. It was the way his grandmother, Phyllis Waters, wanted it.

He says she loved her family – and her Seventh Day Adventist church.

"When I say ‘all her time’ – I mean all her time was in church," he says. "She’d stay there all day."

Waters loved to sing. Kane says her favorite hymn was “When We All Get to Heaven.”

The Daily Dose 6-18-20

Jun 18, 2020
Courtesy Architect of the Capitol

Local leaders tell congress that without another COVID-19 relief bill, their constituents could soon face cuts to basic services. And what will this month’s Baltimore Pride celebrations look like, adapted for a pandemic and demonstrations for racial equity and social justice?

Courtesy Architect of the Capitol

The HEROES Act, the $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed the House last month, remains stalled in the Senate.

About one third of that money would go to help state and local governments weather the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.

Local officials are trying to make the case to Congress that basic services could be cut if the act doesn’t pass.

The Daily Dose 6-17-20

Jun 17, 2020
Melissa Gerr

The MTA faces a Fall deadline for its nearly two-decades-old Central Maryland Transportation Plan, so how will it address the needs of riders in the midst of a pandemic? And COVID-19 hasn’t stopped the much-anticipated Maryland Film Festival, but it'll change how we experience it.

MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY/SCREENSHOT VIA WYPR

State legislators grilled top election officials on Tuesday about Maryland’s problem-filled June 2 primary, which included hours-long voting lines, delays for the arrival of Baltimore City mail-in ballots and temporarily deleted preliminary results.

Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone, along with her board colleagues, appeared before the House Ways and Means and the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committees to answer lawmakers’ questions and explain the errors.

The Daily Dose 6-16-20

Jun 16, 2020
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

A public health expert worries that Stage II of Maryland’s reopening may be too much, too soon. Plus: A recent Supreme Court decision could impact a lawsuit against a Baltimore-based humanitarian organization.

Photo by Larry Canner

All 50 states are in some phase of re-opening their economies after a few weeks, and in some cases several months, of lockdown.  Here in Maryland, health officials announced another day of fewer than 400 new cases of COVID-19, and the statewide positivity rate has dropped to 6.2%.  It’s been 10 weeks since we’ve had as few COVID patients in ICU beds as we do now, and as of yesterday (6/15/20), overall hospitalizations had dropped for 20 days in a row.  With 150+ testing sites now open, state officials hope that many more people will be tested in the coming weeks.  

These trends propelled Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to announce last Wednesday further easing of restrictions for a greater number of businesses.  Indoor dining is now allowed in many jurisdictions, and as of Friday, gyms and malls will also be allowed to re-open. 

Tom's first guest today is considered one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases, and at a media briefing last week he expressed concerns about the pace at which our state, and others, are re-opening.  Dr. Tom Inglesby is the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He has served on Governor Hogan’s Coronavirus Response Team since the governor announced a state of emergency in early March.  Dr. Inglesby joins us via Skype.

Khari Parker

Now, a look at how restaurants are adapting to "the new normal."  The National Restaurant Association estimates that about 40% of US restaurants will be forced to close because of the pandemic.  Many will never re-open.  Here in Maryland, indoor dining is now allowed in many jurisdictions, although not yet here in Baltimore City. 

The Daily Dose 6-15-20

Jun 15, 2020
Melissa Gerr

The City Council proposes cuts to the Baltimore Police Department. A report on post-graduation challenges for Baltimore County’s students with disabilities. And a look at the pandemic's impact on Baltimore’s tourism economy.

Melissa Gerr

It’s been months since large gatherings were banned throughout Maryland. The shutdown closed most hotels and all but obliterated tourism. Some restrictions have been eased, but it will take consumer trust to start the cogs moving again. We speak with Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, to learn how local destinations have been impacted. Then Bob Haislip, general manager at Royal Sonesta Harbor Court and Amy Rohrer, president and CEO of the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association, talk about sanitation upgrades in place to welcome back guests, and how the pandemic has nearly hobbled the industry.

For 'Safe Stay,' the sanitation guidelines as they apply to lodging regarding COVID-19, visit this link.

Baltimore County Public Schools

 

It’s been a long road to graduation for Raymond Shaw Finney.

He was born with multiple disabilities. His father died when he was an infant. Raymond slipped into the foster care system. Then eight years later, a family member recognized a picture of Raymond on AdoptUSKids, a website that connects foster children with permanent families. She told Raymond’s aunt, Vanessa Finney, to have a look.

And when she did she immediately recognized her nephew.

The Daily Dose 6-12-20

Jun 12, 2020

A look at efforts underway for reforming police departments across Maryland. Plus, some important headlines on assisted living facilities. And, as many of the state’s jurisdictions moved into Phase Two of Governor Hogan’s reopening plan today, we'll tell you what’s open this weekend, and with what limitations.

Jim Rettig / Flickr Creative Commons

As the Pratt Library moves into phase two of its Road to Reopening, what will it look like? Heidi Daniel, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library system, talks about serving patrons during the pandemic.

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