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Lee Krempel

Teachers across Maryland are learning a new way of teaching students.  Distance learning is a huge challenge for teachers, students and their families.

Maryland’s special educators have an even steeper hill to climb and it boils down to one word: individual.

screenshot via Emily Sullivan/WYPR


    The Baltimore City Council heard a series of coronavirus measures during its second-ever virtual meeting Monday night. 

City Council President Brandon Scott introduced an ordinance that would make the acts of impersonating an official and issuing “false statements” during a declared state of emergency a misdemeanor. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

An inmate at the state-run Jessup Correctional Institution has died as a result of COVID-19, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services confirmed Monday. 

 

The inmate, a man in his 60s with “serious underlying medical conditions” died Saturday after spending several weeks hospitalized. He was one of 93 people — including 18 inmates and 47 correctional officers — confirmed to have COVID-19 across the state prison system as of Sunday night. Jessup Correctional Institution alone has had 33 confirmed cases.

Heidi Sheppard/WYPR

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young closed city playgrounds in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic last month, but residents continued to visit them and use park exercise equipment.

On Monday, he ordered new measures to secure park equipment so residents are more inclined to stay away.

Elizabeth Miner

Hospitals across the country are in short supply of essential medical equipment critical in the fight against COVID-19. Top on that list is ventilators. 

A typical ventilator costs anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. 

Now a team of engineers in Southern Maryland have figured out a way to convert an item often found in the back of a mother’s closet into a ventilator: a good old reliable breast pump.  

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is asking President Trump to force General Motors to reopen its plant in White Marsh so it can make ventilators.

Rachel Baye

Maryland officials announced on Friday that they are expecting a $2.8-billion drop in revenues for the three months that end June 30. In response, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a state budget and hiring freeze.

Sean Naron, Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski  announced a hiring freeze Thursday of non-essential positions in county government.

Maryland State Department of Health

Black Marylanders are disproportionately represented among confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19, according to state data released Thursday.

Black residents make up just under a third of Maryland’s population, but represent 42.7% of COVID-19 cases and 44% of the deaths from the illness among cases for which race data is known. 

Gov. Larry Hogan said the figures reveal “troubling disparities and points to a persistent public health challenge that we must address.”

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

On a typical day in the Baltimore City school where she’s a therapist, Maggie Schultz sees up to eight kids ranging in ages from five to 14, all of them with emotional and behavioral issues.

But ever since schools have been shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number has been sliced dramatically. The most she saw over a recent week was four in one day. 

And that was mostly because she could go online to connect with her kids after the administration of Gov. Larry Hogan loosened restrictions around telehealth.

Baltimore County

More than 100,000 Marylanders have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But many of them can’t get through to the state’s unemployment office to file a claim.

The Edward A. Myerberg Center

Passover, the celebration of the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt, normally begins with great family dinners, the seder. But this year, with the coronavirus pandemic raging and stay-at-home orders in place, many Jewish families are turning to virtual seders.

The Edward A. Myerberg Center in Northwest Baltimore put on its own virtual seder earlier this week.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski made few promises Tuesday night, as he held a virtual town hall and heard from residents about what they would like to see in next year’s budget. 

Olszewski presents his proposed budget to the county council next week.  The high cost of the coronavirus pandemic is wrecking what Olszewski had hoped would be in that spending plan.

SCRE

Baltimore’s Taxpayer Night was held virtually for the first time ever on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic — the economic impact dominated discussion from the city’s spending board, budget department and residents alike. 

The annual event, hosted by the Board of Estimates, allows Baltimore residents to lobby for the priorities they think should be reflected in the city budget. 

The city is collecting less money due to the pandemic’s grip on daily life, especially in four areas: transportation, tourism, income and investment earnings. 

 

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Tuesday the creation of new statewide “strike teams” to help nursing homes that have been overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19.  To date, 90 Maryland nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have confirmed cases of the disease.

AP/Patrick Semansky


  The Baltimore City Council held its first ever virtual meeting Monday evening, convened over a video conferencing website as the novel coronavirus pandemic worsens and gatherings of 10 or more are banned.

The pandemic was the subject of discussion and legislation, including a bill that would require the Baltimore City health commissioner to report patients’ races and ZIP codes -- data that has not been publicly available in the state of Maryland.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Analysts are warning that the COVID-19 epidemic will be disastrous for the state’s budget and for all the services state and local governments provide.

The budget Maryland lawmakers passed last month estimates that about 85% of state revenues will come from sales and income taxes, Warren Deschenaux, the former longtime chief fiscal analyst for the state, said Monday during a Zoom call hosted by the Maryland Center on Economic Policy.

Baltimore County

 

Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is blowing a hole in the budgets of local governments nationwide, and Baltimore County is no exception.

In advance of a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday night on the budget, county officials said everything needs to be on the table as they look for ways to cut spending.

SCREENSHOT VIA EMILY SULLIVAN/WYPR


Jessica Hyman, a Baltimore artist who performs under the name DJ Trillnatured, started off her Saturday night set like she would any other: by playing a cascade of feel-good beats designed to get her audience moving.

But unlike most nights, that audience wasn’t flanked around her. Instead, they were dancing on Zoom, a free video conferencing website that’s hosted scores of virtual happy hours and celebrations, and now, makeshift Baltimore clubbing. 

Rachel Baye/WYPR

  


  Gov. Larry Hogan signed  two pieces of emergency legislation on Friday to expand telehealth across the state, which will allow Marylanders to receive care and evaluations from their providers by e-mail, telephone, or video.

The Republican also signed an executive order to designate carers for people with disabilities as essential personnel, a move that allows them to receive free childcare during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, he issued an emergency order to provide additional and immediate financial relief for those facing economic hardship because of the pandemic. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which oversees state prisons and jails and parole and probation services, has confirmed that 17 people have tested positive for COVID-19, including three inmates and four correctional officers.

Advocates have warned that prisons, jails and other detention facilities are especially vulnerable to outbreaks of contagious illnesses. They are pushing for some inmates to be released early to prevent a widespread outbreak, which could strain an already overburdened healthcare system.

Patrick Semansky / AP

When Linda Martin-Smith inherited her father’s house on Gwynns Falls Parkway in 2016, she considered it a blessing. It was paid off. All she had to worry about were the utilities and the property taxes. And she could cover that and take care of her two kids with the money she was making working in a warehouse filling online grocery orders.

But that was before the diagnosis she got last year: Stage 3 colon cancer.

John Lee

Almost every business in Baltimore County is being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, county students will get pass or fail grades  and people are throwing out more trash.

At Thursday night’s virtual town hall, officials laid out how COVID-19 is impacting Maryland’s third largest county.

Fighting The Shortage Of Protective Gear With 3D Printers

Apr 2, 2020
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Builders, designers, and engineers from across the region are joining in a worldwide movement to use 3D printers to meet the shortfall of N-95 masks and face shields for hospital staff on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health care providers at hospitals around the region and globe have been rationing personal protective equipment due to the lack of supply worldwide. Dr. Koushik Kasanagottu with Johns Hopkins Bayview says the PPE shortage comes with a risk.

John Lee

When it comes to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan is issuing the restrictions, but it is often local officials who are fielding the questions.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said the questions he’s asked most is if people can leave their homes for a walk or a run.

AP/Patrick Semansky

  


  Members of Mayor Jack Young’s administration would have spent Wednesday morning explaining their official preliminary budget to Baltimore’s spending board -- but because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that proposal has become “largely irrelevant” according to the city’s budget director.

 

Instead, Robert Cenname used the Board of Estimates meeting to explain Baltimore’s fiscal outlook to city officials, warning them that the budget must be almost totally revamped before it is finalized in May.

 

Rachel Baye / WYPR


The leaders of the state Senate and House of Delegates are pushing back on calls to require that all voters in the June primary election submit their ballots by mail. Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones lodged their concerns in a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday.

Baltimore County

There have been 227 positive cases of COVID-19 in Baltimore County thus far. Only Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have had more in Maryland.

One of those positive tests was at Oak Crest Retirement Community in Parkville, according to spokesman Jeffrey Getek.

Oak Crest is in Baltimore County Councilman David Marks' district. Marks posted on Facebook that "the campus has taken aggressive measures, including the temporary closure of all dining rooms, on-site salon, fitness center, pool and other activity areas. The community is closed to non-essential visitors."

Statewide, more than 1,600 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Andrew Harnick / Associated Press

As Gov. Larry Hogan’s press conference was getting underway Monday, Miriam Doyle, a clinical social worker at Clifton T. Perkins Psychiatric Hospital in Howard County for three years, was trying to listen for the updates she says her patients are desperate for.

She, her co-workers, and her patients had just learned about the outbreak in their hospital, where eight patients and a staff member had tested positive for Covid-19, and Doyle wanted to hear what the governor had to tell them. But her attention was diverted.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Baltimore’s homeless was one of the city’s most vulnerable populations. It is difficult for them to get health care and they are more likely to have chronic health problems.

Now, officials and volunteers are mobilizing to try to protect the homeless from being ravaged by the virus.

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