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State Treasurer Tells Hogan Admin To 'Do Better' by State Employees

Maryland Department of Health

Employees in state hospitals and correctional faclilites have been worrying about the difficult and dangerous conditions they've been working under since this pandemic began.

Wednesday, they found an advocate in State Treasurer Nancy Kopp. She pressed Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford at the Board of Public Works meeting on the need at many facilities for medical supplies and for better communication from the administration of Gov. Larry Hogan.

"They’re frightened and they’re right to be frightened," she said at the outset of the online meeting. "Which is why I stress the importance of communications. 'Here are the cases...here’s when you’re going to have the equipment...here’s what’s going to happen if someone you are working with becomes ill.'"

Some employees have no idea how many of their co-workers are infected, Kopp said, referring to Spring Grove Hospital Center which recently had its first COVID-19 related death. The state health department doesn’t release information on COVID-19 related infections and deaths in all state hospitals. So, many employees and patients at Spring Grove heard about the death through word of mouth.

Rutherford said there is one state agency that is sharing information with the public: the state Department of Corrections and Public Safety. He also said the state employees are "bringing the virus in" to the facilities where they work. 

Meanwhile, AFSCME, Maryland’s largest public employee union issued a demand Wednesday for on-site testing for all employees and those in their care - whether they are symptomatic or not - and increased personal protective equipment.

Mary Rose is a reporter and senior news producer for 88.1 WYPR FM, a National Public Radio member station in Baltimore. At the local news desk, she assigns stories, organizes special coverage, edits news stories, develops series and reports.
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