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LIVE: Governor Hogan updates Maryland on COVID-19 and Schools

| July 22, 2020, 05:13 PM

Rams Head

Today at 5:00pm, Governor Larry Hogan briefed the State of Maryland with an update on the State’s progress to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, he and State Education Superintendent Karen Salmon spoke about the reopening of schools.  This article will be updated several times during the Governor’s conference. Please refresh your browser.

Currently there have been 80,172 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Maryland with 3,276 deaths. In Anne Arundel County, there have been  6,105 cases with 206 deaths. Both State and County numbers have seen a recent shift from the positive downward trend which has prompted warnings and concerns from both Governor Hogan and the Anne Arundel County Health Officer, Dr. Nilesh Kalynaraman.

Full details can be found here (updated daily around 10:00am)

Content Continues Below

Rams Head

This afternoon at 5:00pm, the Governor, joined by Maryland Department of Education Superintendent Karen Salmon and briefed the public on the status of schools and the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts in Maryland.

GOVERNOR HOGAN:

  • COVID positivity statistics are good for Maryland (under 4.4%).  Arizona has 24% to put it in perspective.
  • Anne Arundel County is at (4.12%)
  • There are a few concerning trends the State is monitoring.
    • Positivity for Marylanders under 35 is increasing is now at 6.57%
  • Because of past actions, State is prepared for future spike with hospital beds.
  • Today we surpassed 1M tests.
  • 20 of the 24 jurisdictions in Maryland have met goal of testing at least 10% of population
  • Concerned on the shortages and delays in testing
  • It is critical for Marylanders to cooperate with contact tracers (Caller ID = MD COVID), some have refused or not answered phones
  • Reiterate warning to not travel to other hotspots. Recommending to test immediately on return and to quarantine until there is a negative test.
  • Warning again that the virus is still not over. Safer at home. Telework if possible. Avoid public transportation. Social Distance. Wear masks. Avoid large gathering.
  • Economy is open, recovering and doing better than most other states. Maryland did receive a AAA bond rating amidst this.
  • 97K jobs have been reclaimed and the unemployment rate is 30% lower than the rest of the country.
  • Local jurisdictions can be more restrictive, but State is encouraging local jurisdictions to enforce the restrictions especially in restaurants and bars. It is the sole responsibility of local jurisdictions to enforce restrictions.
  • If the numbers reverse, the State will take measures to roll back the re-opening of the economy. However, the numbers are positive and the State is not considering any roll backs right now.
  • Concerned and dismayed at the election board and the partisan politics. State law requires open polls and early voting. Hogan took extra step to encourage absentee voting by sending applications to every voter for an absentee ballot.

DR. KAREN SALMON, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

  • The driving goal for all decisions is to get students back in classrooms; but not at the expense of the health of students or staff
  • Local schools will be able to determine opening in coordination with local health department.
  • State will set regulations.
    • Must follow CDC guidelines
    • Masks must be work by all staff and students
    • Must adhere to all restrictions by state health department for an outbreak (defined as 1)
    • Must meet benchmarks including equity, learning gaps, transportation, sanitation and cleaning, attendance, and sports guidance
  • $100M will be available to get technology to all students
  • $100M will be available for tutoring
  • $255M of CARES Act funding is being used for schools

This post is being updated live and a full recap will be published later this evening.


On July 15, 2020, the Governor, joined by Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson to announce a fraud investigation and to update on the COVID-19 battle.

Governor Hogan:

  • Maryland has uncovered a massive unemployment fraud scheme 47,500 fraudulent claims and $501M dollars including massive identity theft.
  • Maryland had not experienced any breach of the State’s system
  • Maryland has paid $4.3B to 489K Marylanders representing 96.4% of received claims
  • Maryland’s website allowed them to uncover fraud.
  • On roadmap, Maryland was able to keep 70% of economy up and running
  • 98% of economy is open and able to operate in safe way
  • Key metrics continue to remain low and stable in Maryland
  • Concerned that 40 states are experiencing spikes
  • Positivity rate for under 35 years old are 85% higher than rest of population which is cause for concern
  • Advised local Health Departments to enforce the health regulations
  • Young people should not be in crowded bars, house parties, etc.
  • Advising that Marylanders should refrain from travel to a spiking state and should test immediately on return if you do
  • This battle is not over by a long shot
  • On schools–State has put out guidelines on re-opening and they have had meetings with stakeholders since.
  • Some counties have submitted plans, others are working on it. State is waiting until all are in or August 14 (deadline) prior to making the decision to allow schools to open
  • Dr. Salmon will join Governor Hogan for a press conference next week to offer update
  • Fraud was only uncovered over the July 4, 2020 weekend
  • Fraud is a problem in all 50 states and territories. Maryland is directly connected with 11 other states

Secretary Tiffany Robinson:

  • PUA allowed people to self-certify bypassing employer verification
  • Labor Department employees were vigilant and detected 47,500 out of state fraudulent claims and potentially saving $501 million
  • Warned Marylanders to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity seen
  • Unemployment system was not breached and information on claimants is secure
  • If you suspect unemployment fraud, please email  [email protected]

Special Agent Derek Pickle, Office of Inspector General, US Department of Labor:

  • Commended MD Labor Department for their diligence

Category: COVID, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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Eye On Annapolis is a community based site focusing strictly on Anne Arundel County. These staff postings are general news postings made by our team of bloggers throughout the day and are not attributed to any one particular staff person.

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