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“Nationals October 2019

LIVE: Governor Hogan updates Maryland on COVID-19 and Unemployment Fraud Scheme

| July 15, 2020, 04:04 PM

Today at 4:00pm, 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 Secretary of Labor, Tiffany Robinson, spoke about the unemployment situation in Maryland. This article will be updated several times during the Governor’s conference. Please refresh your browser.

Currently there have been 75,016 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Maryland with 3,209 deaths. In Anne Arundel County, there have been  5,683 cases with 203 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)

Liquified Creative Annapolis

This afternoon at 4:00pm, the Governor, joined by Maryland Department of Labor Secretary, Tiffany Robinson, briefed the public on the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts in Maryland along with issues surrounding the unemployment situation in Maryland.

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

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

On June 10, 2020  at 5:00pm, the Governor, joined by Maryland Department of Education Superintendent Karen Salmon and Deputy Health Secretary Fran Phillips, briefed the public on the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts in Maryland along with discussions about schools and the recent peaceful protest rallies.

Governor Hogan:

  • Today marks 16th day of protests and the Governor thanked people for the peaceful protests.
  • Heath officials are very concerned about the size of crowds.
  • Encouraging anyone who attended any protest rally to get tested immediately and avoid contact with any vulnerable individual.  Multiple high-volume  testing sites will be opened across the City of Baltimore including the Baltimore Convention Center.
  • 100% of the state’s nursing home residents and staff have been tested.
  • Testing will be more critical as people go back to work. They are expecting spikes and outbreaks. There will be ample supplies for testing for whomever wants it moving forward.
  • Measurable metrics across the state in all but one jurisdictions (Prince George’s County) are down. The Positivity rate is 7.2% which is a 73% decrease from peak 55 days ago. All jurisdictions are now in single digits for positivity rate.
  • Hospitalizations ate at 960 which is the lowest level.
  • Safe re-openings of businesses have been a huge success.
  • Now they will allow (effective June 12 at 5:00pm). indoor dining at 50% capacity will be allowed
  • June 12th at 5:00pm schools can resume outdoor graduations, outdoor amusements (mini-golf, go karts, etc) can all re-open.  Community pools can increase capacity to 50%
  • On June 19th at 5:0pm, gyms, martial arts and dance studios and other indoor fitness businesses can re-open at 50% capacity.
  • Casinos and Malls will be allowed to re-open in June 19th at 5:00pm as well.
  • All openings will require appropriate health and safety protocols.

Deputy Secretary of Health Fran Phillips:

  • Without a vaccine the primary tool to fight the virus will continue to be the social measures. Encouraging all Marylanders to continue with 6′ spacing, washing hands, wearing face cloths, carrying hand sanitizer, staying home when sick.
  • Outdoors is safer than indoors. Shorter periods indoors are safer than longer periods.
  • Health department to issue guidance to restaurants for interior service. No buffets and no self service.
  • Health department will issue guidance to gyms and other indoor activity centers.
  • Teleworking needs to continue if possible. Local health departments will work with employers to make sure offices are safe.
  • Just because it is open, does not mean we have to use it.

Dr. Karen Salmon, Superintendent Maryland Public Schools:

  • Optimistic about moving education forward
  • School systems will be allowed to bring small groups of students and staff for summer school (Max 15 people per class)
  • Encouraging local districts to bring back students that were harmed by distance learning for summer programs.
  • Non-Public Special Education schools can re-open with the same restrictions (Max 15 people per class)
  • All child care providers can open as long as they follow recommendations on the MSDE website (Max 15 people per class)
  • Outdoor high school sports can resume outdoor practice and training programs

Again, local jurisdictions do not necessarily need to follow these orders. We anticipate that Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman will be issuing a statement late tonight or tomorrow on the County’s positions. Annapolis City has said they plan to follow the County’s lead on further re-opening.

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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