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LIVE: Governor Hogan updates Maryland on COVID-19 (July 29, 2020)

| July 29, 2020, 03:37 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 86,285 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Maryland with 3.347 deaths. In Anne Arundel County, there have been  6,599 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)

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This afternoon at 3:30pm, the Governor, along with Deputy Health Secretary Fran Phillips, and Assistant Secretary Jinlene Chan, briefed the public on the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts in Maryland .

Governor Hogan:

  • Has had calls with Governors and White House and the Coronavirus Recovery Team and closely monitoring numbers.
  • Federal Government identified 21 states as Red Zone States encouraging them to shut down economies and take action. Maryland is NOT one of those states. But we do not want to become one.
  • We are at a fork in the road. Turning back and closing economy has proven devastating to states that have done this.
  • We are making every effort to keep Maryland open for business but we are not immune.
  • Positivity Rate currently is at  4.77% and has been below the recommended 5% for 33 days.
  • UNLIMITED quantities of tests are available to ALL jurisdictions.
  • Hogan recommends using a STATE testing site as the tests go to the MD lab which was built and is turning results around in 24-48 hours.
  • White House committed to work with commercial laws to increase turnaround times.
  • 56% of the new reported cases in MD are under the age of 40.
  • Concerned about 28% increase in hospitalizations. Majority of acute care beds are younger patients.
  • The increase is not cause for alarm due to the surge planning they have done.
  • Maryland will PAUSE any further re-opening plans and will not move into Stage 3 openings.
  • If you receive phone call with caller ID as COVID – 19. Please answer.
  • Findings
    • #1 activity of recent positives was attending family gatherings 44%
    • #2 attending house parties 23%
    • #3 attending outdoor events 21%
    • #1 high risk location was working outside home 54%
    • #2 shopping retail store 39%
    • #3 dining outdoors
    • #4 dining indoors
    • #1 susceptible jobs healthcare workers 25%
    • #2 Other non-public facing jobs 23%
    • #3 Other public facing positions (barbers, etc) 13%
    • #4 Food and service industry 12%
  • Issued a public health advisory. Advising against all travel to the following states that have positivity rates over 10%.  They are FL, TX, GA, LA, AZ, AL, SC, NE, ID. When returning from these states you should get a test and quarantine until results are in.
  • Effective July 31, expanding statewide masking order statewide at ALL businesses and in outdoor areas where it is not possible to physically distance.
  • Concerned about businesses not following the law and lax enforcement. This is all on the local jurisdictions
  • Fran Phillips will stepping aside and Jinlene Chan will be taking over. Governor Hogan presented a citation
  • MLB and Orioles being careful and taking the right steps.

Deputy Secretary of Health, Fran Phillips:

  • Recap of all the accomplishments since pandemic started.
  • Introduced Dr. Jinlene Chan

Assistant Deputy Secretary of Health, Dr. Jinlene Chan:

  • Appreciate opportunity to continue work of Phillips and the Governor
  • To stay open we need to remain vigilant. The virus is still spreading. While positivity rate is good, there still IS a positivity rate.
  • Now is not the time to be complacent. These orders are small inconveniences–wear mask, continue to social distance, avoid large gatherings including family ones, wash your hands.
  • The life you save or the health you protect may not just be your own, but that of your family, your postman, your barista.
  • Emphasized her experience in Anne Arundel County deal with ebola, SARS, and H1N1.

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

On July 16, 2020 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.

Severn Bank

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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