Governor Hogan introduces emergency bill to fight coronavirus in Maryland

531
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan provides an update on Maryland’s coordinated efforts to prepare for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Governor Larry Hogan is introducing emergency legislation granting him the authority to transfer resources from the state’s rainy day fund for Maryland’s coronavirus response.

he governor also announced that the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is raising its activation level to Enhanced in order to mobilize additional resources across state government.

Coronavirus Update – March 4, 2020

At today’s Board of Public Works meeting, I provided a brief update on Maryland’s coordinated efforts to prepare for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. There is not yet a public health emergency in Maryland. Maryland’s State Public Health Laboratory has been approved for testing for COVID-19, and as of this morning, there have been no laboratory-confirmed positive cases. While we are hoping for the best, we are still actively preparing for the worst.This morning, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has raised its activation to “Enhanced” in order to mobilize additional resources. We are also submitting emergency legislation which will allow us to transfer any necessary resources from the rainy day fund for costs associated with the state’s coronavirus response. Given the rapidly evolving nature of this threat to public health, it is critical that we have the flexibility to immediately access these resources. I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus. Our highest priority is keeping our residents safe. I would encourage Marylanders not to panic, but to take this seriously, and continue to stay informed by visiting health.maryland.gov/coronavirus or calling 2-1-1.

Posted by Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

“We are submitting emergency legislation which will allow us to transfer any necessary resources from the rainy day fund for costs associated with the state’s coronavirus response,” said Governor Hogan. “Given the rapidly evolving nature of this threat to public health, it is critical that we have the flexibility to immediately access these resources. I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus.”

The emergency legislation allows the governor to transfer up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account to fund costs associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The legislation notes that “this Act is an emergency measure, is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health or safety.” Read the bill here.

Later this week, Governor Hogan will submit a $10 million emergency appropriation request as part of a supplemental budget. This request will be based on the Maryland Department of Health’s (MDH) contingency planning.

At this time, Maryland has no confirmed cases of coronavirus. On Tuesday, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland’s State Public Health Laboratory has been approved for testing for coronavirus, and detailed the additional steps the state is taking as part of its coordinated response. Information and updates about COVID-19 in Maryland—including up-to-date testing and confirmed case count information—are available at health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

Daily Prevention and Preparedness

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Prevention of COVID-19 centers on frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and separating people who have respiratory symptoms.

Treatment for COVID-19, as with any coronavirus infection like the common cold, includes the use of over-the-counter fever-relievers, drinking plenty of fluids, and resting at home to help relieve symptoms. Those with more severe symptoms may be hospitalized to provide additional support.

While much remains unknown about COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people who are elderly and who have chronic health conditions appear to be at higher risk for infection. These chronic conditions may include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any issue that lowers the body’s immunity to germs.

Additional information about COVID-19, including the latest CDC travel advisories, can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html