Governor Hogan Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for Maryland

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

Governor Larry Hogan provided an update on Maryland’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced that he is requesting a presidential disaster declaration for the state of Maryland.

“People are looking for certainty, but the truth is, we simply don’t know yet how bad it’s going to get, how long it’s going to last, or how successful these social distancing actions are going to be in flattening the curve,” said Governor Hogan. “What we do know is that this will not be over in a matter of days or weeks. As I have been saying over and over since day one, the number of cases will continue to rapidly and dramatically rise. It is critically important that every single person remains vigilant and continues doing their part by staying in place, in their homes, as much as possible so that we can break the back of this virus.”

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools will remain closed through April 24, as the state activates a continuity of learning plan for students.

With the challenges facing our state and our country, we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our school communities and the community at-large,” said Dr. Salmon. “I am working in concert with all local school system superintendents, including multiple calls per week, in order to provide the continuity of learning to all of our students in every jurisdiction across the State of Maryland during this time. We plan to resume the continuity of learning next week, and we will be working closely with local superintendents, school administrators, and our teachers to activate that plan. I am so grateful to our educators and child care providers across the State for their commitment to our children and their school communities.”

Below is a comprehensive list of the actions the administration announced today:

SCHOOLS TO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH APRIL 24: Today, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that the closure of all public schools in Maryland will be extended for an additional four weeks through April 24, 2020. More information will be available in the coming days as officials develop a statewide plan that maintains equitable standards and expectations for students. Local school systems will be communicating with their individual school communities as they move forward with implementing their plans. The State Department of Education plans to resume the continuity of learning next week. Read Dr. Salmon’s message. 

CHILD CARE ACCESS FOR ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL: While child care and day care facilities throughout the state may remain open at this time, state officials are focused on securing child care options for essential personnel, such as health care providers and first responders. However, parents are urged to keep their children at home if another parent or guardian is able to provide care. Essential personnel working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic who require child care are immediately able to register for these services by calling 1-877-261-0060. Read the governor’s order.

REQUEST FOR PRESIDENTIAL DISASTER DECLARATION. Governor Hogan has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Maryland. The Governor is specifically requesting: (1) the Individuals and Households, Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training, and the Disaster Unemployment Assistance programs under the Individual Assistance Program statewide, (2) Debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance Program statewide, and (3) Hazard Mitigation measures statewide. If approved, the presidential declaration will provide funding for state and local governments as well as certain private nonprofits

DIRECTIVE TO EXPAND AVAILABILITY OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL. Governor Hogan directed the Maryland Department of Health to immediately institute a program to allow medical students, nursing students, and medical technician students from Maryland universities and colleges to assist the COVID-19 response effort. The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps is currently nearly 8,000 members strong. Marylanders are encouraged to volunteer at mdresponds.health.maryland.gov

PROGRESS ON HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN: The governor announced that 2,400 beds have been made available through the state’s hospital surge plan, which is weeks ahead of schedule. Yesterday, the governor toured a field hospital and alternate care site at the Baltimore Convention Center.

SERVICES FOR SENIORS. Governor Hogan announced that the State of Maryland has received $4 million in federal funding to help communities provide at-home meals for older adults. The governor also reminded Marylanders that the Maryland Department of Aging has a free senior call check program, the first of its kind in America, to ensure the wellbeing of seniors living at home alone.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.