Hogan calls for spring breakers to quarantine
Returning home from spring break? Gov. Larry Hogan wants all spring breakers to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home to Maryland.
They should also avoid people over 60, said Mike Ricci, Hogan’s spokesman, in a tweet.
"Even though students are off campus, this is NOT an extension of spring break. If you ignore this recommendation, you endanger yourself and the health of others,” Ricci tweeted.
In a press release Hogan also
issued this statement: “This morning, I convened a call with my Coronavirus Response Team and another call with Maryland’s entire federal delegation. This afternoon, I will speak to our full Cabinet to review our team’s all-hands-on-deck response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we hope Marylanders will take advantage of today’s warm weather, we urge you to avoid crowds at all costs. Avoid all playgrounds, pavilions, and anywhere that groups of more than 10 people may congregate. Please do not take this guidance lightly.
“We are asking all returning spring break travelers to self-quarantine for the next 14 days, and to avoid people over the age of 60. Even though students are not returning to campus, this should not in any way be treated as an extension of your spring break. If you ignore this recommendation, you are endangering yourself and the health of others.
“At the state level, we are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our citizens, but everyone has a critical role to play. If every single Marylander steps up and does their part by making sacrifices now, it will slow the spread of this virus and save lives.
“As I said yesterday, we are unfortunately only at the beginning of this crisis. We are all in this together, and we will only get through this if we work together.”
Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird issued a statement on social media saying the town was closing its playground in response to state guidance.
The Maryland Department of Transportation will also close all Motor Vehicle Administration offices starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Online services and self-service kiosks will still be available, according to an MDOT announcement.
Gov. Larry Hogan previously announced that the state will extend expiration dates of licenses until after he lifts the state of emergency.
Three COVID-19 cases in minors
There are now three cases of COVID-19 in people under the age of 18 in Maryland.
One of the cases is a five-year-old Elkridge Elementary School student.
Cases in Maryland jumped from 107 to 149 in 24 hours, an approximately 39 percent increase.
Montgomery and Prince George’s counties continue to have the majority of cases in the state.
Majority of the cases are in people between 18 and 64, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s daily update.
Flying Dog to offer kegs for curbside pickup
Starting Friday Flying Dog Brewery will begin making kegs available to the public. Keg orders will include limited edition tap handles with custom ‘Isolation Ale’ stickers as well as Flying Dog branded pint glasses.
“Flying Dog prides itself on the quality of our beer,” said James Maravetz, VP of Marketing at Flying Dog. “With bars and restaurants currently limited in their on-premise services, we wanted to give these kegs a good home while they are at their freshest.”
Frederick County Health Department makes changes to operations
The Frederick County Health Department is no longer accepting walk-ins.
“This action allows us to promote social distancing measures and to redirect our public health workforce to focus on COVID-19 response,” said Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, Frederick county’s health officer.
The following services will operate by calls only, with no walk-ins, according to the news release:
- Behavioral Health: Syringe Services Program (reduced schedule), narcan training, treatment services, AERS
- Community Health Services: communicable disease investigation and surveillance, rabies, tuberculosis, HIV case management, preventive health, Safe Kids, Special Delivery, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutritional Program
- Environmental Health Services: essential food service inspections, food service complaint investigations, emergency septic system repairs, rabies investigations, building permit review, limited burn permits for prior permit holders, inspection of permitted sewage disposal systems, emergency well permits, plan review, water sample and water supply evaluations
- Developmental Center: dental clinic, audiology and Infants & Toddlers
- Public Health Preparedness
- Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program
The following services will operate by appointment only, with no walk-ins:
- Medicaid enrollment: Call 301-600-3124 to make a Medicaid enrollment appointment.
- Qualified Health Plans: The Coronavirus Emergency special enrollment period will begin Monday, March 16, and end Wednesday, April 15. Coverage will begin April 1, 2020, regardless of when a qualified health plan (WHP) is selected during that time period.
- Mental Health appointments for current patients.
All other services have been suspended or reduced for the time being, according to the release.
Third case in Carroll County
Carroll County announced its third case of COVID-19 on Thursday.
The case is a man in his 20s who is recovering at home, according to the Carroll County Times. The Carroll County Health Department does not know the origin of his disease.
This makes 109 cases in Maryland, as of 3 p.m. Thursday.
Wicomico County gets its first case
Wicomico County on the eastern shore announced its first case of COVID-19.
The case is a man in his 30s with recent travel history, said Lori Brewster, the county’s health officer.
“I cannot encourage you enough to maintain social distancing and practice proper hand washing and other common precautions, such as cleaning and disinfecting touch surfaces,” Brewster said.
Cases of COVID-19 were also reported in nearby jurisdictions in Delaware and Virginia, said Wayne Strausburg, the Wicomico County director of administration.
“The virus has now arrived on Delmarva, and we anticipate the spread of the virus will grow now that it’s here,” he said.
First positive case involving child
For the first time in Maryland, a child has tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday morning.
According to Hogan, a five-year-old girl in Howard County has tested positive for the virus.
Hogan also announced the state now has 107 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus — an 88 percent increase in the last 48 hours, he said.
Also, all enclosed malls and entertainment venues in Maryland are closing at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Hogan also announced that transit services throughout the state should be for essential use only.
“This fight against this global pandemic is a race against time,” he said.
This story will be updated.
Area outlet malls closing
Simon Property Group is closing all of its premium outlets and malls, according to a press release from the company.
This includes nearby Arundel Mills, in Anne Arundel County, Clarksburg Premium Outlets in Montgomery County and Hagerstown Premium Outlets in Washington County.
The closures start at 7 p.m. Wednesday and will go until March 29.
Additional case in Baltimore
Baltimore city now has an additional case, according to Talia Richman of The Baltimore Sun, bringing the total number of cases in the city to five.
The five cases are three people in their 20s, one person in their 60s and one person in their 70s.
The additional Baltimore case brings the state total to 87.
Nearly 50 percent increase in cases in Maryland
In 24 hours, cases in Maryland rose by approximately 46 percent.
The Maryland Department of Health reports the number of new cases each day at 10 a.m. Between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday, cases jumped from 59 to 86, including a couple cases that the health department missed in their counts.
The 86th case is a second Carroll County case reported by the Carroll County Times Tuesday morning.
The majority of cases continue to be Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, with 51 cases between the two counties.
Cases in Howard, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties continued to increase.
Majority of the cases, 60, are between ages 18-64, with 25 cases in people 65 and older, according to the Maryland Department of Health.
The health department does not report the number of tests or negative cases due to private laboratories conducting testing. They also do not provide case statuses.
Mount St. Mary's Seminary member tested for COVID-19
Mount St. Mary's University announced a member of its seminary tested was being tested for COVID-19, but had not determined results of the test yet.
"The individual learned this morning that he had been in contact with someone outside Maryland who tested positive for the virus," the university said in a note to the community. "Given that he has mild symptoms, he was sent for testing this afternoon and is now in quarantine away from main campus."
The Mount said it should have the results of the test in the next day or two. The Mount identified seminary members the individual being tested had come in contact with in the event that his test is positive.
Maryland's primary election postponed
Maryland's primary election is postponed until June 2, the governor announced as part of more sweeping actions to reduce the effect of COVID-19.
Gov. Larry Hogan said he directed the state board of elections to develop a comprehensive plan by April 3 to conduct the primary election in a way that protects public health and preserves democratic process of our state.
The state will be moving forward with a vote-by-mail system to fill the 7th-district seat in Congress, vacated by the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings.
"Free and fair elections are the very foundation of American democracy,” Hogan said.
Following the announcement that the Kentucky Derby would be postponed, Hogan also said he is in discussions to move the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, to some time in September.
All vehicle emissions testing facilities will cease operations and be repurposed as drive-thru coronavirus testing facilities, Hogan said.
The state will also reduce MARC service by 50 percent, and the state will move to cashless tolling only to reduce person-to-person exposure.
Carroll County reports second case
A second person in Carroll County tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.
The person is related to the first Carroll case, according to the Carroll County Times.
This makes 60 cases in Maryland, up from 42 on Monday., or about a 43 percent increase.
State reports 20 new cases of COVID-19
Cases in Maryland increased by 20 between Monday and Tuesday, the largest single-day increase the state has seen.
The Maryland Department of Health reported Tuesday morning that there are now 57 cases in the state. The numbers do not include a fourth positive case in Howard County or a second confirmed case in Baltimore city, both announced Monday.
The numbers are expected to exponentially increase as more testing becomes available, Gov. Larry Hogan has repeatedly said during his press conferences.
Montgomery County has the most cases with 24, although three of those people have since recovered from COVID-19. Prince George’s County now has 14.
There are six cases in Baltimore County, four in Howard County, three in Anne Arundel, two in Baltimore, two in Harford County, and one each in Frederick, Talbot, Charles and Carroll counties.
Of the 57 cases the state health department reported, 20 are from people over the age of 65. The other 37 are between 19 and 64.
The Maryland Department of Health does not give out conditions or details of the cases, instead referring people to the county health departments. The state numbers are updated once a day at 10 a.m.
Brunswick ordering non-essential staff to tele-work
Brunswick Mayor Jeff Snoots ordered all City of Brunswick non-essential staff to telework.
Essential personnel will still maintain the police, public works, water, and waste water departments, although those departments still remain closed to walk-in visitors.
City Hall and the City Annex buildings will no longer be staffed onsite.
Calls for service to the Brunswick Police Department should still be directed to 911 or the non-emergency dispatch number, 301-600-2071.
All other calls can be directed to City Hall at 301-834-7500. Callers will be asked to leave a voice mail, which will be retrieved by staff throughout the day.
Second case announce in Baltimore
Baltimore announced its second confirmed case of COVID-19.
McCutcheon's shutting off public access to facility
To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the safety, McCutcheon's Apple Products will not be allowing the general public into its facility for the next two weeks.
This includes store browsing at the retail store. In an effort to still serve their customers, McCutcheon's said it will be taking orders for products from the factory store for curb-side pickup or shipping. To order, please call 301-662-3261 or place your order online at www.mccutcheons.com.
"Our staff will pull your products from the shelves and have it ready for you when you arrive. Payment will be processed over the phone or online as in-store payments will not be accepted," the announcement said.
Taco Daddy announces free meals
Taco Daddy in Frederick announces it will be giving out free meals at 4 p.m. to avoid waste before closing due to COVID-19 response.
The restaurant will supply one meal per person and will be donating the rest of its food to the local homeless shelter.
More Howard County cases confirmed
Howard County announced three more positive cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in Maryland to 41.
The three cases are a man in his 40s, who is on dialysis and hospitalized, a woman in her 70s who is self-isolating at home and a man in his 50s, who has underlying health conditions, who is self-isolating. The Howard County Health Department is investigating how each of the cases are acquired.
Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura J. Rossman encouraged Howard County residents to stay home if sick and to practice social distancing.
“We will continue to see new cases of the coronavirus in Howard County, but as a community, we can limit the spread of the coronavirus by continuing social distancing practices like staying home as much as possible, and continuing to practice healthy habits,” Rossman said in a press release.
COVID-19 causes Conservative Club to suspend petition campaign
The Frederick County Conservative Club is suspending its campaign to collect petition signatures for voters to decide whether to return to the county commissioner form of government this fall, amid coronavirus concerns.
Fred Propheter, president of the club, said in a statement he didn't want to put volunteers at risk.
"With dozens of volunteers needing to gather the required 10,000+ signatures, the reward pales [in comparison] when compared to the risk," Propheter said.
The conservative club was leading an effort to place a ballot question asking county residents whether to return to a commissioner form of government. In that form of government, a board of commissioners serves as both the legislative branch and the administrative body, helping run day-to-day operations.
In a charter form of government—which Frederick County currently operates under—a county executive runs the day-to-day operations of government and a county council serves as the legislative branch.
"We pray this public health emergency passes quickly and with minimal health and economic impact ... We thank our volunteers and the public at large for their support," Propheter said in a statement.
County Council still meeting Tuesday
Tuesday's Frederick County Council meeting is still scheduled, except for public hearings, despite coronavirus developments.
County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) said she and her colleagues need to vote on budget-related agenda items, along with a bill that would raise the recordation tax rate and allocate additional revenue to agricultural preservation.
After Tuesday, meetings are postponed for the rest of the month, Keegan-Ayer said.
"I will come back and make a decision as to whether to move forward with our future meetings in consultation with our legal department, the Council Vice President [Michael Blue] and Chief of Staff [Ragen Cherney], and I will make that announcement at a future date," she said.
FCPS cancels elementary science and social studies fairs
The countywide elementary science and social studies fairs scheduled for March 28, 2020 are canceled, according to an FCPS Find Out First notice. The fairs will not be rescheduled.
The countywide secondary Science and Engineering Fair is moving to an online format.
Students in grades 6-12 who have registered to participate will receive information via email early this week concerning how to participate in the online format.
Frederick Health shutting down gyms
Based on Governor Hogan’s recent directive to close all gyms, Frederick Health is closing:
- ProMotion Fitness at Frederick Health Crestwood
- Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab gym at Frederick Health Hospital
These sites will be closed until further notice.
Hogan announces closures of bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms
Gov. Larry Hogan announced “unprecedented actions” Monday morning in order to address the number of rising COVID-19 cases.
Hogan prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people. At 5 p.m. today, all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms will close. Drive thru, carry-out and delivery food options will still be available.
Essential services, like pharmacies and gas stations, will remain open. Utility providers cannot charge late fees or shut off services. Landlords cannot evict people while the state is under the state of emergency.
Hogan also authorized the Maryland Department of Health to start an assessment of all closed hospital facilities to see what ones can be open so that the state can increase its hospital bed capacity.
Hogan will take whatever measures necessary to protect Maryland lives, he said.
Frederick County sees first COVID-19 case
A person in Frederick County tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.
The person is a woman in her 30s, health officer for the county Dr. Barbara Brookmyer said during a briefing Monday morning. She personally did not travel to an area with ongoing community spread, but had contact with individuals who had, Brookmyer said. She did not require hospitalization and is recovering at home.
This makes 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland since March 5, when Hogan announced the state’s first case of the disease.
Maryland cases jump to 37
There are now 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Maryland Department of Health.
The majority of cases are in Montgomery, 15, and Prince George’s County, 10. Of the 15 Montgomery cases, three people, the first cases reported in the state, have recovered.
Baltimore County has four cases, Harford has two, Baltimore has one and Anne Arundel, Carrol, Charles, Howard and Talbot have one case each.
The Maryland Department of Health will not give out details on these cases, saying that information must come from the local health departments in each jurisdiction. The state health department also will not give out the numbers of people being tested or negative for the disease since the private laboratories are also running tests.
City of Frederick postpones all meetings
All public meetings for the rest of the month are postponed, according to a press release from the city of Frederick.
"The Mayor and Board of Aldermen are firmly committed to the health and safety of the City’s residents and employees during this State of Emergency," the release said, adding the decision came in light of the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Myersville announces plans for COVID-19
As part of the due diligence in responding to recent events concerning the coronavirus, the Town of Myersville is providing this notice of actions the Town is implementing over the next two weeks related to the continuity of local government and service operations.
Administration – Town Hall will remain open for business during the regular scheduled business hours of 8AM to 4PM. There may be limited staff available during this period and possible delays in non-critical service need response. Citizens are encouraged to conduct all business via phone and email during this period
Boards and Commissions - Any changes to Town Boards and Commissions meetings will be posted on the Town website and at Town Hall.
Municipal Center – Town Hall will remain open and available for use by scheduled user groups, However, the Town would encourage each group to consider postponement of any non essential meetings and activities until further notice.
Myersville Volunteer Fire Company – For events scheduled at the Myersville Municipal Center through the Myersville Volunteer Fire Company, please contact them directly.
Billing - There may be some delay in the April quarterly water and sewer billing. The Town would encourage citizens to use the town hall drop box or make payments over the phone.
Parks – At this time, town parks will remain open for public use. Organized activities must comply with County and State directives. Any changes in park availability will be posted on the town website and at Town Hall. Water fountains will be shut off until further notice.
Water & Sewer Service – The Myersville water and sewer plants are managed by Maryland Environmental Services through direct contract with the Town. The Town manages the distribution lines and coordinates closely with our provider for the Town plants. There is no disruption anticipated in service delivery and systems management during this period.
Trash & Recycling – Trash service is provided via contract by J&J Inc Trash Service. There is no disruption anticipated in service delivery. The recycling program is managed by Frederick County government and the Town would defer to the County this service.
Resident Deputy – The Town contracts with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office for a community deputy. The deputy will maintain regularly scheduled hours and operations during this period.
The Town will continue to provide public updates on any changes in our operations as they occur. Please feel free to contact the Town at your convenience with any questions or concerns you may have.
Details about the first COVID-19 case in Howard County released
The first COVID-19 case in Howard County, announced Sunday afternoon, was a resident at Lorien Elkridge, a nursing home facility in the county.
In a news release, the Maryland Department of Health stated that Lorien Elkridge is informing all residents, staff members and family about the case.
Officials will carry out evaluations and testing for residents and staff as needed.
The department has given “infection control guidance and equipment” to the facility and there are inspectors there to make sure that guidance is followed, according to the release.
People who have recently visited Lorien Elkridge should monitor themselves for symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and coughing.
On Twitter, communications directors for Gov. Larry Hogan Mike Ricci said that the facility “has been great to work with, open and responsive with their communications.”
First case in Talbot County confirmed
The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Talbot County, bringing the state total up to 33, including the case from Howard County.
The patient became hospitalized after coming into contact with someone from another county who had COVID-19, according to Talbot County Council president Corey Pack and Dr. Frieda Wadley, Talbot County health officer.
Talbot County offices will be closed starting March 17. However, all healthy staff is “expected to report as scheduled.”
Pack said he will declare a state of emergency on Monday.
After first COVID-19 case, Howard County shuts down mall, movie theater
The first case of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new coronavirus, has been confirmed in Howard County.
The patient is a woman in her 80s who has an underlying health condition and is in the hospital, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said in a press conference on Sunday.
Ball also announced a state of emergency for Howard County, which will go into effect at midnight.
Ball said he told the mall in Columbia to close for at least seven days. Shops at Savage Mill and movie theaters, Regal Snowden Square and AMC Columbia, have also been instructed to close.
“We need to remain vigilant but calm,” Ball said. “It is critical that our entire community, including people of all ages, even if you think that you’re healthy, stay home as much as possible.”
He said closures of schools, recreation centers and libraries are done in vain if people don’t take the situation seriously.
— Hannah Himes
General Assembly to adjourn Wednesday
For the first time since the Civil War, the Maryland General Assembly is adjourning early out of concern about the coronavirus.
The General Assembly will adjourn Wednesday March 18, with plans to hold a special session at the end of May to pass any further legislation.
A joint committee is also being created to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in the state and advise the General Assembly.
— Hannah Himes
Racetracks, casinos, other betting facilities shut down
Gov. Larry Hogan announced an emergency order to close all state racetracks, casinos and simulcast betting facilities to the public.
Additionally, Hogan tweeted that “anyone who hosts or is part of the crowds in bars this weekend is jeopardizing the health of others.”
He added that those people should avoid contact with family or friends over the age of 60 or people with underlying health conditions.
Hogan also emphasized the ban on gatherings of more than 250 people and noted that not following that order is a crime.
— Hannah Himes
Number of cases increases by 5
On Sunday, five new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Maryland, bringing the total to 31.
County locations are as follows, according to the Maryland Department of Health website:
- Anne Arundel (2)
- Baltimore City (1)
- Baltimore County (3)
- Carroll (1)
- Charles (1)
- Harford (2)
- Prince George's (9)
- Montgomery (12)
Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Sunday morning: “I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution to address the public health emergency and keep our residents safe."
Hogan also noted that the Maryland Health Department resource page has been updated and now has a map that shows what counties have cases and how many. The website can be found here: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov
Maryland cases jumps to 26
Maryland now has 26 cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new coronavirus.
That is about a 45 percent increase from Friday’s 18 cases. Information on the county locations was not immediately known.
In Maryland, there have been no deaths or cases among children, Micke Ricci, communication director for Gov. Larry Hogan, said via Twitter Saturday morning.
Of the 26 reported cases, the first three people, all Montgomery county residents, have recovered, according to Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood. None of the cases are in Frederick Count, said Rissah Watkins of the Frederick County Health Department.
— Heather Mongilio
Sheriff's office suspends fingerprinting services, in-person visitation at detention center
In addition to suspending all in-person visitation at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, fingerprinting services will also be suspended at the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center, according to a sheriff's office release issued Friday afternoon.
Visitation to the work release center was also temporarily suspended and all programs that involve volunteers entering the detention center were cancelled until further notice, according to the release.
County shuts down libraries
Frederick County’s libraries will close for nearly two weeks in response to the growing concern over the new coronavirus.
County Executive Jan Gardner announced the closing of all public libraries, which will be from Monday through March 27, as part of a list of actions taken Friday by the county.
Most Frederick County offices and facilities will remain open, according to a news release, but changes were made. All county buildings will be open and staffed with limited public access. Meetings will take place by phone or conference call to the extent possible.
Other temporary changes announced Friday were:
- Parks and recreation programs are canceled immediately at school sites, and as of March 16, at nature centers, the Ballenger Creek Community Center and the Browning Building at Pinecliff Park. County parks remain open to the public.
- Board and commission meetings are canceled at least through March 27.
- The Department of Permitting and the Treasurer’s Office remains open for the purchase of TransIT fares and to pay taxes and water and sewer bills. Residents are encouraged to use a drive-thru payment window.
- Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living have restricted visitor access.
- Animal Control’s hours will change to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Animal adoption floors will be closed to the public and adoptions will be temporarily suspended. Volunteers should contact Animal Control for more information.
- The Adult Detention Center has restricted visitor access.
- The Frederick County landfill will remain open, although no walk-ins will be accepted for recycling or compost bins.
- The Citizens Services Division is meeting clients by appointment only.
- The Family Partnership and the Scott Key Center will be closed for two weeks.
- TransIT Services will continue to provide all services and routes.
- Telework will be allowed for county employees who are able to do so.
- County employee travel is prohibited.
The county executive’s budget public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 23, will take place on Facebook Live, with viewers encouraged to provide feedback online or via email to CountyExecutive@FrederickCountyMD.gov.
The city of Frederick announces sweeping changes due to COVID-19
Effective immediately, until the end of the City State of Emergency, the following operational adjustments will be in effect:
- The William R. Talley Recreation Center and all satellite facilities will be closed. All classes and programs are suspended. Parks and city-owned fields will remain open to the community; however, all gatherings in these areas should follow the Governor’s recent Executive Order on mass gatherings.
- The Weinberg Center for the Arts will be closed. Please contact the Weinberg Center at 301-600-2828 for information on event rescheduling.
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, until the end of the City State of Emergency declaration, the following operational adjustments will be in effect:
- Law enforcement operations will continue in full force and effect and emergency planning protocols are in place should the situation change.
- Public access to City facilities will be restricted and by appointment only. Residents should call the appropriate City staff member to arrange appointments. Please note that reduced staffing levels of some offices will likely occur as the City is committed to the safety and health of City employees. View City Staff Directory.
- Mayor & Board of Aldermen workshops and public hearings will be occurring as scheduled. In-person public comment will not be available due to reduced public access to facilities. Details will be provided shortly on how residents can provide their comment. Representatives needed for necessary testimonies on agenda items will be permitted to attend public meetings in person.
- Quasi-judicial public meetings and workshops (which include Zoning Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation Commission, and Planning Commission) will be occurring as scheduled. In-person public comment and representatives needed for necessary testimonies on agenda items will be permitted to attend public meetings in person.
- All other City Board and Commission meetings will be canceled during the City State of the Emergency. Comprehensive Plan Special Workshops during this period will be postponed.
- The Frederick Community Action Agency will continue to operate the health center, foodbank, and soup kitchen. More information on daily operations is available on the FCAA Website.
- Due dates for City bills, permits, licensures and citations will be extended to thirty days after the City State of the Emergency ends.
- City NAC meetings are suspended until the end of the City State of Emergency.
County Council makes changes to meeting schedule
The Frederick County Council, amid concerns of the coronavirus outbreak, has canceled most of its meeting activity for the rest of the month.
Council members were scheduled to have two public hearings for rezoning cases next Tuesday, but those have been postponed until April 14 at 7 p.m. at Winchester Hall in Frederick.
The council was also supposed to review the 287(g) audit report on March 24, but that meeting, along with the one scheduled for March 31, has also been postponed, according to a county news release. No new dates have been set.
The 287(g) audit is a review of any, if at all, county funds are used for the program, which allows allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train sheriff’s deputies to ask about the immigration status of anyone booked into the county’s adult detention center, and begin deportation proceedings if necessary.
“The safety of the residents of Frederick County is of the utmost importance at this time,” County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) said in a prepared statement about the meetings being postponed. “We will re-schedule these items when this virus is better contained, the danger to the general public is significantly reduced and gathering in large crowds is once again permitted.”
She added residents should keep updated on any coronavirus updates via the Frederick County Health Department’s website (https://health.frederickcountymd.gov/).
— Steve Bohnel
First case of COVID-19 found in Carroll County
The coronavirus known as COVID-19 has been found in Carroll County, according to a story from the Carroll County Times.
The county's communications manager confirmed the case around 1:45 Friday to the Carroll County Times. Further details will be provided in a 3 p.m. news conference, the story said.
The number of confirmed cases provided earlier Friday was 17, but that number did not include the Carroll County case, the Times reported.
Number of Maryland COVID-19 cases increases by five
The number of Maryland COVID-19 cases is now at 17.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced in a tweet that as of noon Friday, the number of positive cases in Maryland increased by five. No information was immediately available about the five new cases.
This is the largest increase of cases in the state so far. During previous press conferences, Hogan said there would be a dramatic increase in the numbers as more people are tested for the disease.
Of the 17 cases, three people have already recovered and are out of the quarantine period.
— Heather Mongilio
A timeline of all the positive coronavirus cases in Maryland
March 5: Gov. Larry Hogan announces the first three positive cases of COVID-19 in Maryland: a couple in their 70s and a woman in her 50s. All residents live in Montgomery County and contracted the coronavirus after a cruise on the Nile.
March 8: Hogan announces two more cases of COVID-19 in the state. A Harford women in her 80s was hospitalized after contracting the disease while traveling. A Montgomery man in his 60s was briefly hospitalized but released after contracting the coronavirus while traveling. At this time 52 other Maryland residents tested negative for COVID-19.
March 9: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announces that a Prince George’s resident also contracted the disease while in Boston, giving Maryland its sixth case.
March 10: Hogan announces Maryland’s ninth case, a Montgomery County woman in her 60s who contracted the virus on the same Nile River cruise as other Maryland residents. Two more Prince George’s County residents also contracted the disease through travel.
March 11: A Montana resident tested positive while visiting Anne Arundel County. Despite testing positive in Maryland, the case is classified as a Montana case, giving Montana’s its first case.
March 13: Five more cases are reported in Maryland, which brings the total 17.
* A Prince George’s man in his 60s is currently hospitalized with COVID-19. He is the first case of community spread in Maryland, meaning the origin of his disease is unknown.
United Way halts free income tax program
Those looking for financial assistance in their tax preparation will have to wait, as the United Way of Frederick County shut down all free income tax preparations until March 31.
If residents have an appointment scheduled between now and March 31st, they are asked to call 866-411-6803 to reschedule.
Service workers fear for jobs as coronavirus spreads
As cases of the respiratory disease grow throughout the country, daily life is being upended for people from every walk of life. But low-paid service employees are especially worried. Their jobs may not provide benefits needed to cope with the outbreak and their interactions with the public put them at risk.
“The coronavirus is quickly showing the cracks in our social insurance programs and labor protections,” said Melissa Boteach, vice president for income security and child care at the National Women’s Law Center.
The organization is among those calling on Congress to strengthen the federal unemployment insurance program and shorten the waiting period for benefits. Calls are also intensifying for emergency paid sick-time legislation.
Federal law in the United States doesn’t require employers to provide paid sick time. In the wake of the outbreak, some companies are putting new policies in place.
— Alison Knezevich and Meredith Cohn
The Baltimore Sun (TNS)
Frederick Keys delay season opener
The Frederick Keys delayed their season opener to an unspecified date, according to a release from the team.
The opener was originally scheduled for April 9.
Like many large cancelations, the Keys attributed the delay to an "abundance of caution."
"The health and safety of our fans, staff, players, and everyone who frequents the ballpark is of upmost priority and importance," the release said. "We will keep everyone updated with plans for our 2020 season once those decisions have been made. For the time being, fans are encouraged to hold on to their tickets."
Fairgrounds postpones all events until order is lifted
The Frederick Fairgrounds announced it is postponing all events until the governor's order to not hold events with more than 250 people is lifted.
For a listing of those events and updates please go to www.thegreatFrederickFair.com. We appreciate your cooperation and know that this is the best thing to do for public safety.
New Spire Arts cancels upcoming event
New Spire Arts announced the cancelation of "Manhattan on Patrick with Bebe Neuwirth," which was scheduled for March 21.
The event is likely to not be the only one canceled by the organization if a message on its website is any indication.
"We are committed to follow Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order from yesterday, March 12, 2020, limiting attendance at 'gatherings of more than 250 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues,'" the organization's website said. "As a result you will see some previously scheduled events are now cancelled. Instructions on how your ticket sales to these event(s) will be honored will arrive in your email inbox. If you have any questions, feel free to call the box office at 301-620-4458."
The organization also said it is taking measures to increase safety, including adding a few hand sanitizer throughout the building and tissues.
The group also temporarily implemented a flexible ticket exchange policy so that residents will not lose purchases at the box office but may use them for future shows.
Should conditions require the cancellations of any shows, those who have already purchased tickets will be notified by email.
Evangelical Lutheran Church and Damascus Road Community Church announce closures
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick announced on its website it is canceling all worship and onsite activities until Palm Sunday, which is April 5.
Damascus Road Community Church also announced it is canceling all on-site activities until further notice. They will offer an online service.
Evangelical Lutheran will also provide online worship, bible & book studies, and fellowship opportunities available in the next couple of days, according to its website.
The church issued a list of safe practices for the church:
- In order to keep each other safe, please be aware of each other’s comings and goings, particularly in the case of people living alone.
- When entering and leaving the church, do greet the pastor and one another with a smile and wave, but we will not be shaking hands at this time.
- At the sign of peace, bow, smile, wave, make a peace sign with your hands, say a word of peace to your neighbors, but we will not be shaking hands or bumping fists.
- At Holy Communion, we will use individual cups for the wine and grape juice at every worship service.
- If you are not feeling well, stay home; if you have cough and fever, or difficulty breathing, call your doctor."
Grace United Church also announced it was canceling its March 15 service.
In church events: Bush Creek Church of the Brethren’s fried oyster, turkey and country ham dinner originally scheduled for March 28 has been rescheduled for April 18.
UUCF moves to online service only Sunday
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick announced it will not hold an in-person service Sunday. Instead, the church will livestream its service at frederickuu.org/livestream. The sermon will be called "Connection, meaning and hope in the time of coronavirus."
The usual "middle hour" friendly forum and religious education classes are canceled along with the church's 1 p.m. board focus group.
The church's book sale is already set and will continue since there are usually less than 25 people at any given time.
State officials warn of charity scams related to COVID-19
After the Federal Trade Commission reported scammers are taking advantage of fears around the coronavirus, state officials issued a release for residents to be wary.
Maryland’s Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh are cautioning Marylanders to be vigilant and to donate wisely, the release said.
“During uncertain times, con artists prey on your generosity and create scams, frauds or deceptive acts to line their own pockets,” said Wobensmith. “Be sure you know who you are giving to, and remember it is always best to give directly to well-established, reputable charitable organizations.”
Said Frosh: “Fraudsters will take advantage of nearly any opportunity to steal other people’s money,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Consumers can avoid being cheated by understanding how thieves are trying to steal their personal information and money. It is always wise to research the charity first before donating, and avoid any charity or fundraiser that is reluctant to give information on how donations are used.”
For more tips on how to give wisely, Marylanders can visit the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division publication Consumer's Edge Charitable Giving Tips.
The Office of the Secretary of State maintains a public registry of charitable organizations authorized to solicit in Maryland. For more information and to search the registry, please visit the Secretary of State’s charities database.
If you think that you have been a victim of a deceptive or illegal charitable solicitation, contact the Charities and Legal Services Division of the Secretary of State’s Office: 410-974-5521 or 1-800-825-4510.
Children's center to close for nearly two weeks
The Children’s Center of Walkersville will be closed March 16-27 in response to concerns of the coronavirus. The center offers pre-school, child care and before and after school care programs for children ages 2-12.
News-Post History Bee postponed
The Frederick News-Post History Bee has been postponed in response to ongoing concerns over COVID-19, according to a company email.
The event, originally scheduled for March 26, will take place at a currently unidentified date. The event was scheduled to take place at Mount St. Mary's University, which announced it would move to online instruction after Spring Break, and included students in Frederick county Public Schools, which will be closed from March 16 to March 27.
Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) took action announcing the boys and girls state basketball championships this week are postponed until further notice in response to the new coronavirus. The postponement includes the games scheduled for the Frederick High School girls, Middletown High School girls and Oakdale High School boys teams.
Here's a list of other events in the coming dates that have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19.
All public schools in Maryland will be closed March 16 to 27.
• The 3rd Annual Thurmont GreenFest slated for Saturday, March 14 at the Thurmont Regional Library has been postponed until further notice.
• The Spring EGG-Stravaganza Craft Show and Vendor Fair slated for Saturday, March 14 at the Thurmont Event Complex has been postponed until further notice.
• The Amish Outlaws show slated for Saturday, March 21 at the Thurmont Event Complex has been postponed until further notice.
• As a result of the school closings taking affect next week, the "Mad Stacks Pancake Breakfast" fundraiser originally scheduled for March 21st at Brunswick Middle School at Glory Days Grill will be rescheduled. At this time, a new date has not been selected, but we will let families know once one has been confirmed.
• The Reverse Job Fair planned for March 24 has been postponed. The event planned by Community Living, Inc. and several other agencies benefiting individuals with disabilities will flip the script on the traditional job fair and allow individuals to market themselves to potential employers with visual resumes and elevator pitches.
Randy Kiser, senior business development manager at Community Living said that the event will either be planned for April or early May. A new date should be decided within the next week or so.
• St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Frederick, has canceled its Lenten fish fry Fridays, March 13 to April 3.
• The Republican Club of Frederick County has canceled its meeting for March 12.
• The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) Boys and Girls State Basketball Championships that were scheduled to be played March 12 to 14 are postponed until further notice. This includes the games scheduled for the Frederick High School girls, Middletown High School girls and Oakdale High School boys teams.
• The Frederick County Senior Services Division has temporarily closed all senior centers to the public. The Frederick County senior centers are in Brunswick, Emmitsburg, Frederick and Urbana. All activities, programs and events are canceled until further notice. The Meals on Wheels program will continue to deliver two meals a day to home-bound adults, Monday through Friday, who meet eligibility guidelines. For more information, call 301-600-1234.
• Town Hall in Mount Airy will be closed for all public meetings in March and April unless otherwise noted. This includes volunteer committee meetings. Town Council and Planning Commission meetings are under consideration. Also, several events may be canceled or rescheduled. Visit www.mountairymd.gov for updates.
• The Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department has canceled all events scheduled in the fire department social hall for a minimum of 30 days beginning March 14 until at least April 14. Canceled events include bingo on March 21, Lions Club breakfast on March 22, Safe and Sane bingo on March 27 and the Linganore Grange bingo on April 4.
• The Mount Airy Senior Center will be closed until further notice. Mac "The Caboose" will also be closed. www.mountairymd.gov.
• Maryland Department of National Resources has announced that the Cunningham Falls Maple Syrup Festival scheduled for two weekends, March 14-15 and March 21-22, has been canceled
• The lecture on ETPB, hosted by NAMI and scheduled for March 18 has been canceled.
• AARP #636 has canceled its luncheon meeting on March 19 at Dutch's Daughter. Further information about other meetings will be posted as necessary. Money sent in for the March meeting will be applied to the next luncheon.
• The Libertytown Unionville Lions benefit breakfast scheduled for March 22 has been canceled.
• The lecture by Doug Tallamy scheduled for March 22 at Hood College has been postponed.
• The turkey and oyster dinners scheduled for March 27 and 28 at Graceham Moravian Church are canceled.
• Maryland Ensemble Theatre's annual fundraiser Retro Prom has been rescheduled from March 28 to Aug. 22. For updates and changes to other MET events, visit www.marylandensemble.org.
• Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department's fundraising dinner scheduled for April 4 has been canceled. The LDVFD will evaluate the Mother's Day breakfast on May 10 as the date nears.
• The Mount Airy Lions Club is canceling two events — the Easter egg hunt scheduled for April 5 and the city-wide yard sale that was scheduled for April 25.
• The I Steadies 35th Anniversary Reunion Party originally planned for April 25, has been rescheduled to Oct. 17. For details, visit the I Steadies page on Facebook.
• All events at Hood College are canceled until further notice.
• Flying Dog Brewery has closed its tasting room and canceled all of its events until further notice. The brewery will continue other operations as normal.