Governors raise alarm as coronavirus taxes health systems (copy)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan gives an update on the coronavirus pandemic recently at the State House in Annapolis.

All "non-essential businesses" were ordered to close at 5 p.m. Monday, and several loan/grant opportunities were created for small businesses across the state, Gov. Larry Hogan and senior state officials announced Monday.

Businesses in the following sectors are among those that are allowed to remain open, according to legal guidance provided by the governor's office:

  • Commercial facilities, including lodging, laundromats and dry cleaners.
  • Communications, including journalists.
  • Critical manufacturing, including making medical equipment.
  • Emergency services.
  • Energy production/shipment.
  • Food/agriculture.
  • Government facilities.
  • Transportation.
  • Health care.
  • Water/wastewater systems.

Hogan announced $75 million in loans, and $50 million in grant funds through the state Department of Commerce, to help small businesses through the coronavirus crisis. 

Kelly Schulz, the state's secretary of commerce, announced more details about loan and grant opportunities. The state is offering emergency relief grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees. 

The state is also offering low-interest loans of up to $50,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees, Schulz said. Those loans are at a zero percent interest rate for 12 months, she added. 

"We know this is frightening. We know that people are not just worried about their health and the health of their loved ones," Schulz said at a news briefing Monday. "We know you are worrying about your jobs, and whether the stores will be open, and about taking care of your families. ... We're balancing the need to slow the spread of the virus with the need of businesses to continue operating."

Hogan also announced a COVID-19 layoff aversion fund, where $7 million will be available to small businesses statewide to retain employees during the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses can apply for up to $50,000 from this fund, Hogan said. 

Tiffany Robinson, Maryland's secretary of labor, said at Monday's news briefing that businesses that apply for money from this fund will receive a response within two business days.

"We know how important it is to provide immediate relief during this rapidly evolving state of emergency," Robinson said. 

Hogan said local law enforcement will have more of a role in the weeks ahead to enforce social distancing — maintaining 6 feet between people and minimizing crowds to contain spread of the coronavirus — in public spaces, including grocery and big-box stores.

A "shelter in place" order has not been announced, but Hogan said he and state officials have taken strong action to prevent large gatherings.

"It's all semantics, really. ... Some states have said, there's a shelter-in-place order, but we're going to leave all these businesses open, so we're going to tell you to stay in your house but you can still do all of these things," Hogan said. "We've said we want you to stay in your house, but we're going to close all these things so ... you're comparing apples to oranges. I think our actions are actually more aggressive than some states that have ordered shelter in place."

Hogan said local agencies may be more visible in the coming weeks when breaking up large gatherings.

"You may see police cars lighting up their sirens, and going on their loudspeakers and saying, 'Please disperse, you're endangering the public and you're violating state law,'" Hogan said. "If you have hundreds of people gathered in some place, they're going to try to break up the crowds." 

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(63) comments

Comment deleted.
awteam2000

The practice of social distancing dates back to ‘leper colonies’, centuries before Christ.

The term ‘social distancing’ came into vogue during the 11th century among monks as a means to Separate ‘the undesirables’ leprosy and other contagious diseases, diseases thought to be a hereditary, a curse, or a means of leprosy treatment. That continues to be a stigma till to today.

rbtdt5

Love how the apocalypse is bringing us all together. Time to get back to work, and back to hating each other.

hayduke2

I may disagree with you and argue but I do not hate you. I would also help those I disagree with if possible.

DickD

Don't forget our bet, Rb.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Dr. Fauci told WMAL on Tuesday that Trump has always heeded his recommendations.

“The president has listened to what I have said and to what the other people on the task force have said, when I have made recommendations he has taken them. He’s never countered or overridden me, the idea of just pitting one against the other is just not helpful,” Fauci said.

Fox News virtual town hall today:

“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter". Meaning he is HOPING the Country will be open. Not IT WILL BE open.

Concerning ending the 15 - day effort to curtail the public's activities, that we are approximately half way through :

We’ll assess at that time and we’ll give it some more time if we need a little more time, but we need to open this country up,” he added. “We have to go back to work, much sooner than later.

awteam2000

It’s surprising how often what Trump says has to be translated into what he means.

public-redux

It’s even more surprising that anyone takes him at his word.

hayduke2

Watched the president again today - it is simply painful to watch and sad that he can’t give a coherent message

public-redux

While I find listening to President Donald JOHN Trump painful, I love reading transcripts of his remarks. It is akin to watching a train wreck in slo-mo.

DickD

Anyone? I am sure at least one does. Look at OP, Jim Kline and Dave Slavely. .They believe in Trump, at least they say that they do.

awteam2000

I’m not sure what Trump says has any relevance. Businesses were closed or altered operation by the decisions made by private corporations and local governments not by the national government - not by Trump. What would he open that he closed? It’s a war and he’s missing in action.

threecents

Good that Trump has a couple of good people like Fauci that he listens to. Of course Fauci has to be especially nice to Trump, or he knows he will get dumped and Trump's foolishness won't be in check.

gabrielshorn2013

Three, I think Fauci's reputation would survive the hit, and he could go wherever he wanted to go. I'm sure he has no fear of DJT whatsoever.

DickD

I think you are right, Gabe, but at the same time he is overly polite correcting Trump's lies.

gabrielshorn2013

He is a highly educated, respectful man Dick. He can correct the President without being petulant.

DickD

I don't see how this will end in two weeks. That is just not rational, although I would love to be wrong and you right.

phydeaux994

Pot shops are deemed “essential” in States where they are legal....while the prisons are full of people serving long sentences for selling a few ounces of the stuff. 🤷‍♂️

public-redux

The prison guard union is powerful.

DickD

I just came back from Costco. Costco is letting people in just one door, wiping off the handles of all carts and not letting anyone get closer than 6' on entering.  All cash registers are being wiped down and they do not take hour receipt and mark it, like they normally do.Costco has special hours for anyone over 60.  On Tuesday and Thursday seniors only can get in from 8 to 10 a.m.

gabrielshorn2013

Yep, I was there on Sunday Dick. They're the only place where you can get larger sizes of goods, to minimize the need to go to the grocery store. All carts are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before a customer touches it. The cart is placed in the single-lane entry point, ready to be pushed forward. The meat counters were full, and most items were available. The cashier lines are demarcated with a 6-foot interval, and you have to wait to be called to the register, where someone will unload your cart, then load it again. Shoppers were doing a fair job of practicing social distancing too. The only downside was that you couldn't get any food to go, except a whole pizza. Wegman's was out of all meats except chicken, and you were limited to one of anything, even pasta.

phydeaux994

I went to Senior Hour, 6 a.m to 7 a.m. on Tuesday’s, at Walmart for the same reason you went to Costco gab, to get a months supply of non-perishables. They were handing out wipes at the door. It was nice, they were pretty well stocked, even Toilet Paper so I bought another 10 cases. Lots of bread, except the brand we like, and it was lightly populated. Lots of masks, and people were staying apart in the checkout lines. And I only had to wait 80 years for this!!

DickD

Masks? I need to get one.

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
Dwasserba

Abortion always involves 3 people, say I, former at-risk fetus. My birth was not widely attended or heralded in any way. Way within the limit. I know you write facetiously. It's no joke surviving circumstances stacked against you.

EmmersomBiggins

We have never had a situation like this before and we all need to work together to ensure we keep the spread of the virus to a minimum. Really makes me appreciate how great we had life only 3 weeks ago. Having some freedom taken away is a life changing experience for everyone involved and I hope this brings us together as a country. Senate needs to pass stimulus and send out checks- the highest amounts going to the lowest income earners- and we can weather the storm and avoid a depression. Stay positive and stay home!

Dwasserba

Spanish flu wzs like this. All these many years later, it is still a huge part of tales on tours in Savannah. You do get a sense of what happens when there is no cohesive source of information. Let's not go there.

joelp77440

Where are people seeing landscaping as essential? I keep looking at the different reports and see the Gun Shops and Pet Supply but I don't see landscaping. Just general construction.

DeltaOne

I got an email from my lawn service saying they are deemed essential and will continue to operate. I don't get it either...

KellyAlzan

It’s not rocket science. County and town and city code enforcement demands that grass be maintained.

gabrielshorn2013

Even in a crisis Kelly? I can't see how tall grass would be an emergency in our current situation.

hayduke2

Agree gab but landscaping doesn’t really concentrate folks.

KellyAlzan

I don't write the codes.

Obadiah Plainsmen

According to recent articles printed in this newspaper and the WaPO and Hogans own press release, The businesses that won't close under any condition's in Maryland are those that sell Toliet paper, booze and ammunition. Keep up the good work Governor Hoagan.

Alice Jones

Because everyone needs ammunition. They good with cornflakes? Or more with Rice Crispies?

threecents

He may be a good guy and a smart guy, but he is a Republican politician, so he follows the same masters they all follow.

gabrielshorn2013

Hardly three. Does it work the same way for Democrats? Governor Hogan has publicly disagreed with the RNC, and especially the President. Hogan is truly a moderate centrist Republican, who works for everyone regardless of party or socioeconomic status. This has been proven time and again.

gb4baseball

So, our church's office is closed but gun shops are exempt and open? In what world does that make sense? Aside from that, Governor Hogan is doing a great job of staying on top of this.

Alice Jones

Population control. unlike the buffoon at 1600, Hogan is showing real leadership.

LoneGoose

So is Trump, if the Democrats would stop obstructing.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Thank you for viewing and making Fox News the number 1 cable news channel.

threecents

OP, Do you have stock in FOX??

newspostreader

gb4baseball - They have to be careful what they close. We all know what gun shops are not necessarily essential, but can you imagine the chaos that would come from them closing? You have to weigh the consequences and it's just better off leaving them open. The same with liquor stores.

gb4baseball

Good point, newspostreader. We don't want these people to be any more fearful than they already are.

Kentucky Rain

I am a registered Democrat (Jimmy Carter Democrat), and usually vote a straight Democratic ticket. But, I am glad I voted for Hogan! He is a great governor!

Dwasserba

[thumbup]KR I am independent, not happy with Rs, and Hogan gets my vote.

gabrielshorn2013

Since he is term-limited, he cannot run again until waiting four years to do so. We have to find a way to keep him on-board and involved. Congress? Senate?

DickD

He might run for POTUS, Gabe.

gabrielshorn2013

That would be great Dick, but his opponents from out of state would use his previous bout with cancer against him as an electability issue.

Comment deleted.
steelersfan2005

They are only postponed, just like every other elective surgery in the us of a.

Tranquilthought

How in the hell are Landscaping companies essential?? That's cosmetic stuff and landscaping companies need to be shut down. I work for one and I also have an underlying condition. The majority of the cases are in Montgomery County and that's where I work. This is ludacris and ridiculous...

public-redux

I suspect the idea is that they can maintain social distancing. You work in the front and I’ll work in the backyard. And it can be a driver of economic activity.

fnpzwack

Yeah, except they typically ride together in work trucks from job to job. The virus is airborne. Employers are asking employees to do things they wouldn’t want to do themselves. Employees are faced with a choice between putting themselves at risk or losing their jobs. Hogan has cried fire in a crowded theater but has left it to the theater owners in another town to determine if fire extinguishers are essential.

Dwasserba

We only have our front yard done, rarely interact at all. A wave.

MrSniper

Lol. I heard about that too. I’m sure the pro Hogan crowd will do some type of mental gymnastics to rationalize how that can make any sense.

public-redux

So you can’t think of a single way that it could make sense?

steelersfan2005

do you and 9 others worth within 6 feet of each other, then if not, then you are ok. The order is more to keep people from gathering. Would you rather they shut you down and you be without a job?

KellyAlzan

Extremely important to control noxious vegetation

steelersfan2005

if we have a storm and tree's take out power lines and houses, who cleans those up?

gb4baseball

Utility maintenance services are exempt.

threecents

Before this started Potomac Edison hired a tree company to trim the trees near the power lines in my neighborhood. I think they are supposed to come in a couple of weeks. We shall see.

phydeaux994

I don’t think that your fellow workers are too sad about not losing their livelihoods. It seems reasonable to keep people working if possible, even if they aren’t essential.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!