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 Maryland public school buildings will remain closed for another four weeks, through at least April 24.

The decision was announced by Maryland Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon at a press conference Wednesday with Gov. Larry Hogan.

Salmon said the decision was made after speaking with health experts.

All Maryland public schools are expected to begin online instruction on Monday, March 30. Salmon said she is working with all Maryland school jurisdictions to make sure they are prepared for continuity of learning.

Frederick County Public Schools began training teachers this week to provide online instruction to students in case the school closure was extended.

Frederick County Superintendent Terry Alban told The News-Post when the closure began that the county had been preparing for online instruction even before the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not like all of a sudden in the last three weeks we said, ‘Oh, we got to start developing things.’ We have things developed. ... We just have not been able to train all 3,000 teachers,” Alban said. “I still think Frederick County is leading the state in being ready to actually deliver true course material in an online vehicle.”

Salmon said one of her biggest priorities moving forward over the next four weeks is to make sure there is a level of equity across the state.

"What are the standards we really expect to have to be the baseline that everybody gets and then if other districts are able, because they can do more for remote, distance learning, they can add onto that," Salmon said. "But we want to make sure every student has the basics going forward these next four weeks."

When asked whether these days of closure will be counted as full school days, Salmon said that right now, she and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) are focused on getting instruction going.

"We're going to look at all kinds of creative solutions going forward. We may look at an extended year," Salmon said. "We're trying to get geared up to do the continuity of learning piece first, and then we'll have some time once we get that down and get to understand how effective that is. Then we can start planning for other kinds of things that we need to, going forward."

Salmon also spoke about child care, an issue that many parents and families are grappling with while schools are closed.

At this time, child care and day care centers may remain open. MSDE has also identified space for more than 1,200 children across the state who may need child care if their parents are considered essential employees.

These spaces include local YMCAs, public libraries and the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Salmon said they are hoping to increase that capacity in the coming days.

Parents who are essential workers in the health care or emergency response industries and who are dealing directly with the coronavirus pandemic may register for child care through the state's new free referral hotline called LOCATE by dialing 877-261-0060.

Salmon said that it is too early to say when schools will reopen, but that she and MSDE will monitor and assess the situation daily.

Hogan agreed.

"We're not going to send back kids to schools if things get worse. ... I think the decision right now is spend these four weeks trying to figure it out," he said. "We really don’t know how bad it’s going to get and how long it’s going to last. ... What we do know is, it’s not going to be over in a matter of days or weeks."

The state has more than 400 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning, eight of them in Frederick County.

On Monday, the governor announced actions to close all non-essential businesses until further notice, and said the state would take more aggressive action to enact social distancing.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

(28) comments


Schools were suppose to contact families by Friday, right? Have not heard a peep from either school my children attend. Email says supplies are limited BUT you all have been preparing for 5, okay let’s go with that

Comment deleted.
The Grape of Wrath

Do we need private schools?

The Grape of Wrath

This goes beyond the Dotard's order to lift all restrictions by Easter. Did Hogan clear it with the Dotard?


... and why are we still allowing flights from Air China in the U.S.? CA981/CCA981 coming in right NOW from New York to Dulles. Where id it arrive from originally? hmmm


Trump’s travel restriction order on Feb 6, to and from China : Non-nationals or non-residents who have been in mainland China in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter. For those allowed entry that have been in mainland China in the past 14 days must arrive at one of the following airports: Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Dallas, (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Washington (IAD).

Since then China has contained the Coronavirus virus. Now sending help to countries in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. Now that Coronavirus is under control in Chinese they have opened up international flights into China but are placing a 14 day quarantine on all International passengers, once landing.

All travelers from the US into China most endure a 14 day quarantine.


Do you really think they are self quarantining themselves for 14 days?

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awteam2000 ... I keep track of both inbound and outbound international flights daily. it simply seems odd that international travel into the U.S. is still allowed since we've cut off our country from inside, yet we still allow foreigners to come in.


And you know they are foreigners for a fact or are they American's who have been trying to come home?


Yes, there is some travel but heavily restrict. See:


As I write this there’s a China cargo jet flying from Shanghai to New York City. What could possibly be in it?


If you know the flight, then you can look it up where it cam from, instead of asking.


Thanks to all of the First Responders and "essential personnel" that have to continue on every day in the face of this virus!


Mr. Hogan, you are doing a great job. Thanx, You should be President.


I am not a Republican, but anyone, Republican or Democrat would be better than Trump.

Comment deleted.

Obadiah Plainsmen - Many of those who get that $2T will be paying it back themselves. The money based on the individual, family or children is really an advancement on their tax refund this year. It's going to end up causing many people to owe.

Comment deleted.

While I think that public schools could be managed better by including online lectures, there are at least two issues that you seemed to have missed: 1) Many school topics cannot be taught online due to the need to access laboratory equipment or physical assets like musical instruments; and, 2) Remote is not cheaper because it requires much more technology so the decision to go online should not be seen as saving money.


Well shoot... I thought we were just gonna let all the old and vulnerable die so we could get back to work!


They would just come back and haunt you.

Alice Jones

We trust all those good people will be filling the pews on Easter Sunday/


Just the Republicans who follow Trump.


They are not all stupid, just 80%

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