In RWL’s continuing efforts to provide our clients, colleagues and the greater community with real-time information, we are providing here the COVID-19 A-to-Z Resource Guide and FAQs issued by Governor Hogan last evening. The Guide and FAQs can also be accessed at https://governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/.
Needless to say, the RWL COVID-19 Subgroup would be pleased to provide you with guidance, without any initial consultation fee, if we can be of help. As we have said before, we are part of the same community.
The Hogan Administration’s COVID-19 A-to-Z Resource Guide
- Apple Screening Tool. Apple has partnered with the CDC and HHS to develop a screening tool to help users understand their risk for contracting COVID-19. Users can take the questionnaire online or by downloading the app. If you are exhibiting respiratory symptoms or feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider.
- Bars and Restaurants. Governor Hogan has issued an amended executive order to close all bars and restaurants in the state, as well as fitness centers, spas, and theaters, effective at 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 16. The order allows for restaurants to continue carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery services. On March 19, Governor Hogan issued an emergency order that allows for delivery and carry-out sales of alcohol by restaurants, bars, distilleries, and wineries, subject to local laws.
- Beaches. All Maryland State Park beaches are now closed. The Ocean City beach and boardwalk are also closed.
- Businesses. UPDATED MARCH 23: Governor Hogan has issued an executive order that closes non-essential businesses effective at 5 p.m on Monday, March 23. Essential-nonessential classification is based on federal guidance and explored in depth in the Office of Legal Counsel’s interpretive guidance. The Maryland Departments of Labor and Commerce have compiled resources for businesses whose daily operations are impacted by the state of emergency, including new business assistance programs and directions to apply for employee and worker assistance.
- BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Transportation to restrict access to the BWI Marshall Terminal to ticketed passengers and employees only. Exceptions will be made for visitors assisting disabled passengers. Maryland Transportation Authority Police will strictly enforce this policy.
- Caregivers. Providing care for children, senior citizens, or individuals with special needs at those individuals’ homes is considered an essential activity. Read the interpretive guidance.
- Casinos. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to close all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities to the general public indefinitely. Read the executive order.
- Census. Marylanders are encouraged to participate in the 2020 Census from home by responding by phone, by mail, or online at https://my2020census.gov/.
- Child Care. (See also Caregivers, above.) Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, all child care programs are to be closed. During this State of Emergency, child care programs have been established by the State to serve only designated essential personnel at no cost. Eligible programs may be found on the MSDE website at earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org or by using the LOCATE: Child Care resource, a telephone service that is available by phone Monday – Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Visit the MSDE website.
- Churches, Synagogues, and Other Places of Worship. Though it remains unsafe to gather in places of worship, the Governor’s Office has provided guidance to religious facilities and clergy regarding drive-in services and other guidance to protect the health and safety of worshippers during minimal operations. Read the guidance here.
- Commuting. Out-of-state travelers returning to Maryland are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This is not expected of people who regularly commute into Maryland from an adjacent state or the District of Columbia, or vice-versa, unless such persons should otherwise self-quarantine under applicable CDC or MDH guidance, or people traveling through Maryland who made minimal contact (ie. stopped briefly for gas). Read the interpretive guidance.
- Cruises. No passenger or crew member will be allowed to disembark at any terminal at the Port of Baltimore from any passenger vessel that has made a call at port outside of the United States since January 31, 2020. Read the executive order.
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. Coronavirus updates and other resources for the Deaf and hard of hearing community can be found at maryland.gov/coronavirus.
- Donations. See the links in the section above to donate to reputable charities and organizations. Businesses or organizations offering capabilities, personnel, and equipment should email email@example.com. Individuals or nonprofits offering assistance should email firstname.lastname@example.org. UPDATED MARCH 29: Disaster relief agencies are partnering to open four locations around the state to accept donations of specialized medical equipment and some cleaning supplies to support the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies: learn more.
- Drive-Thru Testing. Governor Hogan announced the opening of four Maryland drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing sites. There is no charge at any of these sites. However, testing is strictly limited to Marylanders who have a referral from their health care provider and who have an appointment to be tested. Learn more.
- Elections. Governor Hogan has issued a proclamation postponing the April 28 primary to June 2. The State Board of Elections is directed to develop a comprehensive plan by April 3 for conducting the primary election in a way that maintains public confidence and trust while preserving public health and safety. The special general election for the 7th Congressional District will still occur on April 28, but the State Board of Elections is directed to implement a vote-by-mail system. Read the governor’s proclamation.
- Emergency Orders. Governor Hogan’s COVID-19 pandemic-related proclamations, executive orders, and interpretive guidance is available at maryland.gov/covid-19-pandemic-orders-and-guidance/.
- Evictions. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of COVID-19—for example, because of lost or reduced unemployment, or needing to care for a school-aged child—or because they are diagnosed with, or under investigation for, COVID-19. Read the governor’s emergency order.
- Farms, Food Supply Chain. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is emphasizing the need for businesses involved in the state’s food supply chain to continue production. Any business involved in food distribution, production, processing, sales and supply will be considered essential, including but not limited to farms, farmers markets and food banks, food and meat processors and manufacturers, and seafood processors/watermen. Learn more.
- Farmers Markets. The Maryland Department of Agriculture considers farmers markets an essential business and an important source of food for many Marylanders. The department is asking that farmers markets remain open during the current state of emergency. Learn more.
- Free and Reduced Meals. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) applied for a federal waiver and beginning today, has the capability to provide three meals a day, and a snack, to students impacted by the statewide closure of schools. MSDE has hundreds of meal distribution centers across the state, which can be found at org.
- Food Assistance/SNAP. The Maryland Department of Human Services is expediting services for their customers. Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online here, and by calling the DHS Call Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258), available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
- Gatherings. Gatherings of more than 10 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, at all locations and venues are to be cancelled or postponed. Read the executive order.
- Hospitals. The Maryland Department of Health is advising hospitals to adopt new procedures to limit visitation, including screening visitors for flu-like symptoms and allowing only one adult visitor per patient in all areas of the hospital. Governor Hogan has also issued an omnibus health care order that includes increasing hospital capacity, activating the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, and lifting restrictions on healthcare practitioners.
- Insurance. (See also “Unemployment” below.) The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is establishing a special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connection specifically for the coronavirus. Learn more.
- Licenses and Permits. All licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations issued by the state, its agencies or any political subdivision that would expire during the current state of emergency will be extended until the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted. Read the executive order.
- Malls. Governor Hogan has expanded his emergency order to require the closure of all enclosed shopping malls and entertainment venues, including bowling alleys, bingo halls, roller rinks, and amusement parks. The Governor’s Office has issued interpretive guidance for grocery stores, pharmacies, and health care providers in malls. Learn more.
- Medical Reserve Corps. The governor directed the Secretary of Health to activate the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, a community-based, civilian volunteer program that helps build the public health infrastructure and response capabilities of Maryland communities. The network consists of dedicated responders who stand ready to volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies. Learn more.
- Mortgages. Governor Hogan enacted an executive order that stops lenders from initiating the mortgage foreclosure process. Nearly 70 of Maryland’s largest banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, state agencies, and other financial entities have collaborated to provide additional flexibility to borrowers. Learn more.
- National Guard. The governor directed the National Guard to move to a higher state of readiness in order to carry out any necessary emergency functions, such as food distribution or other critical areas of need. As of Monday, March 16, one thousand Maryland National Guard soldiers and airmen are fully activated and another 1,200 guardsmen are in a state of enhanced readiness. Read the executive order.
- Notaries. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that temporarily waives the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Maryland for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, subject to guidance provided by the Secretary of State’s office. Learn more here.
- Nursing Homes. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to protect residents and staff at Maryland nursing home facilities, and bolster the state’s mitigation and suppression efforts amid outbreaks of COVID-19. Effective immediately, new directives will require facilities to direct all staff who interact with residents to wear personal protective equipment, create separate observation and isolation areas for residents, and expedite all testing through the Maryland State Public Health Laboratory. Learn more.
- Outdoor Recreation. Under the Stay at Home order, Marylanders can go outside for fresh air and exercise as long as they are maintaining a safe distance from others. For questions about hunting, fishing, and boating, read guidance from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources here.
- Out-of-State Travel. (see also Commuting, above) No Marylander should be traveling outside of the state unless such travel is absolutely necessary. Those who have traveled outside of the state should self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Parks. Maryland State Parks are enacting enhanced measures to mitigate the risk of contact with the COVID-19 virus. Playgrounds and pavilions at state parks are closed to the public. Marylanders must adhere to the limit of 10 people gathering when visiting neighborhood parks and playgrounds. Learn more.
- Pharmacies. Pharmacies are essential businesses and are to remain open. The Governor’s Office has issued interpretive guidance for pharmacies and health care providers located in malls.
- Prisons. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has modified its operations significantly to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and has robust emergency plans in place designed to protect the incarcerated population, staff and their families. The Department has shut down intake, suspended visitation while making remote communication free to inmates, eliminated group programming and contact activities, and is requiring staff to undergo health screenings at all entry points. Parole and Probation staff are now on telework.
- Repossessions. Governor Hogan has issued an executive order that prohibits lenders from initiating the mortgage foreclosure process and prohibits the repossession of cars and trucks, as well as homes that are not considered “real property,” such as mobile homes, trailers, and live-aboard boats. Read the executive order.
- Schools. UPDATED MARCH 25: 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. At this time, it is too early to definitively say when schools will reopen, but state officials will continue to reassess the situation throughout the coming weeks. Local school systems will be communicating with their individual school communities as they move forward with implementing their plans. Visit the Maryland State Department of Education’s website here.
- Senior Call Check. The Maryland Department of Aging has a first-in-the-nation, free senior call check program, which provides peace of mind by checking in on seniors living at home alone. Register by calling 1-866-50-CHECK or learn more here.
- Senior Centers. Senior centers closed beginning on Friday, March 13, 2020 until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded. Read the executive order.
- Social Distancing. The practice of preventing people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. This is the objective of limiting gatherings, encouraging telework, and closing public places.
- State Employees. Governor Hogan has directed the Department of Budget and Management to implement a period of mandatory telework, beginning Friday, March 13, across state agencies for all non-essential state employees. Read the Department of Budget and Management’s guidance here.
- State Facilities. Until further notice, all public access to state buildings, including the state house will be restricted.
- State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe.
- Stay At Home Order. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes. This order will be enforced, knowingly and willfully violating this order is a misdemeanor. Learn more.
- Taxes. Governor Hogan issued an emergency order confirming the extension of the deadline to file Maryland income tax returns to July 15, 2020. We are also extending the deadline for filing personal property tax returns to July 15. Read the executive order. More resources can be found on the comptroller’s website.
- Text Message Updates. To receive alerts, tips, and resources related to COVID-19 and other threats and hazards affecting or that may affect Maryland, text “MdReady” to 898211.
- Testing. Like all laboratory tests, testing for COVID-19 is a clinical decision made by a health care provider. Four drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing sites have opened in Maryland, but testing is strictly limited to Marylanders who have a referral from their health care provider and who have an appointment to be tested. Learn more about testing.
- Translations. The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives and its ethnic commissioners are translating FAQs in more than 10 different languages to assist diverse communities. View them here.
- Transit. Maryland’s Department of Transportation is taking action to support social distancing while still ensuring the movement of critical resources and personnel. The state is urging citizens to utilize transit for essential travel only, including emergency personnel, front-line health care workers, and anyone whose job is critical to the supply chain. Learn more.
- Unemployment. If you are laid off temporarily due to a business shutdown as a result of COVID-19, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. The Division’s website and call centers are currently experiencing an unprecedented volume of users, which may result in long wait times; please see the guidance for how to apply online based on the date, time, and your last name. Learn more from the Maryland Department of Labor.
- Universities. Governor Hogan has asked the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to keep all students off campus and finish the spring semester online. Students and their families should stay tuned for updates from their respective colleges and universities.
- Utilities. Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer’s service, or charging any residential late fees. Read the governor’s emergency order.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I secure aid for my business?
The Maryland Departments of Labor and Commerce have established a one-stop portal for businesses and employees impacted by COVID-19 at businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus. Small businesses can apply for federal disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.
How do I enroll in health coverage?
To ensure Marylanders receive access to affordable, ACA-compliant insurance coverage during this emergency, individuals can visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.” Free consumer assistance is available by calling 1-855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. You can enroll starting Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, April 15.
How do I file for unemployment?
The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s website and call centers are currently experiencing an unprecedented volume of users due to COVID-19.
Claims center call hours have been extended to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and our team is working around the clock to address Marylanders’ needs. Marylanders are also encouraged to apply online, and for faster processing speeds, consider filing during non-peak hours early in the morning and late in the evening.
We ask Marylanders to please be patient as we continue to ramp up our capacity to handle unemployment claims. Please know that Marylanders will not be penalized for missing certification deadlines.
How do I apply for food, cash, medical, energy and emergency assistance?
For quicker processing, Marylanders are strongly encouraged to submit food, cash, energy, emergency, and aged/blind/disabled medical assistance applications online via the Department of Human Services website or the MyDHR portal.
Medical Assistance applications for Families, Children and Pregnant Women should be submitted by visiting the Maryland Health Connection website. Long Term Care Medical Assistance customers are strongly encouraged to submit applications, redetermination applications, and verifications through the My MDThink Portal.
How do I volunteer to support Maryland’s COVID-19 response?
Marylanders can donate their time and talents by signing up for the Maryland Responds Reserve Medical Corps, now recruiting active and retired health care professionals, medical students, and other interested volunteers.
We also encourage Marylanders to make an appointment to donate blood if they are able, and to continue to support their local food bank, places of worship, and other charitable organizations during this time of great need.
How do I donate masks or other essential supplies?
Disaster relief agencies are partnering to open four locations around the state to accept donations of specialized medical equipment and some cleaning supplies to support the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies—learn more here.
Businesses or organizations offering capabilities, personnel, and equipment can email email@example.com.
How do I find reputable sources for COVID-19 information?
Now more than ever, it’s essential for Marylanders to arm themselves with factual information.
For health resources, including case counts and clinician guidance, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.
To receive alerts, tips, and resources related to COVID-19 and other threats and hazards affecting or that may affect Maryland, text “MdReady” to 898211.