COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) has changed life for every Marylander.
This post includes a massive amount of information about how COVID-19 has impacted state government, changes that may impact you and available resources that can help your family.
I hope that your family is healthy and that these resources are of value to you. If you have any questions or need help, please treat my office as a resource. The best way to reach me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 410.841.3298.
Delegate Robin Grammer
The Maryland Department of Health has compiled a set of information and data relating to COVID-19, including the number of confirmed cases in our state, background on the virus and precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family. Click here to read the Department of Health COVID-19 data.
CLOSURE OF ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Governor Hogan has enacted an emergency order to close all non-essential businesses across the state. Click here to read the Governor’s interpretive guidance on non-essential businesses.
PUBLIC SCHOOL CLOSURES: Maryland public schools will be closed through at least April 24th.
CLOSURE OF SENIOR CENTERS: All senior citizen activities centers shall be 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until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS: The Maryland Department of Labor has made adjustments to help unemployed residents make a claim. Click here to see the details on how you can quickly make a claim.
EXTENSION OF PERMITTING DEADLINES: Because renewing expiring permits or licenses often requires the public to enter public buildings and interact with state employees; 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. Click here to read the executive order.
GUIDANCE TO HOSPITALS FOR VISITATION POLICIES: The Maryland Department of Health is advising hospitals to adopt new procedures to limit visitation, including:
- No one under the age of 18 is permitted to visit, including in all waiting areas and common spaces.
- Only one adult visitor per patient in all areas of the hospital.
- Visitors should be screened for flu-like symptoms.
- Visitors who have traveled internationally may not visit for 14 days after arrival into the United States.
SUSPENSION OF VISITS TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES: The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is suspending all visits to its correctional facilities effective immediately. The department will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates.
MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY EXTENDS TOLL DISCOUNT PLAN PERIOD: Expiration dates for E-Z Pass Discount Plans that customers use at the Bay Bridge, the Nice/Middleton Bridge and throughout the Baltimore region – including the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor tunnels, Francis Scott Key and Hatem bridges, and John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway – have been extended from 45 to 90 days to give commuters time to use their plans’ remaining trips. The Bay Bridge Shoppers Plan expiration is extended from 90 to 150 days.Discount Plan holders who anticipate a long-term or permanent change to their commute due to COVID-19 may change or cancel their plan by visiting ezpassmd.com or calling 1-888-321-6824.
TAX FILING EXTENSION: To assist businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced he will extend business-related tax filing deadlines. The June 1st extension applies to certain business returns with due dates during the months of March, April and May 2020 for businesses filing sales and use tax, withholding tax, and admissions & amusement tax, as well as alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel excise taxes, tire recycling fee and bay restoration fee returns. Business taxpayers who file and pay by the extended due date will receive a waiver of interest and penalties. Maryland will conform to the decision of the IRS filing deadline for corporate and individual income tax returns. Click here for more information on state tax filing.
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Click here for more information on federal tax filing.
Johns Hopkins has shared a tool to track the spread of the virus worldwide. Click here to view the tool.
Baltimore County has put place a map showing ZIP code based data. You can view the map here.
The Maryland Department of Aging has launched an automated call initiative designed to check on the status of the state’s older adults.The department asks that individuals sign up for the call-check program by visiting aging.maryland.gov or calling 410-767-1276.
The Governor’s Office has established a network for connecting volunteers with with ways they can help. Click here to find out how to volunteer.
To report safety concerns about hospitals and other health care facilities, contact the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality:
The University of Maryland Medical System has opened a free call line that is open to the public 24/7 to answer questions related to COVID-19. Calls will be answered and routed by an Operator. A Registered Nurse will then connect with callers to answer their questions. The call line number is 1-888-713-0711. For more information, click here.
FEDERAL INCENTIVES FOR PAYROLL RETENTION: The federal Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The Small Business Administration will forgive loans for eight weeks based on employee retention and salary levels. There are no fees and you may be eligible for at least six months of federral with maximum deferrals of up to a year. The Department of the Treasury is advising small businesses “to apply as quickly as you can, because there is a funding cap.” Click here for more information.
LAYOFF AVERSION FUND: The Maryland Department of Labor has launched the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs. Click here for more information.
MARYLAND SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY RELIEF LOAN FUND: This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Click here to learn more.
MARYLAND SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY RELIEF GRANT FUND: – This $50 million grant program for businesses and non-profits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Click here to learn more.
MARYLAND SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY RELIEF MANUFACTURING FUND: – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. Click here to learn more.
SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL): – Maryland has received official designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans were created to alleviate financial strain and allow small businesses to pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years. Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply here.
THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER’S GUIDE TO THE CARES ACT: The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. Click here to access the small business owner’s guide to the CARES Act.
SURVIVING COVID-19 PERSONAL SURVEY: COVID-19 is radically impacting the lives of every person in our state. I am making an effort to understand how COVID-19 is impacting you and your family so that we can more effectively act on your behalf. Any information you can share is helpful to myself and other policy makers. Click here to access the survey.