Health, Politics, Sci-Tech

Governor Hogan signs emergency legislation, announces coronavirus response team

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday, after joining Vice President Mike Pence at the White House for a teleconference with the nation’s governors, enacted emergency legislation granting him the authority to transfer resources from the state’s rainy day fund for Maryland’s novel coronavirus response. The legislation, SB 1079, was passed unanimously last week by the Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates.

“I want to sincerely thank Speaker Jones and President Ferguson and all the members of the Maryland General Assembly for working with us to expedite this legislation and unanimously pass it,” said Governor Hogan. “This is a great example of how seriously the State of Maryland has been taking this crisis, and it shows that government at the federal, state, and local levels is working together to respond to this threat in a cooperative and coordinated manner.”

After providing an update regarding Maryland’s five positive cases of COVID-19, the governor announced that he is establishing a Coronavirus Response Team, which will advise the administration on important health and emergency management decisions as this situation continues to evolve.

“We are committed to being transparent, providing the facts, keeping Marylanders fully informed, taking actions based on our detailed planning, and making decisions based on the facts on the ground,” continued the governor. “In order to make those decisions and to leverage all of the resources and expertise across our state, at my direction, we are convening a Coronavirus Response Team composed of experts in public health and emergency management.”

The governor also announced that he will convene a meeting of his full Cabinet tomorrow to discuss the government-wide response, and meet with members of the long-term care community to ensure that the necessary precautions are being taken to protect residents of nursing homes and retirement communities.

Keep up with all of the latest NottinghamMD coronavirus coverage here.

Additionally, the governor announced that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is moving to Level II of its Pandemic Flu and Other Infectious Diseases Attendance and Leave Policy. DBM is advising state agencies to cancel all business-related out-of-state travel for all employees and to prepare for a potential period of mandatory telework for all non-essential personnel.

Governor Hogan was joined at today’s press conference by Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.

Maryland Coronavirus Response Team

The Maryland Coronavirus Response Team will convene for the first time tomorrow, March 10. Members will include:

  • Wilbur Chen, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore
  • David Marcozzi, MD, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Population Health, Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Lisa Maragakis, MD, Senior Director of Infection Prevention, Johns Hopkins Health System
  • Tom Iglesby, Director of the Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Steve Evans, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, MedStar Health
  • Linda Singh, Interim Executive Director and CEO, TEDCO; Major General (Retired), Maryland National Guard
  • John Loome, MD, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Geriatrician, Genesis Healthcare

This response team will also include several state officials:

  • Robert Neall, Secretary, Maryland Department of Health
  • Fran Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Maryland Department of Health
  • Rona Kramer, Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging
  • Karen Salmon, State Superintendent, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Ted Delbridge, Director, Institute for Maryland Emergency Medical Services Systems

Maryland is currently operating under a state of emergency, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has elevated its state response activation level. At the governor’s direction, state agencies have ramped up response and preparedness efforts across all levels of government. He has also issued a directive requiring state health carriers to waive all cost-sharing regarding testing for COVID-19.

Keep up with all of the latest NottinghamMD coronavirus coverage here.

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