Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on December 17, 2020, in the State House concerning Maryland’s COVID-19 response.
Key Takeaways of the Press Conference
- The State of Maryland’s COVID-19 metrics have stabilized.
- The Governor announced a new $180 million relief package and will propose a larger relief package in the 2021 session of the Maryland General Assembly.
- The Governor urged Marylanders to stay at home for the holidays and limit the size of gatherings.
- The Governor issued an emergency order limiting travel to and from Maryland to essential purposes only.
Governor Hogan’s Remarks
- The Governor said Maryland finds themselves at another pivotal moment in our battle against COVID-19.
- Due to Marylanders’ diligence following health and safety guidelines, the post-Thanksgiving surge of infections did not occur as predicted.
- Overall, Maryland metrics are relatively stable. Maryland’s 7.73 positivity rate is 8th lowest in America. The number of cases per 100,000 is 45.2, which is the ninth lowest in America. Hospitalizations decreased by 60, acute beds by 55, and ICU beds by 5.
- The Governor said that the holiday season presents toughest challenge yet and Marylanders are safer at home this year for the holidays.
- The Maryland Department of Health is issuing a public health advisory that lowers gathering limits from 25 to 10 and is advising against non-essential activities and gatherings with people outside of your immediate household.
- The Governor issued an emergency order limiting travel outside the State to essential purposes only. Travelers who do travel to and from Maryland must obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. To find out where you can be tested, Marylanders can go to COVIDtest.maryland.gov.
- Beginning December 21, the State of Maryland is suspending all in-person customer-facing operations at State facilities over the holidays. The Governor is also asking all businesses who are able to institute telework policies during that time period.
- The Governor said travel orders do not apply to Santa Claus, elves, and reindeer.
- The Governor said he finds hope looking forward because vaccinations of Maryland health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and first responders.
- The Governor also found hope that Congress appears to be close to a bipartisan consensus on a relief package although that package is likely to leave out aid for states.
- The Governor announced $180 million in new relief. This relief package includes:
- $50 million to help hotels and hospitality businesses for payroll expenses and to assist with rent and utilities.
- $30 million for the restaurant relief program, bringing the total funding for this program to $80 million.
- $15 million for entertainment venues, bring the total funding to $35 million.
- $5 million to help social or economically disadvantaged businesses.
- $40 million boosting Temporary Cash Assistance Benefits.
- $40 million to developmental disability care by accelerating pay increases for providers.
- During 2021 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly, the Governor announced that he will propose a larger economic and stimulus relief package to provide further support to small businesses and Maryland families.
- Gov. Larry Hogan’s Dec. 15 COVID-19 Press Conference
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- Mayor Brandon Scott announces tighter restrictions to fight COVID-19 pandemic in Baltimore
- Congressional Letter of Support from the Business Community: COVD-19 Federal Relief
- Gov. Larry Hogan’s Dec. 10 COVID-19 Press Conference
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