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Coronavirus Resources



*Note this page will be updated frequently as new information becomes available.

 

Steps to Prevent Illness


Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several preventative steps that you can take to avoid exposure and stop the spread.

  • Wear a facemask in public spaces.
     
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
     
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
     
  • Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
     
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
     
  • Stay home when you are sick.
     
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
     
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. (See here for a list of EPA-registered household disinfectants.)
     

Symptoms


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
     

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop the symptoms listed above, call your health care provider for medical advice.

*This list does not include all possible symptoms. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
 

What to Do If You Are Sick


If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
     
    • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
       
    • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
       
    • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
       
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
     
    • Stay away from others. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
       
    • See here for additional guidance for those living in close quarters.
       
    • See here for additional guidance for those living in shared housing.
       
    • See here for more information about COVID-19 and pets.
       
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
     
    • If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
       
  • Wear a facemask.
     
    • Even if you aren't sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
       
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
     
  • Clean your hands often.
     
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
     
    • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
       
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces everyday.
     
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.
       
  • Monitor your symptoms.
     
    • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).
       
    • Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19.
       

Testing for COVID-19

  • There are two kinds of COVID-19 tests: viral tests and antibody tests.
     
    • A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
       
    • An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. An antibody test might not show if you have a current infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 might provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. It is not known how much protection the antibodies might provide or how long this protection might last.
       
  • Decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments, along with local health care providers.
    • Marylanders can visit the Maryland Department of Health COVID-19 testing webpage to find the closest testing locations.
       

Additional Health Care Resources
 

Real-Time Updates
 

  • Marylanders can receive real-time updates, tips and resources about the coronavirus by texting MdReady to 898211.
     

Economic Resources
 

  • Economic Impact Payments to Marylanders and Maryland Families
     
    • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a helpful FAQ to answer your questions about the economic impact payments that will be sent to eligible individuals and families as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. See here.
    • The IRS has launched a “Get My Payment” web application that allows taxpayers who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 to submit direct deposit information in order to have their economic impact payments deposited directly in their bank accounts, instead of waiting for a check to arrive in the mail. The Get My Payment web application also allows taxpayers to track the status of their payment and is updated once every 24 hours. You can access the Get My Payment web application here.
       
    • If you are a Veteran or SSI recipient with a dependent child under 17, please use the non-filer tool to inform the IRS of your dependents. If you do not provide this information by the end of April, you may not receive this additional credit with your standard stimulus check.
       
  • Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave Information
     
    • The U.S. Department of Labor has issued rules to implement new paid sick and family leave requirements for many employers and employees.
       
      • If you are an employee seeking information on the new paid leave policies, see here. (Also available in Spanish here.)
         
      • If you are an employer seeking information on the new paid leave policies, see here. (Also available in Spanish here.)
         
      • See here for frequently asked questions and see here for additional information.
         
  • Unemployment Insurance and Worker Assistance Resources
     
    • If you have lost your job as a result of COVID-19, you can file your claim online via the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance. On July 31, the Maryland Department of Labor announced that it will offer an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits program. For more information about how to file a claim, see here.
       
    • The Maryland Department of Labor has launched a new, one-stop shop to apply for Unemployment Insurance online. Marylanders who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, sole proprietors or individuals with insufficient work history can apply here. These classifications of workers – who are ineligible for normal Unemployment Insurance, but who cannot work due to COVID-19 – are now eligible to apply for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits, with effective dates running from January 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
       
    • See here for information about employer assistance, worker assistance, licensing and permitting, tax assistance and financial assistance from the Maryland Department of Labor.
       
    • The Maryland Department of Labor’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund helps businesses prevent layoffs and/or minimize the duration of unemployment. See here to learn more about the fund.​
       
  • Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
     
    • The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with low-interest, zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. Funds can be used for payroll and benefits, and to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. Small businesses that maintain certain percentages of employees and payroll can receive debt forgiveness for a portion of the loan.
       
    • See here and here for an overview of the Paycheck Protection Program. See here for a lender factsheet. See here a borrower factsheet.
    • To search for a nearby lender eligible to issue a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, see here.
       
  • Small Business Debt Relief
    • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover principal and interest payments on certain existing and new SBA loans, among others. See here for more information.
       
  • The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act
    • The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has prepared a resource guide for small business owners to learn about the loans, grants, and economic programs made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
       
  • Low-Interest Disaster Loans for Maryland Small Businesses
     
    • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) of up to $2 million to small businesses that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. Learn more here. And see here for a FAQ from the House Committee on Small Business.
       
    • Small businesses in Maryland are eligible to apply for assistance through the SBA's website.
       
  • Coronavirus-Related Information for Maryland Businesses
     
    • The State of Maryland has established a resources page for businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
       
  • Tax Filing Resources for Individuals and Families
     
    • The deadline for federal tax filings and federal tax payments was Wednesday, July 15. To learn more, see here. See here with tips for taxpayers and tax pros and see here for a FAQ about this year's tax filing deadline extension.
       
    • The deadline for Maryland tax filings and payments was Wednesday, July 15. Marylanders with questions about their state tax filings and payments can email taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov or call 1-800-MDTAXES.
       
  • Tax Filing Resources for Maryland Small Businesses
    • Maryland’s business-related tax filing deadlines were extended to June 1. The extension applies to certain business returns for several different types of taxes. The Comptroller's Office of Maryland has created a dedicated email address to assist Maryland businesses with extension-related questions: taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov. Business owners can also call the Comptroller's Ombudsman at (410) 260-4020.
       

Housing Resources
 

  • For Renters
     
    • Eviction Moratorium: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act protects tenants who reside in property financed by federally backed mortgage loans or federally subsidized housing from being evicted for 120 days beginning March 18, 2020. The property owner (landlord) is also prevented from issuing an eviction notice until the expiration of the moratorium period.
       
  • For Homeowners
     
    • Foreclosure Moratorium: The servicer of a federally backed mortgage loan may not initiate a foreclosure, move for a foreclosure or order of sale, or execute a foreclosure sale on a homeowner for 60 days beginning March 18, 2020.
       
    • Optional Mortgage Forbearance for Homeowners: Under the CARES Act, homeowners with federally backed mortgages are eligible to postpone their monthly mortgage payments. Individuals with single-family mortgages may write to their mortgage servicer requesting forbearance for 180 days due to coronavirus-related difficulties. In such a case, no additional fees, penalties or interest outside of normally scheduled terms may be levied on the borrower. However, interest will be capitalized and owed by the borrower, which will increase the amount of future payments. Homeowners should contact their mortgage servicers to learn more about how to qualify for a mortgage relief program.
       
    • Expanded Protection for Housing Insecure Communities: The CARES Act also provides $4 billion in funding for homelessness assistance grants, $1.25 billion for tenant-based rental assistance, $685 million for public housing and additional funding for other programs designed to provide housing assistance for the elderly, people with disabilities and people with AIDS. 
    • Mortgage Lender/Servicer Inquiries or Complaints: If you have an inquiry regarding your mortgage lender or servicer, or if you’d like to file a complaint against your mortgage lender or servicer, you can contact the Maryland Department of Labor by emailing DLFRComplaints-LABOR@maryland.gov or by calling (410) 230-6077. See here for more information.
       
    • Maryland-Specific Resources: Maryland HOPE (Home Owners Preserving Equity) – a state-approved nonprofit agency – can provide information and resources to help Marylanders keep their homes. To learn, more see here or call 1-877-462-7555.
  • Guide to Coronavirus Mortgage Relief Options
     
    • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has assembled a helpful guide for homeowners who are financially impacted by the coronavirus. See here.
       
  • County-Level Housing Relief

    • Anne Arundel County
       
      • Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. provides free financial counseling and referrals for eviction prevention, foreclosure prevention, utility turn-off assistance, property rehabilitation and homeownership advice. For assistance, call (410) 222-7600.
         
      • For emergency shelter, residents can call (410) 417-7260 on Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. In case of a crisis, Anne Arundel residents can call the county’s 24/7 hotline at (410) 768-5522.
         
      • Anne Arundel County's Eviction Protection Program provides direct rent and utility assistance, along with legal counseling, to residents who earn less than 60 percent of the area's median income. Eligible residents can apply online or call (410) 222-7600.
         
    • Baltimore City
       
      • Baltimore City residents facing imminent homelessness can apply for eviction prevention support through the Baltimore City Community Action Partnership office. For more information, see here or call (410) 545-0136 or (410) 545-0900.
      • Baltimore City renters facing an eviction action can access free legal advice and information here.
         
    • Baltimore County
       
      • Baltimore County residents can see here for regular updates about eviction protection funding as it becomes available.
         
    • Howard County
       
    • Montgomery County
       
      • The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services offers COVID-19 housing stabilization services, including financial assistance to prevent evictions, foreclosures and utility disconnections. To apply for assistance, you can schedule a phone interview by calling 311. If calling from outside of Montgomery County, please call (240) 777-0311.
         

​Household Tips
 

  • Food Security and Assistance
     
    • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and boosted other anti-hunger efforts to help Americans access safe and nutritious food during the coronavirus pandemic. See here to learn more.
       
    • The Maryland Department of Human Services' Food Supplement Program can help Maryland families in need of nutrition assistance. See here to lean more and to apply online.
       
    • Maryland Hunger Solutions can help eligible individuals and families access SNAP benefits. It can also share valuable resources about food banks and food pantries near you. For more information, visit the Maryland Hunger Solutions website at https://www.mdhungersolutions.org/get-help/ or call 1-866-821-5552. To receive assistance applying for SNAP, call 1-866-821-5552 or apply online.
       
    • Baltimore County distributes groceries – including fresh produce, bread and other items – to food insecure families at 11 sites around the county. See here for more information.
       
    • Baltimore County residents that need assistance with food access can call (410) 887-2594 or email food@baltimorecountymd.gov.
       
    • Montgomery County’s food assistance database features a map of food assistance providers and benefits application assistance sites across the county. You can search the database by location, food assistance type, accessibility and many other categories. To access the database, see here.
       
    • A number of grocery stores offer home delivery, including:
    • Several grocery stores across Maryland will offer special shopping times for coronavirus-vulnerable customers, including people aged 60+ and those with underlying health conditions.
       
      • Giant: Beginning on Friday, March 20, Giant locations in Maryland will offer special shopping hours for customers aged 60 and older and those with immune system deficiencies. These special shopping hours will occur every day, from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM.
      • Safeway: Safeway locations in Maryland will offer special shopping hours for vulnerable shoppers every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
      • ALDI: On Tuesdays and Thursdays, ALDI locations will offer special shopping hours from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM for senior citizens, expectant mothers and customers with underlying health conditions.
      • Trader Joe's: Beginning on Monday, March 30, Trader Joe's locations will reserve the first hour of operation every day (usually between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM) to serve customers over the age of 60 and individuals with disabilities who may need additional assistance while shopping.
      • Whole Foods Market: Whole Foods locations in Maryland will offer special shopping hours for customers aged 60 and older every day from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM.
      • Target: Target locations in Maryland will provide special shopping hours for seniors and people with underlying health conditions every Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
      • Martin’s: Beginning on Thursday, March 19, Martin’s Maryland locations will provide special shopping hours for customers aged 60 and older every single day from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM.
      • Dollar General: As of Tuesday, March 17, Dollar General locations in Maryland will reserve their first operating hour each day for seniors. Most Dollar General stores open at 8:00 AM. Please be sure to confirm your store’s opening hours on the store locator page.
         
  • Local Restaurant Take-Out and Delivery Resources​
    • Baltimore County's BaltCo To-Go Map features information about food delivery and take-out services offered by several county restaurants.
       
    • Montgomery County has assembled a list of restaurants that will remain open for take-out and delivery. See here.
       
  • Pharmacy and Prescription Resources
     
    • ​The following pharmacies offer delivery services:
       
  • Childcare Services
    ​​
    • Essential personnel in Maryland who need child care services can see here for a list of approved child care providers. If you don’t see a child care provider that meets your needs, please call the trained LOCATE: Child Care Referral Specialists to help you select the best child care option for your family: 877-261-0060. For additional information, see here.
       
    • Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, the Y in Central Maryland will provide child care for the children of frontline health care workers and first responders. Child care will be provided from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM at the Y’s 11 family centers. Parents who qualify can register at ymaryland.org/emergencypersonnelservices. The centers are not open to the general public.
       

For Students
 

  • Meals for Maryland Students
     
    • The Maryland State Department of Education has more than 500 meal distribution centers across the state. You can find a meal distribution center near you by visiting mdsummermeals.org.
       
    • Anne Arundel County Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to children ages 2-18 at 119 sites across the county. See here for more information, including a list of meal sites.
       
    • Beginning on September 8, Baltimore City will provide students with free breakfast and lunch. Students can receive two days of meals – including two breakfasts and two lunches – at one time. Adults can pick up meals for their children. See here for meal sites.
       
    • Baltimore County Public Schools will provide free meals to all children ages 2-18 by curbside pickup or by bus delivery. See here for more information, along with a list of meal pickup locations.
       
    • Beginning on September 8, Howard County Public School System will provide free "Grab-N-Go" meals to all students. See here for more information.
       
    • Beginning on August 31, Montgomery County Public Schools will provide breakfast and lunch to students at 74 sites across the county. See here for more information.
       
  • Online Learning​
     
    • Maryland State Department of Education has compiled a comprehensive list of digital learning tools for students.
       
    • The Maryland State Library offers reading resources for all ages.
       
    • Anne Arundel County Public Schools has created a webpage with virtual learning resources. It includes important announcements, student schedules, tech support and more.
       
    • Anne Arundel County Public Library offers digital resources and learning tools, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, streaming movies, music and other educational databases. Anne Arundel County residents can register for a virtual library card here.
       
    • Baltimore City Public Schools will begin virtual learning on September 8. The city's student support hotline helps parents and families answer questions about virtual learning. Representatives are available at (443) 984-2001 from Monday thru Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. For additional digital learning, including technical assistance and instructions, see here.
       
    • Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library offers thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines and movies that Maryland residents can enjoy from home. To access these resources, Marylanders can sign up for an eCard.
       
    • Baltimore County Public Schools provides remote learning resources for pre-K and K-12 students, along with special education resources.
       
    • Baltimore County Public Library offers eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines and movies for county residents with a library card. Baltimore County residents without a library card can sign up for an e-card and register online. Every Baltimore County Public Schools student has an identification number that also serves as a virtual library card.
       
    • The Howard County Public School System has grade-specific guides and learning enrichment resources for pre-K, elementary and secondary students. Howard County famlies can go here for internet or technology support.
       
    • Howard County Public Library offers online classes and digital resources for students in pre-K, elementary school and middle and high school. The library also offers eBooks and audiobooks, research databases, newspapers, magazines and streaming music, TV and movies. Howard County residents can apply online for a temporary, six-month library card to access all of this digital content.
       
    • Montgomery County Public Schools has an Instructional Activities Center with courses for pre-K, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school students.
       
    • Montgomery County Public Library provides a list of available digital resources, including audiobooks, streaming media, online learning platforms, library apps and research databases. Montgomery County residents without a library card can sign up here.
       
    • The Smithsonian Institution offers several free resources for students, including the Smithsonian Learning Lab, an interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources and creating content with online tools. See here for more information about the Smithsonian Institution's online resources.
       
    • The Library of Congress has many free and interactive digital learning tools for students, including online versions of current exhibitions and more than 400 digital collections. See here for a full list of resources from the Library of Congress.
       
    • NASA provides resources and activities for students, teachers and families to experience and learn about space from home. See here.​
       
    • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has assembled a roundup of it's most popular educational resources for students of all ages. See here.
       
  • Student Loan Resources
    • Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, principal and interest payments for all federally held student loans are automatically suspended through September 30, 2020. For more information about student loan relief, see here.
       

For Seniors
 

  • Health and Support Services in Maryland
     
    • Senior Call Check is a free service available to Marylanders aged 65 and older. To register, see here.
       
    • Maryland Access Point (MAP) provides seniors with referrals and information about health and support services. To contact MAP call 1-844-627-5465 or visit https://marylandaccesspoint.info/.
  • Meals for Seniors
     
    • The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities will distribute food – a total of seven meals – to senior citizens every Tuesday, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Orders must be placed ahead of time. To place an order, call (410) 222-0256 or email senior_nutrition@aacounty.org.
       
    • The City of Baltimore encourages seniors to call Maryland Access Point at (410) 396-2273 to inquire about home-delivered meals.
       
    • The Baltimore County Department of Aging is providing boxes of food to older residents. Each box of non-perishable food contains six-days’ worth of food, including three meals and a snack per day, along with a small box of fruits and vegetables. Boxes are distributed by appointment only at designated senior center locations around the County. See here to learn more about the program. To schedule a meal pickup, call (410) 887-2040. Baltimore County seniors with additional food access needs can call (410) 887-2594 or email aginginfo@baltimorecountymd.gov.
       
    • The Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services provides "Grab-N-Go" meals to residents who participate in the Department's 50+ Centers congregate meal program. For more information, call (410) 313-6410 or email aging@howardcountymd.gov.
       
    • The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and Montgomery County Recreation (MCR) will provide seniors in need with frozen meal packs at "Grab-N-Go" locations and by limited delivery. The meal packs include seven different entrees, seven milk cartons and a mix of fruit and bread products. The food is diabetes-friendly. Eligible meal recipients include residents over the age of 60, spouses of residents over the age of 60, or people with a disability who live with a resident over the age of 60. For more information, see here.
       
  • Social Security
     
    • Until further notice, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer provide in-person services. However, the SSA has expanded its telework capacity across the country and will continue to provide services online or by phone: 1-800-772-1213.
       
    • Beneficiaries who receive monthly payments by mail will continue to receive those payments. Beneficiaries who receive monthly payments by direct deposit will continue to receive those payments as well.
       
    • For more information about how the SSA's operations during the coronavirus pandemic, see here.
       
  • Virtual Wellness Classes and Programming for Seniors
     
    • The Baltimore County Department of Aging offers free online wellness classes and programming for seniors. To join a class, see here.
       
    • The Howard County Office on Aging and Independence offers virtual wellness classes for Howard County seniors. To learn more see here. In order to participate in these classes, you will need to use the WebEx platform and log on with the password: Howard50+. If you have any questions regarding WebEx, please contact Lucky Sohi at (410) 313-2832 or lsohi@howardcountymd.gov.
       
    • Senior Planet Montgomery offers virtual wellness classes for Montgomery County seniors. For more information, see here.
       
    • The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities offers online exercise, art classes, crafts, line dancing, music and more on YouTube and on Arundel TV. For more information, see here. 

​For Veterans
 

  • Health Care Resources for Veterans
     
    • VA Coronavirus Webpage
       
    • Veterans who think they’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms should first call their VA medical facility or call (844) 698-2311 and press #3 to be connected to a medical professional. Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet, the VA’s online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans’ symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include a referral to state or local health departments for coronavirus testing.
       
    • As the VA Maryland Healthcare System moves into Phase 2 of its reopening, some hospital and clinic facilities have resumed limited face-to-face service. Patients are encouraged to continue using virtual services and remote prescription refill tools, if possible. You can find a complete listing of clinic statuses and safety measures in place at VAMHCS facilities here.
       
    • Veterans with non-urgent health concerns can send a secure message to their VA providers at myhealth.va.gov. Veterans can also download and use the VA Video Connect app for telehealth appointments: mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect. In addition, veterans can access the following telephone resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
       
      • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
         
      • Medical Advice Line: 1-800-865-2441
         
      • Prescription Refill Line: (410) 605-7395
         
        • Before calling, veterans should have their Social Security number and prescription number ready.
        • Veterans can Press 2 for pharmacy prescription information.
           
    • To help veterans manage the anxiety and emotional impact of this pandemic, the VA’s National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has developed COVID Coach, a free app that provides information about how to cope during the pandemic. The app also features tools to improve emotional health and mood trackers. You can learn more about the app and download it here.
       
    • On March 10, the VA announced that its 134 community living centers and its 24 spinal cord injury and disorder centers would be closed to all outside visitors. All clinical staff will be screened daily for coronavirus before entering the facilities. Exceptions to the new visitor policy will only be made for veterans in their last stages of life on hospice units or inpatient spinal cord injury units.​
       
    • On March 10, the VA announced that its 134 community living centers and its 24 spinal cord injury and disorder centers would be closed to all outside visitors. All clinical staff will be screened daily for coronavirus before entering the facilities. Exceptions to the new visitor policy will only be made for veterans in their last stages of life in hospice units or inpatient spinal cord injury units.​ Please see the VA CLC Frequently Asked Questions page for updates to this policy.
       
  • Economic Impact Payments for Veterans
     
    • Veterans who receive monetary benefits from the VA by direct deposit will receive their economic impact payments to the same account.
       
  • Debt Collection Freeze for Veterans
     
    • The Treasury Department has frozen collection, fees, interest, withholding and collections referrals on VA related debts.
       
    • For debts managed by the VA proper, veterans have the option to freeze collection, or to continue payment. To discuss freezing collection of a debt related to monetary benefits, please contact the Debt Management Center at (800) 827-0648 or the Health Resource Center at (888) 827-4817 for health care related debt.
       

For Travelers and Expatriates
 

  • Passports
     
    • The Passport Agency is currently undergoing a phased reopening and is working as quickly as possible to eliminate the backlog of pending passport applications. If you need to travel immediately (within 72 hours) for an emergency, you can request an emergency appointment.
       
    • If you have upcoming, non-urgent travel and a pending passport application, please contact Congressman Sarbanes' office at (410) 832-8890 to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
  • Guidance from the U.S. Department of State
     
    • As of March 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 Global Travel Advisory, which strongly cautions Americans abroad that if they do not make efforts to return to the United States in the immediate future, the ability of the State Department to provide repatriation assistance cannot be guaranteed.
       
  • Resources for Marylanders Traveling or Living Abroad
     
    • Marylanders who are living or traveling abroad should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service provides important updates to U.S. citizens and nationals who are traveling and living abroad.
       
    • Marylanders who are traveling or living abroad can also call the U.S. State Department's 24-Hour Consular Emergency Line.
       
      • Dial 1-888-407-4747 if you are calling from inside the U.S.
         
      • Dial +1-202-501-4444 if you calling from outside the U.S.
         
    • To find the closest embassy or consulate, see here.
       
    • For a list of embassy websites with country specific COVID-19 information, see here.
       

Reopening Maryland
 

​Other Resources
 

  • 2020 Census
     
    • In the coming weeks, Maryland residents will continue to receive invitations in the mail to participate in 2020 Census. You can still complete your census form online, by phone, or by mail – even during this public health emergency. Learn more at http://census.maryland.gov or http://2020census.gov.
       
  • Real ID
     
    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that it will extend the REAL ID enforcement deadline to October 1, 2021.
       
  • Donations & Volunteers
     
    • Visit governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites for information about opportunities to donate and volunteer.
       
    • The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps seeks volunteers to help respond to the coronavirus crisis across the state. To apply, see here.
       
  • Families First: House Democrats' Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Guide
     
    • House Democrats have assembled a toolkit detailing all of the available benefits for individuals and families as we navigate this public health emergency. See here.
       
  • Free Wi-Fi Access Points
     
    • Xfinity Comcast has opeend its WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers. See here to find a hotspot near you.
       
  • Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)
     
    • BGE is also suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1. It will also be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. For more information about BGE’s payment assistance programs, see here.
       
  • Washington Gas
     
    • Washington Gas will suspend customer disconnections and will waive late fees for anyone unable to pay their monthly bills during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, call (844) 927-4427 or visit eservice.washgas.com
       
  • Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus-Related Scams
     
    • As the coronavirus spreads, we’ve noticed an increasing number of scams targeting Americans. Here are some helpful tips to guard against scammers during this difficult time.
       
      • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card or by wiring money, don’t do it.
         
      • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus – online or in stores.
         
      • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC website and the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
         
      • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
         
    • See here for some helpful consumer warnings and safety tips from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

 

TRACK THE MONEY

The federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes financial support for American families, state and local governments, small businesses and public services.

 

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