Coronavirus Update: April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020

Dear Friend,

To fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and to save lives, Marylanders are making significant sacrifices. I want to thank you and your families for following the advice of public health officials and staying home to help slow the spread of the virus.

By taking action to flatten the curve, we will be better equipped to fight the virus, and eventually – with all of us working together – life will get back to normal.

Here’s a brief roundup of the latest COVID-19 developments.

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Updates from Washington

  • Payments to Individuals and Families: I know that many Marylanders are interested in learning about the one-time payments (rebates) that will be sent to individuals and families as part of the federal response to the coronavirus. See here for a helpful FAQ.
     
  • Relief for Small Businesses: A number of small business owners have asked my office about the new loans, grants and economic programs made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If you’re a small business owner, please see here for a comprehensive guide created by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
     
  • Federal Funding for Maryland’s Coronavirus Response: On Monday, the Maryland Congressional Delegation announced more than $48 million to help counties and cities in Maryland respond to the economic and housing impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Funding comes from the CARES Act and more is on the way.
     
  • Acquiring More Medical Supplies to Fight the Virus: On Thursday, I joined the Maryland Congressional Delegation in pressing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fulfill Maryland’s request for critical medical supplies to fight the coronavirus, including ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing supplies, swabs, pharmaceutical supplies for medical surge sites and mobile medical labs.
     
  • Full Federal Support for the Maryland National Guard: Last weekend, the Maryland Congressional Delegation announced that the federal government will cover the full cost of deploying the Maryland National Guard as it conducts vital public health and safety efforts across our state to fight the coronavirus. On Thursday, March 26, the Maryland Congressional Delegation urged President Donald Trump to fully fund the Maryland National Guard as it supports the state’s efforts to combat the coronavirus.
     

Updates in Maryland

  • Stay at Home: On Monday, the State of Maryland issued a stay-at-home order for all residents. Maryland residents should not leave their homes for any reason aside from essential work, to get food or groceries, to get prescriptions, or for other fundamental reasons. Any Marylander who defies the order will be subject to a misdemeanor.
     
  • New Developments at the Maryland VA: On Monday, the VA Maryland Health Care System temporarily closed its medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics to guard against the spread of the coronavirus. However, doctors and nurses at the clinics will continue to provide telehealth services, including phone and video appointments, for routine visits. Appointments for oncology, radiation oncology and other specialty care that is medically necessary may continue to be scheduled for in-person visits.
     
    • Closed facilities in Maryland include:
       
      • Baltimore VA Medical Center
      • Loch Raven VA Medical Center
      • Perry Point VA Medical Center
      • Cambridge Outpatient VA Outpatient Clinic
      • Eastern Baltimore County VA Outpatient Clinic
      • Fort Meade VA Outpatient Clinic
      • Glen Burnie VA Outpatient Clinic
      • Pocomoke City VA Outpatient Clinic
         
    • 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
         
  • Sign Up for Health Insurance: On Wednesday, Maryland Health Connection – our state’s health insurance marketplace – announced that it would extend its coronavirus special open enrollment period to June 15. Maryland residents without health insurance can sign-up and get covered here.
     

Household Tips

  • Take Out and Delivery: Montgomery County has assembled a list of restaurants that will remain open for take-out and delivery. Baltimore County's BaltCo To-Go Map features information about food delivery and take-out services offered by several county restaurants.
     
  • E-Learning for Students: With Maryland public schools closed through April 24, I wanted to share some free educational resources for students. See here for a comprehensive list.
     

For regular updates and information about the coronavirus, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

For a full list of coronavirus-related resources, please visit my website.
 

Sincerely,

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Congressman John Sarbanes
Maryland’s Third Congressional District