Coronavirus Update: March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Dear Friend,

Every single day brings new challenges in our battle against the coronavirus. But in these trying times, ordinary Americans in Baltimore, across Maryland and throughout the country are stepping up to make a difference and helping keep our communities safe. It’s inspiring. And it’s an important signal that, by working together and helping one another, we will eventually get through this crisis.

Health care workers, first responders, grocery store workers and delivery people are all on the front lines of this fight. But each of us can play a meaningful role by doing what we can – most importantly, social distancing – to help reduce the spread of the virus. So please, share these precautions with others and encourage family members, friends and co-workers to take the guidance from public health officials seriously. The more we all step up to address this public health emergency, the faster we’ll get through it.

With that said, here’s a brief recap of recent developments at the federal, state and local levels to address the coronavirus pandemic.

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Updates from Washington

Today, I voted to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) a bipartisan stimulus package that will deliver robust resources to hospitals, health care providers, states and local governments, along with additional economic relief for American workers and small businesses. See here for a full overview of the package.

Earlier this week, my colleagues and I in the Maryland Congressional Delegation urged President Trump to swiftly approve Maryland’s request for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration and make our state eligible for additional emergency funding to fight the coronavirus. On Thursday, the President approved the declaration. In a separate request, the Delegation also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to approve Maryland’s request for two federal medical stations in Baltimore. These units would increase Maryland’s hospital capacity by 300 beds and deliver more than 1,000 ventilators.

At the end of last week, I joined hundreds of lawmakers in calling on House and Senate leaders to boost federal funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs) and other vital community-level health programs as part of the comprehensive federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. CHCs provide essential medical, vision, dental and mental health care – and affordable prescription drugs – to millions of patients across America, especially among underserved populations and in communities of color. I’m pleased to report that my colleagues and I were successful in securing $1.3 billion in the CARES Act to help CHCs expand health care services.

Updates in Maryland

On Monday, Maryland ordered all non-essential businesses to close. For a full list of essential businesses, see here.

On Wednesday, Maryland announced that schools will remain closed for another four weeks, through April 24. As a reminder, students impacted by the statewide closure of schools can access free meals. To find a meal distribution center near you, see here.

Here’s a great new resource: Marylanders can receive real-time updates, tips and information about the coronavirus by texting MdReady to 898211.

Household Tips

A number of grocery stores offer home delivery, including:

​The following pharmacies offer delivery services:


As always, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter for additional updates and information about the outbreak.

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