Coronavirus Update: May 5, 2020

May 5, 2020

Dear Friend,

The COVID-19 crisis has created tremendous anxiety, stress and hardship for American families – especially when it comes to mental health. With May being Mental Health Month, I wanted to share some information and resources that are available to help you and your families navigate this challenging time.

In related news, the Maryland Congressional Delegation just announced the approval of new federal funding for Maryland to provide community-based outreach, counseling and other mental health services in response to the pandemic. Maryland became eligible for this federal assistance after the Delegation successfully urged the Trump Administration to approve a major disaster declaration for the state of Maryland.

And in case you missed it, last Friday I held another event in my series of telephone town halls to answer your questions about the coronavirus. See below for event audio.

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Here’s the latest news and information on COVID-19.

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Updates from Washington

  • Expanding Maryland’s Testing Capacity: The Delegation asked the Trump Administration to designate the National Capital Region as a federally supported COVID-19 testing site to help increase the state’s testing capacity. The Delegation also spoke with state officials about the current status of Maryland’s COVID-19 testing capabilities and about the potential ways that the federal government can help improve our ability to test for the virus.
     
  • More Meals for Maryland Students: The Delegation announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Maryland’s plan to provide additional nutrition assistance to Maryland students who receive free- or reduced-price school lunches.
     
  • Securing Housing Relief for Low-Income Marylanders: The Delegation announced more than $9 million in COVID-19 relief for tenant-based housing voucher recipients in Maryland.
     

Updates in Maryland

  • Testing Approval: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of 500,000 testing kits that Maryland acquired from South Korea, which will help expand our ability to trace the spread of COVID-19, better protect vulnerable populations, like nursing homes, and contain outbreaks.
     
  • Protecting Your Economic Impact Payment: The State of Maryland announced an order that prevents banks and other financial institutions from garnishing Marylanders’ economic impact payments to settle debts.
     
  • Securing Funding for Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Tracker: I joined Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Ruppersberger to announce $200,000 to support the university’s COVID-19 online interactive dashboard.
     

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

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