March 13, 2020
Yesterday, it was announced that Maryland has confirmed its first case of community transmitted
Coronavirus (COVID-19). According to our health officials, we should expect the number of cases to increase significantly over the coming days. Governor Hogan, along with legislative leaders, announced immediate steps intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 including:
- Closing all public schools from March 16-27, during which they will be cleaned and sanitized;
- Advising hospitals to adopt procedures that limit visitors;
- Prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people;
- Mandating non-essential State employees to telework;
- Limiting cruise ship operations at the Port of Baltimore;
- Activating the National Guard to carry out any necessary emergency functions;
- Suspending all visits to correctional facilities; and
- Continuing to operate under a State of Emergency.
Although some of these provisions may seem extreme, they are essential to the efforts to contain this virus. In addition to enhanced attention to personal hygiene, we must endeavor to reduce potential person-to-person transmission long enough to dramatically slow new cases of the virus.
These public health actions will affect our lives — and they will affect us here in Annapolis too. Our 90-day session would normally have ended at midnight on April 6th, but it’s unlikely that we will stay in session that long. The General Assembly’s priorities moving forward must include debating and approving our annual State budget as well as the landmark Kirwan legislation to improve our public schools
. In addition, we will surely make time for legislation that is essential to our public health and safety. I expect that hundreds of worthy proposals will fail when we run out of time in an abbreviated session.
My office will be operating with very limited staff for the foreseeable future. Please be patient in the upcoming weeks, as it may take longer than usual to return your calls and emails. My staff and I appreciate your understanding during these unpredictable times. We will do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.
I take my responsibilities as your Senator very seriously. I have confidence that we will get through this episode together and that our lives will return to normal before too long.
Reliable Resources for COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control
- Maryland Department of Health
- Montgomery County Public Schools
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Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg
In the midst of this difficult time, the April Primary Election is just around the corner. Watch for news soon as to how Maryland will be voting in a way that will accommodate public safety. If you are concerned, consider requesting an absentee ballot online here