Super Star, Safety, Census, & Supplies! April 28, 2020

April 28, 2020
Dear Friend:
By now, I suspect that most of us are getting pretty tired of the social distancing and isolation required during this Coronavirus pandemic. With no immediate end in sight, we all must stay home in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy. My staff and I continue to add links to the COVID-19 page on my website that you may find useful. Lots more news follows below!

Advocating for Maryland’s Cities and Towns!
The Maryland Municipal League (MML) once again named me a “Municipal Super Star” for going above and beyond for municipalities during the 2020 session! I am proud to represent Maryland’s most municipal district with both Gaithersburg and Rockville. I consistently look for legislation that may have a positive (or negative) impact on Maryland’s 157 cities and towns and collaborate with MML’s leadership. Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel (this year’s elected MML President) said, “MML is grateful for the consistent support and leadership that Senator Kagan provides to Maryland’s cities and towns. As the statewide president of MML this year, I am particularly proud to call her my Senator!” 
Since becoming a Senator, I have been named an “MML Super Star” every year they have given the award!

Bringing More Relief
Congress passed another bill to provide needed resources as a result of COVID-19. The $484 billion package includes funds for testing and contact tracing as well as $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Democratic leadership in Congress has already started to plan for the next round of aid, which will include additional money for election reform and local governments.

Expanding Access to Telehealth

Before this public health emergency, most of us received medical services by going to a doctor’s office or other health care facility. Now, technology has become the primary pathway in which Marylanders are receiving care. I am thankful that my bill, which authorizes health care practitioners to communicate with their patients through telehealth, was signed into law on April 3rd. Virtual house calls benefit those who struggle to connect with their doctors– whether due to mobility issues, child care, or work schedules. Remaining safe at home while receiving essential medical assessments is a top priority at this time.

Staying Safe and Healthy

As we begin our seventh week of quarantine, many of us have faced the psychological toll of the stay-at-home order. If you are struggling with conflicts with your neighbors, boss, partner, or colleagues, the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County has resources and multi-lingual staff that can help. EveryMind (formerly Mental Health Association)– a Montgomery County nonprofit is open 24/7 and ready to help you with anything from small anxieties to a serious crisis. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any type of domestic abuse, contact your closest rape crisis center, Montgomery County’s  Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program, or JCADA for confidential support. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.

Partnering for New VaccinationsI toured Novavax with the Governor.
I am thrilled to share the progress of our Gaithersburg biotechnology laboratory, Novavax. Partnering with Emergent BioSolutions (also in Gaithersburg), the team has isolated a protein for the COVID-19 vaccination and will be begin human trials next month. Preliminary results should be available in July. Kudos to both groups of hard-working scientists!

Counting on You…
Responding to the 2020 Census is an important way of having a positive impact on our community. It only takes 10 minutes to respond, and the results determine the number of seats each state will have in Congress. This data will provide an accurate portrayal of our diverse community and ensures that we receive our fair share of federal and state resources. Billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, and roads based on the reported results. Montgomery County had an 80% response rate in 2010. Fill out the Census today to help us reach 100%!

Securing Supplies for Marylanders
Governor Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan recently announced Operation Enduring Friendship, which has resulted in Maryland securing 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from South Korea. This is a remarkable accomplishment in the fight against the pandemic; I am optimistic that Marylanders will get easier access to the testing we desperately need.

You can find more resources and stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 news on my website. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. Even during this Global Pandemic, my team and I are teleworking to serve you. If you are struggling with a State Agency, send us your questions or comments via email.

Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
P.S.: Looking for a little positivity during your time at home? Check out SGN (SomeGoodNews) hosted by John Krasinski for heartwarming stories from across the nation that will brighten your day.