The global community is experiencing a pandemic outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has produced terrible consequences for the public health, our people, our businesses, our nonprofit community, and our economy. My thoughts and best wishes continue to go out to anyone and everyone affected medically, psychologically and financially by this shocking crisis.
I am deeply engaged in mobilizing effective legislative responses to the rapidly ballooning problems caused by the pandemic.
Safeguarding the health of Marylanders—and all Americans—is of primary and urgent importance. My staff and I are in constant contact with local and state public health authorities handling Maryland’s response as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I will continue to monitor this public health emergency and work with my colleagues to ensure that Maryland and our federal agencies have the resources they need to keep our constituents safe. I worked on the first wave of federal legislation providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to promote free testing of the population, advance vaccine and treatment research, get the states and hospitals the resources they need to arrest the spread of the disease, and educate the public about proper precautions in social distancing, self-quarantine and sheltering in place. We also passed sweeping provisions establishing 14 days of paid sick leave, three months of family and medical leave, and expanded access to unemployment insurance benefits.
COVID-19 has hit us as an economic cyclone as well as a medical one. I have been working hard in Congress to get broad and meaningful income support to workers in affected sectors who are displaced by the partial shutdown of our economy; substantial support for states and localities, hospitals, businesses, universities, school systems and nonprofits still reeling from the shock of the crisis; direct cash payments to working-class Americans; massive investment in manufacture of testing kits and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) health care workers need; and rapid response to the manifold other needs afflicting our people.
We have been through social traumas before as a nation, and we have made it through them, and we will make it through this one too if we stick together and take care of each other. The health, safety and economic well-being of my constituents are of central and overriding importance to my excellent staff and myself. If you have any questions or concerns or need assistance, please do not hesitate to call my District office at 301-354-1000 or contact my D.C. office at 202-225-5341 if you would like to share your thoughts about federal legislation. In the meantime, be safe and well in this tough time.
Fact Sheets on Federal Coronavirus Legislation
Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, H.R. 6074 (passed by the House on Wednesday, March 4, 2020)
- Click here for a title-by-title summary of the legislation
Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 (passed by the House on Saturday, March 14, 2020)
- Click here for a title-by-title summary of the legislation
- Click here for a summary of the enacted final paid leave provisions of H.R. 6021, which incorporates changes made by technical correction in the House on March 17th.
CARES Act, H.R. 748 (passed by the House on Friday, March 27, 2020)
- Click here for a topline overview of the CARES Act
- Click here for a section-by-section summary of the CARES Act
- Click here for the Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act
- Click here for a summary of the small business provisions in the CARES Act
- Click here for a flow chart with counseling resources and basic information about the new SBA programs (Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL Grants) included in the CARES Act
- Click here for an explainer on the Social Security provisions in the CARES Act
- Click here for an FAQ on the unemployment compensation provisions in the CARES Act
- Click here for an FAQ on direct cash payments to Americans
- Click here for a fact sheet on the funding provisions for states, local governments, and nonprofits
- Click here for a fact sheet on the provisions that address the financial needs of individuals, families, small businesses, and communities
The Governor has enacted new measures in Maryland to slow the spread of COVID-19. These measures include:
- Closing all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, enclosed malls, and event venues. Take-out and drive-through for services will still continue. To see a list of services that may remain open, click here.
- Closing all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities
- Closing all Maryland schools from March 16th to March 27th
- Restricting access to BWI airport to include only travelers and employees
- Limiting gatherings to 10 people, per CDC guidance on social distancing
- Activating the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps, including 5,000 trained volunteers
- Prohibiting all utilities, including electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable, TV, and your internet service provider from shutting off service or charging late fees during the state of emergency.
- Postponing the primary election in Maryland from April 28th to June 2nd
Click here for an A-Z resource guide on the Governor's actions to combat COVID-19 in our state.
COVID-19 in Maryland
The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has a coronavirus information page here, which includes an interactive map of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our state and counties. Maryland has set up a help line through MDH, which you can call during regular business hours at 410-767-6700. After hours, call 410-795-7365.
Guidance on COVID-19 Testing
Testing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) change frequently. Please visit the CDC website for updates on guidance about who should be tested.
During this time of anticipated large demand on the health care delivery system, you are asked to avoid unscheduled visits to your health care provider. It is important to call ahead. People who are mildly ill should not go to emergency departments. Mildly ill people should stay home and contact their health care provider by phone for guidance. Like all laboratory tests, testing for COVID-19 is a clinical decision made by a health care provider. Testing for COVID-19 may not be appropriate for everyone. Testing availability will expand as more testing supplies become available
Learn more here.
Health Insurance Special Enrollment Period
A special enrollment period is now open through April 15 for uninsured Marylanders to sign up for health insurance. Click here to learn more.
List of Student Meal Distribution Sites
Maryland public schools are providing meals to students while schools are shut down through April 24, 2020. Click here to find a meal distribution site in your community.
Resources for Seniors and Older Americans
The Maryland Department of Aging has a first-in-the-nation, free Senior Call Check program to verify the well-being of those 65 years old and older in our communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Register by calling 1-866-50-CHECK or register online here.
Every day a telephone call will be placed to a participant at a regularly scheduled time. These calls will take place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If the participant does not answer their first call, they will be tried two more times. If those calls go unanswered, additional calls will be made to notify an alternative person who is selected by the participant during program enrollment.
The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services maintains a resource list for seniors and older Americans. Click here to view it.
AARP maintains a Coronavirus Resource Page here to provide updated information on the virus and expert advice on health, personal finance, pharmacy and caregiving, and many other issues of concern to the senior and older American community. AARP also hosts a weekly live Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall on YouTube every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. The public is invited to join us each week for the latest information on the coronavirus by calling toll-free 855-274-9507 or viewing online here.
AARP Community Connections brings volunteers together to support those people most in need who live in their local community. Mutual aid can include picking up groceries, providing financial assistance, or lending emotional support to your neighbors. The site also features links to important resources, including help lines, volunteer support networks, and community chat rooms to help people stay connected and fight social isolation.
The Maryland Department of Aging has compiled a list of stores offering grocery deliveries in each county. See the list here. On March 25th, Governor Hogan announced $4 million in federal funding to help provide at-home meals for senior citizens. For a list of grocery stores in Montgomery County offering dedicated shopping hours for seniors and at-risk individuals, click here.
All Giant locations will offer dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens 60-and-older and individuals with compromised immune systems. Every store in Maryland will reserve 6:00-7:00 a.m., every day of the week for this vulnerable population to shop and practice social distancing. All Whole Foods locations welcome seniors 60-and-older to shop at the store one hour before the store opens to the general public. All Target locations will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday for the elderly and vulnerable guests. All Walmart locations will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday one hour before the store opens for customers aged 60 and older. Sam’s Club locations nationwide, including optical centers and pharmacies, will offer early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems. During special shopping hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., these members can shop Sam’s Club without ever leaving their car. From a designated parking location, members in need can place their order from their car, and a Sam’s Club associate will grab the items on the list. Many Safeway locations have set up seniors-only shopping times on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 AM to 9 AM. All Walgreens locations are hosting Seniors-only shopping hour for customers aged 55 and older every Tuesday from 8 AM to 9 AM and is waiving shipping costs for seniors shopping online. During regular shopping hours, Walgreens is offering a drive-through shopping service.
Resources for Maryland Businesses
* Click here for the Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act *
State relief: Visit the Maryland Coronavirus Information Page for Businesses here. You can also visit the website to subscribe to receive email updates. Governor Hogan announced new COVID-19 business relief programs on March 23. These resources are available through the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor. See below for more information.
The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs. If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below and see if you qualify for assistance.
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.
- Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More information coming by Friday, March 27, 2020.
The Maryland Department of Labor is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses with 500 employees or fewer by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs. To see details or apply please visit this website. Labor is accepting grant applications from small businesses for awards from now through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends (subject to funding availability). Submit your completed application to: LaborCOVID19.email@example.com. Labor staff will process applications within two business days of receipt. Upon approval and receipt of signed contract, payment will be expedited. Note: This funding is not for rent and is not for employee wages unless approved for Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing participation.
- How can it help?
- Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off;
- Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing software or programs that an employee would need to use from home;
- Supporting businesses that take advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program by supplementing the employee’s income and benefits;
- Providing funds to cover the costs of cleaning/sanitization services so that small businesses are able to keep employees at work on site, but only if a frequent deep cleaning to prevent exposure occurred;
- Paying for liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under emergency circumstances;
- Providing funds for training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; and
- Adopting other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community.
- Examples of how a business may demonstrate the need for layoff aversion funds:
- I run a call center where employees usually work in an office setting. To support social distancing, I’d like my employees to work remotely, which will require equipment such as reliable headphones and laptops for each employee. If they do not have this equipment, I will need to layoff my staff.
- I could ask employees to use their personal phones and work remotely, but I do not have the funds to support the cell phone packages. If provided funds to reimburse employees for the increased data usage, my business could avoid layoffs.
- My employees could work remotely if they had a specific software or computer application, but I cannot afford to purchase. Without this software, I will need to layoff my workforce until we can go back to the office.
- I need my 8 employees to continue to work on site, but I am concerned about their potential exposure to COVID-19 and cannot afford frequent deep cleaning to help limit potential exposure. If I had funds to support the deep cleaning, it would allow my workers to continue to work and would foster a safer work environment.
- Due to the impacts of COVID-19, my employees have more down time than usual. If I were able to offer the opportunity for them to take project management training online during this down time, they will increase their skillsets, making them a valuable asset to our company and less likely a candidate for layoff.
Federal Relief: The entire state of Maryland has received designation for assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Individual businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are now available to eligible businesses across the state. You may apply for an EIDL loan here. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application please contact a local SBA office. You can find contact information for your local office here. More information regarding the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program can be found here.
The Maryland Small Business Development Center offers helpful coronavirus-related resources for small businesses. Click here for more information.
State relief: Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced several deadline extensions for income, corporate and business tax payments. Learn more from the comptroller’s office.
Comptroller Franchot also extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1. Get additional information regarding business tax returns - including sales and use tax, alcohol tax, etc. - and income tax extensions. Businesses who paid their Maryland Sales & Use Taxes for March early may request a refund of their payment by emailing email@example.com or by calling 410-260-4020.
Taxpayers who have set up a payment through their own online banking services will need to stop that transaction through their banks. Taxpayers who have scheduled a payment through the Comptroller’s iFile or bFile can request to have a debit from their account stopped as long as it is at least 3 days prior to the scheduled payment date. If taxpayers have individual requests for assistance, they should contact Taxpayer Services at 410-260-7980 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal relief: The IRS has extended the federal income tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses that need additional time must file Form 7004. The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible.
If you are laid off temporarily due to a business shutdown as a result of COVID-19, the Division of Unemployment Insurance recommends that you file a claim for unemployment insurance. Learn more from the Maryland Department of Labor.
You may contact the Maryland Department of Labor, Division of Unemployment Insurance at 410-949-0022 or view information online at https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml
If you are having difficulty filing for Unemployment Insurance through the Maryland Department of Labor either online or via phone, you should email email@example.com and include your name, the last four numbers of your Social Security Number, and what you need help with (ie. unemployment, access to the Webcert program, etc.)
Volunteering - How You Can Help
If you are looking for ways to help our nation respond to COVID-19, refer to FEMA’s “How to Help” guidance here. If you are looking for ways to help our state respond to COVID-19, visit the "Maryland Unites" initiative webpage here, which includes information on Meals on Wheels, Maryland Food Bank, Red Cross, the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, and more.
If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please email FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State of Maryland is seeking active and retired health care professionals, medical students, and other interested volunteers to help communities fighting the coronavirus. If you are interested in volunteering, click here to register. Additionally, if you have a lead on medical resources, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks, or testing kits, please email email@example.com today.
The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. To find where you can donate blood, visit www.redcross.org.
AARP Community Connections brings volunteers together to support those people most in need who live in their local community. Mutual aid can include picking up groceries, providing financial assistance, or lending emotional support to your neighbors. The site also features links to important resources, including help lines, volunteer support networks, and community chat rooms to help people stay connected and fight social isolation
County-Specific Information for 8th District Residents
Carroll County: The Carroll County Health Department has a Coronavirus information page here. Carroll County’s COVID-19 call center line is 410-876-4848. The call center will be open from 8 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week. You can leave a message after hours and it will be returned the next business day, or call 211.
To contact Emergency Management Carroll County, you can visit this page or call 410-386-2296.
For any assistance with your business, you can find more information from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce here or call 410-848-9050.
Montgomery County: The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services has a Coronavirus information page here. Montgomery County maintains a 24/7 hotline for residents who would like to speak with a nurse about COVID-19 symptoms and testing at: 240-777-1755.
The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services maintains a resource list for seniors and older Americans. Click here to view it.
For additional information on Montgomery County Public Schools, you can visit this page or call 240-740-3000. You can visit this page for information and locations of MCPS Emergency Closure Meals Service.
For a list of grocery stores in Montgomery County offering dedicated shopping hours for seniors and at-risk individuals, click here.
To contact the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, you can visit this page or call 240-777-0311.
Frederick County: The Frederick County Health Department has information on Coronavirus here. Call 2-1-1 for a quick and easy way to find information and get referrals for thousands of programs and services across Maryland. Speak with a live, highly trained service professional in your area. All calls are confidential.
For additional information on Frederick County Public Schools and school meal programs, you can visit this page or call 301-644-5000.
To contact the Frederick County Division of Emergency Management, you can visit this page or call 301-600-6790.
For assistance with your business, you can find information and resources from the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce here or you can call 301-662-4164.