Hogan to introduce emergency coronavirus funding legislation

Posted at 2:13 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 14:17:04-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WMAR) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday said he would be introducing emergency legislation that would give him the authority to transfer resources from the state’s rainy day fund the response to coronavirus.

Hogan also announced that the Maryland Emergency Management Agency is raising its activation level to Enhanced in order to mobilize additional resources across state government.

“We are submitting emergency legislation which will allow us to transfer any necessary resources from the rainy day fund for costs associated with the state’s coronavirus response,” said Governor Hogan. “Given the rapidly evolving nature of this threat to public health, it is critical that we have the flexibility to immediately access these resources. I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus.”

The emergency legislation allows the governor to transfer up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account to fund costs associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As part of a supplemental budget, Hogan will also submit a $10 million emergency appropriation request later this week.

Currently Maryland has no confirmed cases of coronavirus, but 11 residents are currently undergoing testing.

Maryland’s State Public Health Laboratory was approved for coronavirus testing on Tuesday.

Right now there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Prevention of COVID-19 centers on frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and separating people who have respiratory symptoms.

Treatment for COVID-19, as with any coronavirus infection like the common cold, includes the use of over-the-counter fever-relievers, drinking plenty of fluids, and resting at home to help relieve symptoms. Those with more severe symptoms may be hospitalized to provide additional support.

While much remains unknown about COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people who are elderly and who have chronic health conditions appear to be at higher risk for infection. These chronic conditions may include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any issue that lowers the body’s immunity to germs.