ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Hogan provided a COVID-19 update and discussed additional investments and initiatives on Thursday.
Hogan announced another $70 million in targeted investments utilizing CARES Act funding to help bolster the state’s emergency response to the current COVID-19 surge.
$20 million will be going to the Maryland Department of Health to continue building up the state’s strategic stockpile of PPE.
$15 million will go towards unemployment insurance measures. That funding will go to Maryland Department of Labor Division of Unemployment Insurance.
Resources will help expand call center staffing and adjudication staffing, improve customer service management software, and provide additional fraud detection measures.
Maryland Housing will use an additional $10 million to cover rent payments for low income tenants who have been negatively affected by the pandemic. To date, 4,500 rental payments have been through this program.
Hogan also announced an initial investment of $10 million to accelerate the state’s planning for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
An additional $10 million in funding will be provided to support the work of area food banks.
$2 million in emergency supplemental resources will go to the Maryland Department of Human Services to help foster care providers meet the needs of the youth entrusted to their care.
They will also receive another $2 million in funding to increase call handling capacity and extend their daily hours of operation to manage the increase in SNAP and energy assistance programs.
Another $1 million will go to a wastewater sampling program by the Maryland Department of Health and the MD Dept. of the Environment to help detect COVID-19 outbreaks in vulnerable populations.
The pilot project showed that wastewater sampling provided advanced notice of an outbreak before they were seen through traditional testing
Hogan is urging county government partners to do their part, and utilize their remaining CARES Act funding ahead of the December 30 deadline.
He called on leaders in Washington as well to “put the politics aside, do their jobs” and reach a compromise on the next stimulus package.
As of Thursday, Maryland is reporting 159,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including an additional 1,477 new cases in the past 24 hours.