Hogan Announces Plans For Reopening Being Made
I hope everyone is doing okay and holding up well through this madness. The Kipkes have enjoyed the quality time together but like everyone it's been very tough in other ways. My assistant Emily and I have been fielding scores of requests for help from constituents seeking assistance navigating unemployment insurance and from local businesses navigating the loans and grants to help them avoid bankruptcy. It's been an incredibly stressful time.
Governor Hogan announced that next week he will lay out plans for reopening Maryland's economy. This is welcome news as Marylanders are suffering on many levels, especially financially. On Thursday along with other legislators I spent several hours discussing ideas and concerns by teleconference with the administration and on Friday I spoke directly with the Governor by phone discussing how we can safely begin to lift or ease restrictions.
Thursday evening the Trump administration also released guidelines for Governors to use as they make plans to reopen their states.
Here are the Trump Administration guidelines to begin reopening:
(The entire plan can be seen here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/)
A key trigger in lifting restrictions in Trump's plan is a 14 day decrease in symptoms, cases, and hospitalizations. You should know that Maryland is still seeing single day deaths and hospitalizations increase, in fact we saw our deadliest two days so far earlier this week. However, the numbers so far do not show sharp increases like what was predicted. This gives us hope that the spread has slowed to a level, through everyone's sacrifices, that it bought us the time to acquire the supplies necessary to save lives and prevent intensive care units from being overrun beyond capacity. It also gives us hope that we are near the peak and we may be about to see the decline in numbers that we are all praying for. Here are yesterday's COVID-19 statistics:
COVID-19 Statistics in Maryland 04/18/2020
Number of Confirmed Cases: 12,308
+736 cases in last 24 hours
Saturday's numbers of people currently hospitalized for COVID is 1,288, including 488 in ICU. That's a 7.2% increase over the prior day.
Number of negative test results: 53,062
+2,625 in last 24 hours
Number of Deaths: 463
+38 in last 24 hours
Number of Probable Deaths: 71
+2 in last 24 hours
Hospitalizations: 2,757 ever hospitalized
+145 in last 24 hours
Released From Isolation: 771
+35 in last 24 hours
More information available at: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/
After the teleconference with the Governor and his administration, we sent to him the memo below that outlines some of the ideas we presented about safely easing restrictions and reopening the economy. For example, I encouraged him to ease the restriction on recreational boating. I can understand not allowing a "bumper bash" right now but a family should be allowed to use their boat following safe social distancing guidelines. It would be good for their physical and mental health and also support the economy. In my opinion, businesses who can operate within CDC guidelines should be allowed to operate at least in areas of the state where they have little or no active COVID-19 cases as long as that business is not a magnet for out of area tourism. We can't just shut everything down indefinitely, so some sensible consideration needs to be made to responsibly begin easing restrictions soon. There are many right now who are saying to just open everything up now but not even President Trump supports that and his guidelines would not allow for it. However, steps can be taken now to safely ease restrictions week by week to ultimately get our economy open and return to a more normal way of life.
I welcome your thoughts on the situation and I am available to you should you need any assistance. Be well and healthy!
Delegate Nic Kipke