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Maryland Declared COVID-19 Federal Disaster Area

March 26th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan announced tonight that the State of Maryland has received a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today, Maryland reported 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an increase of 157 new cases, which is by far the largest one-day increase to date. The number of confirmed cases in the National Capital Region has quadrupled over the past week.

 

The announcement comes just hours after Governor Hogan pushed for disaster declarations for the states during a teleconference with the White House. As chairman of the National Governors Association, he also continued to press for further action on the five requests he submitted to the president and vice president last week.

 

“We are pleased that our federal partners answered our calls for action and swiftly granted Maryland’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration,” said Governor Hogan. “This declaration will help provide much-needed funding for state and local governments and nonprofits, and it will be another important step in Maryland’s aggressive and coordinated response to COVID-19.”

 

Tonight’s announcement means Maryand will be eligible for reimbursement for the Emergency Protective Measures taken by state and local government agencies and certain non-profit groups under its Public Assistance program under the Robert T. Stafford Act.

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on our entire state and country unlike anything we have seen before,” said Russell Strickland, Executive Director for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “We have been working alongside Governor Hogan and our local partners to ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of all Marylanders. This declaration is an important and necessary step to continue on our path of resilience.”
 

The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, also announced quick approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of a major disaster declaration for the State of Maryland related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Such approval is necessary to assure Maryland’s eligibility for an array of emergency funding reimbursed through FEMA under the Stafford Act.

 

On Wednesday, the delegation urged President Trump to swiftly approve Maryland’s request. Hours before the declaration was made official Thursday, members participated in a conference call with FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney and other Mid-Atlantic delegations to discuss what federal support was needed and available.

 

“During these unprecedented times, Team Maryland continues to work together to provide the maximum available federal resources to protect the public health and safety of the people of Maryland,” the lawmakers said. ““Across the state, Marylanders are making important and necessary sacrifices to stop the spread of this virus and safe lives. As a delegation that represents every corner of Maryland, we thank those who are fighting this on the front lines, as well as everyone who has been looking out for their neighbors, listening to medical experts, staying home and staying safe in the face of this pandemic.”

 

Per The White House, the president has designated that “a major disaster exists in the State of Maryland and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.”

 

 

Information and resources regarding COVID-19 in Maryland are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

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