State Officials Say Disaster Declaration Means Federal Reimbursement For Expenses In Battling Coronavirus

It includes state & local governments, some non-profits.


Annapolis, Md (KM) Now that the President has issued a Major Disaster Declaration For Maryland, that state is now in line to receive Federal reimbursement for dealing with the coronavirus. “It’s mostly going to be to reimburse the cost for what the federal government calls public assistance,” says Ed McDonough, Spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

“More reimbursing the public sector, the government sector, and a few non-profits–maybe the Red Cross and other similar agencies–for costs over and above their normal operating costs that they are incurring because of the response to this,” he says.

McDonough says state and local governments and  any non-profit which  helped out in this crisis are  strongly encouraged to record how much they spent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Normally, when people thing of disaster declarations  it usually follows weather events such as blizzards or hurricanes, but McDonough says deadly and infectious diseases are not uncommon. “We’ve dealt with some smaller things over the years: the Ebola scare, the SARS scare which were mostly other countries but there were some patients who came here, or people here who had the disease, but very small numbers,” he says.

Since the state of emergency was imposed in Maryland for the coronavirus pandemic, a number of people have become frustrated with all of the restrictions on their lives. “Going by everything that health officials and medical officials and Governor Hogan have said, we are taking what we think are the best methods to reduce the threat of this. We understand the frustration,” says McDonough.

On Monday, Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order mandating that all Marylanders stay at home, and not go out unless it’s absolutely necessary. McDonough says residents could use that time to keep in touch with their family and friends, using social distancing. “Text message, chat with people on Facebook or what not. Just keep engaged with people so that we all don’t go stir crazy,” he says. “Take advantage of using the technology in a good way so we can continue the social distancing, but still keep in touch with each other and make sure everybody is doing okay through this long and strenuous period.”


By Kevin McManus