It includes financial relief for residents, small businesses.
Annapolis, Md (KM) During a news conference on Friday in Annapolis, Governor Larry Hogan announced more actions he’s taking to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
He says he’s signed an executive order expanding telehealth services in Maryland. The Governor says Marylanders can stay in touch with their doctors or other health care providers by phone, e-mail or video, but still get real time evaluations while maintaining their social distancing.
“I’ve also enacted executive orders to ensure that those who provide support services to the disabled will be recognized as essential health care workers,” Hogan says.
In addition, the Governor announced a series of financial relief initiatives for individuals facing economic hardship due to the coronavirus. He says nearly 70 of Maryland’s largest banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, state agencies and other entities have collaborated to provide flexibility to borrowers.
The financial relief package stops lenders from beginning the mortgage foreclosure process; authorizes the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation to suspend certain lending limits for banks, and credit unions,. on a case-by-case basis, to make credit more available to businesses; prohibit the repossession of car and trucks; and prohibit the repossession of homes not considered “real property” such as mobile homes, trailers and lie-abroad boats.
In a statement, the Governor says residents may be eligible for these opportunities by contacting their lenders: 90 days of payment forbearance or deferral for their mortgages; waiving late fees; mortgage lenders and servicers will not report negative information to credit bureaus during a forbearance or deferral period; and 90-day forbearance of foreclosure initiation.
During his news conference, Governor Hogan noted there’s been a number of COVID-19 infections at nursing homes in Maryland. “Of major of concern to us is that we have cases and/or clusters of cases at 60 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the state,” he said Hogan especially mentioned Pleasant View Nursing Home Mount Airy, which has had 99 coronavirus cases among residents and staff.
He also said the COVID-19 virus has been detected in the state’s prison system. “COVID-19 in Jessup, Baltimore and Hagerstown, including two Division of Parole and Probation employees, three inmates, four correctional officers and eight contractor staff,” the Governor said.
As part of this news conference, Governor Hogan called for a moment of prayer on Sunday, April 5th, which is Palm Sunday. He noted that this is the beginning of Holy Week for Christians, and Wednesday is the start of Passover for the Jewish people. “At noon on Sunday, I am calling on all Marylanders to join together at home, or wherever you are, in a moment of prayer or reflection for those who are lost, who are sick, and the doctors, nurses, clinicians, health care workers and first responders on the front lines around the clock working to bring about a new dawn in our history,” Hogan said in a statement.
As of Friday, there are 2,758 coronavirus cases in Maryland, according to the State Department of Health. The Frederick County Health Department is reporting 93 cases of COVID-19.
By Kevin McManu