Category: County News

Elrich to Order Indefinite Extension of County Stay-at-Home Restrictions

County Executive Marc Elrich will issue an order today extending the county’s stay-at-home restrictions indefinitely, while Gov. Larry Hogan eases statewide constraints. The governor announced earlier this week that the state would begin stage one of a recovery that changes the order from “stay at home” to “safer at home.” The order will be effective at 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 15.

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Council Continues to Add Funding to Assist During COVID-19 Emergency

The County Council continues to propose and appropriate funding to provide various forms of assistance to county residents during the COVID-19 emergency. The council yesterday unanimously approved a special appropriation of $2 million to be used for emergency eviction prevention and housing stabilization programs via a short-term rental subsidy program to low- and moderate-income households.

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County Launches Family Violence Prevention Campaign During COVID-19 Emergency

The county has launched a new Family Violence Awareness and Prevention Campaign to focus on the available help for victims of such actions during the COVID-19 emergency. “Our community is weathering an unprecedented pandemic. With that may come added stress and anxiety,” said Police Chief Marcus Jones. “This in turn is contributing to the potential victimization of some of our most vulnerable populations, including our elderly and our children.”

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Council Votes to Limit Residential Rent Increases During COVID-19 Emergency

The County Council voted to limit residential rent increases during the COVID-19 health emergency and for 180 days after the emergency’s expiration. Expedited Bill 18-20, the COVID-19 Renter Relief Act, prohibits landlords from increasing rents on lease renewals more than the county’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ rent guidelines of 2.6 percent.

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Council Approves Another $5 Million in COVID-19 Funding for Local Restaurants, Retailers

The County Council unanimously approved another $5 million in funding for the Public Health Emergency Grant program to assist local restaurants and small retail shops during the COVID-19 emergency. The special appropriation is in addition to the $5 million reserved for those businesses as part of the original $20 million appropriation that created the program.

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Bill Would Prohibit Residential Rent Increases During COVID-19 Emergency

Landlords would not be permitted to increase residential rents during the COVID-19 emergency under the terms of a bill introduced yesterday by Councilmember Will Jawando (D-At Large). Expedited Bill 18-20, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Rent Stabilization During Emergencies (the COVID-18 Renter Relief Act) also would prevent rent increase notices for 30 days after the emergency ends.

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Face Coverings Now Required for Certain Employees, Customers During COVID-19 Emergency

Employees and customers of certain retail outlets in the county are now required to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 emergency, according to a health order issued by Travis Gayles, M.D., the county’s health officer. The order, effective today (April 13), covers grocery stores, pharmacies and large chain retailers (“big-box” stores), as well as farmers markets.

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Council Seeks Comment on Plan to Require Face Coverings During COVID-19 Emergency

The County Council is looking for public comments on a plan to require employees and customers of essential businesses to wear face coverings during any interactions under the COVID-19 emergency. The council yesterday announced its intention to introduce the measure as an emergency Board of Health regulation during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, April 14.

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