Ward 7 COVID information, Council meeting tomorrow

I hope you and all your loved ones are staying well during this COVID-19 crisis. Our lives and economy have certainly been upended by the pandemic. This will likely make this upcoming City budget quite a difficult one to work through for us. If there is anything I, or the City, can do to help during this difficult time please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  I’ll include some resources below. If you’d like updates on the actual pandemic, I advise you to tune into the Mayor’s or County Executive’s virtual town halls and to listen to our County Health Officer, Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman. I would like to commend Mayor Buckley and Executive Pittman for their stellar leadership during this crisis. 

And please don’t forget to complete your Census survey online or through the mail. 

Ward 7 Town Hall cancelled

As you can probably guess, the Town Hall event I had planned for April 8th has been cancelled. I’ll reschedule once things clear up. In the meantime, I’m contemplating holding a virtual town  hall with the Mayor. In the meantime, I suggest you tune into the Mayor and County Executive Town Halls as they usually have Dr. Kalyanaraman there to answer the COVID-19 questions. 

Donate food to neighbors in Bay Forest

Our neighbors living in Bay Forest Independent Living could use donations of toilet paper, paper towels, water, canned food, sanitary items, and more. If you have any stockpiles you are willing to share, please reach out to bayforestteam@hrehllc.com

Previous Council meeting update

At our previous meeting we passed R-19-20 - Affordable Housing Task Force - For the purpose of establishing a Task Force charged with assessing the current and projected future landscape of housing affordability in the City of Annapolis; evaluating current programs and initiatives to produce new affordable housing and preserve existing ones; and making recommendations of policy to the Mayor and the City Council. 

Next Council meeting - 4/6/20 (agenda)

Due to COVID-19, all of our meetings had been cancelled. We are slowly ramping up to holding our meetings virtually. This next meeting is a very simple, quick meeting to test things out and to take the necessary step of extending our state of emergency. Council meetings start at 7pm and are televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov)

First readers (legislation being introduced)

  • R-24-20 - State of emergency extension & naming of acting mayor if need arises  - This resolution simply extends the State of Emergency that was originally declared only for 30 days, for another 30-day period. In addition, given that I’m the next most senior Alderperson that is not in an at-risk population from COVID-19, yours truly will be named the acting mayor if Mayor Buckley were to become incapacitated. 
  • R-25-20 - Small business recovery task force - For the purpose of establishing a temporary emergency Task Force commissioned to focus on the experiences that Annapolis businesses are facing in the time of the COVID-19 declarations protecting citizen health.

Public hearings

No legislation is up for a public hearing at this meeting. 

Legislation up for a final vote

We will likely suspend the rules and vote on R-24-20 at this meeting. I will support such a move.

COVID-19 resources

Annapolis Non-Emergency: 410-260-2211

Monday - Sunday 24 hours a day

COVID-19 Health Line: 410-222-7256

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Sat/Sun: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Information on City closures

https://www.annapolis.gov/1645/Coronavirus-Information#CityClosures

School system expands meals program; children can now get breakfast, lunch, and dinner at 52 sites

http://aacpsschools.org/pressr/?p=5666 

Ward 7 restaurants open

Based on the City’s list of restaurants that are still open, Annapolis Smokehouse and Tavern, Grumps, Caliente Grill, Sam’s on the waterfront, Jack’s Fortune, and Subway are still offering curbside pickup. Main & Market is closed. 

Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities launched online updates and virtual activities

https://www.aacounty.org/departments/aging-and-disabilities/

Library resources

The Anne Arundel County library system has a number of digital services that they have expanded during the crisis. 

Activities for Kids

Common Sense Media has compiled a list of Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home

Business resources

https://www.annapolis.gov/1631/COVID-19-Business-Resources

Workforce assistance

https://www.annapolis.gov/1634/COVID-19-Workforce-Assistance

Unemployment Benefits

If your employment has been impacted by COVID-19 you may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you meet the monetary criteria and the weekly eligibility criteria

  • It is strongly encouraged you utilize the NetClaims application to file your claim online
  • The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s call center is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.  To speak to an Unemployment Specialist please call 301-723-2000. Please note the call center is experiencing unusually long wait times.
  • If you are having difficulty accessing the website or placing a call, please email ui.inquiry@maryland.gov
  • For more information about unemployment benefits & COVID-19 please check the frequently asked questions page.

AAWDC Career Development Services

AAWDC services are still available remotely and can be accessed by emailing careercenter@aawdc.org or contacting your Career Navigation Specialist.  Services include:

  • Remote career coaching
  • Connection to benefits and support needed during this difficult time
  • Career planning & exploration
  • Job search resources and connection to businesses hiring

Annapolis COVID-19 frequently asked questions

https://www.annapolis.gov/faq.aspx?TID=48

Annapolis Maritime Museum virtual exhibits

https://amaritime.org/museum/exhibits/

Annapolis update on the Governors Stay-at-Home Executive Order:

On Monday, March 30th, Governor Hogan issued a Stay-at-Home Order. The Office of Emergency Management has received many questions about this order and how it will impact Annapolis residents. Here is what you need to know to keep your families, friends, and employees safe.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER: No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes - to include exercising. At this time, there is NO curfew in effect.

What is the difference between a Stay-at-Home Order and quarantine?

  • Stay-at-Home Order: Remain at your place of residence, except for certain permitted trips.
  • Quarantine: Separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Those in quarantine are permitted to leave the quarantine location for a medical emergency or to seek medical care.

What are the penalties for violating the Stay-at-Home order, and how are they being enforced?

In Maryland, the Stay-at-Home Executive Order states that anyone in violation of the Stay-at-Home rules can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Do I need documentation to be on the road?

Providing documentation such as a Letter of Clearance to essential workers is a suggestion, not a rule, under Maryland's Stay-at-Home order. Possessing documentation of where you work will help in case an employee is stopped by police on their way to or from their essential job. Law enforcement will only question someone concerning the Stay-at-Home order if they are investigating an unrelated infraction or potential crime.

Such a letter should include:

  • the name and address of the employee;
  • the name and address of the employer;
  • the nature of the employee’s work;
  • a brief statement of why the employer remains open for business;
  • a signature and contact information for the employer.
  • If you are not an essential worker, you do not need documentation. By keeping your trips within the guidelines, you can help reduce transmission of the virus in the community.

Is outdoor recreation allowed?

Yes, in Maryland, you may exercise or walk your dog outside, as long as you stay 6 feet away from others and do not congregate in groups of 10 or more. Maryland, Anne Arundel and City of Annapolis Parks remain open to the public, but please check hours and operating conditions for the most up-to-date information.

Can I go fishing?

Limited fishing is allowed if you are seeking food, but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can I go boating?

Recreational boating is prohibited. However, if an individual is boating to seek food for oneself or their family, boating is permitted. Boats used to transport essential employees or goods are also permitted.

Does kayaking or paddle boarding count as recreational boating?

Since kayaking and paddleboarding are a form of exercise, they are permitted under the Executive Order. Guidance on social distancing and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Guidance from the Maryland State Police:

Enforcement of the expanded Governor’s Executive Order will be conducted by the Maryland State Troopers. However, troopers will not make traffic stops simply to ask drivers where they are going to determine if their travel is essential or not.

If, in the course of the regular performance of his/her duties, such as during a crash investigation or a traffic stop, the trooper develops information indicating the individual was engaged in non-essential travel, enforcement action can be taken, in consultation with the state’s attorney’s office in that jurisdiction.

Troopers will continue to initiate enforcement action when a business or group of more than 10 people is observed in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order. The Order does not prohibit people from going to the store to get groceries or prescriptions, seeking medical attention at an urgent care facility, getting cleaning or laundry supplies. In addition, the Order does not prevent people from going out to get necessities for pets or other livestock.

The Order allows for travel to care for a family member, friend, pets, etc. Citizens are also permitted to travel for transporting family, friends, pets or livestock for essential health and safety activities. The Order also allows for travel to and from an educational institution to receive meals or instructional materials for distance learning. Restaurants can be visited if obtaining food for carry-out or drive-thru only.

If you have any other questions, please call the Annapolis Call Center at 410-260-2211.

CDC fact sheet on COVID-19


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  • Rob Savidge