Maryland gets Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19

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Annapolis – The gubernatorial offices of Maryland got a shot in the arm as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid was approved for the state of Maryland to supplement the state, tribes and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing. MaryAnn Tierney has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Welcoming the announcement, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said, “We are pleased that our federal partners answered our calls for action and swiftly granted Maryland’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration.”

“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,” Governor Hogan added.

The announcement came just hours after Governor Hogan pushed for disaster declarations for the states during a teleconference earlier in the day with the White House.

Noting that the “COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on our entire state and country unlike anything we have seen before,” Russell Strickland, Executive Director for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, said, “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.”

Tonight’s announcement means Maryland 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.

Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent.

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Tejinder Singh, Editor, India America Today & White House Correspondent

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