Maryland Coronavirus Cases
As of July 8, Maryland reported 70,861 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of these, 3,149 has resulted in death. Prince George’s County has the majority of cases with 19,285 reported. Montgomery County was second with 15,400, and Baltimore County, with 8,443, was third.
Source: Maryland Department of Health
$1.6B Federal Grant Given to Novavax Toward Producing a Vaccine for Coronavirus
A Maryland company scored a major victory in the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine.
Gaithersburg-based Novavax has been awarded a $1.6 billion federal grant to speed up the process for making a vaccine.
Novavax has been working on a COVID-19 vaccine basically since the pandemic started. Novavax was thrust into the national spotlight after being chosen to participate in the White House's Operation Warp Speed, a program that aims to begin delivering millions of doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021.
"(It) validates what we're doing. People believe that we have a good vaccine and that needs to be supported and brought to the public," Jim Young, chairman of Novavax, told 11 News Tuesday via Zoom.
"We're pretty confident this will stimulate a potent neutralizing immune response in humans," Novavax president and CEO Stanley C. Erck said in a CNBC appearance Tuesday morning.
Erck said the money -- the most given out by the White House to date -- will help complete late-stage clinical development, including a pivotal phase three clinical trial, establish large-scale manufacturing and deliver 100 million doses of a vaccine, possibly, by the end of the year.
"To show that the vaccine is, No. 1, safe, that it's effective and, if the vaccine is stable and in parallel, these things are usually done in sequence parallel, will be able to manufacture large quantities at multiple locations in five or six countries," Erck said.
The Novavax grant got the attention of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who tweeted a congratulatory note to the company, saying, in part, "Since day one, I've said that Maryland's biohealth institutions would lead the charge to develop treatments and vaccines."
"We're grateful to the county and the state for providing this type of environment that helps advance science and advance health for the community," Young said.
Human testing of the vaccine is well underway in Australia with results expected by the end of the month.
There are a number of other companies that have also received Operation Warp Speed grants, including Johnson & Johnson and Merck, as the race continues toward a COVID-19 vaccine. But Young said it's not a competition.
"Everybody's in this trying to get enough vaccine to immunize the world. We're trying to produce 6 billion, 7 billion doses. No one company can do that. There's plenty of room for everybody," Young said.
The vaccine is expected to come out sometime in 2021.
"I'm glad that people are able to freely express their frustrations and to get out and protest. I am concerned that so many people are gathered so closely together."
Governor Hogan, in response to a question at a Wednesday news conference about the potential spread of the virus at protests
Small business Coronavirus Relief Program Extended By Senate
Democrats drove a temporary extension of a popular subsidy program for small businesses through the GOP-controlled Senate late Tuesday, an unexpected development that came as spikes in coronavirus cases in many states are causing renewed shutdowns of bars and other businesses.
The move by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin came hours before a deadline for applying for the program, which was created in March and modified twice since. Cardin, the top Democrat on the Small Business Committee, asked for unanimous approval of the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program through Aug. 8.
Minority lawmakers are hardly ever successful in such attempts, but the pressure swayed Republicans controlling the Senate, who have delayed consideration of a fifth coronavirus relief bill and are preparing to go home for a two-week recess.
About $130 billion remains of $660 billion approved so far for the subsidy program, which provides direct subsidies to businesses harmed by the coronavirus pandemic, which slammed the economy as consumers and workers were forced to stay at home through much of spring.
The subsidies come in the form of federal loans that can be forgiven if businesses follow rules such as utilizing 60% of the loan for payroll costs. The loans have been a lifeline to more than 4 million businesses.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York took a victory lap after the unexpectedly successful maneuver, saying renewed economic troubles are reviving interest in the program.
“There are large numbers of businesses who are going to need to apply now. Had this program run out today, they would have been out of luck,” Schumer said. “Now with this renewal, short time, August 8, they at least get the chance to reapply.”
Number of advance unemployment claims made in Maryland for the week ending March 21: 41,882 Claims made the previous week: 3,864
National projected revenue loss (travel and tourism industry): $15.6 billion
Sales of disinfectant and cleaning wipes rose by 973% and 1079% respectively compared to sales in 2019
Sales of General Goods, Grocers in Amazon & Paypal categories rose by 8%
Percentage of adult Americans "very concerned" about coronavirus in the U.S. in March 2020: 40%+
As at April 7, Maryland is expected to get 200 ventilators
From March 24 through April 10, Compliance checks conducted by police across the state: 17,327 Calls for service that have been responded to concerning the governor’s executive 'stay at home' orders: 1,352
As of April 28, The percentage of juveniles facing detention on charges of misdemeanor has dropped from 44% to 25% and the percentage of detained black youth has dropped from 77% to 58%
As of May 18, African American residents account for nearly one third of the state’s cases, and 23% of those infected are Hispanic. Those groups make up about 31% and 10% of the state population, respectively. People older than 60 account for about 28% of known coronavirus cases in Maryland, but they represent 85% of the deaths.
As of May 22, there are currently 1,765 ventilators available in Maryland hospitals.
As of May 28, the acute hospital bed rate has stayed slightly above the targeted 70%.
As of June 5, over 392,000 coronavirus tests have been administered in Maryland.
As of June 10, Maryland has one of the 10 highest positivity rates in the country and is one of 20 states with a positivity rate higher than 5%.
More than 70% of the state’s confirmed victims were at least 70 years old, though that age group accounts for about one in every seven of Maryland’s infections. Over half of the state’s confirmed cases are in those between the ages of 30 and 59.
About 42% of Maryland’s victims are black, a group that is only 30% of the state’s population as a whole.
Maryland State Could Be Greatly Affected As Coronavirus Dents Budget
The coronavirus is battering local and state budgets everywhere, and thousands of state employees in Maryland could take a big hit.
Proposals are circulating that could cost pay and jobs.
The state budget cut proposals are circulating in advance of the new budget year that begins July 1.
Union leaders said the proposals cut deep.
"They are destructive. They would have an incredibly dangerous and disastrous result for a lot of working people and for people who expect quality services," said Patrick Moran, president of AFSCME 3.
Proposals include a 5% pay cut, elimination of planned pay raises, increases in the cost of health benefits and reductions in filled and vacant positions.
The state is looking at a $2.1 billion budget shortfall in fiscal year 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The deficit will be another $2.6 billion in fiscal year 2022.
More than two-dozen organizations are urging the state's Board of Public Works to preserve the workforce, many of whom work on the front lines of the pandemic.
"That this is being done in the midst of a pandemic is dangerous. There is a 3,000% increase in unemployment claims.
They couldn't handle it because, of course, they hadn't staffed it properly (and) switched to a new computer system. Now, they are going to add insult to injury on that and create a bigger burden on those waiting for unemployment insurance and those trying to process those things," Moran said.
Union leaders want state officials to hold off in cuts until further aid from the federal government is known.
"We still don't know what the federal government is going to put forth in the CARES three package. So they are rushing to conclusions, trying to make all their cuts off the backs of employees now instead of trying to figure out what's going to happen in the future," Moran said.
State officials said a number of options for budget cuts are on the table and that formal proposals will be made next week. A state budget agency spokesman said no comment could be made on ongoing union negotiations.