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Econ Focus

First Quarter 2020

Upfront

Regional News at a Glance

MARYLAND

Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order on April 3 halting evictions, repossessions, and foreclosures of those who are having trouble paying due to COVID-19. This followed a March 16 executive order prohibiting companies from shutting off or charging late fees for electricity, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable television, and internet. In addition, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has designated farmers markets as essential, urging them to stay open to support those who depend on local fruits and vegetables, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.


NORTH CAROLINA

Gov. Roy Cooper, along with the State Board of Education and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, allocated $50 million to support remote learning, child care services, and meals while public schools are closed. Executive Order No. 117 (public school closures), issued March 14, formed the North Carolina COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Working Group to strategize and ensure the health and safety of those seeking food and child care. The local education agencies, composed of 115 school districts, have also been given the authority to use existing funds for other needs, such as disinfecting schools and buses and obtaining protective equipment for personnel.


SOUTH CAROLINA

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation has extended licenses, registrations, and permits renewals for various boards (appraisers, engineering and surveying, long-term health care, nursing, residential builders, etc.) until Sept. 30. To keep up with the increased demand for health practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic, South Carolina's Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Nursing have accepted "emergency" licenses, which allow out-of-state physicians, physician's assistants, and respiratory care practitioners to offer their services temporarily.


VIRGINIA

The Department of General Services' Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) is one of the first U.S. public health labs to use genetic technology to provide more clarity on COVID-19's transmission and spread. This information, gathered with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, international health partners, and universities, will provide the commonwealth with critical information to further prevent and respond to the global pandemic. The DCLS is also maintaining a library of positive samples and tests from both the public lab and private testing facilities.


WASHINGTON, D.C.

In response to D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) closing due to COVID-19, Mayor Muriel Bowser created the DC Education Equity Fund, made possible through partnerships with Education Forward DC, the DC Public Education Fund, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and contributions from donors. The purpose of the Fund is to provide students, teachers, and parents with adequate resources for remote learning. DCPS is also providing devices to families through the Empowered Learners Initiative, a program dedicated to bridging the gap between learning and technology.


WEST VIRGINIA 

Executive Order No. 14-20, issued on March 30 by Gov. Jim Justice, requires individuals traveling from areas highly infected with COVID-19 to self-quarantine for either 14 days or the length of their stay in West Virginia, whichever ends first. The order does not apply to people traveling for commercial trucking or essential business purposes such as health care, emergency needs, and military service. Those who do not abide by the order can be subject to a fine ranging from $50 to $500 or a jail term of up to one year.

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