Some useful information on COVID-19
March 18, 2020
Dear resident, I hope you are as well as you can be in this uncertain moment. Because you are getting many COVID-19 emails, I will be brief.
Here is some information I think you will find useful as we weather this storm together, and weather it we will. Please hang in there and take care of each other.
TRACKING COVID-19 CASES
We are all monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases to see the effectiveness of our public health response. Here is the Governor’s special page that will update the case count at 10:00AM daily. https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/
SPECIAL MESSAGE TO OLDER SENIORS
This video from our Maryland Secretary of Aging is informative for older seniors who need information about COVID-19.
Older residents are advised to remain at home as much as possible. If you want to remain home but also need to get groceries, consider using the internet for grocery delivery. Services like Instacart, Peapod, and Amazon will charge a modest fee (or no fee) for delivering the groceries you select from stores that you are probably familiar with such as Giant, Safeway, and Wholefoods. It is easy to set up an account online. If you have questions, please let me know.
GROCERY STORE HOURS FOR OLDER SHOPPERS
Whole Foods has now instituted a policy for all of their stores: the hour before opening hour will be for shoppers age 60 and above. I hope all grocery stores will follow suit to help our older residents reduce their risk of exposure.
“LET’S ORDER IN” FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Our restaurants, retail, hospitality and other sectors are shut down. The huge number of employees in this sector are facing a loss of income. We all have to help the businesses survive this period so they can rehire and get the economy going again. Consider ordering a daily meal from a restaurant to help them keep afloat. Many local restaurants will let you do this directly on their website, but you can also use third party apps like GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates. The state health authorities are continuing to allow restaurants to operate on a delivery or pick up basis. If you do not want to order-in, consider buying gift certificates from your favorite local businesses now – many offer the ability to do that online.
SPEAK UP FOR EMERGENCY ECONOMIC MEASURES
While we all must do our part locally, the Federal government is the only actor with the power to prevent economic catastrophe. We need federal action NOW to put money into laid-off worker’s pockets, suspend financial debt payments for businesses, mortgage holders, and renters. I am speaking out as loudly as I can for these measures and urge you to do the same.
BUSINESS SERVICES AND UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS
The State of Maryland’s website has more information on a wide array of needs for businesses and employees. https://businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus
Send me your thoughts and questions by email at Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov or find me on Facebook and Twitter. It has been enormously helpful for me to hear from our residents and small business owners as this fast moving crisis has gained momentum. Please keep in touch.
Chair, Planning, Housing, & Economic Development Committee