SILVER SPRING – Today, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez released the below statement outlining actions that Governor Hogan must take to protect Maryland’s children, families, and workers amid the drastic spike in Covid-19 cases across the state. Earlier in the week, Perez called on Hogan to extend and expand hazard pay for essential workers:
“This week, Maryland surpassed 2,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations – a devastating record high. Marylanders are once again waiting in long lines to receive Covid-19 tests. Health care workers are once again overwhelmed as hospitals reach their capacities. Frontline workers are once again threatened by a highly-contagious variant with the potential to keep them out of work and cause serious financial hardship. Correctional officers, bus drivers and other essential state employees continue to work in these hazardous conditions. The hazard has not abated; it has worsened. However, hazard pay for state employees expires at midnight tomorrow unless Governor Hogan takes immediate action.
In light of the worsening conditions, Governor Hogan should take the following actions:
- Reinstate the State of Emergency to mobilize all available resources to combat the virus and its health and economic impacts.
- Drastically expand Covid-19 testing facilities and ramp up distribution of at-home rapid testing across the state.
- Issue a statewide indoor mask mandate to slow the spread of Covid-19.
- Extend the December 31st hazard pay deadline for frontline state workers by at least three months.
- Use funds allocated by the American Rescue Plan to extend hazard pay to non-state government essential employees – including health care workers, educators and school staff, child care workers, and grocery store workers.
Taking these necessary actions will help slow the rampant spread of the new variant and support the frontline workers putting their health and lives on the line each and every day to protect our communities. In addition to these actions, Marylanders should get fully vaccinated against Covid-19, including getting the booster shot once they become eligible for one, as it is the best way to protect themselves and their community.
The clock is ticking loudly as Marylanders continue to struggle through the latest wave of the pandemic, and Governor Hogan has no time to waste.”