Maryland Residents Filed More Than 61K Unemployment Claims

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — About 61,770 Maryland residents filed for unemployment last week in a reflection of how the coronavirus is affecting jobs, the state reported Thursday.

Those numbers are down from the 108,508 claims that were filed the week before.

In the past month, almost 300,000 unemployment claims have been filed in the state. New federal data showed that at least 22 million Americans have been thrown out of work in the last month.

Meanwhile, Maryland reported 10,784 confirmed cases of the virus on Thursday. That’s up 752 cases from the previous day. There have been 392 deaths attributed to the virus in Maryland — with 43 more reported Thursday morning — and 67 deaths have been described as probably related to the virus.

There have been 48,059 negative tests in Maryland. The state also saw an increase in recoveries, with 736 total people released from isolation — 129 more than the day before.

Gov. Larry Hogan, who is chairman of the National Governors Association, led a call with governors and the White House on Thursday afternoon. The White House released guidelines outlining a phased in approach to restoring normal commerce and services, but only for places with strong testing that are seeing a drop in COVID-19 cases.

Also, Maryland’s corrections department released an updated number of cases in the Maryland system on Thursday. There have been 136 confirmed cases in the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. That includes 31 inmates and 72 correctional officers. There have been 27 contractual staff members with confirmed cases, as well as three employees with the Division of Parole and Probation, one clinical health employee and two administrative employees. One inmate has died from the virus, the department said Monday.

On Tuesday, Maryland’s chief judge issued an order directing judges to confer with stakeholders to identify people who are being detained for pretrial or are eligible for sentence modification and to expedite hearings for their release. Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued a similar order for detained juveniles on Monday night.

Separately, the state’s health benefit exchange reported that a special enrollment period due to the coronavirus for people to get health insurance has resulted in more than 19,500 people obtaining health coverage. About 61% of them have received coverage through Medicaid and the rest through private insurance. The special enrollment period runs through June 15.

The coronavirus special enrollment period, which began a month ago and now runs through June 15, has resulted in more than 19,000 residents obtaining health coverage — 61 percent in Medicaid and the remainder in private insurance, with most