Construction begins on field hospital at Baltimore Convention Center to house recovering COVID-19 patients

The Maryland National Guard began setting up a field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center Saturday as part of an effort to expand the state’s hospital capacity in response to the new coronavirus pandemic. About 100 members of the state’s National Guard began unloading the first round of supplies, which included cots and tables, into the facility that is planned to house at least 250 beds for patients recovering from COVID-19. Officials hope to have the makeshift medical center open by April 24. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland parks enforce measures to encourage social distancing

Park departments in Maryland are starting to take the rims off basketball hoops and even put up fences around some playgrounds to maintain social distancing and keep crowds from gathering. “We try not to do that except on the courts where we’re getting reports about pickup games going on or other large crowds of people gathering,” said Casey Anderson, the chair of the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission. (WTOP)

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Social Distancing: Things To Do While Staying Inside During Coronavirus Pandemic

If you’re going stir crazy and are in need of something to do while practicing safe social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, there are plenty of virtual opportunities to keep yourself entertained from Baltimore area attractions. The National Aquarium will be streaming several of its exhibits, including Blacktip Reef and Pacific Coral Reef, live on its website. The Maryland Zoo is also offering animal lovers a virtual experience of its exhibits. (WJZ-TV)

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Mount Airy nursing home where one is dead in coronavirus outbreak rated ‘much below average’ by Medicare

The Mount Airy nursing home where a man in his 90s died as a result of an outbreak of the new coronavirus received the lowest rating possible from Medicare, largely due to staffing. The man died Saturday night at the Pleasant View Nursing Home, the same night state and Carroll County officials announced the outbreak there, which has sent 17 others to two local hospitals and resulted in 66 positive tests for the virus among residents. (Balt Sun)

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Montgomery Co. closing part of Sligo Creek Pkwy for more recreation space during virus shutdown

Segments of Sligo Creek Parkway in Montgomery County, Maryland will be closed from April 3 to 5 in order to establish additional recreational space for residents to accommodate demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Montgomery Parks announced portions of the parkway from New Hampshire Avenue to Piney Branch Road will be cordoned off for people to use, in a Saturday news release. (WTOP)

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Bowie, Md. teen helps hungry children with baking contest

Ever wanted to know what it feels like being on one of those TV baking shows? Now you can, this weekend from your own home. Michael Platt is a 14-year-old baker in Bowie, Maryland. He started his own company a couple years ago, Michaels Desserts, and appeared on the Kids Baking Championship TV show two years ago. Now, he wants to bring that experience to the rest of us and help some hungry kids in the process. (WTOP)

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County might help fund hotel rooms for hospital staff, first responders

As the strain of coronavirus cases grows, Montgomery County might help fund hotel rooms for medical employees, first responders and other frontline staff to use between long shifts. At the Montgomery County Council’s Tuesday session, Council Member Hans Riemer proposed a special appropriation of $250,000 to assist in funding hotel rooms. County staff members will look into whether local hotels or motels would provide rooms at reduced rates. (Bethesda Beat)

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Maryland orders child care programs closed by end of Friday to slow spread of coronavirus

Maryland schools Superintendent Karen Salmon has ordered most child care centers to close at the end of business Friday, the latest attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The order essentially prohibits nonessential workers from having their children in a day care center or program. Day care that is provided by friends, family and neighbors is still allowed if there are fewer than five children. (Balt Sun)

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