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As Covid-19 ravages world, seasonal flu continues to claim lives as well

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The seasonal flu continues to claim lives in Maryland.  Health officials say so far this season 62 Marylanders, including five under the age of 18, have died from flu-related illnesses. 

By comparison, there have been 486 deaths related to COVID-19 in Maryland. The health department says influenza-like illness in the state remains high and widespread for an 18th week. The Maryland Department of Health reports 12,830 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland. This marks an increase of 522 cases in a 24- hour period (from Saturday to Sunday). Maryland has 486 deaths, 55,061 negative tests and 914 patients have been released from isolation.

For a look more at more Maryland Covod-19 information including race and zip code click here.

Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan is taking the Trump Administration to task on coronavirus testing.  Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Hogan said it's "absolutely false" to say governors have enough testing.  Hogan asserts governors have been on the front lines of trying to get more testing.  Hogan also addressed reopening his state in the future, saying officials in Maryland have a detailed plan to do just that.

Baltimore County Public Schools is announcing changes in its meal distribution program.  Beginning next week students will receive a breakfast, lunch and snack on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Students will get two breakfasts, two lunches and two snacks on Thursday because meals will no longer be given out on Friday. Meals will be distributed in 58 locations.  Log on to the BCPS website for the complete list of times and locations.

A group of protesters is calling for an end to Maryland's coronavirus shut down.  Hundreds of protesters with the ReOpen Maryland group drove through the streets of Annapolis Saturday carrying signs and calling for Governor Larry Hogan to finish with stay at home orders and non-essential business closures by May 1st.  Paul Brockman with ReOpen Maryland says there are ways for businesses to reopen without causing undue risk to the elderly and vulnerable.

A Baltimore Police Human Resources specialist is the first city employee to die from coronavirus.  An announcement yesterday said Michael Baptist died Friday.  He had worked in several areas with Baltimore Police including as a Sergeant and later as a civilian investigator since 1971.  In his statement, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Sergeant Baptist was a "true hero" and "his commitment to the citizens of Baltimore which spanned four decades will never be forgotten."

Baptist began his career with the BPD as an officer and retired as a sergeant. He later re-joined the department as a civilian investigator. Retired Sgt. Baptist served the City with dedication and distinction through some of the city's most trying times. Mayor Young and Commissioner Harrison said that Mr. Baptist's career as a public servant will stand as a timeless example for countless others.  "Our hearts are extremely heavy as we all work to process the passing of Mr. Baptist," said Young. "On behalf of the residents of Baltimore, I offer sincere condolences to his family, loved ones, and members of the Baltimore Police Department. Mr. Baptist was a dedicated public servant, who decided to spend his well-earned retirement in further service to our City."

The chair of Maryland's Republican Party wants a Comptroller office executive to be fired.  Maryland GOP chairman Dirk Haire called on Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot to fire his chief of staff Len Foxwell.  Haire says Foxwell should be let go over derogatory comments Foxwell made on Facebook last week mocking members of a conservative Patriot group calling for an end to coronavirus stay at home orders.  In response, Comptroller Franchot posted a Facebook statement yesterday saying he fully supports Foxwell whose comments were only satirical.  Foxwell issued a statement as well saying his comments were satirical while adding his claim that the Patriot movement members are "alt-right, white supremacist" extremists.