Montgomery County Considering Emergency Funds, Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing

Excerpt below is from the March 20, 2020 Bethesda Magazine article ‘UPDATED: Montgomery County considering emergency funds, drive-thru coronavirus testing‘.

As the latest responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Montgomery County is considering a pair of emergency funds — $20 million for small businesses and $5 million for individuals. The money would be awarded through grants, but the structure and process have not been worked out.

County Executive Marc Elrich said grants from an “emergency economic assistance fund” might help residents buy food, pay rent and cover other necessary expenses.

“This is a start. We will revisit the numbers as we see how the money gets used,” he said.

Elrich announced the plans on Friday afternoon during a press conference outside McGinty’s Public House in Silver Spring.

“When this crisis begins to end, and things begin to go back to normal-ish, we need to make sure that small businesses can open their doors and resume business,” he said. “Two things have to happen: They have to survive through a period of closure or limited operations and then they have to survive getting open again.”

He is going to send information about the plans to the County Council and work on guidelines, which he expects would take around two weeks.

He also said the county is moving toward having a site for drive-thru coronavirus testing. MedStar Health, which operates several hospitals in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, including one in Montgomery County, offered to set it up, Elrich said, and asked about a good spot.