COVID-19 Resources: How to Stay Safe, Help Others

Information is crucial to public health, safety and well-being. Please see below for resources that may aid you during this time. If we’re missing something, please let us know by emailing [email protected].

COVID-19 Symptoms, current guidelines, and where to get help

  • Symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and, in more severe cases, pneumonia.
  • If you become sick, especially if you are 60 or older or have pre-existing medical conditions, contact your health care provider or local health department before going to see them.
  • On March 9, 2021, Gov. Hogan lifted all dining, gathering and out-of-state travel restrictions beginning at 5 p.m. on March 12. There are no limits on restaurant capacity as long as tables are six feet apart. Capacity at large venues, such as sports stadiums, conference centers, theaters and banquet halls, must not exceed 50%. Read more about the governor’s announcement here.
  • Some jurisdictions may have additional restrictions. Please check the State of Maryland website or that of your county for up-to-date information.
  • Marylanders are required to wear face coverings when inside buildings, on public transportation at outside venues, such as theaters, sports stadiums and race tracks, and while outside and unable to keep six feet of distance between themselves and others. Read the mask requirements in the governor’s March 9, 2021, order.
  • Masks are particularly important because many people with COVID-19 do not experience symptoms. Using a mask can help slow or prevent transmission of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland Department of Health websites for more information.

Vaccine information

  • On April 13, MDH paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • All residents 16 and older can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine at Maryland’s GoVAX website or by calling 1-855-634-6829. Read more.
  • Vaccinations are underway. Find a vaccination site here.
  • The first vaccinations were administered in Maryland the week of December 14.

Food assistance

  • Sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, by filing an application online with myDHR. Much more information can be found here. Everyone has the right to apply for SNAP benefits. Eligibility is based on income and individual situation and will be evaluated based on your application and a follow-up interview. You may qualify if you:
    • Work for low wages
    • Are unemployed or work part time
    • Receive Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) or other public assistance payment
    • Are elderly or have a disability and live on a small income
    • Are homeless
  • School breakfast/lunch
    • Free meals are available through the School Nutrition Program.
    • Find the closest meal pick up site and meal time using this map. You may need to reset the site radius.
    • More information and updates can be found here.
  • Food banks/pantries  — as a resource or as a place to donate
    • For resources in Prince George’s or Montgomery County, visit the Capital Area Food Bank site
    • To locate food banks near you in other areas in the state, use the Maryland Food Bank map.

Filing for unemployment 

  • No matter when or how they file, Marylanders become eligible for benefits starting after the day after they separated from employment.
  • Because of the pandemic, Congress extended federal unemployment insurance programs under the CARES Act in a relief package called, “Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers.”
  • Applications for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPEC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) claims will continue through March 13, 2021 in Maryland. Read more here.
  • Claims can be filed entirely online. More information and next steps here.

Health insurance 

  • Gov. Larry Hogan extended Maryland’s special health insurance enrollment period until May 15, 2021.
  • You can enroll any time of year if you’re eligible for Medicaid or if you’ve recently had certain qualifying life events, like losing your job, getting married or turning 26.
  • More information and next steps here.


Domestic violence 

Mental health 

How to help others

  • Our story on virtual volunteering points you in the right direction if you’re looking for ways to help during this pandemic. We compiled a list of volunteer sites and search engines from across the state to help you get started.