ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan enacted two emergency orders Wednesday, including expanding telehealth services and the designation of disabilities services personnel as health care providers.

“As our state faces new and unprecedented challenges, we need to be adaptive, innovative, and inclusive in our response,” said Governor Hogan. “The orders I have issued today help ensure that Marylanders of all ages and abilities can continue receiving essential services throughout this public health crisis.”

Gov. Hogan issued an executive order Wednesday ensuring that workers who provide support services to citizens with disabilities will be treated as health care providers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE: 

This order officially recognizes the essential function of services for those with disabilities- including in-home care, interpreting services, social services, and support systems for substance abuse and mental illness. It also designates those who provide these services as essential health care providers.

He also issued an executive order that amends the previous order on telehealth, expanding the services beyond audio-only methods. Health care providers may engage in services such as email, provided that any and all telehealth practices are clinically appropriate, documented properly and comply with the proper standards of care.

The telehealth services are also eligible for reimbursement by Medicaid.

There are now 1,985 cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, according to the state health department as of Wednesday morning Thirty-one people have died from COVID-19 in the state as well.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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