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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: August 28, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: August 28, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please visit www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info for the latest numbers on Washington County’s COVID-19 dashboard.
COVID-19 Joint Information Daily Briefings will be released ONLY on Tuesdays and Fridays.
**The dashboard will be updated Monday-Friday**
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
THIS IS A HERO: Jay Brandenburg
The Washington County Emergency Operations Center invites the public to watch the message above. THIS IS A HERO public messaging campaign emphasizes the importance of wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands to protect those most vulnerable in our community. Over the next several weeks, we will be releasing a series of videos that showcase heroes in our community.
Jay Brandenburg is a volunteer firefighter and President of the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Company. Jay has served as a volunteer for over 20 years in our County. He has always put community first and has helped secure over $2.5 million in grants to keep fire and rescue funded over his many years of service. During COVID-19, emergency services staff and volunteers continue to serve our community. Tourism has been particularly heavy this spring in the southern part of the County, as many citizens and tourists have opted to explore trails or go kayaking, canoeing, or tubing on the Antietam Creek and Potomac River. The Fire & EMS teams across the county have responded to water rescues and continue to strive to keep citizens safe both on the water and off. It is now time for us to join their team by keeping each other safe and protected against COVID-19! Jay Brandenburg protects our community. It is now time we join his team by practicing social distance, hand washing, and wearing a mask. IT IS NOW TIME FOR YOU TO PROTECT HIM!
To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, all citizens are encouraged to continue washing your hands, social distance, wear a mask, get tested, and stay at home when experiencing minor symptoms. Do your part to keep Washington County and the State of Maryland open for business!
To nominate a local hero or learn more about our “THIS IS A HERO” campaign visit www.washcoheroes.com.
COVID-19 TESTING SITES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD
  • Meritus Screening Drive Thru Center is located at 13620 Crayton Blvd. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • VEIP Station Drive Thru Testing Site is located at 12100 Insurance Way in Hagerstown. Doctor’s orders are no longer required to get tested. Appointments are still required. Individuals can schedule their own appointment by going to https://health.maryland.gov/covidtest/Pages/Home.aspx
  • CVS Drive Thru Testing Site located at 1503 Potomac Ave, Hagerstown MD 21742. Please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • CVS Drive Thru Testing Site located at 10 E Wilson Blvd, Hagerstown MD 21740. Please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 11236 Robinwood Drive, Suite 101 Hagerstown, MD 21742. No Appointment required. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 240-313-4242
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 18721 N Pointe Drive Hagerstown, MD 21742. No Appointment required. Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 301-733-8313
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Don’t Wait! Keep your Child’s Immunizations Up-To-Date!
WCHD Offering FREE Vaccination Clinics
Recent data has shown a significant decrease in pediatric vaccination rates in Maryland and across the U.S. During this COVID-19 pandemic many children have not received their recommended vaccinations on time. Vaccinations are important and essential to avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and keep our children protected.
The Washington County Health Department is offering FREE, Drive-thru vaccination clinics for students entering the 7th grade. We will offer the Meningitis vaccine and Tdap vaccine, both are required for entry into 7th grade. Although distance learning for schools is continuing this year, it is vital that children stay up-to-date on their vaccines for their health and schools will require these vaccines upon returning to school. These are challenging times, but you have the power to help keep your child healthy.
What: Meningitis and Tdap Vaccine for students entering 7th grade
When: September 9th from 1pm-4pm and September 23rd  from 1pm-4pm
Where: The Washington County Public Service Academy. 701 Frederick Street, Hagerstown MD 21740.
Parents must accompany children and bring their child’s immunization records. To view and print official copies of your child’s vaccination records at no cost, visit MD.MyIR.net
For further information, please call us at 240-313-3210
Washington County Health Department Testing Sites:
(All testing at WCHD sites are Free)
VEIP Station Drive Thru Testing Site
12100 Insurance Way in Hagerstown.
Doctor’s order is NOT required. Appointments are still required. Schedule your own appointment HERE.
Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please follow the directions on the page and choose the Hagerstown VEIP Station when choosing a location. Accommodations such as large print or Braille materials, sign language interpreter, deaf language interpreter, foreign language interpreter, use of MD Relay and more are available at no cost to you at this testing site. Please make sure you indicate any accommodations you require when scheduling your appointment.
More information on:
(English and Spanish versions are accessible by clicking on the above links)
Mobile Walk-Up Testing Sites:
Washington County Health Department is launching mobile testing sites throughout Washington County. Testing as these sites will be open to everyone and you do not need a doctor’s order or an appointment to participate. The tests used are the quick nasal swab that takes about 15 seconds to administer. Please follow social distancing and masking guidelines when participating at these sites. All testing sites are walk-up clinics and are from 8:00-11:00 a.m. unless indicated differently.
At this time we have scheduled free COVID-19 testing at the following locations.
  • September 2: Hagerstown Fire Department, 25 Church St, Hagerstown, MD 21740 (Rear parking lot)
  • September 4: Behind Nutters Ice Cream, 104 S. Mechanic St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
  • September 9: Christ’s Reformed Church, 130 W. Franklin St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • September 11: Hancock Town Hall, 126 West High St, Hancock, MD 21750
  • September 16: Zion Baptist Church, 61 Bethel St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • September 18: Shafer Park Pavillion #1, Shafer Park Dr, Boonsboro, MD 21713
  • September 23: Community Free Clinic, 249 Mill St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
New locations will be announced on the Health Department’s website at https://washcohealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/ and on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WashHealth/
MERITUS HEALTH
MERITUS HEALTH DRIVE-THRU SCREENING CENTER
The drive-thru screening center for COVID-19 testing is now open for summer hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The drive-thru screening center is currently not open on weekends.
The screening center is located behind Meritus Medical Plaza at 13620 Crayton Blvd. Testing is available for anyone, including those who do not currently have symptoms of the coronavirus, but suspect or are concerned that they have been exposed. No appointments or referrals are needed to be tested. There is no cost to the patient. Test results are typically available within 3-5 days.
COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING AVAILABLE LOCALLY
Antibody testing is available at all Meritus Medical Laboratory patient service centers. A lab order from a person’s primary care provider is required in order to have a COVID-19 antibody test. Antibody tests do not take the place of COVID-19 screening tests. Insurance or patients will be billed for antibody testing. Meritus Medical Laboratory locations and hours are available online at https://www.meritushealth.com/treatment-care/medical-lab/
FREE TELEHEALTH VISITS AVAILABLE
Meritus Health continues to offer FREE telehealth visits. These visits will allow patients to speak directly with a primary care provider to discuss health concerns.
Telehealth visits are available from 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. To request a telehealth visit please complete the form below.
VIRTUAL VISITS CONNECT PATIENTS AND FAMILIES
Since restrictions remain in place for visitors at Meritus Medical Center, the hospital is offering virtual visits to connect patients with their families and friends. To setup a virtual visit, please contact the program’s coordinator at 240-313-3163.
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Following Governor Hogan’s press conference yesterday, WCPS continues to plan for the safe, effective, and gradual reopening of schools and the return of students. WCPS will begin the 2020-2021 school year through distance learning.
As Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) starts the year with distance learning, meals will be provided for students at various locations across the county starting August 31, 2020. Meal sites will be open from 11:00 AM – 1:00PM. A lunch for the current day and a breakfast for the following day will be provided.
As the new school year begins, there are changes in the meal regulations by the federal government. Under these changes, meals can now only be served to students who are enrolled in a WCPS school. This means meals will no longer be served to children who are not old enough to go to school, who live outside of Washington County, or are home schooled and not enrolled in a WCPS school.
Parents or guardians can still pick up meals for WCPS students. When visiting a meal site, please know the child’s student ID number, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. If you do not know your child’s ID number, please call the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) department prior to arriving at the meal site. Please note that congregating is not permitted, and meals must be consumed off-site.
All students will need to provide their WCPS student ID number when picking up food at meal sites starting August 31, 2020.
Students who receive free school meals will continue to receive free meals through distance learning. PLEASE NOTE: Parents must complete an application for free and reduced meals each school year. If you feel that you qualify for free or reduced-price meals, please apply online. If your student received free or reduced-price meals last year, they will continue to do so for the first 30 school days this year or until a new application has been completed.
RETURN TO LEARN UPDATE
Distance Learning Support for Parents
A major key to success during distance learning is the partnership between parents/guardians and teachers to support students in their education. Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is sharing the Distance Learning – Family Portal website to provide tutorials and resources for parents and students to effectively navigate online learning while school buildings are closed to students.
The site guides users through step-by-step directions for distance learning technology tools. Parents will also be able to develop a better understanding of how they can follow their child’s progress, review assignments, and communicate with teachers.
Communication You Can Expect
Student schedules are now available in ParentVUE. If you have any problems logging in to ParentVUE, please contact your child’s school.
Parents and guardians should expect regular communication from your child’s teacher(s). You are encouraged to use ParentVUE and WCPS email to communicate directly with teachers regarding your children. Each student in pre-k through grade 12 is assigned a WCPS email address, which can be used by parents to email teachers.
Teachers will also invite parents and guardians as guests to your child’s Google Classroom. Parents can choose to receive daily or weekly assignment summaries to track your child’s progress. Parents and guardians should use ParentVUE to follow and review their child’s grades. Grades will be updated by teachers at least every two weeks.
Schools are in the process of distributing WCPS devices to students in preparation for distance learning. If you have not received information from your school about a scheduled pick-up date, please contact the school for details.
Online Classrooms to Kick Off in Zoom
Due to delays with Google’s updates to Google Meet, students will begin the school year with their online classrooms hosted via Zoom. This platform provides the tools and features that help facilitate engaging, interactive learning, while also allowing students to break out in small group activities and discussions.
Technology Support During Distance Learning
Technical difficulties with a WCPS-issued electronic device can be a major roadblock for students participating in distance learning. WCPS will be staffing a technology support call center to quickly and efficiently respond to these issues. Technology staff will be available to assist from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year.
Parents or guardians will complete an online form to request assistance with a WCPS-issued device. The staff member will help the parent troubleshoot the issue over the phone or determine if the device needs to be returned to the school. If a repair cannot be made in person at the school, WCPS will provide a temporary replacement device for the student.
Device Insurance Coverage
No matter your child’s age, accidents are bound to happen. If your child’s WCPS-issued device would become damaged, lost, or stolen, you can minimize repair and replacement costs by purchasing device insurance coverage. The $15 fee covers each device for the duration of the school year.
The $15 fee can be paid through the My School Bucks website or mobile app. If a family is not able to purchase device insurance coverage due to a financial hardship, please contact the Office of School Counseling or reach out to your child’s principal for assistance.
Internet Access for Students
WCPS understands internet access for students is critical to the success of distance learning. We are working with our community partners to ensure students are able to connect online to participate in their virtual classes.
If you currently do not have internet service in your home, please contact your child’s school at your earliest convenience.
Free and Reduced Meals (FARM) Application
To ensure eligible children are able to continue to receive free and reduced meals (FARM), WCPS is asking parents to complete the annual FARM application. This can be easily completed online with a mobile device.
HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Offices at Hagerstown Community College are now open regular hours, Monday through Friday. Walk-in and scheduled appointments for Student Services are available Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Remote appointments are still available.
Students, employees, and visitors are required to wear masks and complete a health screening for each campus visit. Students and employees will use the Go Evo phone app. Students who are required to be on campus for classes will receive an email with a link to download the app a few days prior to the start of classes. Other students and visitors must use the self check-in stations located at the main entrance of every building.
Fall classes begin August 31. To learn more, visit www.hagerstowncc.edu.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
The U.S. Chamber created an online community focused on rebuilding America’s small businesses following the pandemic. The initiative includes weekly free webinars on how to REBUILD, RECOVER, and RECONNECT your business – CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION
Attention Employers:
Small businesses, private non-profits and agricultural businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, can still apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments. Click here to learn more.
The Rise Up Business Stabilization Grant has been reopen with changes to the guidelines. New guidelines allow start-up businesses established and operational from September 2019 to March 2020 that meet the criteria to submit an application. Other established businesses who have NOT previously applied would also be eligible to apply. Grant applications are accepted and funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Applications are being accepted from 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 12, 2020 until midnight on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Applications will be accepted electronically and can be downloaded at www.washcorises.net. Details for submission are stated on the application. The website also provides guidelines, application instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Business owners can access the application by clicking the button below.
Help Us Continue on Our Path to Keep Washington County Open – Please ensure your business and customers continue to follow the recommended CDC guidelines as we reopen businesses and other activities across Washington County. Wearing masks inside, social distancing, regular hand washing, and expanded cleaning is still a critical part of keeping infection rates low – IT IS ALSO STATE LAW. By taking on these minor inconveniences, we can prevent a spike in infections which could force officials to slow down or even reverse the reopening process. The coronavirus has not gone away and we must stay vigilant until a vaccine is created. We all have a responsibility to do our part to help our economy reopen so that our many local businesses can survive and provide jobs for our citizens.

Reemployment BEACON Project

Unemployment Insurance Modernization

The Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (“DUI”) is excited to announce its new system, BEACON, will go live in late September 2020. The BEACON system will fully integrate all DUI functions. Employers and third party agents will be able to access and manage their DUI employer accounts through their BEACON portal. In the new BEACON system, employers and third party agents will be able to file quarterly wage reports, view benefit charge statements and annual tax rate information, make payments online, file appeals, provide separation information, manage powers of attorney, and allow for faster and easier account updates.
Employers and third party agents will be able to activate their accounts beginning Monday, August 24, 2020. Only account activation functionality will be available until BEACON goes live in late September 2020. DUI will provide additional information on account activation in the coming weeks. Please continue to file your quarterly wage reports and make payments as you currently do until the new BEACON system goes live in late September, 2020. The 3rd quarter wage reports will be the first quarter that will be filed in the new BEACON system.
To assist Employers and Agents with account activation, the Division is creating a special Employer/Agent account activation hotline. The account activation hotline can be reached at 410-767-8997. The hotline will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Employers and Agents may also email ui.employeractivation@maryland.gov with questions about account activation.
The purpose of this page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. Do your part to the stop the spread of disinformation by doing 3 easy things; don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the state of Maryland’s (COVID-19) response.
COMMUNITY RESOURCES, INFO & EVENTS
If you are behind on your bills (rent, electric, gas, oil, & water) contact the Community Action Council to determine if you are eligible for assistance!
The funding available is first-come, first-served. Please call 301-797-4161 or email info@wccac.org for more information.
WASHINGTON COUNTY PARENTS SUPPORT DATABASE
The group WC Parents have created a simplified support database to gather and retain all services and needs in one place. This is an excellent example of the community working together to meet the tangible, everyday needs of parents in our community as this school year will begin with distance learning.
If you need childcare or can provide it, if you need tutoring or can provide it, etc., please join this forum and share your resources or needs.
It is up to the community to share your resources and fill this database. The group is asking for the public’s help in:
  • Adding to the forum if you can provide a service or have a need
  • Sharing the forum
Click on the graphic below to join the forum or visit Wcparents.freeforums.net.
“EAT-IN-THE-STREET” EVENT – EVERY WEEKEND THROUGH OCTOBER
The City of Hagerstown will be closing the first block of South Potomac Street to traffic and opening it to diners for the next ten weekends beginning this Sunday. Join the City in supporting Hagerstown’s outstanding downtown restaurants by choosing to dine outdoors, eating in the street or getting a to-go order to enjoy in University Plaza or along the Cultural Trail.
Scheduled Closures:
AUGUST
  • Sundays    8/23 and 8/30     11:30am – 3pm
SEPTEMBER
  • Saturdays   9/5 and 9/12       4pm – 9pm
  • Sundays    9/20 and 2/27      11:30am – 3pm
OCTOBER
  • Saturdays   10/3 & 10/10     4pm – 9pm
  • Sundays    10/18 and 10/25  11:30am – 3pm
Visit the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) Facebook page, or call 301-797-6294 for more information.
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
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