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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: June 19, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: June 19, 2020

 

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemi c .
COVID-19 Joint Information Daily Briefings will be released ONLY on Tuesdays and Fridays.
**The dashboard will be updated Monday-Friday**
*Over the past few weeks the County transitioned into implementing covidLINK for dashboard reporting. As the County fully transitions to covidLINK for dashboard reporting, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to ensure all information being presented to the public is accurate.. Moving forward, the dashboard will be updated Monday-Friday.*
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
At Governor Hogan’s press conference on June 10, 2020, the announcement was made that effective at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020, the State of Maryland will allow for additional reopenings as part of Stage Two of the  Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery . Please view Governor Hogan’s updated  Executive Order  for specific information.
  • Reopenings effective at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020:
  • Malls and shopping centers; open to the general public
  • Casinos, Racetracks, and Betting Facilities; open at 50% occupancy
  • School systems will be allowed to bring group of students (10-15 per room) for summer school activities
  • High school sports and college athletics can resume sports gatherings and events; not open to spectators and general public (Click here for specific details.)
  • Indoor concerts, shows, and any other community, recreational, leisure and cultural gatherings; no audiences
  • Convention events are prohibited
Limited Outdoor Visitation at Nursing Home Facilities
Facilities must meet a series of prerequisites to begin relaxing any restrictions, including:
  • The facility must not be experiencing an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, defined as one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member.
  • Absence of any facility-onset COVID-19 cases within the last 14 days. If a new case is detected, the facility shall return to the highest level of mitigation (pre-Phase 1) and begin again.
  • Universal source control is in place, requiring all residents, staff, and anyone else entering the facility to wear a facemask or cloth face covering at all times while in the facility.
  • Staff must have access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Read the Maryland Department of Health’s  order  and  guidance .
Provided a facility has met the prerequisites for reopening, limited outdoor visitation is allowable if:
  • Visitors and residents wear a face covering at all times.
  • Visitors and residents maintain proper social distancing at all times.
  • There is not an ongoing outbreak at the facility.
  • Additionally, it is strongly recommended that there are no more than two visitors at a time per resident per visit.
Read the Maryland’s Department of Health’s outdoor visitation guidance  here .
  • Encourage seniors and vulnerable populations to stay at home
  • Continue teleworking
  • Wear face covering at locations listed below
As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at  open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness .
As COVID-19 still exists in the County, citizens are reminded to continue washing hands, maintaining appropriate physical distance, and wearing a face covering in required locations.
Per the Face Covering Order , face coverings are required in the following locations:
  • Retail Establishments
  • Food-service Establishments
  • Public Transportation
  • Personal Services
  • Youth Camps
  • Swimming Pools (when possible)
  • Sporting Events (when possible)
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The Washington County Health Department is expanding free COVID-19 testing to vulnerable and hard to reach populations in Washington County. The health department is working with local towns and communities all over the county to bring mobile walk-in testing sites right to the local residents. Testing as these sites will be open to everyone and you do not need a doctors referral or an appointment to participate. The tests used are the quick nasal swap that takes about 15 seconds to administer. Please follow social distancing and masking guidelines when participating at these sites.
At this time we have scheduled free COVID-19 testing at the following locations.
  • 6/19: Clear Spring- 12627 Broadfording Rd, Clear Spring, MD 21722 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • 6/26: Sharpsburg – 104 S. Mechanic Street, Sharpsburg, MD 21782 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 7/17: Boonsboro – 241 Potomac Street, Boonsboro, MD 21713 from 8:00-11:00 a.m.
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 open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 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.
COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Antibody testing is available to the general public 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
Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is re-opening outdoor facilities to community use, including but not limited to: athletic fields, tracks, tennis courts, and playgrounds. The facilities are open at the individual’s risk as WCPS will not be disinfecting the spaces and equipment or providing hand sanitizer. All necessary supplies should be provided by the individuals using the facility for their own consumption.
WCPS will re-open indoor facilities for use and rental by community members and groups effective Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The use of these facilities are also at the individual’s risk as WCPS will not be disinfecting the spaces or providing hand sanitizer. All necessary supplies should be provided by the individuals using the facility for their own consumption.
To apply to reserve a WCPS facility, please complete a  facilities use application  and submit it to the Office of Facilities Planning and Management.
‘TOGETHER WE SERVE’ GRANT PROGRAM FOR NON-PROFITS IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The Together We Serve grant program application is open. This grant program is created to assist local human-service providing non-profits in providing crucial services to County residents during the Covid-19 public health crisis.
The Together We Serve Grant will provide eligible non-profits up to $20,000 to assist them in meeting the increased needs for their services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Eligible uses of this funding include:
  • Provision of essential supplies and food
  • Costs of personal protective equipment for employees providing services
  • Costs associated with virtual delivery of services
  • Costs related to ensuring emergency and homeless shelters operate safely
  • Cost of temporary positions to meet increased demand for services
  • Eviction prevention and utility shut-off prevention programs
The application and grant guidelines are available at https://www.washco-md.net/grant-management/ .  Applications will be reviewed and processed on a first-come first serve basis until funds are no longer available.
Please submit any questions regarding this opportunity to togetherweserve@washco-md.net .
RISE UP BUSINESS STABILIZATION GRANT – DEADLINE EXTENDED
The  Washington County Department of Business Development announces the deadline to submit an application for the  Rise Up Business Stabilization Grant  has been extended until June 30, 2020. This grant encourages small businesses in Washington County, Maryland that meet the  criteria  to submit an application. Grant applications are accepted and funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
The application can be accessed by clicking here: RISE UP GRANT APPLICATION.
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.
For questions regarding eligibility criteria or required documentation, please email  riseup@washco-md.net .
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit  www.washcorises.net  for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
Washington County Back to Business Posters – As businesses continue to reopen in Washington County, local business owners are encouraged to print out the documents below and post on your door or storefront. This will let customers know your business is taking precautions for them to receive the best service while maintaining health and safety standards. Click the graphics below to download and print.
Upcoming Webinars:
Wednesday, June 24th, 1:00 PM
BB&T and SunTrust (now Truist) Present a Free Webinar: ”COVID-19 Update Call from a Healthcare Perspective
”
Join host Jim Pirouz, Head of Healthcare Investment Banking SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as he discusses the pandemic with Truist’s healthcare equity research team from several perspectives. Presenters and topics include:
  • Sandy Balkin, Head of Data Strategy: What are the statistics telling us?
  • Robyn Karnauskas, Lead Biotech Research Analyst: Latest with the science in pursuit of a vaccine and treatments
  • Dave MacDonald, Research Analyst for Healthcare Services: State of the US healthcare system
  • Sandy Draper, Healthcare Technology Research Analyst: Healthcare technology solutions and trajectory
  • PPE, Elective surgeries and post-Covid-19 preparation
Attention Employers:
  • Click Here for U.S. Chamber’s Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness. This guide is designed to help businesses more easily understand the forgiveness application process. It reflects recent substantive changes made by Congress and the administration to the PPP program to provide borrowers with more flexibility, as well as other changes made in recent guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury. This includes:
  • Extending the time to spend PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks;
  • Lowering the amount that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%;
  • Extending the deadline to restore FTEs and payroll from June 30, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020; and
  • Setting the repayment term for loans made after June 4, 2020 at five years.
Note: This guide will continue to be updated as new changes come in
  • Thinking about applying for a PPP loan? – SBA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application on 6/17. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers who:
  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to #COVID19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
  • View and download the EZ Forgiveness Application: https://lnkd.in/dx8HSVw
  • View and download the Full Forgiveness Application: https://lnkd.in/eRc98c4
  • Read the full announcement for more details: http://ow.ly/uxIr50Aagk4
Citizens are encouraged to continue the following:
  • Encourage seniors and vulnerable populations to stay at home
  • Continue teleworking
  • Wear face covering at retail establishments and public transportation
  • As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.
  • County officials and the Emergency Operations Center will continue to follow the lead of State officials and the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team as they closely track local health data.
  • To stay updated on the Stages of Reopening and Recovery in Washington County, Maryland, please visit www.washcorises.net.
Do you know a Washington County business that is going above and beyond to keep customers safe and healthy during COVID-19? Washington County Government is looking to highlight local businesses that are getting creative and using best business practices to maintain a safe and healthy environment as they return to business.
Nominations can be made at  https://www.washco-md.net/together/ .
Pictures and videos are encouraged with submission.
Together We Rise Business Spotlight’s will be featured on Washington County Government social media channels and website.
CITY OF HAGERSTOWN
Phased Reopening of City Buildings and Facilities
June 29:   The 1 st  floor of City Hall  ONLY  will reopen to the public. There will be no access to the upper floors of City Hall unless by appointment.  The 2nd floor public restroom will not be accessible.
July 7: Mayor & City Council Work Session will take place in Council Chamber, City Hall—the first since March 10. Members of the media and the public will be permitted to attend in accordance with whatever the prevailing capacity guidelines at the time.
July 13: All City facilities will be reopened to the public, including all floors and the public restroom of City Hall.
The public will be required to wear a mask when conducting business in City facilities .  Hand sanitizer will be accessible and masks will be available to those who need one.
The City has gone to great lengths to protect employees the last several months from this virus. Plexiglass panels, where barriers between staff and those doing business did not previously exist, have been installed. Signage and social distancing markers will be posted in the City Hall lobby and other areas where business is conducted and visitation occurs. All measures will be monitored and are subject to change.
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 & INFORMATION
VALLEY MALL TO REOPEN ON JUNE 20TH
PREIT Prioritizes Safety and Recovery as Valley Mall Reopens
Thoughtful re-opening set for Saturday, June 20, 2020
PREIT highlighted its recovery plan regarding the reopening of Valley Mall in Hagerstown, MD. PREIT has prioritized the restoration and sustainability of its communities in its thorough adaptation of policies to reflect expectations upon reopening, as we slowly begin to reunite with our tenant and customer bases while heeding governmental restrictions.
CLEANLINESS AND SAFETY
In an effort to ensure the safety of our communities, PREIT has carefully reviewed policies and procedures and thoroughly cleaned all of its facilities during their closure periods using CDC-recommended disinfectant. As we begin to re-open, we are removing common area furniture, common area elements where we cannot enforce social distancing, closing play areas and eliminating food court seating. PREIT and its service providers have established a rigorous cleaning and sanitizing schedule, particularly high touch surfaces. Our housekeeping, maintenance and security staff will follow CDC and state health guidelines and we are requiring that they wear masks and gloves when working in our facilities. We have also provided recommendations for our shoppers and tenants. Our detailed plans and anticipated tenant openings can be found here .
ACCESS
In order to comply with state requirements, access and occupancy loads will be limited. The mall will be operating on reduced hours initially, Monday through Saturday: 11am – 7pm and Sunday: 12pm – 6pm. Given the limited occupancy allowance, the mall will temporarily enforce a parental escort policy .
JOBS, CONVENIENCE AND RETAILER SUPPORT
The retail ecosystem is critical to community vitality. PREIT has taken a number of actions to promote the livelihood of our stakeholders.
Jobs – we have created a job portal to collect contact information from interested candidates to facilitate the re-hiring process for our tenants and stimulate local job growth.
Convenience – we have designated parking stalls for our Mall2Go contactless pickup solution for customers that wish to shop their favorite merchants from a safe distance. Retailers are encouraged to utilize this service.
Retailer Support – PREIT has launched a Shop Local website that supports the e-commerce platforms of all of the local and regional tenants in its portfolio. The mall has also utilized its social media reach to promote the businesses that found safe ways to remain open throughout the pandemic as well as those operating online.
Community Support – PREIT has continued to prioritize supporting the essential businesses operating to keep us safe and fueled.
ABOUT VALLEY MALL
Valley Mall is a market-dominant retail, dining and experiential hub that is well-positioned in the burgeoning Hagerstown community, with a growing population, key accessibility to major highways, and over 1,000 hotel rooms within a half mile. Attracting shoppers from four states – Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – it is the dominant regional enclosed shopping center in the region.
The mall has undergone ongoing transformation including four new anchors – Belk, Onelife Fitness, Tilt and DICK’s Sporting Goods, most recently – in just two years. Regal Cinema has been undergoing a significant remodeling to be completed this year that will introduce luxury reclining seating in a stadium format. Other recently upgraded attractions include dining amenities with the recent additions of BJ’s Brewhouse and Black Rock Bar & Grill, joining Primanti Bros., Mission BBQ and Red Robin. These collective efforts resulted in a measurable increase in traffic and sales.
To view stay up to date on PREIT’s response to COVID-19, please click here and to stay up to date on our re-openings, please click here.
EDUCATION FOUNDATION SCHEDULES SHOE DRIVE
The Washington County Education Foundation is coordinating the Summer’s a Shoe-In collection of gently used shoes from Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 19, 2020 . Drive-thru donations will be accepted at five high schools on Saturday, June 13 and Saturday, June 20. The Foundation is encouraging WCPS families who are returning school system-issued technology and wrapping up other end-of-year matters to consider a donation of shoes at schools throughout the county. Anyone else in the community is also welcome to make a contribution.
Drive-thru donations can be dropped off between 10:00 and noon on June 13 and June 20 at Boonsboro, Clear Spring, Hancock, Smithsburg and Williamsport high schools. From June 15 through 19, collection bins will be set up during school hours at Bester, Cascade, Eastern, Jonathan Hager, Maugansville, Pangborn, Pleasant Valley, Rockland Woods and Salem Avenue elementary schools, Northern Middle School, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts and Boonsboro, Clear Spring, Hancock, Smithsburg and Williamsport high schools. Donations will also be accepted that week at Hagerstown Community College and the Center for Education Services, 10435 Downsville Pike, Hagerstown.
It’s another way the Education Foundation supports the students and families of Washington County Public Schools.
SCHOOL(S):
Beacon House is offering several activities for children over the summer. Click graphic below to register or learn more about the programs being offered.
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net .
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AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, DIRECTV and Antietam Cable Television have Points of Presence within the county. Washington County is well served and several options are available for broadband services. Resources to help your household find the right internet service plan include InternetProviders.com. Cellular telephone services are available through private local and regional vendors.