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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: June 3, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: June 3, 2021

COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER BRIEFING
June 3, 2021
 
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 Briefings are ONLY released on Thursdays.
 
**The dashboard is updated Monday-Friday**
 
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
 
WESTERN MARYLAND MASS VACCINATION SITE CLOSING
The mass vaccination site at Hagerstown Premium Outlets will have its last day of operations on June 5th. Those needing their second doses post the closure of the mass vaccination site will receive them from Meritus over a two-week span. The mass site will operate at the Meritus Health Robinwood Professional Center from June 7th through June 19th. Meritus will be open during these two weeks from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Frida; and from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM on Wednesdays. Anyone 12 and older can walk in for an appointment. A signed consent form is required for ages 12-17. After June 19th, Meritus will revert back to regular vaccination clinic hours.
The Maryland Lottery is randomly selecting and awarding a $40,000 prize every day to a vaccinated Marylander. They will continue to do this every single day for 40 straight days through July 3. On the Fourth of July, a final drawing will be held to award one lucky vaccinated Marylander a grand prize of $400,000. That’s a total of $2 million in prize money for vaccinated Marylanders.
 
Entry is very simple—all you have to do is get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Maryland, be a Maryland resident, and be 18 and older. Anyone 18 or older who has already been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Maryland at any time is also eligible for these prizes and will be automatically entered to win.
 
If you have not already been vaccinated, the sooner you do get your shot, the more lottery drawings you will be eligible for. So to those of you who are still on the fence or who just haven’t yet gotten your shot, there’s no better time than now to get the shot! Visit our COVID-19 VACCINE COMMUNITY CALENDAR to see where vaccinations are being administered in Washington County, Maryland.
 
Getting vaccinated will protect yourself, your family, your friends, and your fellow Marylanders. And if you needed one more good reason, then go out and get vaccinated for your chance to win a share of this $2 million!
 
So remember Maryland—get your shot for a shot to win.
 
MASKS STILL REQUIRED ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, SCHOOLS, AND HEALTHCARE SETTINGS. The governor announced last week that the mask mandate has now been lifted for the State of Maryland for those who are fully vaccinated. For those who are not vaccinated, it is strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask and to get vaccinated.
 
The mask mandate for the State of Maryland has been lifted. For those who are fully vaccinated, masks are no longer required except in certain settings. Masks are still required on public transportation, in schools, and in healthcare settings.  For those who are not vaccinated, it is strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask and to get vaccinated.
 
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
 
  • You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
 
  • You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
 
 
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
  • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
  • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
  • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
 
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
  • However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
 
For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:
 
  • You will still need to follow the guidance at your workplace and local businesses.
 
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
 
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
 
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.
 
 
With approval from the FDA and CDC, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for Marylanders age 12 to 15 now open. Pfizer vaccines are currently available at the following locations in Washington County, Maryland:
 
  • Meritus Health
  • Family Healthcare of Hagerstown
 
Marylanders will be able to search for providers vaccinating adolescents at covidvax.maryland.gov.
 
The Washington County Community Action Council, Inc. is now accepting applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
 
The program will help Washington County residents who are struggling to make payments on their rent and utilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic impact. The goal of the program is to promote housing stability. Assistance can be used for rental arrears, prospective rental payments, public and private utility and home energy arrears, prospective utility and home energy costs, and other housing-related expenses.
 
Residents who wish to apply for this assistance should contact the Washington County Community Action Council at 301-797-4161or visit their website http://www.wccac.org/.
 
WHERE CAN YOU GET VACCINATED IN WASHINGTON COUNTY?
 
COVID-19 VACCINE COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Washington County has launched a community calendar where those who live, work, and play in Washington County can view when and where vaccine clinics are being hosted across the county. This calendar includes pop-up, drive-thru, and community clinics being offered from the Washington County Health Department and Meritus Health. The calendar can be accessed at https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/vaccine/. Click on the date and the clinic to learn more information and register for an appointment. Not all clinics require pre-registration.
 
For all vaccination locations in Washington County, Maryland, search the map by your zip code at covidvax.maryland.gov
 
WESTERN MD MASS VACCINATION SITE
 
Pre-Registration Strongly Encouraged
 
Walk-ins Now Accepted
 
 
The Western Maryland Mass Vaccination site will be closing its operations on June 5th. Please pre-register to schedule an appointment at covidvax.maryland.gov or by phone at 1-855-MD-GOVAX.
 
There is a no-appointment walk-up line. Please be aware that the process for no-appointment lines will take longer, and there is no guarantee of receiving a vaccine.
 
MERITUS HEALTH
 
 
The Meritus COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Robinwood Professional Center will be open for walk-in vaccinations Thursday-Friday, June 3-4, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Vaccinations are available for anyone age 12 and older.
 
A consent form must first be signed by a parent or guardian in order for the minor to be vaccinated. The consent form can be found here.
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
 
 
The Health Department is now operating a drive-thru vaccination clinic at 13 West Lee Street in Hagerstown, MD.
 
The drive-thru clinic will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Appointments are required.
 
To register for an appointment please click on the logo to the left or call the Health Department’s vaccine appointment call center at 240-313-3456 to be contacted when appointments are available.
 
FAMILY HEALTHCARE OF HAGERSTOWN
 
 
Any Maryland resident 12 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine at Family Healthcare of Hagerstown’s main location. Visit the covidlink.maryland.gov website for a full list. Otherwise, request a time by clicking on the graphic to the left.
 
If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, or substance use, please dial 2-1-1. For a more in-depth look at resources available in Washington County, please visit www.washcohope.com.
 
 
The County recognizes that nothing about this year has been normal and staying connected has been difficult. It is okay to reach out for help. Citizens are encouraged to check on their friends and family members. Find creative ways to connect virtually or send cards of encouragement in the mail. We will get through this is together.
 
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 4:00 p.m and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • Health Department Spring Mobile Testing Sites: The mobile COVID-19 testing site will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-2pm. Mondays and Wednesdays the testing site will be located at various locations in Hagerstown. Each Friday the testing site will be mobile throughout the county going to different municipalities such as Hancock, Smithburg, Cascade, etc.
  • 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. Appointment required and patients are charged with copay. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 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. Appointment required and patients are charged with copay. 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
 
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE
 
Drive-Thru Vaccine Clinic
 
The Washington County Health Department Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic is now open. The drive-thru clinic is located at 13 West Lee Street and will operate every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am-2pm. Appointments are required. To register for an appointment please call our vaccine appointment call center at 240-313-3456 or fill out our interest form at https://forms.gle/M7iUevAdfcs4cpDb9 to be contacted when appointments are available. Currently, those who live or work in Washington County and are 18 or older are eligible to be vaccinated at WCHD’s clinics. The health department is receiving the Moderna vaccine, which is currently approved for those 18 or older.
 
To view the full press release and details regarding the drive-thru clinic click here.
 
WCHD Vaccine Registration Call Center
 
Those who live or work in Washington County, who are also 18 years or older are eligible to get vaccinated at WCHD’s clinic. The health department has stood up a call center to assist the community with registering for upcoming vaccine clinics.
 
COVID-19 TESTING
 
The WCHD COVID-19 Winter testing location on West Lee Street is now closed. The health department is now providing mobile testing sites throughout the county. The week of June 7th the health department will be providing FREE testing at the following locations:
 
June 7: Christs Reformed Church, 130 W Franklin Street, Hagerstown
June 9: Hagerstown Fire Department, 25 Church Street, Hagerstown
June 11: Fairgrounds Park, 351 N Cleveland Avenue, Hagerstown
 
PSA- Fraudulent Calls Claiming to be Contact Tracers:
We have seen an increased number of reports of people receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the “health department”. These individuals are then asking Washington County residents for personal and financial information. Please be cautious and aware that contact tracers will NEVER ask for your:
 
  • Social security number
  • Financial or bank account information
  • Money or payment
  • Immigration status
  • Passwords
  • Personal details unrelated to COVID-19
 
You should never give out personal information without being sure of who you are talking to directly. Contact tracers will only ask you questions regarding:
  • To verify your name, date of birth and address
  • About your health and symptoms
  • Locations you have been during a specific period of time
  • Names and contact information for any household and casual contacts (we do not disclose your name to anyone, only that they may have come into contact with an infected individual)
 
For more information about contact tracing please visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing   
 
MD COVID Alert
Marylanders can use MD COVID Alert to receive COVID-19 exposure notifications on smartphones The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced the launch of MD COVID Alert, the official COVID-19 Exposure Notifications Express system of Maryland. MD COVID Alert uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify users who might have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with the goal of reducing infections in Maryland.
Exposure Notifications System: Helping Health Authorities fight COVID-19
 
MERITUS HEALTH
 
NEW! MERITUS COVID-19 VACCINE COMMUNITY CLINIC
 
VISITOR HOURS EXTENDED AT MERITUS MEDICAL CENTER
Visitor hours have been expanded from Noon-8 p.m. daily. The limitation of one visitor at a time for patients will continue unless arrangements have been approved with the patient’s health care team in advance.
 
COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS
The Meritus COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Robinwood Professional Center will be open for walk-in vaccinations Thursday-Friday, June 3-4, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Vaccinations are available for anyone age 12 and older. A consent form must first be signed by a parent or guardian in order for a minor to be vaccinated. The consent form can be found here. MyChart appointments continue to be available to residents 18 and older who would like to self-schedule a vaccine appointment for a specific day/time.
 
REPORTING COVID-19 VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS
Anyone who has had side effects from one of the COVID-19 vaccines should report those to the CDC through its dedicated resource: https://vsafe.cdc.gov/en/. This information is vital to help CDC staff learn more about the virus. Live v-safe support is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) or TTY 888-232-6348.
 
MERITUS HEALTH DRIVE-THRU SCREENING CENTER
The drive-thru screening center for COVID-19 testing is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
 
The screening center is located behind Meritus Medical Plaza at 13620 Crayton Blvd., in Hagerstown. 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. Test results are made available typically within a day through a patient’s My Chart account or primary care provider.
 
UPDATED MERITUSHEALTH.COM COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGE
Please visit MeritusHealth.com for additional COVID-19 resources and information including:
  • Infusion treatment now available in our community
  • E-Visits and free telehealth visits with providers
  • COVID-19 vaccine information
  • Current hospital visitor restrictions
  • How to make a donation to Meritus Health Care Heroes
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
 
PPP Loans
 
As of 5/5/21 the PPP loan program has run out of funds and is no longer accepting applications. Some community lending institutions are still accepting applications from minority-owned and women-owned businesses and businesses in underserved communities to continue to disseminate funding earmarked for that purpose. For more on stimulus aid still available, see the main story here.
 
GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
 
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through the Neighborhood Business Works (NBW) program is offering up to $500,000 of Opportunity Zone Microgrant ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to businesses that are expanding within an opportunity zone in Maryland.
 
Applications went live on May 25th, 2021, at 12PM EST.
 
Please check back to DHCD’s website periodically for additional updates. The application round is projected to close on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at 12PM EST.
 
 
 
CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
 
The U.S. Small Business Administration has completed rigorous testing and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal is open for applications. Click on the photo to the left for more information.
 
TEDCO has a funding program that is an economic relief initiative to benefit socially and economically disadvantaged, and rural early-stage technology-based businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is state-wide and is supported by $5M recently allocated from the Governor
 
TEDCO is in the midst of deploying these funds, up to $100,000 per company; and applications are being accepted online. Please share this information with companies in your area.
 
Information about the Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC) program can be found by clicking here. There is also a recorded open forum about this program, click here to view.
 
 
Recent Law Clarifies and Expands CARES Act Employee Retention Credit
The Internal Revenue Service urges employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses that, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.
 
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, modified and extended the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.
 
Effective January 1, 2021, employers are eligible if they operate a trade or business during January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, and experience either:
  1. A full or partial suspension of the operation of their trade or business during this period because of governmental orders limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19, or
  2. A decline in gross receipts in a calendar quarter in 2021 where the gross receipts of that calendar quarter are less than 80% of the gross receipts in the same calendar quarter in 2019 (to be eligible based on a decline in gross receipts in 2020 the gross receipts were required to be less than 50%).
 
As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021.
 
For more information, see:
 
Minority Business Fund Founded by Four Community Banks:
Four banks have collectively committed up to $1 million in interest-free loans to aid both startup and existing minority-owned small businesses within the sponsoring community bank markets. The bank serving Washington County is the Bank of Charles Town. For details check out the link.  https://www.mybct.bank/banking-on-diversity/  
 
Please forward this email to any minority-owned business you may know that could be helped by this funding opportunity. If you or any other business needs help with the loan process please feel free to reach out to Herb Melrath, SBA at [email protected] 
 
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD
 
If you need to report unemployment insurance fraud, please CLICK HERE.
 
FEEDBACK NEEDED FROM BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Over the last several weeks, the Chamber has been contacted by numerous members and other stakeholders regarding the role of the business community in Maryland’s mass vaccination efforts.
 
To support the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in their efforts moving forward, it is critically important that you submit your feedback to [email protected] if:
  • You have ideas on how to improve the communication resources and tools provided to support your industry in the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination effort.
  • You think you may be able to provide support for Mass Vaccination Operations and Logistics
 
Please note that providing feedback does not entitle the entity to immediate vaccine deliveries. The next phases of vaccine distribution will depend on vaccines that are allocated to Maryland through the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed program. The intent of this effort is to gather feedback and information to better assist in Maryland’s mass vaccination planning for future phases.
 
For more information and assistance on the Stakeholder COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Operations & Logistics Capabilities Support, please contact [email protected].
 
Please visit the covidlink.maryland.gov website for more updated information on the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination in the State of Maryland. For additional information and assistance on Mass Vaccination General Inquiries email [email protected]
 
For questions, please contact Ashley Duckman, Vice President of Government Affairs, at [email protected] or 410-269-0642, ext. 1112.
 
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. 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.
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. 
CITY OF HAGERSTOWN
 
Attention Main Street Businesses in downtown Hagerstown! A new COVID-19 business assistance grant application is LIVE!
 
  • The Main Street Hagerstown Business Stabilization Grant Program provides grants up to $5,000 for businesses located in the downtown Main Street area district. 
 
  • Is your business located in the Hagerstown Main Street District?: Click on this MAP LINK to see the boundaries of this district. 
 
Main Street Hagerstown has received special COVID-19 funding from the Governor’s Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative (MD-SERI). This funding has been made available for designated Main Street Maryland districts as part of the Governor’s initiative. These funds will be distributed on a rolling basis until allocated program funds have been dispersed into the designated district or until June 1, 2021. The grant can fund eligible expenses and purchases made from January 1, 2021 to June 1, 2021. The grant, with a maximum funding amount of $5,000/business, will be administered to businesses in order to assist in the ability to sustain, adjust, and bolster their day to day operations as well as operations that continue to be adjusted to address COVID-19 restrictions and prevention methods.
 
Guidelines and Application Form are available on the City’s website.
 
Hagerstown’s “Music on the Square” series begins this Friday evening from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Come grab a bite or a beverage at one of Hagerstown’s many small businesses while enjoying outside seating and free live music. The weekly lineup includes light rock, folk, jazz, blues, pop-rock covers, and indie performing on the Public Square – Downtown Hagerstown. Bands include:
  • June 4 – The Howlers
  • June 11 – Wild Whispers
 
COMMUNITY RESOURCES, INFO & EVENTS
Having trouble affording your utility or heating bill? We’ve got you covered. Apply for energy assistance BEFORE you receive a turn-off notice so that funds can be applied to your account as soon as possible! Click the logo to learn more.
 
Now is an excellent time to remind friends, family, and neighbors about the Senior Call Check program. It is important that we check in on our older adults, especially those living alone, to make sure they are okay.
 
 
EMERGENCY SHELTER & EVICTION ASSISTANCE IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
If you or someone you know is in sudden need of shelter and/or eviction assistance as the rental moratorium comes to an end, please contact the resources listed on the poster below.
 
During the day, all individuals/families are being directed to the Community Action Council (CAC) and/or Reach. It is very important that people be directed to these agencies for appropriate assessment of all needs and eligible services. For immediate shelter at night; adult individuals are directed to the Reach Shelter. 
 
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or [email protected].
 
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