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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: March 24, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
The Emergency Operations Center continues to work with Meritus to assure capacity needs are being addressed in the event that Meritus experiences a surge of patients as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
MERITUS HEALTH
Meritus has activated several COVID-19 testing locations for those who are experiencing symptoms. Only patients experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC, will be tested. It is preferable to be referred by a physician for COVID-19 screening or who have been directed to one of the screening centers by a health care professional answering the COVID-19 care line will receive this screening. The COVID-19 care line is 301-790-9170.
Drive-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is now available behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton Boulevard. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Walk-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is available at the former Surrey School parking lot. Entrance is located in the 500 block of Virginia Avenue. The walk-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Walk-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is available at 24 N. Walnut Street, Hagerstown, MD. The walk-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Meritus Health continues to provide a hotline for those who have questions about symptoms directly related to COVID-19. Questions from the public may be directed to COVID-19@MeritusHealth.com or by calling 2-1-1 or 301-790-9170.
Meritus Health is also offering electronic 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.
The most up-to-date visitor restrictions at the hospital and closings and cancellations of events is available at MeritusHealth.com.
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The health department is continuing to coordinate guidance distribution to private schools, daycare providers, and other community stakeholders. For questions or guidance regarding Governor Larry Hogan’s COVID-19 directives please contact us at wash.health@maryland.gov or 240-313-3302.
The Behavioral Health building will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for harm reduction services and Narcan supply.
LANDFILL OPERATIONS
Please only bring regular household trash to the landfill. The County is still operating under a State of Emergency with directives to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. While we understand many may be spring cleaning while quarantined at home, we request that all large, bulk item, and yard waste drop-offs remain at a minimum until this global pandemic has subsided. To keep the landfill staff and community members safe, we appreciate your cooperation with this request. 40 West Landfill and all transfer stations remain open to the public with normal operating hours.
WASHINGTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF WATER QUALITY
The Department of Water Quality is actively monitoring the COVID-19 health threat and has emergency plans in place to ensure continued operations. Below are facts regarding drinking water and wastewater treatment related to the coronavirus.
  • The Coronavirus is not transmitted by drinking water or wastewater.
  • The virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies.
  • Boiling your water is not a required as a precaution against COVID-19.
  • Our tap water is safe for drinking, cooking, hand washing, etc..
  • Disinfectants used to produce drinking water prevents viruses from contaminating water supplies.
  • Wastewater treatment plants effectively treat for viruses and other pathogens.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Washington County Chamber of Commerce continues to add resources to www.hagerstown.org/strongtogether. All employees are working remotely from home, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The Chamber shares the information below to the local business community.
The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some programs offer loans and some offer grants. There is also some funding reserved for non-profit organizations. The state is simplifying applications and streamlining the approval process to get businesses feedback on their applications quickly.
The new programs include:
Governor Hogan has allocated $5 million and the Maryland Department of Labor has allocated $2 million to collaboratively launch the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. A total of $7 million in funds will be available to provide flexible rapid response services to proactively support businesses and workers undergoing economic stresses due to COVID-19.
Funding can help Maryland’s workforce adhere to social distancing policies by purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, providing on-site cleaning and sanitation services at businesses that have workers delivering essential services, and implementing other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures in the business community.
In addition to the above resources for businesses, below is a link to where there are two Interpretive Guidance documents from Governor Hogan regarding businesses that are allowed to remain open. If any additional questions remain, please email Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.
The Maryland SBDC has developed a” Small Business Survival Guide” on their website www.marylandsbdc.org.  They do plan on having another webinar later this week for small businesses adapting to COVID-19 related closures, and relief efforts.
As awareness to the community, several local nonprofits with essential services are cutting back their hours to balance the work they do with the need to limit interaction and spread of COVID-19. (i.e. Community Action Council is now open 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
CITY OF HAGERSTOWN
In order for Waste Management to maintain its focus on trash and recycling collection, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Waste Management is temporarily suspending the performance of the Yard Waste Collection (grass clippings, brush, tree limbs, etc.).
In addition, please note:
  • All trash/refuse must be bagged & sealed (and wherever possible) placed in containers. LOOSE ITEMS WILL NOT BE COLLECTED.
  • All recyclable materials must be placed inside recycling bin (including cardboard). ITEMS LEFT OUTSIDE OF BIN, WILL NOT BE COLLECTED.
Please contact the City’s Department of Parks and Engineering at 301-739-8577 extension 125 if there are any questions regarding this advisory.
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
A map of where the 19 different Meal Machine sites are located across Washington County is now available. Click on the photo below to see each location. Washington County Public Schools continues to provide meals to all children 18 and younger.
WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is taking additional steps to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Sheriff’s Office will be handling calls which do not require a deputy on scene by telephone. If you are calling to file a police report, you may be told that a deputy will call you back to take the information for your report. Visitors are discouraged at the Sheriff’s Office and would prefer contact by telephone at 240-313-2100.
HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Hagerstown Community College is currently under full remote operations. All credit classes and final exams are being held via remote access. All buildings are locked and employees are working remotely until further notice. Visit www.hagerstowncc.edu/covid19 for details.
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
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A Message to Our Business Community

A Message to Our Business Community

As stated in the video above, we will get through this together. Below is an extensive list of resources available…

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.