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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: March 31, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
Washington County delivered an update regarding COVID-19. Click on the video below to watch the full press conference.
Press Conference Briefing on COVID-19
If an organization or individual would like to provide a donation to the healthcare field, please contact Oem.covid19@washco-md.net.
Thank you to Emergency Management volunteers who are working at the Resource Warehouse.
MERITUS HEALTH
COVID-19 TESTING SITES
Click on the map to right to access the closest testing site.
Once you have spoken with someone on the COVID-19 care line – 301-790-9170 – or to your physician about your symptoms, you may be directed to Meritus’s drive-thru or walk-thru screening centers.
  • Drive-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is available behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton Boulevard. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Sunday from 8:00 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.
To view testing guidelines for COVID-19 at Meritus testing locations, please click here. These have been updated today to now include those who are age 60 and older.
TEST RESULTS
Meritus Health is working with a commercial laboratory for the COVID-19 testing at both the walk-thru and drive-thru screening centers and the turnaround time for results is determined by that lab’s process and not Meritus Health. As soon as test results are available to us, we are calling all those who have been tested at our screening centers. The commercial labs are extremely busy with the current pandemic.
Meritus Health continues to offer 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.
The most up-to-date screening center criteria for COVID-19 tests, visitor restrictions at the hospital and closings and cancellations of events is available at MeritusHealth.com.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
President & CEO of Washington County Chamber of Commerce delivers the message below to the local business community.
A Message of Support from Chamber President Paul Frey
The Chamber has a Job Bank which can be found directly on the homepage. Employers are encouraged to upload their available job positions and details, and job-seekers are also encouraged to visit and browse.
  • Conagra Brands on Frederick St., here in Hagerstown are currently hiring for several positions. Those seeking employment are encouraged to CLICK HERE.
  • The Arc of Washington County is hiring Caregivers! Openings are entry level, direct care positions that start at $12.00 per hour – no experience necessary! In addition, they are also offering a $1000 staying bonus! It’s easy to apply – go to www.arcwd-md.org and click on Join Our Team.
The two new Interpretive Guidance documents from the Governor’s March 30, 2020 Executive Order are uploaded to the Chamber’s website, hagerstown.org and can be found here: http://www.hagerstown.org/maryland-resources
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Application – New, simplified form on the website here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Main Maryland Business Information site for COVID 19 updates and resources: https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business
INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS
  • Maryland Department of Labor – The site includes an Updated Process for Filing A Claim and if your employment or business has been impacted as well as COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act – The poster (found at www.hagerstown.org/strongtogether) must be posted at your place of business (if accessible) or emailed to teleworking employees by Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
  • New Webinar – M&T Bank with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin on New and Expanded Programs for Small Businesses: Tuesday, March 31st at 2:00 pm
  • Presentations from Senator Ben Cardin’s Office on the new CARES Act; the US Small Business Administration on existing Economic Injury Disaster Loans; the MD Department of Commerce on the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant and Loan Funds; and other resources available to small businesses facing economic disruptions as a result of COVID-19. REGISTER HERE
  • Restaurant Employee Relief Fund – Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Has Launched Relief Fund to Give $500 Checks to Restaurant Workers Affected by Coronavirus.  Here’s how it works: Restaurant workers can apply for a grant paid for by the NRAEF fund starting Thursday, April 2, and will receive a one-time $500 check within three weeks to use toward housing, medical bills, student loans, groceries, and other expenses. The NRAEF stipulated that these grants would be administered on a “first-come, first-serve basis.” To apply or to donate visit: CLICK HERE 
LETTERS OF PERMISSION FOR TRAVEL TO ESSENTIAL BUSINESS
The Governor’s Executive Order includes a stay-at-home directive. This is not a shelter-in-place order since essential businesses, including compliant restaurants, may remain open. The general exceptions to the stay-at-home order are for traveling to and from your essential business or retrieving food or medicine. If you will be traveling in accordance with the Governor’s order, it is recommended that employers draft and print their own letters, on letterhead, containing:
  • The name and address of the employee
  • The name and address of the business
  • The nature of the employee’s work
  • Reasons why the employee’s work fits the definition of essential
  • The signature and contact info of the employer
The MD DLLR Layoff Aversion Grant program is no longer taking applications at this time. The department is processing the applications they received and if funds remain, they will accept more.
Please pay attention to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is a modified SBA 7a loan with relaxed application requirements. This loan is also at least partially forgivable; eligible business expenses for two months after the loan-closing may be forgiven. The administration of this program will happen through SBA-approved lenders (local banks). It is important to note that not all banks are SBA-approved but that could change quickly. The program is also supposed to go live on Friday, although there are already rumors of a delay for the rollout. Businesses should start speaking with their bank about this program. There is a lot of guidance on this program on the internet, but the following link is also helpful: CLICK HERE
PARKING DECKS IN DOWNTOWN HAGERSTOWN
The University District Parking Deck in downtown Hagerstown will be CLOSED Thursday and Friday of this week for cleaning and wash down. This will also include a lane closure of the Unit Block of North Potomac. Please plan to make alternate parking arrangements for those two days. Plenty of parking is available in the Central Lot and the Market Lot.
If you keep a vehicle stored in the deck, please move it before Thursday as it will be unavailable for the duration.
The deck will also be closed to all pedestrian traffic during this time.
The Arts & Entertainment Deck in downtown Hagerstown will be closed Wednesday.
USMH STUDENT FINANCIAL NEEDS
If you are interested in supporting students at USMH who are in financial need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, a USMH Emergency Assistance Fund has been established. Donations can be made online and designated for this fund via this page https://www.usmf.org/forms/usmhagerstown by accessing the pull-down menu on the “Please direct my gift to” line and selecting that fund.
HOUSEHOLD DONATIONS
Recognizing that many families are taking the stay at home opportunity to conduct their spring cleaning, we’d like to offer a reminder to hold onto your gently used household items until it is safe to donate them. We know you may not want to look at them any longer, but please don’t throw them away!
CITY OF HAGERSTOWN
Jill Thompson, Director of the City’s Department of Community & Economic Development, shares a message about how she and her staff continue to work and advocate for the local business community, while providing resource assistance, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Message from the Director of Community & Economic Development
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SHOOLS (WCPS)
March 30 – April 3 is a week dedicated to transitioning the WCPS learning community to an online, interactive educational experience. There are grade level projects available at the Keep Learning @ WCPS website (https://sites.google.com/wcps.k12.md.us/extendedlearningprogram/home). Families without access to the internet should contact their child’s school and arrange to pick up a printed packet. Under Governor Hogan’s executive order, “travel to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning are defined as “essential activities” and are permissible. WCPS continues to operate 19 meal sites across the county for all children 18 and under.
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
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