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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: May 11, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: May 11, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
The number of new hospitalizations is flattening in Maryland. As this is good news, taking proper precautions continues to be important for Washington County and the state. Continue to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and others and wearing a cloth face covering when out for essential trips.
Learn more about staying healthy and protecting your community at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Contact tracing is an important public health tool used to stop the spread of diseases. Public health workers use this tool to identify the contacts of a person infected with COVID-19 in order to stop chains of transmission. Washington County Health Department’s dedicated employees are focusing on interviewing COVID-19 positive patients and quickly locating all persons who were in contact with the patients.
This process starts when the health department is notified of a positive case, each positive cases is then contacted by one of our employees. Through our conversations with each person our contact tracers then create a list of places and persons the positive COVID-19 person came into contact with starting 48 hours before illness onset until the time they were isolated. Contacts are placed into two categories household contacts and causal contacts. Our contact tracers do not ask for social security number, credit card or immigration status. We then contact each and every person who might have been exposed and follow up with them through their isolation. During this time we provide education, information and support to understand their risk, how to monitor themselves for illness, how to self-isolate, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they do not feel sick. In order to protect patient privacy, contacts are only informed that they may been exposed to a patient with COVID-19. They are not told the identity of the patient who may have exposed them.
By staying safe at home and maintaining social distancing measures, you can help lessen the extensive amount of work are contact tracers are preforming. When a positive COVID-19 person only comes in close contact to those who live in their own homes, it considerably shortens the list of people our nurses have to contact and effectively helps stop the chain of transmission.
MERITUS HEALTH
COVID-19 TESTING EXPANDS TO THOSE WITH NO SYMPTOMS
Click on the map to right to access the closest COVID-19 testing site.
COVID-19 testing is now available to 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. Testing is now available for all ages. Meritus Health’s screening centers include:
  • Drive-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is available behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton Blvd. Hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and weekends from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Walk-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is available at 24 N. Walnut St, Hagerstown, MD. The walk-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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
Meritus Health is now offering virtual visits to connect patients in the hospital with their families and friends. To setup a virtual visit, please contact the program’s coordinator at 240-313-3163.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Please stay tuned to www.hagerstown.org for the latest information on COVID-19 relief resources, local restaurants that remain open for business, and more!
The Chamber is focusing on ways that we can lead the way with recovery efforts for businesses. When safe to do so, we pledge to follow Maryland’s executive orders while rallying behind re-opening efforts while advocating for guidelines that benefit you during this impending comeback phase.
Upcoming Webinars
Tuesday, May 12th, 11:00 a.m. – Noon
Free Maryland Chamber Webinar: “The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019”
Presented by: Dennis J. Schaffer, Partner, Whiteford Taylor Preston, and Brent C. Strickland, Partner, Whiteford Taylor Preston
Small business owners now have the lifeline they need to work through a rough patch, cyclical downturn or other unexpected problem by taking advantage of the new Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (the “SBRA”).
SBRA is a significant change in existing bankruptcy law that greatly reduces or eliminates many of the costs associated with a bankruptcy reorganization, expedites the process for a quick turnaround, and preserves ownership and control of the business. Given the number of businesses suddenly faced with the prospect of insolvency, the SBRA feels like must-know law. It is described as a game changer for small and medium-sized businesses, as it allows access to a quicker and less expensive reorganization, at the same time making it easier for a business to maintain equity interests.
Wednesday, May 13th, 11:00 a.m.
AAFB & Planit Present: The New Normal? – Communicating in the Age of COVID-19
When COVID-19 hit the United States, brands scrambled to respond. While some brands are still scrambling, after nearly two months of quarantine, many are also asking what’s next. How do we continue to respond? Or should we stop responding? When do we return to regularly scheduled communication plans? Join AAF Baltimore and Planit for a webinar discussing the current media landscape, messages consumers want to hear, crisis communications strategies to implement right now and more.
Thursday, May 14th, 10:00 a.m.
Free Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce Webinar
Join this Thursday for a virtual session on Pivot and Reposition for Post COVID-19. Bola and Mack Audena of MBA Growth Partners to rethink, recalibrate, and reenergize your business for the new norm post-COVID-19.
Attention Employers:
CLICK HERE to download an “Unemployment Resource Guide” created by the Maryland Department of Labor for guidance and resources regarding unemployment issues.
Maryland Department of Labor released the Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders. This guide briefly describes certain COVID-19 related financial relief programs and consumer protections. CLICK HERE
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.
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.