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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: May 12, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: May 12, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
As the State of Maryland progresses closer to a safe reopening, the County is establishing a Back-to-Business Toolkit. This document will serve as a guide for businesses to use as we begin the reopening process in the near future. Now is the time for businesses to prepare for how to do business in what will be the ‘new normal.’
Below is a link to a simplified checklist that Washington County business partners have compiled to assist businesses in this preparation process:
The extensive Back-to-Business Toolkit will be released to the business community later this week.
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
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.
Wednesday, May 13th, 12:00 p.m.
Free NFIB Webinar: Small Business and COVID-19: Your Questions Answered Live!
NFIB’s Weekly COVID-19 Briefing hosted by Holly Wade, Director, NFIB Research & Policy Analysis, and Beth Milito, Senior Executive Counsel, will be live Wednesday, May 13th at 12 p.m. This week Holly and Beth will devote the full hour to answering your PPP loan and SBA EIDL, tax, workplace, human resource (HR), and unemployment questions. You can submit your questions live or by emailing us ahead of time at info@nfib.org with “webinar” in the subject line. Can’t make this Webinar? Don’t worry! Register Now and we’ll email you an on-demand version!
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:
The Chamber has been working closely with the Washington County Department of Business Development, City of Hagerstown Community and Economic Development, Maryland Department of Commerce, Hagerstown & Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Hagerstown Committee, and Horizon Goodwill Industries. College to establish a preparation plan for reopening businesses. Below is a checklist to assist businesses with preparation for reopening.
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
WASHINGTON COUNTY COVID-19 EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND ANNOUNCES 3RD CYCLE GRANT RECIPIENTS
The Washington County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, a campaign organized by the Community Foundation and United Way of Washington County, Maryland, announces the third cycle of grant recipients. Grants totaling $30,905 were funded to the following six agencies: Brooklane, Boys & Girls Club, Doleman Black Heritage Museum, Girls Inc., OnTrack of Washington County, and the Washington County Commission on Aging.
The first disbursement of grants was announced on April 20th. Grants totaling $50,000 were funded to five different agencies: CASA, Inc., Interfaith Service Coalition, Salvation Army, Together with Families, and the Washington County Commission on Aging.
The second disbursement of grants was announced on Monday April 27th. Grants totaling $50,540 were funded to ten different agencies: Children in Need, Community Free Clinic, GateKeepers, Girls Inc., Horizon Goodwill Industries, HCC Foundation, Potomac Case Management, Tabitha’s Table, University System of Maryland, and Hagerstown YMCA.
The deadline to apply for the fourth cycle of grants is Monday, May 18th at midnight. Applications will be reviewed and recipients will be announced the week of May 25th. Applications should have a focus on ensuring basic needs and essential services throughout Washington County.
Together, the Community Foundation and United Way have challenged the community to raise an additional $50,000, bringing the total up to $250,000. The initial goal for the Emergency Assistance Fund was $200,000. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the community’s need for essential services and basic needs. The Emergency Assistance Fund will continue until the COVID-19 crisis has diminished. The current amount of funds raised for Washington County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is $222,000.
All funds raised will support Washington County community-based organizations and partners who directly help those adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In the weeks and months ahead, the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund will provide additional capacity to community-based organizations in Washington County. This fund will deliver economic assistance and access to vital food and basic need supplies to the many children, families and households who already have and will be impacted by the temporary loss of income. The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund may also be deployed to strengthen our community’s ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of health and other emergencies, as well as to support programs and initiatives that are focused on fighting for the health, education, basic needs and financial stability of our community. Donations made to the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund will support efforts to provide relief to people impacted by coronavirus and its effect on our community.
The goal of the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is to raise as much money as possible to deliver positive outcomes for severely affected individuals and families. The Community Foundation secured $100,000 in matching grants in less than two days. Matching donors include: Adna Fulton Family Fund. Pauline Anderson Foundation, William Dutton Family Fund, Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation, God’s Grace Fund, Community Foundation of Washington County, MD., John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation, Ed and Betsy Beachley, Dr. and Mrs. Mitesh and Erin Kothari, Kevin and Stacey Crawford, and Todd and Sue Baer.
United Way of Washington County has waived all administrative and processing fees to ensure all campaign funding will go to those most in need. To ensure maximum impact, the funding community is banding together to ensure that 100% of donations are distributed appropriately throughout the community.
Donations can be made online at https://bit.ly/2UR6fsy by texting COVIDWashCo to 313131, by calling 301.739.8200 x 104 or by mailing checks to United Way of Washington County, 83 West Washington Street, Suite 101, Hagerstown, MD.
FLYOVER AT MERITUS HEALTH SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY
As part of Operation American Resolve, the 167th Airlift Wing will salute the frontline COVID-19 responders in our region with a flyover in their honor on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
The 167th Airlift Wing is set to fly over Meritus Health at approximately 10:05 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
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.