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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: May 28, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: May 28, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
At Governor Hogan’s most recent press conference, the announcement was made that effective at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, the State of Maryland will allow for the reopening of multiple activities under Stage One of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery. Please view Governor Hogan’s Executive Order and https://open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness/ for specific information.
  • Outdoor Dining– restaurants and social organizations (American Legion/VFW/Elks) may begin safely reopening for outdoor dining following strict public health requirements.
  • Restaurant patrons must be appropriately distanced, with no more than 6 people seated at a table. Restaurants must use single-use disposable menus or sanitize reusable menus between each use.
  • Restaurants must sanitize outdoor tables and chairs, and begin screening procedures, including daily temperature checks of staff. Masks must be worn when interacting with employees or patrons.
  • Youth Sports – safe youth sports activities may resume, following CDC guidelines with limited, low contact, outdoor practices. This is specifically for skill-building drills and team-based practice.
  • No group may exceed 10 individuals at any time.
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance
  • Outdoor Pools – outdoor pools may also reopen Friday with strict safety guidelines including 25% capacity restrictions and strict physical distancing and sanitization measures.
  • Pool visitors will be required to sign-in and sign-out, and pools will be required to post signage warning anyone who is sick not to enter.
  • Fitness center and aquatic center pools remain closed.
  • Youth Day Camps – outdoor activities at youth day camps may resume with capacity limitations of no more than 10 individuals in a group and daily COVID symptom checks for camp staff and campers.
  • Drive-In Movie Theaters – drive-in movie theaters are able to safely reopen.
  • Encourage seniors and vulnerable populations to stay at home
  • Continue teleworking unless essential
  • No gatherings over 10 people
  • Wear face covering at retail establishments and public transportation
To stay updated on the Stages of Reopening and Recovery in Washington County, Maryland, please visit www.washcorises.net.
As COVID-19 still exists in the County, citizens are reminded to continue washing hands and maintaining appropriate physical distance. Below are the additional reopenings under Stage One in Washington County, Maryland.
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Contact tracing is part of the 4 building blocks of public health response described by Governor Larry Hogan as critical in reopening Maryland. As Washington County has moved into Stage 1 of recovery the effective use of contact tracing is a critical step in decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases and breaking the chain of transmission. The Washington County Health Department has about 40 contact tracers and additional backups in order to efficiently track movements and locations of positive COVID-19 patients and notify all household and casual contacts of their exposure risk. If you receive a call or voicemail from The Washington County Health Department please pick up or give us a call back. We are calling to inform you that you or someone you have been in close contact with has contracted COVID-19.
What to Expect during your phone call with the health department:
We will ask you 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)
(Please be as specific as possible about the nature and location of your interaction with others)
We will NOT ask you about:
  • Social security number
  • Financial or bank account information
  • Immigration status
  • Personal details unrelated to COVID-19
For more information about contact tracing please visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing
MERITUS HEALTH
WALK-THRU COVID-19 SCREENING CENTERS CLOSING THIS FRIDAY
Click on the map to right to access the closest COVID-19 testing site.
The walk-thru COVID-19 screening center located at 24 N. Walnut St., will close permanently this Friday, May 29, at 4 p.m. For the remainder of this week, the walk-thru center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
COVID-19 testing will continue at the drive-thru screening center 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. Testing is now available for all ages and at no cost to the patient. The drive-thru screening center is located 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.
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 PUBLIC SCHOOLS
End of School Year Updates:
Washington County Public Schools is sharing information with families regarding how the school year will come to a close during distance learning.
Find out about:
  • Marking period 4 grades and a timeline for final grades and report cards
  • Eligibility for fall extracurricular activities
  • Summer school
  • Process for picking up student personal belongings and returning school items
The last day of distance learning for students is Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
RISE UP BUSINESS STABILIZATION GRANT PROGRAM
The Washington County Department of Business Development and City of Hagerstown Community and Economic Development announces the launching of a new grant program to support local small businesses in Washington County. The Rise Up Business Stabilization Grant program will award $8.9 million. The grant program is designed to assist small businesses that experienced financial loss caused by the coronavirus. Please see graphic below for details.
Applications will be accepted from 8:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, June 15, 2020. Applications for the Rise Up Business Stabilization Grant must be made online at www.washcorises.net. The website also provides guidelines, application instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Please note any financial information shared as part of this application will remain confidential, but the names of businesses receiving grants and the amount they receive is public information.
For questions regarding eligibility criteria or required documentation, please email riseup@washco-md.net.
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!
Upcoming Webinars
Monday, June 1st, 1:30 p.m.
The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area is hosting a reopening webinar for historical and cultural sites
Visitor-serving cultural organizations, particularly those that invite visitors into historic structures, requested that our next session in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Planning for Reopening series be devoted to advice related to cleaning and disinfecting. A team of experts will join us for an hour to offer COVID-19 related guidance for general housekeeping and special considerations for historic materials, such as historic door fixtures and hand railings. Our guests will include:
  • Sarah Polzin (Training Manager) and Adam Mannarino (Health & Safety Officer) – NPS Historic Preservation Training Center
  • Mary Striegel, Chief research scientist (historic preservation, art conservation) National Center for Preservation Technology & Training
  • Nichole Doub, Head Conservator, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory
The RSVP for the Zoom link to this conversation will arrive soon. You’ll have a chance to pose a question in advance at that time (live Q & A will also be invited).
Attention Employers:
Safety Best Practices (from the State’s Back To Business Website) As the state gets back to business, business owners are urged to adhere to best practices that ensure the safety of your workers and customers alike. Through our collective efforts, Maryland’s business community will play a critical role in protecting our citizens and preventing another surge of COVID-19 infections. Leaders across Maryland’s business community have assisted in developing best practices to help businesses across the state as we enter this new era in business.
  • General Best Practices (for all businesses) English | Spanish
  • Industry-Specific Best Practices:
  • Accommodations English (Spanish forthcoming)
  • Construction and Development English (Spanish forthcoming)
  • Golf (Golf): English | Spanish
  • Manufacturing (Producción e Industrias): English | Spanish
  • Marinas (Puertos Deportivos):  English | Spanish
  • Personal Services (Servicios Personales). Applicable to barber shops and hair salons, per Governor Hogan’s executive order:  English | Spanish
  • Retail (Venta Minorista): English | Spanish
All businesses are encouraged to review FAQs regarding face coverings, and  consult with resources available through the CDC. Ongoing mitigation guidance, as well as prevention and support resources are available on the CDC’s website. All Executive Orders still in effect must be complied with. See most up to date orders. Additional industry best practices coming soon. This site is regularly updated.
Visit www.washcorises.net to stay informed regarding the latest updates to the recovery and reopening in Washington County.
WASHINGTON COUNTY RECREATION SUMMER PLAYGROUND YOUTH DAY CAMPS
Per Governor Hogan’s announcement regarding youth camps, Washington County Parks and Recreation announces registration for summer day camp is now open. In accordance with health and safety guidelines set by the CDC and State of Maryland, camp sites and the number of students at each camp will be limited. All camps will be held outdoors at the following locations:
  • Clear Spring Park
  • Doub Woods Park
  • Marty Snook Park
  • Regional Park
The first week of summer camp is scheduled to begin June 29, 2020.
To view addition information regarding 2020 Washington County Summer Youth Camps, please click here.
FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN MARYLAND CAN NOW APPLY FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are now available online, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications. The agency set up a call center in order to simplify how they serve new customers across the nation.
Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.
Producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.
Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments.
Additionally, producers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508- 8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a good first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.
Applying for Assistance
Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print off a pre-filled CFAP application, sign, and submit to your local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery. Please contact your local office to determine the preferred method. Find contact information for your local office at farmers.gov/cfap.
Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested after the application is filed. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.
Additional Commodities
USDA is also establishing a process for the public to identify additional commodities for potential inclusion in CFAP. Specifically, USDA is looking for data on agricultural commodities, that are not currently eligible for CFAP, that the public believes to have either:
  1. suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,
  2. shipped but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channel, or
  3. not left the farm or remained unharvested as mature crops.
More information about this process is available on farmers.gov/cfap.
More Information
To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
MARBIDCO PANDEMIC ADJUSTMENT EQUIPMENT GRANT FUND & PANDEMIC ADJUSTMENT LOAN FUND
Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund (PALF) Program
The Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund has been established by MARBIDCO to help Maryland’s food and fiber producers and harvesters obtain funds quickly to make adjustment in their business operations because of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program makes available low-cost loans to qualified applicants for working capital and equipment purchases under very favorable terms to help keep people working. (Note: the maximum loan amount for tangible equipment is $10,000, and maximum amount for working capital is $3,000. And the total maximum loan amount for all purposes is: $10,000.) Borrowers who make all their payments will receive a 10% grant back at the end.
Working capital includes, but is not limited to, the following: planting materials such as seeds, fertilizers and plastic covers, hand tools, advertising and marketing expenses, and hired labor. Tangible equipment includes equipment with 7 years or more usual lifespan such as: motorized equipment, vehicles, commercial kitchen facilities, engine replacement, refrigeration units, etc.
Eligible applicants must currently be operating their qualifying business enterprises in a substantial manner (e.g., as farmers, loggers and seafood harvesters, or as primary food/fiber processors). Spin-off activities of the main business enterprise are eligible and encouraged, but purely start-up businesses are generally not eligible. As such, all applicants must demonstrate that they are currently, or recently have been, producing, harvesting or processing food or fiber products. Applications can be submitted until June 15th (or until the available funding runs out). Note: MARBIDCO borrowers who are not currently in good standing are not eligible for this program.
Loan Terms and Conditions
  • Minimum/Maximum Loan Amount: $2,500 / $10,000 (Note: The maximum amount for working capital is $3,000.)
  • Borrower Equity Requirement: None. However, the applicant business must demonstrate that it currently is in operation as an eligible enterprise (as described above).
  • Minimum Credit Score: 620 (of the principal business owners).
  • Interest Rate: 3.75%.
  • Loan Origination Fee: None.
  • Loan Terms: Interest-only payments starting on Aug. 1st and running until Dec. 31, 2020. Loan payments will be amortized over a 12- to 36-month period thereafter. Borrowers who make all their payments will receive a 10% grant (of the amount borrowed).
  • Commercial Lender Involvement: A copy of a recent relevant bank checking statement. Collateral Security Required: None.
  • Personal Guarantee: Required. All loans made to a business entity must be personally guaranteed by the owners of the business.
  • Application Submission Process: All applications must be originated by the applicant. Applications are processed as they are received.
  • Send Completed Applications to: EMAIL to: Info@marbidco.org or mail to MARBIDCO Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund, 1410 Forest Drive, Suite 21, Annapolis, MD 21403
Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund (PAEGF) Program
The Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund (PAEGF) has been established by MARBIDCO using federal Coronavirus Relief Funds provided by the State of Maryland (Maryland Department of Health) to help Maryland’s food and fiber producers, harvesters and processors obtain funds quickly to make adjustments in their business operations in light of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants are eligible for grants for qualifying equipment and capital asset purchases for on-farm production, processing and storage (including refrigeration), wood processing, and seafood processing. Seafood and timber harvesters may also qualify if the equipment purchases are needed to make business adjustments to help with the pandemic’s impact. Eligible applicants must currently be operating their qualifying for-profit business enterprises in a substantial manner. Spin-off activities of the main business enterprise are potentially eligible, but purely start-up businesses are not eligible. As such, all applicants must demonstrate that they are currently, or recently have been, producing, harvesting or processing food, feed or fiber products.
Nonprofit organizations are not eligible applicants for this program. No equipment may be purchased (or ordered) after July 30, 2020, but equipment that has been purchased since March 15, 2020 may be eligible for cost reimbursement.
Standard motorized farm implements, cars, trucks, and boat purchases ARE NOT eligible equipment items under this program, but refrigeration units to be installed in trucks and vans are eligible. In addition, any equipment or capital asset purchase made before March 15, 2020 is ineligible. Moreover, priority in the review of applications will include an assessment of immediate need, the amount of money being requested, as well as the following:
Higher Funding Priority: Grants to be used for food, fiber, and nursery/greenhouse production, processing, and distribution.
Lower Funding Priority: Grants to be used for other purposes not described above.
Applicants may apply for grants of up to $50,000 (or up to $75,000 for wood and seafood processors or agricultural cooperatives). MARBIDCO will not pay more than 80% of the eligible cost and the applicant is responsible for the remaining portion of the purchase cost. Applicants may use loan proceeds from the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund (or other MARBIDCO loan programs) to help satisfy the applicant’s matching funds requirement.
The application deadline is June 10, 2020 (and electronic submissions are encouraged). Applications received in the mail postmarked no later than June 6, 2020 will also be accepted.
Eligible applicants must be a crop, forage or livestock farmer or processor, nursery or greenhouse producer, seafood or timber harvester, agricultural cooperative, seafood processor, or primary or secondary timber products processor. Grant funds and matching funds must be used for equipment projects and capital asset purchases that have a useful life of seven years or more. Applicants must demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and that the grant will be used to adjust their operations in order to serve new markets or make their operations more economically sustainable going forward in the short-term. Applicants that can demonstrate an immediate need for the equipment use will be given higher priority.
Eligible expenses are equipment and capital assets which will help farmers and producers, seafood and timber harvesters, forest product operations, and food and seafood processors to make adjustments caused by the pandemic and diversify their business operations. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Refrigeration and related food storage equipment and facilities
  • Livestock or seafood processing equipment and facilities
  • Fruit, vegetable or timber processing equipment and facilities
  • Composting equipment and facilities
  • Creamery production equipment
  • Manure digesters
  • Optimization systems for maximizing fiber yield recovery
  • Dry kilns, shavings mills, sawdust dryers and in-woods chippers
  • Production buildings and major fixtures
Ineligible expenses are those not specifically stated under eligible expenses, such as, but not limited to, the following:
  • Any expense incurred prior to March 15, 2020
  • Tractors, combines, sprayers or similar common farm implements and most attachments thereto
  • Any self-propelled vehicles (except forklifts and certain vehicles used in timber processing)
  • Property acquisition costs
  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Costs of borrowing (e.g., points and other fees)
  • Site plan and construction permits
  • Wages paid to applicant or employees, or applicant or employee training costs
  • Solar or wind energy projects
  • Furnishings, fixtures or equipment considered personal (non-business) property,
  • Hand tools and generally equipment items with a cost of less than $100
  • Machine storage, ancillary workshops, housing, classrooms, etc.
  • Any portion of expense for which the applicant pays a contractor in merchandise or service in lieu of cash
  • Attorney’s fees and consultants’ fees
  • Fees and/or costs not consistent with eligible costs
  • Computer equipment
Pandemic Adjustment Grant Conditions
Maximum Amount of Grant: $50,000 (up to $75,000 for wood or seafood processors or agricultural cooperatives)
Minimum Amount of Grant: $1,000
Match Required: Applicants will be required to pay for at least 20% of the eligible cost. Applicants may use loan proceeds from the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund (or other MARBIDCO loan programs) to help satisfy this matching requirement.
Application Deadline: Received electronically by June 10, 2020 or postmarked no later than June 6, 2020.
Disbursement of Funds: Applications for $20,000 will typically receive higher review priority while applications for more than $20,000 may be reviewed after June 10th. All grants will be awarded on a discretionary basis. It is anticipated that successful applicants will be notified by June 26th of their award amounts. No eligible equipment may be purchased (or ordered) after July 30th.
Application requirements
  • Submit a completed and signed application form and all required attachments.
  • Attachments include:
  • Written Business Plan (see Section 6 of the application for what needs to be included in the business plan).
  • Project budget – list of equipment or facilities to be acquired with cost estimates.
  • Applicant and business operation tax return(s) for the preceding year (latest available, 2018 or 2019).
  • Completed Balance Sheet (see website for attachment 1).
  • Completed Income Statement for the past year (see website for attachment 2).
  • Evidence of matching funds (e.g., copy of bank statement or bank loan commitment letter).
Send Completed Applications to: Electronically to info@marbidco.org, or by mail to: MARBIDCO Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Program,1410 Forest Drive, Suite 21, Annapolis, MD 21403
Important Dates:
March 15, 2020: No equipment purchases before this date can qualify for either PALF or PAEGF.
June 6, 2020: Postmark deadline for PAEGF (Grant) application submissions.
June 10, 2020: Deadline for PAEGF electronic application submissions.
June 15, 2020: Deadline for PALF (Loan) Applications to be submitted.
July 30, 2020: No equipment may be purchased (or ordered) after this date for PAEGF.
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
A campaign organized by the Community Foundation and United Way of Washington County, Maryland, announces the fourth cycle of grant recipients. Grants totaling $27,500 were funded to the following five agencies:
  • Breast Cancer Awareness – Cumberland Valley
  • For Our City – Hagerstown
  • Mediation First
  • The Maryland Theatre
  • The Arc of Washington County
The deadline to apply for the fifth and final cycle of grants is Monday, June 8th at midnight. Applications will be reviewed, and recipients will be announced the week of June 15th. Applications should have a focus on ensuring basic needs and essential services throughout Washington County. Applications to fund salaries will not be accepted.
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 current amount of funds raised for Washington County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is $225,000.
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.
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
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