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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: November 6, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: November 6, 2020

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Please visit www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info for the latest numbers on Washington County’s COVID-19 dashboard.’
 
COVID-19 Joint Information Daily Briefings will be released ONLY on Tuesdays and Fridays.
 
**The dashboard is updated Monday-Friday**
 
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
 
Governor Hogan delivered a strong message during his press conference yesterday to ALL Marylanders. The Emergency Operations Center echoes his sentiments of PLEASE WEAR A MASK. Wearing a mask has proven to significantly mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and it is not hard to do. No one enjoys wearing a mask, but if a simple gesture can save a life and keep our businesses open, we are willing to do it.
 
Washington County has seen a concerning rise in positive cases in the last few weeks. The majority of these cases are not coming from nursing home or prison outbreaks–they are coming from community spread. Why is this concerning? This means COVID-19 is continuing to spread throughout the County, with gatherings as the leading location for where citizens are spreading the virus. Attending large gatherings puts both you and your family members at a greater risk of attracting COVID-19. Please avoid large gatherings.
 
The next several weeks will take a County-wide effort to stop the spread. Please be kind to one another and join us as we continue our fight by doing the following:
  • Wear a mask while out in public
  • Social distance of 6 feet or more
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Stay home if you’re experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you’re experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive
Mask Up WashCo
 
COVID-19 TESTING SITES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD
 
  • Meritus Screening Drive Thru Center is located at 13620 Crayton Blvd. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-noon.
  • CVS Drive Thru Testing Site located at 1503 Potomac Ave, Hagerstown MD 21742. Please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • CVS Drive Thru Testing Site located at 10 E Wilson Blvd, Hagerstown MD 21740. Please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 11236 Robinwood Drive, Suite 101 Hagerstown, MD 21742. Appointment required and patients are charged with copay. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 240-313-4242
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 18721 N Pointe Drive Hagerstown, MD 21742. Appointment required and patients are charged with copay. Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 301-733-8313
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
 
COVID-19 Testing
 
Mobile Testing Sites: Closed for the winter months.
 
Winter Testing Site: Our drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 test site will be located in one place during the winter months. Please go to the entrance at 13 West Lee Street and follow all traffic directions to be tested.
 
Hagerstown Housing Authority
13 West Lee Street, Hagerstown
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
10am-2pm
 
Days the testing site will be closed in November: 11th, 25th, 27th.
 
We are Hiring for COVID-19 Positions!
 
The Washington County Health Department is currently accepting resumes for multiple positions to assist us in our COVID-19 response. If you are interested in any of these positions, please send your resume to the health department’s Human Resources Officer Jessica Delmotte-Schoppert at jessicaa.delmotte1@maryland.gov Individuals who do not include their resume will not be considered for the position.
 
FREE Flu Vaccination Clinics – Children Only
 
Washington County Health Department is offering FREE Flu Vaccination Clinics for Elementary Age and Preschool Children. Parents must register their child in order to be seen at one of these clinics.
 
Maryland 2-1-1
 
With Help comes Hope. 2-1-1 is here to listen and connect you to essential resources 24/7/365! There is hope and help. Dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 8-9-8-2-1-1 or visit the website at https://211md.org/
 
MERITUS HEALTH
Essential Workers
 
Seasonal Illness Care Clinics – SIC Clinics
Preparing for the upcoming flu season and the potential increase in COVID-19 cases, Meritus Health has established Seasonal Illness Care Clinics or SIC Clinics to safely accommodate patients with symptoms of COVID-19 or flu. Once a patient has been cared for by his/her provider via video or phone, the provider may refer said patient to one of the SIC Clinics. This would be for those individuals who need to be seen in person, but have COVID or flu-like symptoms preventing them from having an in-practice appointment. Symptoms that would be present to visit a SIC Clinic could include:
  • Upper respiratory illness
  • Body aches
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Ear pain
  • Shortness of breath/wheezing
  • Generalized body aches/joint pain/muscle pain/fatigue
  • Chills
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose/sinus pain and pressure, post nasal drip
  • You’ve tested positive for COVID and have worsening symptoms
  • You have known COVID exposure and feel ill
 
SIC Clinic – North (located at Meritus Medical Plaza, 13620 Crayton Blvd.)
Hours of operation: Monday–Friday from 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8–Noon
 
SIC Clinic – Smithsburg (located beside Meritus Pediatric & Adult Medicine – Smithsburg practice)
Hours of operations: Monday–Thursday 10:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 8:30-11:30 a.m.
 
UPDATED HOURS – MERITUS HEALTH DRIVE-THRU SCREENING CENTER
The drive-thru screening center for COVID-19 testing will begin weekday hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., while remaining open on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – noon.
 
The screening center is located behind Meritus Medical Plaza at 13620 Crayton Blvd. Testing is available 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. Test results are available in as little as 24 hours either through a patient’s My Chart account or primary care provider.
 
VISITOR RESTRICTIONS EASED AT HOSPITAL
Most Meritus Medical Center patients may now have one visitor during limited times daily. Limited visitor hours are 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and again from 5:00-9:00 p.m. Close family members of patients should first call to speak with their loved one’s nurse to check on potential restrictions that may keep them from coming to the hospital. All visitors must be age 18 or older unless he/she is the parent of a pediatric patient. At this time, no visitors are permitted in the rooms of patients diagnosed with or being investigated for COVID-19. Additionally, outpatient services and inpatient behavioral health areas are not open to visitors yet. All visitors will be screened for flu-like symptoms including fever upon entering the main lobby of the hospital and those with visible symptoms or a fever will not be admitted to visit patients. Facemasks are required for all visitors and must be worn at all times in the hospital. Details and specific exceptions to the visitor policy can be found at https://www.meritushealth.com/patients-visitors/public-notice/.
 
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
Since restrictions remain in place for visitors at Meritus Medical Center, the hospital is offering virtual visits to connect patients with their families and friends. To setup a virtual visit, please contact the program’s coordinator at 240-313-3163.
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is providing free breakfast, lunch, and now dinner at all of our WCPS grab-and-go meal sites.
 
WCPS operates 22 grab-and-go meal sites across the county, and they are open Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. These locations are closed when school is not in session due to a holiday.
 
As a reminder, in-person students also have access to free breakfast and lunch in schools. Food Services is exploring the opportunity to provide in-person students with a dinner that they can take home with them.
 
For more information, see: https://www.smore.com/yjkes. Thank you to the WCPS Food Services staff who continue to provide these meals to our community’s children through the pandemic!
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
 
The Washington County Department of Business Development released the application for the Direct Restaurant Relief Grant earlier this week. The application and criteria can be found be clicking on the button below.
 
General terms and conditions of the Direct Restaurant Relief Grant include:
 
  • Must own, rent, or lease a permanent or mobile commercial food and/or beverage service location in Washington County as of March 1, 2020 (non-profit organizations, commissaries, food banks, groceries, farmers markets, vending machines, catering, home kitchens, etc. are not eligible)
  • Business must have a current Washington County business license and have been in business on March 1, 2020, and the business must be in good standing with Washington County Government and the State of Maryland with no outstanding taxes, fees, or other charges, and registered with the state, if required by law.
  • Demonstrate operational expenses or purchases incurred due to COVID-19 in the periods from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020.
  • Eligible expenses may include, but are not necessarily limited to working capital, such as rent, payroll, and job training, purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining, such as tents, heaters, warmers, and carts, infrastructure improvements, such as HVAC system upgrades, technology to support carryout and delivery, purchase of PPE and disposable food containers or utensils, sanitation services, and any other costs related to continuity of business.
  • Applications from franchise restaurants will be accepted as long as the franchisee does not own more than 2 franchise businesses in Washington County.
  • The maximum amount awarded for this grant will be $20,000 per applicant.
 
Eligible uses of funds include:
 
  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades 
 
The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020. Applications for the Direct Restaurant Relief Grant must be made online at www.washcorises.net. The website also provides guidelines, application instructions, and answers frequently asked questions.
Tri-County Council for Western Maryland (TCCWMD) is offering businesses located in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties low interest financing through Summit Financing Solutions Revolving Loan Fund Program. 
 
Apply now through November 30, 2020 or while funds remain available!
 
  • Interest rates as low as 0% for the first 12 months
  • Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $500,000
  • Eligible purposes include: business acquisition, building improvements, equipment purchases, business start-up costs, and working capital
  • Terms up to 15 years
  • Loans under $25,000, quick turnaround time & flexible terms
  •  
Businesses must meet the following criteria to apply:
  • The business must be a business entity in good standing with the State of Maryland
  • Principal place of business must be in Allegany, Garrett, or Washington County
 
Start the Conversation Today! Contact Chris Funk, Business Development Loan Officer, at 301-689-1300 or cfunk@tccwmd.org
 
Governor Larry Hogan recently announced a new $10 million initiative to provide critical support to thousands of Maryland farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief Program will offer direct assistance to contract poultry growers and a bonus payment to any farm operation that received funding through the first round of the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Watch the announcement.
 
Direct Support For Contract Poultry Growers. Federal CFAP funding is currently not available to contract poultry growers, which is Maryland’s top agricultural commodity. Under the Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief Program, the Maryland Department of Agriculture will issue direct payments of $1,000 per poultry house, up to five houses per farm. Growers whose flocks were depopulated during the pandemic will be eligible for an additional $1,500 per house.
 
Bonus Payments For Farmers. The new initiative will also offer a 15% bonus payment to any Maryland farmer who received federal funding through the first round of CFAP payments. CFAP provides financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline, or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Maryland distributed nearly $24 million through the first round of CFAP payments and has distributed more than $16 million in the second round of the program.
 
For more information, or to apply online for the Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief Program, please visit https://mda.maryland.gov/pages/farmer-relief.aspx.
 
Important information below from SBDC’s Financial Specialist Team if you or your business as received a PPP loan: 
 
As a PPP borrower – and with 2020 tax preparation season now in swing – the Maryland SBDC Financial Specialists Team wants to remind you about tax implications related to PPP forgiveness. Although the SBDC does NOT provide tax advice, they wanted to make you aware of a potentially KEY issue. Per IRS Notice 2020-32, expenses paid using FORGIVEN PPP funds are NOT tax-deductible expenses. This means that if your application for forgiveness is APPROVED in 2020, the expenses you paid with those “forgiven” PPP funds WILL NOT be deductible on your 2020 tax return. This could have significant “2020 income tax due” implications when you file the return. If you delay the “Forgiveness” request/get approval until 2021, that would allow time for tax planning related to the 2021 tax filing when those “forgiven” related expenses still cannot be deducted. STEPS TO TAKE: SBDC encourages you to connect ASAP with your tax preparer to consider strategies and options. Certainly, if you have any questions or want additional insights, please feel free to contact your Maryland SBDC Business Consultant, go to the www.marylandsbdc.org website to get connected with a Consultant and/or refer to our COVID19 Small Business Survival Guide.
The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting free webinars throughout November and early December.
 
 
Webinar: From Bah Humbug to BOOM-Mastering The Holiday Season Selling To Customers!
November 9, 2020, 9:00-10:15am
December 2, 2020, 9:00-10:15am
 
Webinar: 7 Steps To Marketing Success In These Uncertain Times
November 11, 2020, 10:00am-12:00pm
 
Webinar: Planning for the Holiday Season-The Ideal Customer Journey
November 11, 2020, 1:00-2:30pm
 
Webinar: Give Your Brand An Award-Winning Personality!
November 12, 2020, 1:00-2:30pm
 
Webinar: Holiday eCommerce for Small Retailers-From Brick & Mortar to Click & Mortar
November 16, 2020, 9:00-10:15am
December 9, 2020, 9:00-10:15am
 
Webinar: The Law of Social Media, Discrimination and Harassment
November 17, 2020, 1:00-2:30pm
 
Webinar: Navigating The Holiday Season & COVID Like A Pro
November 18, 2020, 1:00-2:30pm
 
Webinar: Holiday eCommerce for Small Retailers: Tips for Fulfilling Those Orders
November 23, 2020, 9:00-10:15am
December 16, 2020, 9:00-10:15am
 
To register or find out more information about each webinar, click here.
 
Help Us Continue on Our Path to Keep Washington County Open – Please ensure your business and customers continue to follow the recommended CDC guidelines as we reopen businesses and other activities across Washington County. Wearing masks inside, social distancing, regular hand washing, and expanded cleaning is still a critical part of keeping infection rates low. By taking on these minor inconveniences, we can prevent a spike in infections which could force officials to slow down or even reverse the reopening process. The coronavirus has not gone away and we must stay vigilant until a vaccine is created. We all have a responsibility to do our part to help our economy reopen so that our many local businesses can survive and provide jobs for our citizens.
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, INFO & EVENTS
 
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! The Hope Center is in need of volunteers to help with our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast this year. Things will be done a little different for 2020 which means there won’t be a service or kids activities. And all food served will be carry-out or delivery.
 
Volunteers are needed to help prep food for delivery, hand out food for carry-out guests, and deliver food to individuals in the community. All deliveries will be inside Hagerstown city limits.
 
For the safety of volunteers, staff, and guests, masks must be worn at all times and social distancing guidelines will be in place for the carry-out part of the celebration.
 
If you or someone you know is interested in helping this year please call The Hope Center during business hours M-F at 301-739-1165 or email at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.
 
If you are behind on your bills (rent, electric, gas, oil, & water) contact the Community Action Council to determine if you are eligible for assistance!
 
The funding available is first-come, first-served. Please call 301-797-4161 or email info@wccac.org for more information.
 
WCPS PARTNERS WITH WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPT FOR CHILD VACCINATION CLINICS
Get your child vaccinated! WCPS is working in partnership with the Washington County Health Department to vaccinate children of all ages.
 
The Health Department provides free flu vaccines to WCPS elementary students through a grant. These vaccine clinics are held on separate days. Check out the instructions to register!
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY PARENTS SUPPORT DATABASE
The group WC Parents have created a simplified support database to gather and retain all services and needs in one place. This is an excellent example of the community working together to meet the tangible, everyday needs of parents in our community as this school year will begin with distance learning.
 
If you need childcare or can provide it, if you need tutoring or can provide it, etc., please join this forum and share your resources or needs.
 
It is up to the community to share your resources and fill this database. The group is asking for the public’s help in:
  • Adding to the forum if you can provide a service or have a need
  • Sharing the forum
 
Click on the graphic below to join the forum or visit Wcparents.freeforums.net.
 
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
 
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