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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: October 20, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: October 20, 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
Below is the press conference delivered today, Tuesday, October 20, 2020 with updates on the continued fight against COVID-19 in Washington County, Maryland.
Washington County COVID-19 Press Conference 10/20/2020
During today’s press conference, Geordie Newman from the Washington County Community Action Council (CAC) addressed the public regarding funding assistance opportunities available to individuals in the community. Please see below for how the CAC can financially assist citizens.
CAC has received significant funding from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act through City, County, State, and Federal sources to assist low-income households in Washington County who have fallen behind in the expenses listed below, due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • Rent (no court order of eviction necessary, but verification of amount owed from landlord is required)
  • Mortgage
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Water / sewer
This funding can only assist with bills which were accrued after April 1, 2020.
Although there are currently moratoriums on evictions and utility terminations, it is absolutely necessary to seek assistance now as the balances of all delinquencies will eventually come due.
Applicants for assistance must be able to demonstrate the past due bills are a result of circumstances surrounding COVID-19, such as:
  • Loss of employment
  • Reduction of hours
  • Personally contracting COVID-19
Specific documents (CDBG-CV Self Certification Form FY21, COVID-19 Declaration of Hardship Form, & CAC COVID-19 Document Checklist) which will need to be completed to receive assistance may be found at: http://www.wccac.org/covid-19-resources/ .
CAC urges anyone who is interested in assistance to reach out to us as soon as possible while this funding is available.
The goal of providing this funding is to keep residents of Washington County safely and stably housed with connected utilities. As well as to provide area landlords and utility providers with the money they are owed.
This funding is not able to assist with utility bills owed to a municipality (City of Hagerstown, Town of Williamsport, etc.) CAC has other funding sources available to assist with this and will follow our regular procedures in providing help in these situations.
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 4:30 p.m and Saturdays 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. – 8:30 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
Washington County Health Department Testing Sites:
(All testing at WCHD sites are Free)
VEIP Station Drive Thru Testing Site
12100 Insurance Way in Hagerstown.
Now Closed
Mobile Walk-Up Testing Sites:
Washington County Health Department has launched mobile testing sites throughout Washington County. Testing at these sites are free and you do not need a doctor’s referral or an appointment to be tested.
All testing sites are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. unless indicated differently.
  • October 21: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (parking lot across the street), 601 Washington Ave, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 22: Jonathan Hager Elementary, 12615 Sedgwick Way, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 23: Hancock Town Hall, 126 W High St, Hancock, MD 21750
  • October 26: Hagerstown Fire Dept – rear parking lot, 25 Church St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 28: University Plaza, 50 W Washington St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
Starting November 2, 2020 the Washington County Health Department will be offering free drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing at 13 West Lee Street in Hagerstown. Testing will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-2pm. Please follow all traffic signs when entering through the Lee Street entrance.
How to Get Your COVID-19 Test Results:
It takes approximately 48 hours from the time of your visit to a collection facility to the time your result is available and ready for viewing.
  1. Open your browser and type in https://go.ciandx.com/results
  2. Register and create an account
  3. Check the email you used for the activation code
  4. Activate by entering your birthday, username, zip code, and password
  5. Login to lifepoint after successfully activating
  6. Once logged in you can see your results
FREE Flu and Childhood Vaccination Clinics
Washington County Health Department is offering FREE Childhood Vaccination Clinics and FREE Flu Vaccination Clinic for Elementary Age School Children. Parents must register their child in order to be seen at one of these clinics. For instruction on how to register you child and the schedule of clinics please go to https://wp.me/p9M1Nf-Xe
MERITUS HEALTH
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.
COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING AVAILABLE LOCALLY
Antibody testing is now available with no required lab order and at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient at all Meritus Medical Laboratory patient service centers.Meritus Medical Laboratory locations and hours are available online at https://www.meritushealth.com/treatment-care/medical-lab/. Antibody testing is being made available to better understand the COVID-19 prevalence in our community, as well as offer peace of mind for anyone who may have had an asymptomatic case. Please note that positive antibody test results do not make you immune to COVID-19, so it is vital to continue to be vigilant in wearing proper PPE, social distancing and washing your hands. Antibody test results will be available to patients via their MyChart account. There will be no phone calls made for positive or negative results. The antibody test will help determine if you most likely had the virus in the past and is not a replacement for the COVID-19 test.
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 CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Click here to view the simpler loan forgiveness application.
Click here to view the instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application.
Click here to view the Interim Final Rule on the simpler forgiveness process for loans of $50,000 or less.
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.
Other News:
Final week of Hagerstown’s “EAT-IN-THE-STREET” EVENT:
The City of Hagerstown will be closing the first block of South Potomac Street to traffic and opening it to diners on SUNDAY 10/25 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join the City in supporting Hagerstown’s outstanding downtown restaurants by choosing to dine outdoors, eating in the street or getting a to-go order to enjoy in University Plaza or along the Cultural Trail.
UPCOMING WEBINARS:
Wednesday, October 21st, 6:30 p.m.
Free Webinars from the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs
Learn the basic elements of a business plan and how to structure writing an effective plan to maximize your loan potential! Whether you have an existing plan already and need to make adjustments or are looking to start fresh, we can offer tips for organizing your business model for the changing world in the midst of a pandemic.
Thursday, October 22nd, 10:00 a.m.
Procurement 101
Do you want to learn about state contracting? Start at the beginning. This class is for small businesses that have little or no knowledge of the state procurement process. This class is being offered in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. This class will also be offered in Spanish at 3 pm.
In honor of Maryland Economic Development Week, October 25-31, 2020, The Maryland SBDC Cordially Invites You To Join All October Small Business Webinar Trainings:
Wednesday, October 28th, 1-2:30 p.m.
Webinar: Scary Close…Finding Your Target Market!
Presenter: Melody Belotte, Marketing Expert
Regardless of how amazing your business, product or service is – you may not be getting the sales or connections you want simply because you’re not reaching the right audience. Technology now allows us to get “scary close” to customers through advanced targeting and tracking, but we must learn to use these tools effectively and responsibly. Join the marketing expert, Melody Belotte, for a crash course on how to identify, narrow and reach your target market.
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
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!
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.
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.
2020 GENERAL ELECTION VOTER GUIDE
Looking for information about voting locations, early voting, and dropbox locations in Washington County? Read the 2020 General Election Voter Guide at https://conta.cc/32RW76M
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
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