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

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

COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER BRIEFING
October 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
It is important to know the difference between the flu and COVID-19. While both are contagious respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses.
The CDC states the following, “Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.
While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it.”
The information below is provided directly from the CDC. It compares COVID-19 and the flu, given the best available information to date.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Similarities:
Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:
  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
Differences:
Flu
Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above.
COVID-19
Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.
HOW LONG SYMPTOMS APPEAR AFTER EXPOSURE AND INFECTION
Similarities:
For both COVID-19 and flu, 1 or more days can pass between a person becoming infected and when he or she starts to experience illness symptoms.
Differences:
If a person has COVID-19, it could take them longer to develop symptoms than if they had flu.
Flu
Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.
COVID-19
Typically, a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.
HOW LONG SOMEONE CAN SPREAD THE VIRUS
Similarities:
For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms.
Differences:
If a person has COVID-19, they may be contagious for a longer period of time than if they had flu.
Flu
Most people with flu are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms.
Older children and adults with flu appear to be most contagious during the initial 3-4 days of their illness but many remain contagious for about 7 days.
Infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for even longer.
COVID-19
How long someone can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 is still under investigation.
It’s possible for people to spread the virus for about 2 days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared. If someone is asymptomatic or their symptoms go away, it’s possible to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19.
HOW IT SPREADS
Similarities:
Both COVID-19 and flu can spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the illness (COVID-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get infected by physical human contact (e.g. shaking hands) or by touching a surface or object that has virus on it and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Both flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 may be spread to others by people before they begin showing symptoms, with very mild symptoms or who never developed symptoms (asymptomatic).
Differences:
While COVID-19 and flu viruses are thought to spread in similar ways, COVID-19 is more contagious among certain populations and age groups than flu. Also, COVID-19 has been observed to have more superspreading events than flu. This means the virus that causes COVID-19 can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses.
PEOPLE AT HIGH-RISK FOR SEVERE ILLNESS
Similarities:
Both COVID-19 and flu illness can result in severe illness and complications. Those at highest risk include:
  • Older adults
  • People with certain underlying medical conditions
  • Pregnant people
Differences:
The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19. However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19.
Flu
Young children are at higher risk of severe illness from flu.
COVID-19
School-aged children infected with COVID-19 are at higher risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare but severe complication of COVID-19.
COMPLICATIONS
Similarities:
Both COVID-19 and flu can result in complications, including:
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (i.e. fluid in lungs)
  • Sepsis
  • Cardiac injury (e.g. heart attacks and stroke)
  • Multiple-organ failure (respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock)
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions (involving the lungs, heart, nervous system or diabetes)
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues
  • Secondary bacterial infections (i.e. infections that occur in people who have already been infected with flu or COVID-19)
Differences:
Flu
Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications, some of these complications are listed above.
COVID-19
Additional complications associated with COVID-19 can include:
APPROVED TREATMENTS
Similarities:
People at high-risk of complications or who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 or flu should receive supportive medical care to help relieve symptoms and complications.
Differences:
Flu
Prescription influenza antiviral drugs are FDA-approved to treat flu.
People who are hospitalized with flu or at high-risk of flu complications with flu symptoms are recommended to be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible.
COVID-19
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed guidance on treatment of COVID-19, which will be regularly updated as new evidence on treatment options emerges.
While remdesivir is an antiviral agent that is being explored as a treatment for COVID-19 and is available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), there are currently no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent or treat COVID-19. Studies are in progress to learn more.
VACCINE
Similarities:
Vaccines for COVID-19 and flu must be approved or authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the FDA.
Differences:
Flu
There are multiple FDA-licensed influenza vaccines produced annually to protect against the 3 or 4 flu viruses that scientists anticipate will circulate each year.
COVID-19
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Vaccine developers and other researchers and manufacturers are expediting the development of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
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 7: Potomac Towers – Maintenance lot, 35 W Baltimore St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 9: Funkstown Fire Dept, 2 S Westside Ave, Funkstown, MD 21734
  • October 12: Holiday
  • October 14: Christ’s Reformed Church, 17012 Alcott Rd, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 16: Keedysville Library, 22 Taylor Dr, Keedysville, MD 21756
  • October 19: Hagerstown Fire Dept – rear parking lot, 25 Church St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 21: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (parking lot across the street), 601 Washington Ave, 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
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
MERITUS HEALTH DRIVE-THRU SCREENING CENTER
The drive-thru screening center for COVID-19 testing is now open on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m.-noon. The center will continue its weekday hours of Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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 PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is pleased to announce the return of more students to the classroom for the start of Stage three on Monday, October 12, 2020. On this date, WCPS will also expand athletics and extracurricular activities to prepare for competitive events. Read more at: https://www.smore.com/a5vbj.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
UPCOMING WEBINARS:
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 7th, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Webinar: The 10 Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands!
Presenter: Bev Stitely, Tax Strategist, Enrolled Agent (EA), Profit First Professional, Owner, Saunders Tax and Accounting
A constantly changing tax code, a tumultuous business world, a pandemic. There are a thousand things swirling around all the time. And try as we might, we just can’t be experts in all things. Mistakes happen. Whether it is being set up in the wrong type of tax entity or missing a deduction opportunity, there are common mistakes that every business owner makes. And every year that those mistakes continue, the cost continues to compound. Join Bev Stitely, a Tax Strategist, as she identifies ten of the most common mistakes business owners make, so that you, too, can start saving thousands. And remember, there is no such thing as a good tax surprise!
Tuesday, October 13th, 1:00-2:30pm
Webinar: Old School Marketing, New School Results
Presenter: Pieter Bickford, Marketing Executive, HighRock Studios
The marketing and advertising industry is constantly evolving, but some strategies and tactics are timeless if applied correctly. Join the marketing experts at HighRock to explore some “old school” marketing principles that have proven to be effective regardless of how new trends and technologies develop.
Wednesday, October 14th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Webinar: Website Must Haves!
Presenter: Dennis Ottey, Dott Digital Marketing
Learn the top 10 things to ask your next web developer or designer in addition to learning many “website must-haves”. Statistics will be provided to document the importance of the items presented. The take away will be to help you know what to ask to ensure your new or redesigned website comes out of the box, ready to go to work for you!
Wednesday, October 14th, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Webinar: Profitable Pricing-How Do I Price My Goods or Services?
Presenter: Ali Paskun, ABIL Solutions LLC
Of all the difficulties small business owners and freelance service providers face, one of the most pressing and difficult to overcome is price. What do you charge for your products or services? This is not an easy question to answer, but in this presentation, you’ll learn various methods to help you not only pick a price, but pick the right one!
Thursday, October 15th, 10-11:30 a.m.
Webinar: Risks & Rewards Of Going Into Business With Someone
Presenter: Matt Johnston, Esquire
Going into business with someone can be amazing. But going into business with someone without lots of forethought and planning can be a disaster. This session will be about the discussion you should have before opening a business with a partner so that you can find the good and avoid the mire.
Thursday, October 15th, 1-2:00 p.m.
Webinar: Getting Back To Basics-A Resource Toolkit From The Department of Labor
Presenter: Janice Walker-Emeogo, Small Business State Outreach Director Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance at the Department of Labor
This session will provide information to employers, economic development and workforce partners who have employees transitioning back to work after being closed due to COVID-19.
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
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.
“EAT-IN-THE-STREET” EVENT – EVERY WEEKEND THROUGH OCTOBER
The City of Hagerstown will be closing the first block of South Potomac Street to traffic and opening it to diners for the first two Saturdays and the last two Sundays. 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. Scheduled Closures:
  • Saturday   October 10th       4pm – 9pm
  • Sunday      October 18th       11:30am – 3pm
  • Sunday      October 25th      11:30am – 3pm
Visit the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) Facebook page, or call 301-797-6294 for more information.
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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