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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: September 11, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: September 11, 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
As we enter into the fall season, many residents are questioning whether or not to get the flu vaccine. Please see the information below from the CDC regarding the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Getting a Flu Vaccine during the COVID-19 Pandemic
If coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading in my community, should I still go out to get a flu vaccine?
Yes. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. To protect your health when getting a flu vaccine, follow CDC’s recommendations for running essential errands and doctor visits. Continue to take everyday preventive actions.
How can I safely get a flu vaccine if COVID-19 is spreading in my community?
When going to get a flu vaccine, practice everyday preventive actions and follow CDC recommendations for running essential errands.
Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health department if they are following CDC’s vaccination pandemic guidance. Any vaccination location following CDC’s guidance should be a safe place for you to get a flu vaccine.
If I am at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 or flu, where is the safest place for me to get a flu vaccine?
You can safely get a flu vaccine at multiple locations including your doctor’s office, health departments, and pharmacies. You can use VaccineFinder.org to find where flu vaccines are available near you. When going to get a flu vaccine, be sure to practice everyday preventive actions.
Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health department if they are following CDC’s vaccination pandemic guidance. Any vaccination location following CDC’s guidance should be a safe place for you to get a flu vaccine.
Vaccination of people at high risk for flu complications is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. Many people at higher risk from flu also seem to be at higher risk from COVID-19. If you are at high risk, it is especially important for you to get a flu vaccine this year.
Are there special precautions my doctor, pharmacist, or health department should take this flu season to make sure flu vaccines can be given safely during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. CDC has resources to help with vaccine planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health department if they are following CDC’s vaccination pandemic guidance. And protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.
I don’t have a primary care provider, where can I get a flu vaccine?
If you don’t have a doctor that you regularly see, flu vaccines are also available at locations including health departments and pharmacies. You can use VaccineFinder.org to find where flu vaccines are available near you.
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, effective Saturday, Sept. 12.
  • VEIP Station Drive Thru Testing Site is located at 12100 Insurance Way in Hagerstown. Doctor’s orders are no longer required to get tested. Appointments are still required. Individuals can schedule their own appointment by going to https://health.maryland.gov/covidtest/Pages/Home.aspx
  • 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. No Appointment required. 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. No Appointment required. 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
Don’t Wait! Keep your Child’s Immunizations Up-To-Date!
WCHD Offering FREE Vaccination Clinics
Recent data has shown a significant decrease in pediatric vaccination rates in Maryland and across the U.S. During this COVID-19 pandemic many children have not received their recommended vaccinations on time. Vaccinations are important and essential to avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and keep our children protected.
The Washington County Health Department is offering FREE, Drive-thru vaccination clinics for students entering the 7th grade. We will offer the Meningitis vaccine and Tdap vaccine, both are required for entry into 7th grade. Although distance learning for schools is continuing this year, it is vital that children stay up-to-date on their vaccines for their health and schools will require these vaccines upon returning to school. These are challenging times, but you have the power to help keep your child healthy.
What: Meningitis and Tdap Vaccine for students entering 7th grade
When: September 16th from 1pm-4pm
Where: The Washington County Public Service Academy. 701 Frederick Street, Hagerstown MD 21740.
Parents must accompany children and bring their child’s immunization records. To view and print official copies of your child’s vaccination records at no cost, visit MD.MyIR.net
For further information, please call us at 240-313-3210
Washington County Health Department Testing Sites:
(All testing at WCHD sites are Free)
VEIP Station Drive Thru Testing Site
12100 Insurance Way in Hagerstown
Doctor’s order is NOT required. Appointments are still required. Schedule your own appointment HERE.
Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please follow the directions on the page and choose the Hagerstown VEIP Station when choosing a location. Accommodations such as large print or Braille materials, sign language interpreter, deaf language interpreter, foreign language interpreter, use of MD Relay and more are available at no cost to you at this testing site. Please make sure you indicate any accommodations you require when scheduling your appointment.
More information on:
(English and Spanish versions are accessible by clicking on the above links)
Mobile Walk-Up Testing Sites:
Washington County Health Department is launching mobile testing sites throughout Washington County. Testing as these sites will be open to everyone and you do not need a doctor’s order or an appointment to participate. The tests used are the quick nasal swab that takes about 15 seconds to administer. Please follow social distancing and masking guidelines when participating at these sites. All testing sites are walk-up clinics and are from 8:00-11:00 a.m. unless indicated differently.
At this time we have scheduled free COVID-19 testing at the following locations.
  • September 16, 9AM-12PM: Zion Baptist Church, 61 Bethel St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • September 18: Shafer Park Pavillion #1, Shafer Park Dr, Boonsboro, MD 21713
  • September 23, 9AM-12PM: Community Free Clinic, 249 Mill St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • September 23, 3-6PM: Cortland Mansion/Apartments, 19411 Cortland Dr, Hagerstown, MD 21742
  • September 25, 9AM-12PM: Veterans Park, 68 West Water St, Smithsburg, MD 21783
New locations will be announced on the Health Department’s website at https://washcohealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/ and on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WashHealth/
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, effective Saturday, Sept. 12. 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.
VISITOR RESTRICTIONS EASED AT HOSPITAL
Most Meritus Medical Center patients may now have one visitor during limited times daily. Limited visitor hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and again from 5-9 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/.
COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING AVAILABLE LOCALLY
Antibody testing is available at all Meritus Medical Laboratory patient service centers. A lab order from a person’s primary care provider is required in order to have a COVID-19 antibody test. Antibody tests do not take the place of COVID-19 screening tests. Insurance or patients will be billed for antibody testing. Meritus Medical Laboratory locations and hours are available online at https://www.meritushealth.com/treatment-care/medical-lab/
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
Below is a listing of free Wifi hotspots provided by Washington County Public Schools (WCPS).
Technology Support During Distance Learning
Technical difficulties with a WCPS-issued electronic device can be a major roadblock for students participating in distance learning. WCPS will be staffing a technology support call center to quickly and efficiently respond to these issues. Technology staff will be available to assist from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year.
Parents or guardians will complete an online form to request assistance with a WCPS-issued device. The staff member will help the parent troubleshoot the issue over the phone or determine if the device needs to be returned to the school. If a repair cannot be made in person at the school, WCPS will provide a temporary replacement device for the student.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
UPCOMING WEBINARS:
Free Webinar from Miles & Stockbridge: “The Great Unknowns: Anticipating the 2020 Fall/Winer Labor & Employment Challenges”
2020 has been a roller-coaster for businesses, particularly when it comes to navigating the myriad labor and employment challenges that have spun out of a global health crisis that has forced the world to change how it lives and works. As summer turns to fall, temperatures drop and children return to (some form of) school, these challenges will enter an entirely new phase. Join Miles & Stockbridge labor & employment principals Suzzanne Decker, Kirsten Eriksson, Veronica Jackson and Paolo Pasicolan as they discuss the topics that human resource and labor professionals need to be considering right now:
  • What employers can do to regulate off-duty conduct to ensure employees are being safe
  • How employers can manage travel bans and required quarantine periods
  • Updates on the latest health and safety guidance for the workplace
  • What leave employees may be entitled to relating to health concerns and remote schooling
  • Mitigating risk from allowing employee flexibility while working from home
  • What employers should be thinking about now for when a vaccine becomes available
  • How employers can help employees with benefits changes
SBDC Webinar Series
Maryland SBDC will be leading each webinar with topics focused on teaching tools and skills that are beneficial to succeed during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit https://www.washco-md.net/together/ to register for these webinars or to learn more about business resources in Washington County.
Attention Employers:
President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) authorizing a temporary payroll tax deferral for American workers which—under current law—would create a substantial tax liability for employees at the end of the deferral period. Last Friday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released its official guidance on the implementation of the EO. CLICK HERE for a U.S. Chamber summary.
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 – IT IS ALSO STATE LAW. 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.

Reemployment BEACON Project

Unemployment Insurance Modernization

The Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (“DUI”) is excited to announce its new system, BEACON, will go live in late September 2020. The BEACON system will fully integrate all DUI functions. Employers and third party agents will be able to access and manage their DUI employer accounts through their BEACON portal. In the new BEACON system, employers and third party agents will be able to file quarterly wage reports, view benefit charge statements and annual tax rate information, make payments online, file appeals, provide separation information, manage powers of attorney, and allow for faster and easier account updates.
Employers and third party agents will be able to activate their accounts beginning Monday, August 24, 2020. Only account activation functionality will be available until BEACON goes live in late September 2020. DUI will provide additional information on account activation in the coming weeks. Please continue to file your quarterly wage reports and make payments as you currently do until the new BEACON system goes live in late September, 2020. The 3rd quarter wage reports will be the first quarter that will be filed in the new BEACON system.
To assist Employers and Agents with account activation, the Division is creating a special Employer/Agent account activation hotline. The account activation hotline can be reached at 410-767-8997. The hotline will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Employers and Agents may also email ui.employeractivation@maryland.gov with questions about account activation.
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 several weekends this fall. 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:
SEPTEMBER
  • Sundays    9/20 and 2/27      11:30am – 3pm
OCTOBER
  • Saturdays   10/3 & 10/10     4pm – 9pm
  • Sundays    10/18 and 10/25  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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