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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: September 18, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: September 18, 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 chilly temperatures sweep into Washington County this weekend, it is a reminder that flu season is on the horizon. With COVID-19 and the flu coexisting this fall, it is more important than ever to take all precautions to keep you and your family healthy. This includes getting a flu shot, wearing a face covering while out in public, social distancing, and washing your hands frequently. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please stay home and get tested. Our healthcare workers have gone above and beyond to keep our community safe over the past six months. We are entering a pivotal season and it will take all of us doing our part to get through it together.
Below is a chart detailing the risk associate with certain activities. As previously mentioned, please continue to wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands frequently as we stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
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.
  • 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
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 9:00 AM-12:00 p.m. unless indicated differently.
At this time we have scheduled free COVID-19 testing at the following locations.
  • September 23: Community Free Clinic, 249 Mill St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • September 23, 3-6PM: Cortland Mansion/Apartments, 19411 Cortland Dr, Hagerstown, MD 21742
  • September 25: Veterans Park, 68 West Water St, Smithsburg, MD 21783
  • October 1, 3-6PM: Lakeside Village, 17012 Alcott Rd, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 2: Byron Memorial Park, 11 Park Rd, Williamsport, MD 21795
  • October 5: Hagerstown Fire Department – rear parking lot, 25 Church St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • October 7: Potomac Towers – Maintenance lot, 35 W Baltimore St, Hagerstown, MD 21740
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. 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 10:00 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/.
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 GOVERNMENT
The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) have agreed to allow up to three citizens to participate in-person during the open session of BOCC meetings. This policy will be implemented beginning Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Citizens will be selected to participate on a first-come, first-serve basis providing they have not made a comment within the last four open session meetings. Citizens will be required to submit a screening process prior to entering the meeting room and will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside the Administrative Building. Inquiries for citizens participation can be submitted after the agenda is posted and at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. All citizen participation inquiries will be directed to the County Clerk at khart@washco-md.net or 240-313-2204. BOCC meetings will continue to remain closed for public attendance.
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Below is information regarding WCPS voluntary conditioning and skills-based engagement seasons and extracurricular activities during the first semester. The health and safety of WCPS students and staff will remain our top priority. In-person conditioning and extracurricular activities may occur when WCPS is in stages two through five of the Return to Learn Plan, provided all guidelines below are followed. If WCPS returns to Stage 1 all athletic and extracurricular activities must be virtual. Some activities may be modified, delayed, or cancelled based on staffing and Covid-19 restrictions. If you have any questions after reading this Smore, please contact your school’s principal.
First-semester Voluntary Conditioning and Skill-based Engagement Seasons
Fall Sports
  • Monday September 21, 2020 to Friday October 23, 2020
Spring Sports
  • Monday October 26, 2020 to Friday December 4, 2020
Winter Sports
  • Monday December 7, 2020 to Friday January 22, 2021
Required Documentation for Participation
Students must provide documentation of an updated pre-participation physical evaluation (sports physical) before participating in any conditioning and re-engagement activities.
Students must register through Family ID
First-semester Voluntary Conditioning and Skill-based Engagement Guidelines
  • All activities will be voluntary for both students and coaches.
  • All activities will be open to all high school students, and there will be no tryouts.
  • All activities will be held outside, in the gym, or in the weight room.
  • All activities must be held on school campus, with the exception of golf
  • Activities held Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, with a limit of 2 hours per day for each sport or activity.
  • All activities must be conducted in pods of 10-15 students and follow current social distancing guidelines:
  • One coach per 10-15 student-athletes.
  • Pod composition must remain consistent during each session and throughout the conditioning and re-acclimatization activities. Students will remain in the same pod from their first to last day of participation.
  • Coaches are expected to hold practices a minimum of 3 days each week.
  • Week 1 = Small Pod (10-15 students) conditioning/re-acclimatization activities only.
  • Weeks 2-5 = Small Pod (10-15) skill-based coaching/instruction may take place.
  • The use of locker rooms will not be permitted, students must show up “ready to practice.”
  • Teams must follow sport-specific guidelines on allowable activities and equipment.
  • No athletic participation fee will be charged for the first semester.
Use of Face Coverings
  • Students and staff must follow WCPS guidelines for face coverings while on school property.
  • All students and coaches must have a face covering with them (on their person) at all times.
  • Students engaged in high-intensity physical activity outdoors do not need to wear a mask when socially distanced.
  • Coaches are expected to comply with and enforce the use of face coverings whenever social distancing of 6 feet is difficult to maintain.
  • Students and staff must use face coverings while indoors at all times.
  • During weight conditioning and while in the weight room, students must use face coverings at all times, even while lifting.
Check-In Procedures
  • Carpooling is not recommended.
  • All students and coaches will check in with the Athletic Trainer at the check in location prior to reporting to their designated field.
  • Each team will have a designated check-in time prior to each session.
  • Students should arrive promptly and remain in their vehicles until their pod’s check-in time
  • Athletic trainers will use the WCPS Attendance Tracking sheet to check students and coach in prior to each session.
  • COVID-19 signs and symptoms signage will be displayed as reminders at the check-in area.
  • Parents/caregivers who choose to remain on site must remain in vehicles and should avoid congregating in the parking lot or on athletic fields.
Hygiene Practices
  • Students must bring their water bottles labeled with their names. The sharing of water bottles will not be permitted.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
  • Athletes are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer.
  • Athletes should be reminded not to touch their faces.
  • The sharing of personal property (towels, water bottles, etc.) will not be permitted.
  • Team huddles, handshakes, fist bumps, spitting, chewing of sunflower seeds, and other activities that promote transmission of illness will not be permitted.
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
UPCOMING WEBINARS:
SBDC Webinar Series
There is one webinar left in the Maryland SBDC webinar series.
Visit https://www.washco-md.net/together/ to register for these webinars or to learn more about business resources in Washington County.
Attention Employers:
The Maryland Department of Labor’s Work Sharing program provides an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a temporary, non-cyclical decline in business due to lower economic activity. Learn more
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
Washington County Free Library Reopening September 21
In the next phase of Washington County Free Library’s gradual reopening beginning Monday, September 21, branch libraries throughout the county will welcome patrons back for browsing the stacks to find library materials, public computer use, and other limited in-person services during modified business hours.
The main Fletcher Branch Library in Hagerstown will be open to the public from 2-6 PM Monday through Friday. A full listing of branch library hours is available on the library website, washcolibrary.org. A limited number of patrons will be allowed enter library buildings. Some areas of the library buildings are “staff only” at this time.
Patrons ages five and over must wear face coverings that completely cover the mouth and nose at all times, and practice social distancing in all WCFL branch libraries. Public printing and technology assistance from library staff processes have been adjusted wherever possible to limit exposure to frequently touched surfaces and maintain social distancing.
Library materials are still available for checkout through curbside pickup services. Curbside pickup services at the Fletcher Branch Library will continue Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 AM-2 PM, and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-6 PM.
Returns throughout the county will only be accepted through book drops. All returned items are quarantined for 120 hours before going back into circulation.
The health and safety of Washington County Free Library customers and staff continue to be of utmost importance. WCFL has been diligent in following the advice of our federal, state, and local public health officials to efficiently and safely serve the Washington County community.
For more information about library services available at this time, visit the Washington County Free Library website at washcolibrary.org or call your branch library.
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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