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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: September 22, 2020

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: September 22, 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
Masks On Maryland
Per the Governor’s amended Executive Order put forth on September 1, 2020, the face covering order remains in effect. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death. The State of Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team has continuously advised that widespread use of Face Coverings is likely to help control the spread of COVID-19.
The County recognizes there may be citizens that are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical condition. Individuals unable to wear a face covering while in a public setting are encouraged to make alternative accommodations i.e. curbside pick-up, carry-out, online ordering, telehealth appointments, etc. Businesses can make accommodations with customers who are unable to wear a face covering, however, it is up to the business to comply with the executive order and prioritize the health and safety of their employees. Persons medically unable to wear a face covering should not expect to enter places which require face coverings as outlined in Executive Orders and Health Orders because of the potential risk to their own health and others. These individuals may need to utilize curbside pickup, delivery services, and depend on others who can wear face coverings. As we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must join together to fight against this disease. This may require leaning on a family member, friend or neighbor to help complete tasks that were once routine pre-COVID-19. We care about the health of every citizen in Washington County and are striving to keep the health and safety of the entire community at the forefront while we continue the fight against COVID-19.
Please see the section from Governor Hogan’s executive order regarding Face Coverings below. The full executive order can be viewed here.
IV. Face Coverings.
a. Definitions. As used herein:
i. “Face Covering” means a covering that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth and is secured to the person’s head, but is not a Medical-Grade Mask. The term “Face Covering” includes, without limitation, scarves, bandanas, and plastic full-face shields.
ii. “Medical-Grade Mask” means an N95, KN95, surgical, or other mask that would be appropriate for a health care setting.
iii. “Public Transportation” means shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public, including without limitation, taxi services, ride-sharing services, car services, transit services provided by any other unit of the State or any political subdivision, and all related stations and platforms. Examples of Public Transportation include, but are not limited to MTA bus service, MARC train service, Light Rail train service, MTA Metro subway service, and Mobility and Paratransit services.
b. Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.
i. Except as provided in paragraph IV.c, all persons in Maryland over the age of five (5) years old are required to wear a Face Covering when they are:
1. in or on any Public Transportation; – 10 –
2. indoors at any location where members of the public are generally permitted, including without limitation, Religious Facilities, Retail Establishments, Foodservice Establishments, Fitness Centers, Gaming Facilities, Indoor Recreation Establishments, Personal Services Establishments, and Indoor Theaters;
3. outdoors and unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals who are not members of their household;
4. obtaining healthcare services, including without limitation, in offices of physicians and dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories; and
5. engaged in work in any area where:
a. interaction with others is likely, including without limitation, in shared areas of commercial offices; or
b. food is prepared or packaged.
ii. Single-use Face Coverings shall be properly discarded in trash receptacles. It is recommended that all reusable Face Coverings be cleaned frequently (at least once per day).
iii. Wearing a Medical-Grade Mask satisfies any requirement in paragraph IV.b.i to wear a Face Covering, but all Marylanders are urged to reserve Medical-Grade Masks for use by health care workers and first responders.
c. Exceptions. Paragraph IV.b.i does not require persons to wear Face Coverings:
i. if, due to a bona fide disability or medical condition, it would be unsafe for the person to do so;
ii. to the extent wearing a Face Covering would impede communication by or with persons who have a hearing impairment or other disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
iii. if wearing a Face Covering would subject the person to an unsafe working condition, as determined by federal, state, or local occupational safety regulators or workplace safety guidelines;
iv. to the extent wearing a Face Covering would make it impossible to receive services requiring access to the face, mouth, or head, including without limitation, dental care, shaving, and facial treatments;
v. while consuming food or beverages; vi. while swimming or engaging in other physical activities where the use of a – 11 – Face Covering is likely to pose a bona fide safety risk; or
vii. while operating any Public Transportation conveyance, provided that the person is (1) the sole operator of the conveyance, and (2) located in a separate compartment that is off-limits to riders.
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
The Washington County Health Department is currently accepting resumes for multiple positions to assist us in our COVID-19 response. They are looking to hire full and part time contact tracers, and a full-time phone clerk to act as the main point of contact for returned calls for COVID-19. They are also hiring a registration position and a traffic control position for our COVID-19 testing sites (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays). Anyone who is interested should send their 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.
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/.
UPDATED: 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.
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
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
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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