Garrett County has reported no additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, even as the numbers of confirmed cases in Maryland continues to rise, reaching 580 today.
Garrett County Health Department is leading the coordination of the county COVID-19 response with participation from other essential agencies through the local Emergency Operation Center. Using technology to connect agency members through video or telephone connections, the important players are able to share information and resources and still maintain the critical social distancing necessary to slow the spread of the virus in Garrett County.
Likewise, the Garrett County Health Planning Council Thursday morning transformed their normal in-person meeting into a virtual meeting using Google Meet, allowing agencies to connect with each other to report on their response to the current situation.
Why is social distancing necessary? Because it’s the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Staying home is the ultimate way of avoiding contact, and it is especially important for those at a high risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus to stay home.
However, we realize it’s not possible for everyone to stay home, with many people needing to continue working in the essential businesses. If it is necessary to go out for any reason, these important steps will maintain social distancing:
Don’t shake hands or hug others
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
- Maintain a 6-foot distance between you and other people
- Avoid unnecessary errands — consider ways to have essential items, like food and other
household supplies, brought to you through delivery services
At a state level the Governor Hogan has banned gatherings of more than 10 people, closed all non-essential business, including restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, and closed schools through at least April 24th.
The Garrett County Health Department is currently closed to the general public, however certain essential services are continuing. Most staff members are working from home and providing services to their clients over the phone. A core group of staff is coordinating Garrett County’s response to COVID-19. Patients receiving clinical services should call if they have concerns. To find out the status of each division of the Health Department, visit garretthealth.org/status.
Garrett County remains under a Declaration of Emergency, which provides additional powers and resources to our County Departments to deal with the COVID-19 situation.
Health leaders are asking people to take the illness seriously and to limit unnecessary social exposure by staying home, washing your hands, remaining home if you are mildly sick, and following the CDC’s guidance.
Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Call your provider if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently been in high exposure areas.
Information and updates about COVID-19 in Garrett County and around the world are available at garretthealth.org. Residents can also call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.
Please call 911 only for medical emergencies, not for coronavirus information or questions.