THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
All Garrett County government buildings will reopen to the public, beginning Monday. Face coverings and social distancing must be maintained, and appointments are encouraged. The March 16th public meeting will be limited to 15 people in the room, who will be admitted 10 minutes prior to the starting time. COVID-19 information for Garrett County is…
Governor Larry Hogan is introducing the new Vaccine Equity Task Force. The group will use Census and CDC data to identify at-risk populations for the COVID vaccine. National Guard Brigadier General Janeen Birkhead will lead the task force in an effort to address disparities in access to the vaccine, including establishing a new community-focused vaccination…
Maryland Department of Health officials say the statewide COVID positivity rate is down today. It’s now just over three-point-two percent, which is a drop of point-zero-four over a 24-hour period. Health officials say today there are 809 new confirmed coronavirus cases. This brings the state total to more than 384-thousand-500. Three people have died from…
There have been no COVID-19 deaths since Monday and only one new case in Allegany County. Allegany County’s positivity rate is less than half of the state of Maryland. The local rate is 1.41 per cent, while the state rate is 3.28 per cent. The Allegany County Health Department is reporting that 10,308 residents have…
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says the state should not expect to see the newly-approved Johnson and Johnson vaccine until later this month. During a press conference yesterday afternoon, the Governor introduced Dr. Robert Redfield, formerly of the CDC, as Maryland’s senior advisor for public health. Provided there are enough vaccines for the state, several more…
Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin was part of a call to discuss the urgent need for COVID-19 relief for small businesses and states, localities, and Tribal nations, along with U.S. Territories responsible for essential community services. Senator Cardin is chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The American Rescue Plan…
There has been one death and eight new COVID-19 cases in Allegany County since Sunday. The county has now begun transitioning to Phase 1C of the vaccination plan, scheduling appointments for individuals under the age of 75, with the oldest first. The county’s positivity rate is just over one per cent, while the state rate…
Allegany County hit a milestone this past weekend, as more than 10,000 residents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; the second dose of the vaccine has been administered to 7,137 residents. President of the Allegany County Board of Commissioners has praised the Allegany County Health Department and UPMC for their efforts. Allegany…
Maryland will be able to allocate almost 50-thousand Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines this week to providers. Governor Larry Hogan made the announcement Monday. It isn’t clear where in the state these vaccines will go, but a statement from the governor’s office said they would go to mass-vaccination sites, hospitals, and other entities administering shots. …
Federal prosecutors in Baltimore say they’ve shut down a website claiming to sell a coronavirus treatment. The Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it had seized the Internet domain to remdesivirmx.com. The site claimed to sell Remdesivir, an antiviral drug approved for the treatment of COVID-19, in Mexico. However, prosecutors say the site was being used…
There was one death and seven new COVID cases in Allegany County since Friday. The local case rate is more than half the state’s average, and the positivity rate is now at 1.43 per cent, while the statewide average is 3.66 per cent. Just over 14 per cent of the county population has received at…
Allegany County Public Schools have reported no cases of COVID-19 within any public school building. ACPS had one employee last week, who was reported as quarantined due to being in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or having COVID-like illness.
The plan, right now, is for Mineral County students at all grade levels to return to schools full time, beginning Monday. Another aspect of this week’s decision would have students attending school, in person, five days per week, unless the county is red on the state’s COVID-19 daily alert map. Families who have chosen a…
Frostburg State University reported no new coronavirus cases last week, the first time the university has had no new cases in its weekly testing pool. Johns Hopkins University has reported the national average positivity rate was 5.1 per cent over the same period; the state’s positivity rate in Maryland was 2.9 per cent over that…
Governor Larry Hogan says masks will be required in schools. He’s issuing a new executive order requiring anyone over the age of five wear one in any “school setting where interaction with others is likely.” This includes classrooms, cafeterias, hallways, auditoriums and gyms. This comes after he promised rapid COVID tests and PPE for Maryland…
Daily Prevention and Preparedness
At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Prevention of COVID-19 centers on frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes and separating people who have respiratory symptoms.
Treatment for COVID-19, as with any coronavirus infection like the common cold, includes the use of over-the-counter fever-relievers,
drinking plenty of fluids and resting at home to help relieve symptoms. Those with more severe symptoms may be hospitalized to provide additional support.
While much remains unknown about COVID-19, the CDC reports that people who are elderly and who have chronic health conditions appear to be at higher risk for infection. These chronic conditions may include cancer, diabetes, heart disease or any issue that lowers the body’s immunity to germs.
Information and updates about COVID-19 in Maryland—including up-to-date testing and confirmed case count information—are available at health.maryland.gov/coronavirus. The page is updated every morning.
Additional information about COVID-19, including the latest CDC travel advisories, can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
On January 29, Governor Hogan directed all state agencies to take every precaution to prepare and mobilize whatever resources are necessary to address COVID-19. This week, the governor will submit a $10 million emergency funding request to the General Assembly as part of a supplemental budget.
- Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) and MDH, in coordination with theMaryland Hospital Association, are coordinating on surge planning, including ambulance re-routing plans, suspension of voluntary admissions, enhanced methods of medical monitoring for home-bound patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
- The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) is coordinating with University System of Maryland institutions that are bringing home students who are studying abroad in Italy and Japan.
- MDH is coordinating with nursing homes and assisted living facilities to review and reiterate guidance on infection control and medical management.
- MDH is coordinating with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to provide guidance to local school systems on protocols for school closures.
- MDH is coordinating with the Maryland Hospital Association to work with all the local hospitals on surge plans and preparedness.
- The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is actively engaged with travelers to ensure they have information they need and are following the CDC guidelines. The Port of Baltimore is also engaged in similar screening protocols.
- MDH continues to participate in daily briefing calls with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal partners. MDH also continues to coordinate with local health departments as well as other state agencies on preparedness and response to the virus.
- MDH has released public service announcements regarding statewide preparedness efforts.
- All state agencies have reviewed their Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans and submitted them to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
- Information Hotline Established to Address COVID-19 Concerns (3-9-20)
- West Virginia State Lab Now Able to Conduct Tests for COVID-19 (3-7-20)
- Governor Jim Justice Press Release (3-4-20): “The health and safety of all West Virginians is the highest priority and we are monitoring coronavirus around the clock”
- DHHR Prepares for Potential Spread of COVID-19 (2-26-20)
- For additional information, please visit CDC’s Situation Summary, view States Reporting Cases of COVID-19 to CDC, or call DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304.
Community spread means the spread of illness for which the source of infection is unknown. On February 26, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a COVID-19 case in California in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19. It is possible that this could be the first instance of community spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. However, it is also possible that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected. This is an rapidly evolving situation, so information and recommendations may change. We will continue to learn more in the coming days and share new information as it is available.
Much of the nation’s attention is focused, appropriately, on our federal agencies such as CDC, NIH, HHS, the Surgeon General and Homeland Security. The state of Pennsylvania is providing up to date public information through several state agencies and their websites.
Daily COVID-19 report (updated every evening)
Businesses fact sheet update
PA Department of Health – www.health.pa.gov
PA Emergency Management Agency – www.pema.pa.gov and daily televised briefings
PA Department of Community and Economic Development- www.dced.gov
PA Department of Labor and Industry- www.dli.pa.gov
Information from Maryland Emergency Management Agency, MDH, West Virginia Health and Human Resources, PA Dept of Health, the DPH, Allegany Co Board of Ed, and CDC
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