Daily COVID-19 Update

Based upon the rising Garrett County COVID and an increase in self-reports to the College, Garrett College is moving all credit classes back to an all-online academic platform as of Tuesday, November 17, 2020.  All intercollegiate athletics activities will also shut down as of that date. Residence halls will remain open as planned through Tuesday, November 24th unless a change in the COVID situation requires a change in the College’s housing strategy.The Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC) will continue operating on its current schedule unless a change in the COVID status requires a change in the CARC schedule.

Since Monday, the Allegany County Health Department has identified 292 new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County, bringing the county’s total cumulative case count to 1,909.   The death toll from the disease has also risen, with 10 additional fatalities since last Friday.  Allegany County deaths from COVID-19 now stand at 40. Currently, Allegany County’s case rate is 124.77 per 100,000 population compared to the state average of 30.95 per 100,000.  Allegany County’s current percent positive rate is 13.22%, while the statewide average is about half that at 6.82%. 

Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing is still being offered at the Allegany County Fairgrounds on Mondays from 2 to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  No appointment, insurance or doctor’s order is required.

Small choices can help protect you and your family and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.  Choose to stay in rather than go out to a crowded establishment.  Choose take-out rather than dine-in. Wear your mask. Call friends and family rather than visiting in-person. Have holiday celebrations with just your household this year.   For more information on recommendations for holiday celebrations, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.

From GCHD: The Garrett County Health Department received 42 additional positive COVID-19 results since the last report on Monday, November 16th, bringing the current county total positives to 399.

“Please remember that our entire region is currently experiencing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “At this point, the virus is all around us and it is critical that we all stop exposing ourselves to the virus. To help get people tested for the virus, we are announcing a drive-through testing event at our Oakland office on this Friday, November 20.”

The event will be held in the parking lot between the Health Department and the Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive from 9 a.m. 12 noon. Please follow the signs and watch for traffic personnel for direction. Be prepared for a possible wait depending on how many persons take advantage of this event. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a test at the site, and appointments and doctors’ orders are not required.

The new positive COVID-19 cases for Garrett County include:

• 2 female age 10-19

• 2 male and 6 females in their 20s

• 3 males and 4 females in their 30s

• 5 males and 4 females in their 40s

• 5 males and 2 females in their 50s

• 3 male and 3 females in their 60s

• 2 males in their 70s

• 1 female in her 90s

Because of the spike in the region and across the country, Health officials continue to urge the public to avoid gatherings big or small, wear a mask in all public places, and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times. Frequently wash and disinfect hands and frequently touched surfaces, and stay home if you are not feeling well.

Visit garretthealth.org for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information. Additional local testing events are being planned and will be announced as plans are finalized.

Governor Larry Hogan announced additional actions at a press conference yesterday to prevent overburdening the state’s healthcare system and protect more Marylanders as widespread community transmission continues across the state. “We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning,” said Governor Hogan. “Now more than ever, I am pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus. Your family and friends are counting on you, your neighbors are counting on you, and your fellow Marylanders are counting on you to stay ‘Maryland Strong.’”

The governor issued an emergency order Tuesday, November 17, with the following actions taking effect Friday, November 20 at 5 p.m.:

• All bars, restaurants, and venues serving food and alcohol must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for the purposes of carryout and delivery.

• Capacity at retail establishments and religious facilities will be reduced to 50%, bringing them into line with indoor dining and personal services businesses, as well as bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller- and ice-skating rinks, fitness centers, and social and fraternal clubs.

• No fans will be permitted at racetracks or professional and collegiate stadiums across the state.

Businesses with questions about today’s orders should contact secretary.commerce@maryland.gov.

Additional changes announced for hospitals:

• Hospital visitation is prohibited, with some exceptions, until further notice. State health officials have issued an emergency order to prohibit all hospital visitation until further notice with some exceptions—including end-of-life care, obstetrics, parents or guardians of minors, and support for people with disabilities. 

• New hospital surge management order. State health officials have issued an emergency order allowing hospitals that are either full or nearing capacity limits to transfer patients to hospitals that are equipped to provide them with the care they need. This will help alleviate the overcrowded hospitals in some areas of the state, and place patients in hospitals where beds are available. 

• Guidance on elective procedures. State health officials have issued guidance warning hospitals and other medical facilities to avoid any elective procedure admissions that are not urgent or life-saving—especially if they are likely to require prolonged artificial ventilation, ICU admissions, or may have a high probability of requiring post-hospital care in a skilled nursing facility. 

Additional actions announced for hotspots and nursing homes:

• New limitations on nursing home visitation. Until further notice, indoor visitation at Maryland nursing homes will generally be limited to compassionate care, and all visitors must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to their visit. 

• Nursing home testing surge. State health officials have issued an order instituting mandatory twice-weekly testing for all staff at Maryland nursing homes, as well as mandatory weekly testing for all nursing home residents—effective no later than Friday, November 20. 

• More rapid response teams for hotspots and outbreaks. To tackle acute outbreaks, Governor Hogan is doubling the number of rapid response teams deployed to provide an extra level of triage and supplement local staffing needs.

726 total case 301 are active 10 probable, 421 recovered 

Date: November 18, 2020

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of an employee testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Dairy Queen located in Keyser, WV.

The Health Department is working to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individuals, including family members, friends, and additional staff. Additionally, the facility has been closed for environmental cleaning and will reopen following a reinspection by the Health Department. The time frame in question is as follows:

Tuesday, November 10th thru Wednesday, November 11th

If you visited the establishment during the dates listed above, you may have come in contact with a positive case. The purpose of this alert is preventative as well as informative. If you develop symptoms, have concerns, or feel you need to be tested, you may contact the Mineral County Health Department at (304) 788-1321 or your local provider. Additionally, free COVID-19 community testing is available this week at the Mineral County VoTech and the Fort Ashby Fairgrounds. Please visit our Facebook Page for testing times.

As a reminder, wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitizing of hands are the best ways to keep numbers low. Wearing a mask protects those around you. Social distancing limits the chances of COVID-19 droplets from spreading from one individual to another. Hand washing and sanitizing as well as not touching the mouth, eyes, or nose help eliminate or reduce self-contamination.

For more information on COVID-19 you may visit www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com , visit our Facebook page or go to the CDC

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of one additional employee testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Hoover’s Bar & Grill located in Keyser, WV. This has been classified as an official outbreak (#886) by the West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

The Health Department is working to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individuals, including family members, friends, and additional staff. Additionally, the facility had previously closed for environmental cleaning and was reopened following an inspection by the Health Department. The employee in question last worked prior to the closure. The time frame in question is as follows:

Saturday, October 31st thru Tuesday, November 10th

If you visited the restaurant during the dates listed above, you may have come in contact with a positive case. The purpose of this alert is preventative as well as informative. If you develop symptoms, have concerns, or feel you need to be tested, you may contact the Mineral County Health Department at (304) 788-1321 or your local provider. Additionally, free COVID-19 community testing is available this week at the Mineral County VoTech and the Fort Ashby Fairgrounds. Please visit our Facebook Page for testing times.

As a reminder, wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitizing of hands are the best ways to keep numbers low. Wearing a mask protects those around you. Social distancing limits the chances of COVID-19 droplets from spreading from one individual to another. Hand washing and sanitizing as well as not touching the mouth, eyes, or nose help eliminate or reduce self-contamination.

For more information on COVID-19 you may visit www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com , visit our Facebook page or go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov (COVID-19 tab).

Address: 541 Harley O Staggers Dr STE 1, Keyser, WV 26726-8203 Telephone: 304-788-1321 • Fax: 304-788-6023 • Email: mine

Date: November 18, 2020

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of an employee testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Linda’s Old Furnace Restaurant located in Ridgeley, WV.

The Health Department is working to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individuals, including family members, friends, and additional staff. Additionally, the facility has been closed for environmental cleaning and will reopen following a reinspection by the Health Department. The time frame in question is as follows:

Tuesday, November 10th

If you visited the establishment during the dates listed above, you may have come in contact with a positive case. The purpose of this alert is preventative as well as informative. If you develop symptoms, have concerns, or feel you need to be tested, you may contact the Mineral County Health Department at (304) 788-1321 or your local provider. Additionally, free COVID-19 community testing is available this week at the Mineral County VoTech and the Fort Ashby Fairgrounds. Please visit our Facebook Page for testing times.

As a reminder, wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitizing of hands are the best ways to keep numbers low. Wearing a mask protects those around you. Social distancing limits the chances of COVID-19 droplets from spreading from one individual to another. Hand washing and sanitizing as well as not touching the mouth, eyes, or nose help eliminate or reduce self-contamination.

For more information on COVID-19 you may visit www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com , visit our Facebook page or go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov (COVID-19 tab).

Address: 541 Harley O Staggers Dr ST

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of 2 additional employees testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Piney Valley nursing home (Outbreak #664) located in Keyser, WV. This brings the total to 37 residents and 12 employees since the start of the outbreak. The facility has been working with the health department and the West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology to ensure protocols and procedures are being followed.

The Health Department is working to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individuals, including family members, friends, residents and health care professionals.

Because of the ease of spread in a long-term care setting and the severity of illness that occurs in residents with COVID-19, a single case of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in a long-term care facility (LTCF) is defined as an outbreak (Outbreak #664).

The Health Department is working closely with the West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology to provide testing for all residents and staff at the facility.

For more information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit our website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com.

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of an individual testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Sharon Hott’s Daycare located in Fort Ashby, WV.

The Health Department is working with the daycare to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual, including family members, friends and clientele.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone is urged to follow best health practices as issued by the Governor’s Executive Orders and outlined by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) guidance. This includes wearing face coverings, and practicing social distancing, hand washing and cleaning protocols regularly.

Those who feel they need to be tested, please contact your primary care provider, your local hospital or your local healthcare clinic. For more information about COVID-19 visit the DHHR at www.coronavirus.wv.gov or the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

For details about WVDE and DHHR guidance documents, visit https://wvde.us/COVID19.

From WVU Potomac State: As of (11/14), there are 11 additional positive COVID-19 test results reported at WVU Potomac State. Dashboard: https://www.wvu.edu/return-to-campus/daily-test-results/keyser Free COVID-19 testing in Mineral County: https://www.wvu.edu/return-to-campus/daily-test-results/keyser

There were Fourteen (14) new cases today. There are many contacts to these positive cases that are quarantined and are being monitored. Link to DHHR Guidance for Safe Holiday Celebrations: https://dhhr.wv.gov/…/COVID-19%20Guidance%20Document…

Everyone must do their part to prevent the continued spread of this virus. Social Distance by always maintaining 6 feet distance from everyone not in your household, avoid crowds, WEAR that mask, and practice good hand hygiene.

281 Total COVID Cases

• 221 Confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 60 Probable COVID cases (Probable cases are those that have a positive test from a rapid antigen test).

• 206 Total Recovered

• 62 Active Cases. Four are hospitalized.

• 13 Deaths, of these: 9 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC).

Call Grant Memorial Hospital (304) 257 1026 and press 5 to speak to an ER nurse or Grove Street Health Center at 304-257-2451 or Mt. Storm Health Center to help determine if testing is indicated and instructions how to proceed if you develop symptoms, (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea). Remain isolated from others until you receive your test result and are cleared to discontinue isolation.

The Hampshire County Health Department has received 9 (8 confirmed and 1 *probable) cases today. Case investigation and contact tracing are ongoing.

*Probable case – case identified through rapid testing. Rapid tests are not a confirmatory test with the state.

Hampshire County’s current case count is 228 confirmed, 21 probable, 51 active, 1 death and 5 hospitalizations. Two cases from yesterday moved from probable to confirmed due to PCR testing results.

Free testing available at Hampshire Memorial Wednesday-Friday 9a-1p.

Care for your community and wear your mask!

 The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has six additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making 42 active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 177. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have 39 patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. Three patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 134 individuals recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 177.

 COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, lung problems, and diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

 There are vaccines under development and testing, but none released yet to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. 

 The Hardy County Health Department as always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Avoiding exposure to others who are sick.

Staying home when you are ill.

Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

 DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 and state website at http://www.coronavirus.wv.gov/

Bedford County

Total Cases: 1,026
Confirmed: 801 
Probable: 225
Negative: 6,183
Cases per 100,000: 2,129.7
Deaths: 11 
Deaths per 100,000: 22.8

Somerset County

Total Cases: 1,045
Confirmed: 785 
Probable: 260
Negative: 14,107
Cases per 100,000: 1,413.1
Deaths: 8 
Deaths per 100,000: 10.8

The rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country and our region is impacting the entire health care industry. Locally according to a statement from UPMC officials  “Across the UPMC system in the U.S., we are treating 550 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19: 193 are in southwestern Pennsylvania; 35 are in north central Pennsylvania; 106 are in south central Pennsylvania; 71 are in northwestern Pennsylvania and New York; and 138 are in the Altoona region and Maryland. Because of our extensive planning and preparation, UPMC facilities are safe, and staff are well-equipped and know how to properly care for patients with COVID-19.” 

At UPMC Western Maryland officials have reminders for patients and visitors following Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s press conference yesterday. “In accordance with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s state order issued on Tuesday, Nov. 17, UPMC Western Maryland is restricting support persons and visitors for inpatients and emergency department patients. Exceptions to this order may be made with the approval of hospital leadership for compassionate care and end-of-life situations, pediatric patients, obstetrics and labor and delivery, and for patients with disabilities or who require additional support. Support persons are an essential part of the care team to help our patients manage and communicate about their care. We encourage our patients to use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and phone calls to virtually connect with loved ones while they are in the hospital. For a more detailed explanation of the new visitation restrictions, please visit UPMCWestermaryland.com” 

As for capacity according to a statement from UPMC Western Maryland officials “Because we are part of a 40-hospital academic medical center, UPMC Western Maryland is working within our system to share resources, transfer patients and manage capacity, and conferring closely with leadership to ensure all needs are met. UPMC is well-prepared to handle this situation within the UPMC system. We are confident that UPMC Western Maryland will continue to serve the needs of all who seek care.”

From GC Commissioners: As Garrett County now has one of the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, local and regional health care providers are prepared to handle the increase.Garrett County Emergency Services, the Garrett County Health Department, and other local health care organizations have been working with each other to collaborate and organize response efforts in the community in the midst of the pandemic and are prepared for a surge in cases.Currently, the Garrett County Health Department is reporting three hospitalized cases of COVID-19 in Garrett County and Garrett Regional Medical Center is operating as normal with no capacity issues.

“We greatly appreciate the help the governor has given us to combat COVID-19. Right now, a statewide issue is the need for additional testing services and the need for additional staff due to quarantine protocols,” said Paul Edwards, Chair, Board of Garrett County Commissioners. “Garrett Regional Medical Center is confident that they will continue to meet the needs of the community even as positive cases may escalate in Garrett County.”

There also is no anticipated lapse in emergency response capabilities from local rescue squads or fire departments or longer than normal response times to calls for service. For community members with medical questions regarding COVID-19, please utilize the Garrett County Health Department website  https://garretthealth.org/coronavirus or telephone hotline at 301-334-7698.

From City of Cumberland: The City of Cumberland notified all water, sewer and trash utility customers on October 1, 2020 that the expiration of the Governor’s order allowed the City to resume collection of all overdue water/sewer accounts. Notice was given to all past-due customers that termination of service would begin on November 16, 2020. With water shut-offs underway, the City would like to remind customers in need that financial assistance is available to halt the termination of service. Customers in jeopardy of service termination are encouraged to contact the Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission (HRDC) right away as the HRDC administers programs to assist those facing financial difficulty. More information and application requirements/instructions are available by calling 301-777-8550. Another resource for those facing financial difficulty is Associated Charities of Cumberland, which offers emergency assistance with paying utility bills when shut off notices have been served. Call Deanna Clark at 301-784-7118 or Donna Abe at 301-784-7254 to see if you qualify. To make a payment by phone, please contact the Tax and Utility Office at 301- 759-6409. Payments may also be made in the following ways:

-Mailed to 57 N. Liberty Street, Cumberland, MD 21502

– Placed in the drop box outside City Hall, 1st floor

-Drive-by drop box at Chamber of Commerce Bell Tower in City Hall plaza

– At the First United Bank locations: 115 Harrison St. or 1501 E. Oldtown

Road (White Oaks Shopping Center) – accepting cash payments for water/sewer only

Additional questions should be directed to the Office of Tax & Utility at 301-759-6409

From Bedford Commissioners: In  response to the recent exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in Bedford County effective Nov 23rd, 2020 county departments will be allowed to work remotely when feasible. The following departments will be by appointment only and should  be contacted prior to visiting these offices and require masks prior to entry:

Commissioners and Elections

Veterans Affairs

Planning Department

Children and Youth

Tax Assessments and Claims

Public Defender

The following departments continue to remain open to the public, but other elected officials have the authority to alter the operations of these departments as they deem appropriate

Courts

Treasurer

Sheriff

Register and Records

Prothonotary

District Attorney

For a list of county departments and additional information log on to www.bedfordcountypa.org

From BASD: The Bedford Area School District appreciates the tremendous support and cooperation from our students, parents, and community.  We recognize there are diverse and strong opinions about the pandemic.  Nonetheless, we all must work together to keep schools open, provide a great education, and protect students and staff.  The Bedford Area School District is taking additional measures following the Thanksgiving break in an effort to achieve these goals.The district’s current mitigation approaches are allowing schools to stay open with a predictable schedule. During our ongoing efforts to plan and review data, we identified Thanksgiving break as a potential threat to our regular operations. We know families may gather and/or travel during this break. Additionally, many of our past graduates will return from a variety of universities to either visit or return home for the semester. Also, we know Covid symptoms generally take a few days to manifest. Given this potential for spread and the need to identify any potential spread, the Bedford Area School District will take the following measures: Tuesday, December 1st and Wednesday, December 2nd will be virtual days for all students. Additionally, there will not be any sports practices, scrimmages or in-person activities from Saturday, November 28th through Wednesday, December 2nd.   Additionally, we ask all parents to actively monitor their families and to communicate any potential spread with their student’s building administration.  We firmly believe these measures will help mitigate spread and avoid future disruptions to our educational program.In addition to these measures, we continue to ask our community to help us stay open for kids.  We found quick family responses to Covid symptoms and rapid communication with the district to be very beneficial.  Additionally, we thank our students and staff for their commitment to masks and social distancing.   Finally, a total community commitment to limiting the spread of Covid is very important as significant community spread and increasing Covid cases can pose a tremendous threat to in-person education.In closing, we are proud of our mitigation efforts and recognize it is impossible to completely limit the spread of this infectious disease. Also, we sincerely realize these measures may cause a short-term inconvenience, but we feel they represent a strategic effort to avoid rolling cancellations or returning to complete virtual. Please support this measure and continue to help us stay open for kids!

Allegany College of Maryland’s Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, and Event Management program is now offering students the opportunity to get hands on experience catering. Deb Frank Program Director says they will be making their debut to the community Thursday at the 1812 Brewery in Cumberland from 5 to 8 p.m. To hear the interview click here n