Daily COVID-19 Update

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) has been monitoring our community’s COVID-19 health metrics on a daily basis at: https://governor.maryland.gov/recovery-schools/. As of the writing of this message, the State of Maryland posted the following metrics for Washington County:

* Positivity rate: 8.89%

* Case rate per 100,000: 54.95

Due to the current metrics, WCPS is extending the date when in-person classes may resume from December to January.

In-person classes may resume no sooner than Monday, January 11, 2021, depending on community health metrics.

The reported positivity rate over the last week has ranged from 7.58-8.89%. The number of positive cases continues to rise. Based on these metrics, students will not return to in-person learning on the original anticipated December date.

WCPS will continue to follow the governor’s guidance regarding the potential January return date. School systems are advised to follow these metrics when welcoming students back to schools.

During this pause in the WCPS Return to Learn Plan, WCPS continues to enhance distance learning while planning for the return of students. WCPS will provide additional information regarding in-person learning in an announcement to our community on January 4, 2021.

It is the goal of WCPS to return students to in-person instruction when there are improved COVID-19 metrics in Washington County. During the eight weeks students were back in schools, WCPS saw very low transmission of the virus in our buildings, which may be attributed to the health and safety protocols implemented among students and staff. WCPS will continue to promote a safe and healthy learning environment for all.

During this pause in the WCPS Return to Learn Plan, WCPS continues to enhance distance learning while planning for the return of students. WCPS will provide additional information regarding in-person learning in an announcement to our community on January 4, 2021.

It is the goal of WCPS to return students to in-person instruction when there are improved COVID-19 metrics in Washington County. During the eight weeks students were back in schools, WCPS saw very low transmission of the virus in our buildings, which may be attributed to the health and safety protocols implemented among students and staff. WCPS will continue to promote a safe and healthy learning environment for all.

WCPS schools are closed Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27. Classes will resume with all WCPS students engaged in distance learning on Monday, November 30.

Allegany County Health Department Health Officer Jenelle Mayer discusses the free community COVID-19 testing, what to do if you test positive, the surge in cases in our region and guidelines for this Thanksgiving. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/allegany-county-health-department-health-officer-jenelle-mayer-for-pht

The Garrett County Health Department has been notified of an additional death due to COVID-19, bringing the total county deaths to four.“On behalf of the GCHD I want to extend my condolences to the families of the four individuals who have passed away from complications of COVID-19,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “Senior citizens have been particularly hard hit during this pandemic and we urge everyone to stop the spread in our community in order to protect our most vulnerable community members. Please keep the families who have lost a loved one or who are suffering through the illness in your thoughts and prayers.” Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to it. The virus is spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Continue to practice the following safety measures to reduce spreading the virus:

• Wash hands frequently

• Avoid close contact

• Wear a mask or face covering

• Cover coughs and sneezes

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

• Monitor your health daily

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.

It is with the utmost sadness that the Mineral County Health Department is reporting that it has received official notification of the 12thCOVID-19related death in Mineral County. Our community member was a73-year-oldmaleand had been hospitalized. During his isolation and hospitalization, the Health Department worked to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual, including family members, friends, co-workers and health care professionals.

It is with the utmost sadness that the Mineral County Health Department is reporting that it has received official notification of the 13thand 14thCOVID-19related deaths in Mineral County. The individuals were residents at Piney Valley nursing home(Outbreak #664)located in Keyser, WV. The Mineral County Health Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends. This brings the total to 7 resident deaths, 70residents (corrected) and 34 employees testing positive 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 Epidemiologyto ensure protocols and procedures are being followed.The Health Department is in the process of identifyingany potential persons who mayhave had close contact withthe 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, asingle case of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in a long-term care facility (LTCF) is defined as an outbreak(Outbreak #664).

The Mineral County Health Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of three employees testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Sealed Air located in Keyser, WV. This has been classified as an official outbreak (#957) 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. 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-19droplets 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

There were Eleven (11) new positive cases in Grant County. Surveillance showed exposures at various places in the community.

School Outbreaks have been reported for Petersburg High School and Petersburg Elementary Schools, as positive cases have been diagnosed within a 14-day period that were quarantined as close contacts to positive cases in each of these school settings.

341 Total COVID Cases

• 253 Confirmed Positive COVID cases

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

• 227 Total Recovered

• 101 Active Cases. Four are hospitalized.

• 9 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC).

Based on Governor Justice orders for counties with high infection rates, the National Guard conducted drive through testing at Petersburg Elementary School for 172 people on Nov 23, and 32 at Union Educational Complex on Nov 24.

Information was given at the test site for how to obtain results.

These test results will also be reported to the Grant County Health Department and anyone with a positive test result will be notified by staff.

Everyone must do their part to prevent the continued spread of this virus.

Social Distance by always maintaining 6 ft distance from those not in your household, avoid crowds, WEAR that mask, and practice good hand hygiene. Masks decrease the transmission of the virus by blocking droplets that carry the virus. Masks do not eliminate the risk of transmission.

Masks, AND social distancing (6 ft. or more) greatly reduce the risk.

Possible symptoms of COVID are increased sinus or cold like symptoms, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea.

COVID testing is available:

Grant Memorial Hospital:

Mon-Fri 6 am- 9am and 6pm-9 pm/Sat. 8 am- 12 noon.

Call (304) 257 1026 and press 5 to speak to an ER nurse to preregister.

By Appointment:

Grove Street Health Center call 304-257-2451

Mt. Storm Health Center call 304-693-7616

Peggy Bobo Alt, Director Grant County Office of Emergency Services and 911discusses the impact of COVID-19 in Grant County to hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/peggy-bobo-alt-director-grant-county-office-of-emergency-services-and-911-mp3

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has fourteen additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making 55 active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 228. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have 53 patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. Two 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 170 individuals recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 228.

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/

For local information, please call Hardy County Health Dept at 304-530-6355 or visit the Health Department’s website at http://www.hardycountyhealthdepartment.com/ All media inquiries, contact David Maher, Hardy Sheriff PIO at pio@hardycounty.com.

Printable version here: https://www.dropbox.com/…/20201124-hardy-covid-update…

The City of Frostburg, in partnership with AEON Technologies of Frostburg, will be sponsoring a COVID test event for employees working at restaurants, retailers, in-person service providers, and manufacturers within the city limits of Frostburg. It is the Mayor and Council’s hope that by providing a single testing event for essential and small business workers, businesses will have some confidence in a decision to remain open, reopen, or close temporarily.

PharmaCare staff will administer the tests from 1 to 3 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at City Place (14 S. Water Street). The tests will be processed by AEON Technologies within a 24-hour period. There is NO cost to the business or employees for the test. Testing costs will be covered by CARES Act funding.

Businesses must pre-register all of their employees who will be tested by 12 noon on Monday, November 30. This will ensure a quick testing experience and reduce wait times. Registration can be completed online at https://forms.gle/RYS2JCRnMVyB9iE86

Maryland State Police Media Communications Office Director Greg Shipley discusses the increased COVID-19 Command Center enforcement and deployment of High Visibility Compliance Units. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/msp-media-communications-office-director-greg-shipley-on-pht

Ragina Ali with AAA Mid Atlantic says according to a new survey 89% of Maryland residents will be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Of those 50%  say they are not traveling because of COVID-19 and 50% say they were not planning to travel anyway. Meanwhile. 90% of Maryland residents surveyed said they perceive that traveling at this time poses a risk. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/ragina-ali-with-aaa-on-thanksgiving-travel-for-pht