Reopening and Recovery

July 2nd

The Allegany County Health Department reports one new case of COVID-19 in a male community member in his 20s. He has not required hospitalization. The county’s total cumulative cases of COVID-19 now stands at 205.

The Garrett County Health Department was notified of five positive COVID-19 testing results at a long-term care facility in Garrett County.Staff of Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home in Oakland, Maryland, have been periodically tested since they were first tested six weeks ago in conjunction with the state initiative to test all long-term facilities. Today the nursing home received confirmation of positive results for five staff members.

“These cases demonstrate that we have asymptomatic community spread of COVID-19 in Garrett County,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany County. “Because these individuals work in a long-term care facility, they were tested, even though they had no symptoms. We can expect that other well-feeling individuals in our community have COVID-19, and for this reason, we remind you to wear your mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing when out in public.”

Two of the staff who have tested positive are Garrett County residents, while the other three are residents of surrounding counties and will not be added to Garrett County’s testing result numbers. The Garrett County residents are both female, and are in their 30s or 40s.These new positives results have increased Garrett County’s total positive cases for COVID-19 to 13.

The Health Department, in conjunction with local and state partners, will be holding
two testing opportunities for persons who wish to be tested but do not have symptoms of COVID-19:

• Friday, July 3, Garrett County Fairgrounds at 270 Mosser Road in McHenry from 8 am to 12 noon.
• Friday, July 17, from 7:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and the Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive in Oakland

For more information, call 301 334-7770 or 301 895-3111

The Hampshire County Health Department has received its 42nd confirmed positive COVID-19 case today. Case investigation and contact notification are currently underway. At this time, we have 2 active cases, 39 recovered, and 1 death. Please continue to practice virus safety by distancing yourself from others, wearing face coverings in public, and practicing good hand hygiene.

Mineral County has 56 total cases, 5 active, 48 recovered and 3 deaths

Summer conditioning for ACPS athletics will begin on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Guidelines for outdoor conditioning and weight room activities are posted on the school system’s website, www.acpsmd.org, under the Departments, Athletics section. July 7th will also be the opening date for ACPS outdoor athletic facilities (i.e. tracks, tennis courts, and ball fields) to the public. At this time, playgrounds will not be open due to the high touch areas that would require cleaning and disinfecting. As always, social distancing should be maintained while using all ACPS facilities .

July 1st

The Allegany County Health Department has announced two drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinics to be held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. The clinics are slated for Thursday, July 9 from 9 AM to 3 PM and Sunday, July 12 from 1 PM to 6 PM.  The drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinics are free and open to the public. Participants are asked to bring a driver’s license or other ID that shows their name, address, and date of birth. Participants do not need an appointment, a doctor’s order, or an insurance card. The drive-thru model is an easy way for individuals to get a COVID-19 test with minimal contact. When a vehicle drives in, all patients will remain in the vehicle and a nurse will swab each patient’s throat. All patients must be in a vehicle. Patients cannot walk into the clinic site.
Nurses will use throat swabs, which some patients find more comfortable than nasopharyngeal swabs. After the nurse collects the specimen, it will be sent to the Maryland Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore. A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will be used to detect COVID-19 infection. Antibody testing will not be offered at the drive-thru testing events.
Results of the COVID-19 test can be expected in 2-4 days. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the Health Department. Patients who test negative will not be contacted, but can call the Health Department to confirm their negative result.
The drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinics will be held rain or shine. Testing will be conducted under the Ag Expo Pavilion at the Allegany County Fairgrounds which is sheltered from the rain.
“The Health Department is excited to have the opportunity to offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing that is free and open to the public. We encourage individuals to come out and get tested,” said Jenelle Mayer, Health Officer.
The Health Department would like to thank UPMC Western Maryland, State Highway Administration, Allegany County Fire Police, Allegany County Department of Public Works and the Allegany County Fairgrounds for their logistical support and participation in the drive-thru clinics. For more information, please call the Allegany County Health Department at 301-759-5000.

The Garrett County Health Department has received results from many of the 175 tests conducted at a drive-thru community COVID-19 testing event held in Accident on June 26.So far, the event has returned one positive result for COVID-19. The person who tested positive is a woman in her 50s who has been notified and is self-isolating at home. Her close contacts are being notified to quarantine or be tested. All other results received so far were negative, and those patients will receive a letter in the mail with that information. Not all 175 tests completed will end up in the Garrett County test counts because some participants were from other Maryland jurisdictions and a few were from out of state. Some of the results from Friday’s testing are still pending. The county’s total cumulative cases of COVID-19 now stands at 11. Several additional testing days are being scheduled for the county. Additional information will be released on the Garrett County Health Department’s Facebook page and garretthealth.org as plans are finalized. For more information, call 301 334-7770 or 301 895-3111.

Governor Larry Hogan today announced $190 million in relief to help colleges, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, over the last week, the governor has announced $475 million in new investments through the federal CARES Act.

“As Maryland continues to grapple with an unprecedented fiscal crisis, we are directing more than $475 million in federal resources to critical sectors of our economy,” said Governor Hogan. “These resources will help make a difference in areas where they are needed most.”

$50 Million in Additional Assistance for Small Businesses

  • $45 million will be allocated to expand the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund. This program, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees, has provided more than $40 million in funds to 4,073 applicants. These additional resources will be used to help pending applicants.
  • $5 million will be allocated to the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority to provide financing to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. MSBDFA uses include working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisition, land acquisition, or real estate improvements.

$50 Million for the Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative

  • $50 million to establish the Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative, which will help organizations address the revenue reductions and expense increases that are due to the economic and safety impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the initiative, which will be operated by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), is to help stabilize and sustain a range of nonprofit operations, including affordable housing and disability nonprofits.
  • Of this $50 million, up to $8 million will be allocated to nonprofit applicants that have already applied for relief through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund.
  • Of this $50 million, $3 million will be awarded through the Maryland State Arts Council’s (MSAC) Emergency Grant Program. In response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, MSAC has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists for losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or cancelled.

$90 Million for Higher Education

  • Up to $90 million will be allocated to reimburse state-supported universities for COVID-19 related expenses, including support for their public safety activities. 

June 30th

The Allegany County Health Department reports that four inmates at North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI) have tested positive for COVID-19. None of the four individuals have required hospitalization. The county’s total cumulative cases of COVID-19 now stands at 204.

Mineral County COVID-19 Daily Totals 6/29/20 54 total, 3 active 48 recovered 3 deaths

Grant County Total Positive cases: 16: (Total 15 positives, 1 probable). A probable is a household contact WITH symptoms but not laboratory tested. All positive cases have recovered.

 Early on Friday morning, an ensemble of workers clad in personal protective equipment took over the lots at the Northern Middle School in Accident, and were ready for the cars of people desiring COVID-19 testing. Individuals being tested were not disappointed. In the first hour of operation, nearly 50 tests were administered, and by the time the last car drove away, the total had reached 175.Only persons without symptoms of COVID-19 were asked to attend this testing event. Not all 175 tests completed will end up in the Garrett County test counts because some participants were from other Maryland jurisdictions and a few were from out of state. All of the results from Friday’s testing are still pending. Another testing day is scheduled for Friday, July 17, in the parking lot between the Garrett County Health Department and the Mountain Laurel Medical Center, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 301 334-7770 or 301 895-3111.

The Hampshire County Health Department  will have a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site open Tuesday, June 30th from 9am-11am for Hampshire County residents who have returned from traveling out of state, particularly popular vacation destinations.You must have returned prior to June 25th to be tested at the drive-thru. Testing too soon is not helpful. You should be tested 5-14 days after your return. Testing location: Hampshire Memorial Hospital
Testing time: Tuesday, June 30 9a-11am Please bring your insurance card with you.

Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon today announced $210 million in additional funding to help Maryland schools and students most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, allocated through the federal CARES Act, will be used to ensure that more students have access to remote learning, and expand targeted tutoring initiatives for at-risk students.

“For six straight years, we have provided historically high state funding for our schools, while fighting for more accountability for Maryland parents, teachers, and taxpayers, and working to achieve better results for our children,” said Governor Hogan. “Education has been, and will continue to be, our administration’s highest priority. While many states have already seen significant cuts and layoffs, in Maryland, we are going to do everything we possibly can to level-fund K-12 education.”

“Long-standing gaps in educational opportunity and access have been further exposed and widened by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent Salmon. “Our goal with these resources is to give local school systems the support and flexibility to help ensure that students most impacted during the crisis receive intense focus and priority in our recovery efforts. I want to thank the governor for recognizing the importance of these initiatives as we work to support our students, educators, parents, and community partners.”

In total, the governor has now committed more than $255 million in CARES Act funding for education priorities.

Remote Learning Enhancements: $100 Million

To address the digital divide, Governor Hogan and Superintendent Salmon have allocated $100 million to be made available to local school systems to ensure that students have access to the most up-to-date devices and connectivity. It is estimated that student devices need to be replaced when they are over four years old. Local school systems must also take into account having the staff necessary to deploy and maintain devices. Having this infrastructure in place is critical to the state’s long-term recovery from COVID-19.

Targeted Tutoring Initiatives: $100 Million

In order to deal with learning loss due to time away from direct instruction and teacher intervention, Governor Hogan and Superintendent Salmon have allocated $100 million for local school systems that implement tutoring and learning programs designed to help students in need. Research has shown that the rate of learning gain can be improved with intensive tutoring. At-risk students are most often identified based on math and reading scores that are significantly below their grade level.

Rural Broadband: $10 Million The Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband will construct a wireless education network for students’ use in Western Maryland, Southern Maryland, and on the Eastern Shore. This network will initially be constructed in the areas that currently lack broadband service, but could be expanded to cover other areas of the state where access may be limited for other reasons. The state is proposing a wireless, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network using frequency provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for educational purposes, or available unlicensed frequencies. In total, the governor has now committed $20 million in CARES Act funding to expand rural broadband and an additional $5 million for urban broadband

June 29th

As of Friday The Allegany County Health Department reports that COVID-19 cases in Allegany County have now reached 200. The latest case is a female community member in her 30s who has not required hospitalization.To date, 7,172 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 6,972 tested negative and 200 tested positive.


In Mineral County has 53 total cases. 3 active and 47 recovered with 3 deaths.

The Hampshire County Health Department has received confirmation of a new COVID-19 case, making it the 41st case. This is only active case at this time

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has one additional confirmed case and one probable case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 42. We currently have one patient in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have three patients hospitalized due to 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 38 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 42.

There have been no new active cases in Grant County for 2 weeks

MD Governor Larry Hogan  announced the commitment of $30 million in new funding to prevent evictions and help Marylanders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Too many Marylanders have faced undue financial hardships during this unprecedented crisis, including the inability to pay their rent,” said Governor Hogan. “While our eviction moratorium has helped families remain in safe and stable housing through the pandemic, we are also maximizing federal resources to help as many renters as possible.”

This critical funding is available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On Wednesday, the governor announced the commitment of more than $45.6 million in education funding through the CARES Act for K-12 technology improvements, community college workforce development programs, rural broadband initiatives, and other priorities.

Eviction Prevention Support to Local Governments: $20 Million

Since the governor declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 5, 20 percent of all residential rental units have fallen into delinquency. While eviction moratoriums have provided time for federal stimulus funds and federal and state unemployment benefits to take effect, many Marylanders are still struggling to pay their rent. As a result of increased demand for local rental assistance programs, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) intends to deploy $20 million in expected federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funding across all 24 jurisdictions in Maryland to help address eviction prevention needs.

Assisted Housing Relief Program: $10 Million

The residential rental industry is experiencing a reduction in rental payments combined with increased maintenance costs. Approximately 9,000 of the 45,000 state-financed rental units in Maryland are currently delinquent at an estimated cost of $3 million per month. The Assisted Housing Relief Program is intended to help bring rental delinquencies current for those units and provide real relief for the tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through direct payments to the eligible property management company. Once a payment for back rent from the Assisted Housing Relief Program is received by a landlord, tenants will have their rental debt eliminated and no longer face the threat of eviction.

The program will include rental units in multi-family projects financed by DHCD’s Community Development Administration using state funds or federal resources, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program where the unit rent is controlled.

Governor Larry Hogan today announced a safe and phased reopening plan for Maryland’s assisted living facilities as part of the state’s commitment to protect vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan requires universal screenings and face coverings for staff and visitors, mandates widespread testing, and allows for limited visitation.
 
“As our state continues to reopen, we remain committed to protecting our most vulnerable Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland has consistently taken some of the earliest and most aggressive actions in the nation to protect older populations. We will continue to lead in these efforts, while also allowing for more Marylanders to safely visit their loved ones.” 

Assisted living facilities must meet a series of prerequisites to begin relaxing any restrictions, including:

  • The facility must not be experiencing an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, defined as one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member.
     
  • Absence of any facility-onset COVID-19 cases within the last 14 days.
     
  • Universal source control must be in place, requiring anyone else entering the facility to wear a face mask or cloth face covering at all times while in the facility.
     
  • Staff must have access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Provided a facility has met the prerequisites, limited visitation is allowable if: 

  • Visitors and residents wear a face covering at all times.
     
  • Visitors and residents maintain proper social distancing at all times.
     
  • There is not an ongoing outbreak at the facility.
     
  • Additionally, it is strongly recommended that there are no more than two visitors at a time per resident per visit.

Read the Maryland Department of Health’s order and guidance.
 
Assisted living facilities are required to adhere to the following protocols and restrictions for the foreseeable future: 

  • Universal screenings. Facilities must screen all persons who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature checks. Facilities must refuse entrance to anyone screening positive for symptoms of COVID-19.
     
  • Face coverings. All staff, volunteers, vendors, and visitors when permitted, must wear the appropriate face covering at all times when they are inside the facility. All residents should wear face coverings under certain circumstances, including if they leave their rooms and are within close proximity of others, and for any appointments outside of a facility.
     
  • Widespread testing. For all assisted living programs with less than 50 beds, upon identification of a resident or staff member with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, the facility must report the case to their local health department and test all residents and staff for COVID-19. Testing must be performed at weekly intervals until no new resident infections are confirmed in a 14 day period since the most recent positive result. In addition, all assisted living programs with 50 or more beds must test all staff, volunteers, and vendors who are in the facility regularly on a weekly basis for COVID-19.
     
  • Resident Checks. Facilities must screen all residents daily, including observing for signs and symptoms of COVID-19—asking questions about signs and symptoms of COVID-19—and where appropriate, temperature and pulse oximetry checks.
     
  • PPE. Facilities must make good faith efforts to maintain adequate supplies of all appropriate types of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, and as appropriate, residents.
     
  • Regular Reporting. All facilities must provide informational updates on COVID-19 to residents, residents’ representatives, and staff within 24 hours of the occurrence of a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, and/or whenever there are three or more residents or staff who have new-onset respiratory symptoms within a 72 hour-period.  

Last week, the governor announced the beginning of limited outdoor visitation at Maryland nursing homes, where the state is conductingfollow-on testing for all staff, as well as facilities with active cases. As of today, there are active COVID-19 cases in 87 of the state’s 227 nursing homes.

Frostburg Elks Lodge #470 regrets to announce that the 44th Annual Soapbox Derby Race has been cancelled for 2020 due to safety considerations during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Derby Day Race committee did not feel it would be feasible at this time to make the commitments that are necessary to have a successful race this year.The Elks would like to thank the local businesses who have supported this race and sponsored the racers for the last 44 years and look forward to being able to host the race in 2021.

June 18th According to Mineral County Health Department officials there are 50 positve cases of COVID-19 with 2 active cases, 46 recovered and 2 deaths 

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice reported that several WV residents that returned from a Myrtle Beach trip tested positive for COVID; it is confirmed that Myrtle Beach has had a recent spike in positive cases. It is recommended that anyone returning from that area monitor closely for symptoms for 14 days, social distance by maintaining 6 ft distance from everyone, and wear a mask if in public. If any symptoms occur, be tested for COVID.
DO NOT BE IN CONTACT WITH ANYONE WITHOUT A MASK FOR 14 DAYS ON RETURN.
If you have unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath or sudden loss of taste or smell please do NOT leave your home. 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 to help determine if testing is indicated.

There have also been several church service related cases in multiple counties. Social distancing is recommended in any public places.

Grant County Total Positive cases: 16: (Total 15 positives, 1 probable) All positive cases have recovered.
To see the Governor’s full guidance for reopening, go to www.wvgovernor.gov

Maryland Department of Health (MDH) officials today urged county leaders to step up local COVID-19 testing efforts and meet the goal of testing 10% of their populations.The appeal comes in a letter from MDH Secretary Robert Neall and Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips, who write: “As part of our COVID-19 testing expansion, Maryland continues to make large quantities of specimen collection kits directly available to local health departments. Given that the state has a long-term strategic supply of tests, there is no need to stockpile these resources or turn away our allocations. Instead, we ask that your local health departments use these tests to increase the number and capacity of community-based testing sites. We urge you to make every effort and come up with innovative ways to provide your residents and businesses with open and convenient access to testing.”The state will soon begin publishing testing volume data by jurisdiction on coronavirus.maryland.gov so that Marylanders can track local progress. To date, Maryland has tested 7.4% of its population. Baltimore City leads large jurisdictions and is above the state average with 8.5% of its population tested.“Widespread testing is critical to saving lives and safely reopening more and more of our economy, which is why state health officials are setting a goal of testing 10% of the population in all of our 24 jurisdictions,” said Governor Hogan. “The State of Maryland will continue to have an abundant supply of testing available at no out-of-pocket cost to anyone in our state who needs to be tested, and we are looking to our county leaders to do their part by expanding testing efforts at the local level.”This is the latest in a series of steps state officials have taken in recent weeks to expand access to COVID-19 testing, including:

Broadening criteria for testing to include those who are asymptomatic
Making appointment-free testing available at high-volume community-based sites
Agreements with CVS Health, Rite Aid, and Walmart for new drive-thru locations
Authorizing the state’s nearly 1,200 pharmacies to administer tests
Directly allocating test kits and supplies to local jurisdictions
Producing viral transport media at the state’s Public Health Laboratory
Opening a signature, state-of-the-art lab in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore to serve as the backbone of the state’s sustained testing strategy
There are now nearly 170 major COVID-19 testing sites available in Maryland. Visit coronavirus.maryland.gov to find a location that is most convenient for you.

According to a chart provided by state officials Allegany County has tested 7.7 percent of the population and Garrett County has tested about 4.6 percent 

Maryland’s key COVID-19 health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, with the statewide positivity rate dropping to 5.43%, ICU beds falling to their lowest level since April 5, and the state reporting its lowest number of new cases since March 31.More than 535,000 COVID-19 Tests, 5.43% Positivity Rate. Maryland has now conducted 535,444 COVID-19 tests, including 8,562 tests over the last 24 hours. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped to 5.43%—down nearly 80% from its peak level on April 17.260 New COVID-19 Cases Reported on June 17. Maryland is reporting its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since March 31.COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue to Decline. Maryland’s current total COVID-19 hospitalizations—one of the state’s key recovery metrics—have dropped to 660. ICU bed use has decreased to 269, its lowest level since April 5. Since the beginning of June, total hospitalizations have decreased by more than 43%.Baltimore City Leads Large Jurisdictions With 8.5% of Population Tested, Positivity Rate Continues to Decline. To date, Maryland has tested 7.4% of its population. Baltimore City, still currently in Stage One of recovery, is above the state average with 8.5% of its population tested. Its positivity rate has dropped to 6.42%, and is down by 37% since June 1.Now Nearly 170 Major Testing Sites Statewide. Maryland has broadened the criteria for COVID-19 testing to include those who are asymptomatic. There are now nearly 170 major testing sites in Maryland. Visit coronavirus.maryland.gov to find a location that is most convenient for you

The October 2020 Burlington Apple Harvest Festival has been cancelled. “We have not fully recovered from the fire that destroyed our building and equipment,” stated Auxiliary President Cindy Clark, “social distancing guidelines also played a factor in our decision.”This would have been the 47th year of this much anticipated event. However, keeping volunteers, vendors and attendees healthy is the top priority. Officials are look forward to seeing everyone in 2021

June 17th The Allegany County Health Department reports two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 187. The latest cases involve a male community member in his 40’s and an inmate at WCI. Neither individual has required hospitalization. These are the first new cases reported since June 8.


The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has one additional probable case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 40. We currently have two patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We also have two patients hospitalized due to 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 36 individuals fully recovered, included in the total case count of 40.
Initial numbers from the EAHawse community testing indicate 117 were tested from Grant County. Initial reports show no positive tests.

Information will be updated when all results are in.Grant County Total Positive cases: 16: (Total 15 positives, 1 probable) 13 have recovered and 3 cases are recuperating at home. Contacts have been notified and are being monitored and self-quarantining.


Wednesday, Gov. Justice provided another update on his initiative to test all inmates and employees within the State’s network of correctional facilities for COVID-19.The most recent testing results showed there were a total of nine active COVID-19 cases among inmates and residents at one jail and one prison across West Virginia and five active COVID-19 cases among corrections employees and contract staff. More than 10,000 inmates and 4,000 employees were tested in total.Last Friday, Gov. Justice announced that the full testing of all facilities had been completed. However, many test results remain pending at this time.Wednesday, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that $9.5 million has now been distributed all across the state.“I underline, again, we can’t get it out the door any faster than we have, because we have to abide by the federal guidelines,” Gov. Justice said. “But they’ve been relaxed, and now we can get a lot of dollars out.” Additionally, each of the recipients of CARES Act funding, along with grant amounts, are now available to view through the COVID-19 transparency web portal provided by West Virginia State Auditor John B. “JB” McCuskey.A web portal is available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding: grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

he Maryland Health Benefit Exchange announced today that it has extended the deadline of its Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period so that uninsured residents will have until July 15 to enroll in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The deadline extension comes as more than 43,000 residents have received coverage during this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland. Even before this extension, Maryland already offered one of the longest special enrollment periods in the country since the emergency began.
Individuals who enroll in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection today through July 15 will have a coverage start date of July 1.
“Access to health coverage is important every day. However, the coronavirus pandemic has heightened awareness of that need, and we’ve seen a tremendous response of people enrolling in health insurance. We want to ensure that as many people as possible get the coverage they need,” says Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.
While you do not have to be sick to seek coverage, health insurance companies on Maryland Health Connection cover testing, visits relating to testing, and treatment of COVID-19. These consumers will not be billed for a copay, coinsurance or deductible for services to test, diagnose and treat COVID-19.

“If you know someone in your family or community who needs health coverage, urge them to get covered by July 15. Illness or injury can happen to anyone at any time. Getting covered will give you and your family the peace of mind of knowing you’ve got health coverage,” says Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

An additional special enrollment for Maryland tax filers runs through July 15. The Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program gives tax filers the option to share information, like household size and income, with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to see if they are eligible for free or low-cost health insurance. Those who check the box on state tax forms (502 and 502B) will receive a letter from Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to let them know if they are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage. To date, nearly 4,000 Marylanders have enrolled in health insurance under this innovative program.

As the state faces high levels of unemployment, many Marylanders are losing health coverage offered by employers. Individuals who lose coverage through their jobs have 60 days from loss of coverage to enroll. If they’ve missed that deadline, they can get coverage through Maryland Health Connection’s Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period through July 15.
To enroll, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov. Individuals also can download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Help is available in more than 200 languages through the call center, as well as Relay service for the deaf and hard of hearing. Trained navigators and brokers statewide offer free help enrolling by phone. You can find information at MarylandHealthConnection.gov.
Last year, nine out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled through Maryland Health Connection were eligible for free coverage or financial help to lower the cost of their health insurance. This special enrollment period is for private health plans. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.

June 16th The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 1 positive case out of 193 tested at the EA Hawse testing site on Saturday, June 13th; all others tested at that time have come back negative. The positive case and their contacts have been notified. Please continue to use caution around others by wearing a mask or face covering, maintaining a safe 6 foot distance from others, and washing your hands frequently.

An existing grant program has been modified and a new grant program has been created to continue to assist Garrett County’s small businesses and their employees through the COVID-19 pandemic.Formerly known as the Garrett County Kick-Start Grant program, the modified grant will now be known as the Garrett County COVID-19 Business Assistance Grant. In addition, a new grant program known as the Garrett County Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Grant has been developed.Garrett County Economic Development and the Garrett County Development Corporation are proud to offer both programs to meet the specific needs of the local businesses.
“Throughout the COVID-19 situation, we have been monitoring the feedback and the needs of our local small business community. Fortunately, we are able to revisit the initial grant program requirements to allow more businesses to be eligible,” said Michael Hough, Director of Garrett County Economic Development. “We thank the Garrett County Commissioners and the Garrett County Development Corporation for their ongoing contributions and support.”
First, the Garrett County COVID-19 Business Assistance Grant has been reworked to add self-employed individuals as eligible applicants and to remove the requirement that a business must apply for other COVID-19 assistance prior to application. The maximum award is $2,500 for native Garrett County businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately $18,000 remains for the purpose of providing one-time, short-term financial support to small businesses that meet the program’s eligibility requirements. As part of the application process, small businesses must show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a plan to remain solvent and in business.
In addition, a second and new grant, the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Grant, has been developed with an initial $200,000 fund. Native Garrett County businesses are eligible for a maximum of $1,000 to reimburse or cover the expected costs of purchasing plexiglass, signage, floor stickers, gloves, masks, sanitizer, and other items to keep staff and customers safe.Specifically, this funding is to help small businesses meet the Phase 3 requirements of Governor Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery plan.

For both grants, the small business must be a for-profit restaurant or other food service business of any size, a for-profit small business with no more than 25 employees (as of March 1, 2020), or a self-employed individual. Home-based businesses, churches or religious institutions, banks and financial institutions, investment/real-estate entities, government agencies, and independent contractors are not eligible to apply.
“The Garrett County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to partner with Garrett County Economic Development to meet the needs of our local economy through these grant programs. As the area begins to reopen, this grant program will aid many local businesses,” said M. Elizabeth Georg, Chair Garrett County Development Corporation.
Business recipients of the Garrett County Kick-Start Grant are not eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Business Assistance Grant nor the PPE Grant. Recipients of the PPE grant are not eligible for the COVID-19 Business Assistance Grant.
The grant applications and complete eligibility details for the grants are available online on both the Department of Economic Development’s (www.gcedonline.com) and the Garrett County Development Corporation’s (www.gcdevcorp.com) websites. Also, the application for each of the grants can be found at http://www.gcedonline.com/covid-19/garrett-county-covid-19-grant-programs.
Finally, grant funds for both programs will be disbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis until the pool of funds has been depleted.
For more information, please contact Kim Durst, Economic Development Specialist & Business Tax Credit Administrator for Garrett County Department of Economic Development at (301) 334-1992 or kdurst@garrettcounty.org.

June 15th Today marks one week with no new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. The Allegany County Health Department reports that the cumulative number of positive cases to date remains at 185. There have also been no additional fatalities due to the coronavirus.

Mineral County COVID-19 Daily Totals 6/15/20*Final Results from the High Density Community Testing at Frankfort High School 235 individuals tested with no one testing positive 49 total cases, 1 active, 46 recovered, 2 deaths 

Country Club Mall will open Saturday June 20, 2020 Temporary Hours: Mon– Sat 11am-7pm Sun 12-6pmFacial coverings and social distancing are required

Frostburg Pool is open and on Saturday, June 20th for free admission courtesy of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. There is a limit on swimming pool capacity to 50% as of 5:00pm, Friday, June 12, it will have little to no effect on oucurrent operations. The limiting factor is the number of people we can fit on the deck while remaining compliant with the State’s social distancing requirements.  

Frostburg State University will begin its fall semester two weeks early and end with Thanksgiving break, all residence hall rooms will be singles and classes will be adjusted to provide more flexibility and distancing options. All plans will be contingent upon state and local public health conditions and in compliance with state health guidelines.“First and foremost, I want to let you know our goal is to be a residential campus this fall ‒ with face-to-face instructional and co-curricular interactions, and events that meet all local, state and CDC health guidelines,” said FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk in a video announcement to the campus community.Nowaczyk announced a number of key decisions:The semester will begin Monday, Aug. 17, two weeks earlier than planned, and will end two days before Thanksgiving; students will not return to campus until the spring semester.
A number of changes will be made to classes. They will be offered through a mix of in-person, online and blended in-person/online formats. The number of students in each class will be adjusted, and classrooms will be reconfigured to provide distancing and other safeguards.
All on-campus residence halls will be single rooms only, and access to common areas will be restricted. Students moving into residence halls will do so by appointment to reduce the number of people in hallways and elevators.
Pending a vote from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, it is anticipated that tuition, fees and meal plan prices will remain at the 2019-2020 levels. Room rates have been adjusted in the majority of residence halls to help students who live on campus.
Cleaning and sanitizing of all buildings and the availability of hand sanitizers will be increased.
FSU, like other institutions in the University System of Maryland, switched to online course delivery after spring break because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and Maryland state government mandates.
The Moving Forward: Fall 2020 plan will be updated throughout the summer. Updates and related information can be found on the FSU website a twww.frostburg.edu/fall2020.

Potomac Valley Hospital has updated their Visitation Guidelines. Beginning today, services will begin operating under the following general guidelines:
General Visitation
• All individuals must be masked while in the facility
• Social distancing requirements must be maintained
• Visitors may not travel to common areas
• Children under age 16 are not permitted
• All visitors are required to register and be screened
Emergency Department Visitation
• One designated adult visitor; others are required to wait in their vehicles
Outpatient Surgical / Procedural Visitation
• Patients may be accompanied by one adult to registration. Visitors are required to wait in their vehicle during procedure.
Inpatient Visitation
• One designated adult visitor; others are required to wait in their vehicles
Visiting hours: 12 pm – 7 pm
All Other Visitation
• No other services allowed visitors at this time.

Many things have changed in the last two weeks, making it difficult to keep track of the current COVID-19 requirements in Maryland. MD Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order from June 10th removed many of the restrictions placed on businesses and gatherings. However, the Governor’s Order kept in place the requirement for the use of face coverings in retail, food service, and personal care businesses for both staff and customers.“Basically, although many restrictions have been eased, the requirement to wear masks and maintain social distancing is still in place,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “These measures are necessary to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community as we begin to have more contact and events.”As a follow-up to the Governor’s Order, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released a Social Gathering Limit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that clarifies the Directive and Order signed by the Secretary of Health concerning the requirements for various activities and what restrictions apply.There are still restrictions on such things as live performances and large mass gatherings because of the difficulty in preventing people (who are not household members) from sitting too close to each other to prevent unintended exposure to COVID-19. Larger mass gatherings with spectators, particularly in concert venues and stadiums, are still not allowed at this time.

From WV

Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
GREENBRIER COUNTY CHURCH UPDATE
On Monday, Gov. Justice provided an update on the most recent outbreak of COVID-19 at one of West Virginia’s churches.

Gov. Justice reported that at least 28 positive cases have now been identified, connected to the same church in Greenbrier County.

“As soon as I heard about this outbreak, I immediately ordered the DHHR, West Virginia National Guard, and Greenbrier County Health Department to run to the fire,” Gov. Justice said. “I also ordered the National Guard to immediately go to the site to begin decontamination, and they are on site today.”

The church has closed for 14 days of environmental cleaning with support from the National Guard. The DHHR will provide guidance on further prevention measures.

The outbreak in Greenbrier County marks the fifth COVID-19 outbreak at one of West Virginia’s churches.

“We have concern like you can’t imagine in that community right now,” Gov.Justice said. “How many communities do we have like this in West Virginia? They’re everywhere. Absolutely, this could be your community tomorrow. This could be your church tomorrow. This could be your family tomorrow.

“We need to do anything and everything we can do to deal with this. I want to strongly encourage all West Virginians, especially when in church settings, to follow the guidelines and use every other pew, maintain social distancing, and please wear masks.”

Due to the outbreak, Gov. Justice announced that free community COVID-19 testing in Greenbrier County – which had already been underway over the weekend – had been extended for an additional day to encourage more community members to be tested.
GRANT FUNDING TO CITIES AND COUNTIES NOW UP TO $6.3 MILLION
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that, as of Monday morning, $6.3 million has now been distributed all across the state.

“We’re looking for more and more people to apply for these CARES Act dollars,” Gov. Justice said. “As we can process applications and follow the federal guidelines, we’ll get the dollars out to you.”

A web portal is available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding: grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.
WEEK 8 OF “THE COMEBACK” NOW UNDERWAY
During today’s briefing, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that today marks the start of the eighth week of his plan to reopen the state’s economy:West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.

No additional reopenings are currently scheduled for Week 8 as health experts continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases across the state.

“We’ve had a lot of reopenings that we’ve had in the past few weeks, but we still need to remain very cautious,” Gov. Justice said. “As we go forward, we’re going to continue to watch the numbers and stay on top of them in every way we possibly can.”

Announcements regarding future reopenings have been made. Guidance documents for all businesses and other entities permitted to reopen can be found online.

The Governor’s Safer At Home order remains in effect.
STATE OF EMERGENCY IN EFFECT FOR FAYETTE COUNTY FLOODING
Gov. Justice took time out of Monday’s briefing to provide more information on weekend flooding in Fayette County, which caused the Governor to declare a State of Emergency yesterday evening.

The Governor reported that the storm carried with it a large amount of hail and lightning, along with excessive amounts of rain that caused flooding in the Oak Hill, Minden, Scarboro, and Whipple areas of Fayette County.

“Multiple businesses and homes have been inundated with floodwaters,” Gov.Justice said. “No one has reported any loss of life at this time, but people have had to evacuate homes and they’ve had water damage and all kinds of other issues.

“Please join Cathy and I in keeping everyone affected by this terrible flooding in your thoughts and prayers.”

Swiftwater rescue teams from Oak Hill and surrounding fire departments were performing water rescues in the Minden area.

Warm Hands from Warm Hearts in Oak Hill is operational as a shelter for evacuees of the impacted areas.

The American Red Cross and WV VOAD were working at the Emergency Operations Center Monday morning.

The West Virginia Division of Highways had crews out Sunday and overnight into Monday morning. They discovered damage to a bridge approach on Old Minden Road and several roads have significant shoulder, ditch, and embankment erosion and are blocked with debris. Complete repairs will take approximately a week and a half, with crews working extended hours.
FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: OHIO, PUTNAM, AND SUMMERS COUNTIES
Also Monday, Gov. Justice announced that the next round of free community COVID-19 testing will be provided this Friday, June 19, and this Saturday, June 20, in Ohio, Putnam, and Summers counties.

The effort is part of a plan to provide free optional testing to all residents in several counties that are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. However, other residents, including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Ohio County (Two locations)
Friday, June 19

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Exley Center at Hil-Dar: 2155 Angle Avenue, Wheeling, WV 26003
Saturday, June 20
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
North Wheeling Dream Center: 407 Main Street, Wheeling, WV 26003
 
Putnam County
Friday, June 19  & Saturday, June 20

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Teays Valley Baptist Church: 3926 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, WV 25526
 
Summers County
Friday, June 19  & Saturday, June 20

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Freight Depot: 508 Commercial Street, Hinton, WV 25951 

Identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, is required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Click here to read more
WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
On Monday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that an interactive free-feeding location map, designed to help connect citizens in need to food resources across the state, is now available online.

Click here to view the map

More than 670 free-feeding locations have been made available through a multi-agency effort between the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), and the United Way.

If food distribution locations aren’t available in some communities, individuals are encouraged to call 211 for further assistance.
STATEWIDE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES TESTING UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice provided another update on his initiative to test all inmates and employees within the State’s network of correctional facilities for COVID-19.

The most recent testing results showed there were a total of 12 active COVID-19 cases among inmates and residents at five jails and two prisons across West Virginia and six active COVID-19 cases among corrections employees and contract staff. More than 10,000 inmates and 4,000 employees were tested in total.

On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that the full testing of all facilities had been completed. However, many test results remain pending at this time.
DHHR UPDATE: CONNECTIONS APP DEPLOYED FOR INDIVIDUALS IN RECOVERY
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Office of Drug Control Policy today announced the expanded availability of the Connections App, a resource launched in April 2020 with a goal to reduce isolation and offer support resources to West Virginians sustaining recovery from a Substance Use Disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Connections App, previously available only to patients connected to treatment providers to encourage engagement and treatment adherence, will now be accessible by individuals in recovery who are no longer affiliated with a provider but still need the Connections App resources. 

The Connections App from CHESS Health is an engaging, evidence-based solution proven to improve treatment and long-term recovery outcomes for individuals with substance use disorder.

Click here to read more
WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.
DATA UPDATE
Gov. Justice provided another overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results had dropped to 1.74 percent.

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov.Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

June 12th The Allegany County Health Department reports that the county has seen no new cases of COVID-19 since Monday, June 8. The cumulative number of positive cases remains at 185 Friday .When individuals are tested for COVID-19, results are now available quickly. Therefore, the health department has moved to reporting only the number of Allegany County residents who have a positive or negative test result. Pending tests will not be included in the testing counts going forward. 3,374 Allegany County residents have received test results for COVID-19 to date, with 185 testing positive and 3,189 testing negative.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 4 additional positive COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total count to 39. All four are direct contacts of a previous case.They  currently have 7 active cases in the county, 31 recovered, and the one death. Please ensure you are using precautions such as wearing masks/face coverings and practicing social distancing when in groups.

Mineral County has 49 cases, 4 active 44 recovered and 2 deaths 

Initial numbers from the EAHawse community testing indicate 117 were tested from Grant County. Results will be posted when available.Grant County Total: 16: (Total 15 positives, 1 probable) 13 have recovered and 3 cases are recuperating at home. Contacts have been notified and are being monitored and self-quarantining.

The Constitution Park Pool is scheduled to open for the season on Monday, June 15. The state of Maryland is requiring that social distancing precautions be followed in order for the pool to remain open. Below are our Covid-19 related policies:

• Patrons must wait at the entrance gate (back side of building) until the cashier motions the patron to approach the cashier booth.

• Patrons must enter and exit through the specified entry and exit.

• Exit is through the fence gate directly beside the women’s restroom. Do not exit at ticket booth!

• Once a patron leaves the pool (for whatever reason) that patron must get back in line to reenter. On busy days, patrons may be required to wait until others exit the pool.

• Patrons must wear masks when inside the pool building and when coming in close contact with pool staff and patrons not in their household. DO NOT wear facemasks in the water.

• Patrons must maintain a 6’ social distance from persons not living in their household.

• Upon entry patrons may sit and keep personal items in designated numbered areas of the patio. Patrons may not sit outside of these marked areas.

• Patrons must bring their own chairs (if desired) each day. We will not have benches and chairs for use.

• Parents must provide their children with their own lifejacket, noodles, etc. We will not provide shared items.

• The concession stand is closed at the present time.

• The basket room is closed.

• The pool deck is closed.

• The wading pool is closed.

• In the event of a thunderstorm or other unforeseen circumstances requiring patrons to exit the pool, ALL patrons MUST vacate the enclosed pool area including the pool house.

• We will not give rainchecks or refunds due to weather related, or other unforeseen closings. Please check the weather prior to visiting the pool.

The hours of operation will be daily 12pm – 7pm. Admission rates are as follows: $5 adults, $4 youth (5 – 17 years), $3 (under 5 and 62+).

Any questions regarding the reopening of Constitution Park Pool should be directed to the Director of Parks and Recreation at 301-759-6636 or by email: diane.johnson@cumberlandmd.gov.

Allegany College of Maryland is gradually returning to full on-site operations with the reopening of its offices and buildings to the public. On Monday, June 15, the college will systematically welcome more faculty and staff back to its campuses and education sites. ACM will continue to offer phone and virtual appointments with students through platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or GoToMeeting. Beginning on Monday, June 22, visitors are welcome on campus. Appointments (virtual and in-person) are strongly encouraged but not required. ACM is reducing classroom density, and offering several options for taking fall courses, including face-to-face instruction, face-to-face alternating schedule, online courses, blended or hybrid courses, flex courses, and distance learning or telecourses. Additionally, the college is promoting and instituting measures that reduce the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus – the wearing of face masks or face coverings, proper hand hygiene, social distancing measures, intensive cleaning and sanitation, and self-monitoring of symptoms, among others.  “As a small college, we’ve adapted quickly to the challenges of the past semester, and we’re moving forward with new technologies that enhance in-person and remote learning, and deepen the connections that we have with our students and, perhaps more importantly, the connections they have with one another,” said ACM President Dr. Cynthia Bambara.  Fall semester courses begin on Monday, August 24, and delayed start courses begin on Tuesday, September 15. There are no plans at this time to shorten the semester.  For small classes, labs and clinicals, ACM will offer F2F or face-to-face-instruction on campus. New this semester, ACM will debut F2FA – a face-to-face alternating schedule course that is livestreamed during its scheduled class period in which half of the class attends in-person on campus while the other half watches the class live from their residences, and the students rotate for next class period. ACM will offer online classes in which the majority of course activity is conducted online while exams may take place in-person. Blended or hybrid courses will be conducted F2F with a portion of required activities facilitated online to reinforce, complement and augment classroom instruction. The college will continue to offer flex courses which are courses where students choose among three ways to learn –face-to-face in a traditional classroom, live broadcasts of classroom sessions, or recordings of classroom sessions. Additionally, ACM will provide distance learning or telecourses in which courses are offered simultaneously at multiple campus sites through the college’s distance learning system.  The College Library, a resource popular with community members, will open to the public on Monday, June 22 with summer hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students and patrons will be required to sign in and out of the library, wear face masks and practice social distancing. Access to some resources may be unavailable. To reach the Genealogical Society of Allegany County within the ACM College Library, individuals are asked to call 301-777-8850 to confirm their availability. Metz Catering will resume food service at the start of the fall semester, and Willowbrook Woods, ACM’s on-campus student housing, will reopen in August with modified housing density. To set up in-person appointments, individuals are asked to call or email their intended individual or department. Contact information is available by searching the college’s website at www.allegany.edu.  Future and current students and visitors with general questions about the college, fall enrollment steps, course delivery options, and safety measures and accommodations may call 301-784-5000 or email info@allegany.edu for assistance. 

June 11th Mineral County Health Department officials announced the 2nd death related to COVID-19. A 50 year old man who had been hospitalized has died. During his isolation and hospitalization the health department worked to identify any potential people who may have had close contact with him including family members, friends, co-workers and health care professionals. The Mineral County Health Department extends their deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

There are currently 49 positive cases in Mineral County, 7 active, 40 recovered

On Wednesday several local community partners helped the health department in one way or another to provide free COVID-19 testing to 235 individuals in the Frankfort area. They want to thank all the individuals from the National Guard, Mineral County Sheriff’s Department, Mineral County Office of Emergency Management, Mineral County Schools (especially the amazing school nurses), LabCorp, Department of Highways, Subway, Fox’s Pizza Den in Fort Ashby and the countless of other individuals that offered support.

Hawse Health Center with facilities in Baker, Mathias, Moorefield and Petersburg would like to announce that they will be performing FREE COVID-19 testing at each of our clinic sites as well as an additional site in Romney, WV on SATURDAY, JUNE 13th FROM 10am – 4pm. The testing sites are open to the general public.
The locations are:
Mathias: (Old Mathias School Building.
Baker: Hawse Health Center beside the HCEAA building
Moorefield: At the Michael Medical Building across from the Post office
Petersburg: At Grove Street Health Center next to Social Security Office
Romney: at the old Weimer’s dealership next to DMV building in Sunrise Summit.
We would like to thank the Weimer automotive group for their help and cooperation in the testing.
The tests are free of charge to everyone, but if you have insurance, please bring your card(s). There is no co-pay or cost to the public. Even if you have no insurance, the test is still free through State sponsored payment. People are asked to remain in your cars as you progress through the line.
Testing is available to all individuals, including asymptomatic individuals. Identification, such as a drivers license or proof of address will be required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
NOTE: Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you have any questions, you can reach Charles Rohrbaugh at 304-897-5915. Thank you and stay safe. ation\”:\”horizontal\”,\”insets\”:{\”left\”:0,\”top\”:0,\”right\”:0,\”bottom\”:0}}],\”show-by-default\”:true,\”show\”:\”Default\”},{\”title\”:\”iPhone 6\”,\”type\”:\”phone\”,\”user-agent\”:\”Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 9_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/601.1.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0 Mobile/13B143 Safari/601.1\”,\”capabilities\”:[\”touch\”,\”mobile\”],\”screen\”:{\”device-pixel-ratio\”:2,\”vertical\”:{\”width\”:375,\”height\”:667},\”horizontal\”:{\”width\”:667,\”height\”:375}},\”modes\”:[{\”title\”:\”default

June 10th The Allegany County Health Department reports that a resident of Cumberland Healthcare Center has died from complications of COVID-19. This brings the county total to 20 fatalities from the disease. No new cases were reported. The cumulative number of positive cases stands at 185.  Going forward, the health department will continue to provide case counts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. However, testing figures will only be provided weekly as part of Friday’s report.

Grant County officials have announced there are a total of 16 cases of COVID-19. Three new cases this week are all contacts of one another. 12 total have recovered. 1 is hospitalized for a non covid related issue and 3 new cases are recuperating at home

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional positive cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total count to 35. Case investigation is complete and contacts are currently being notified. Officials  ask that you please be cautious and do all you can to prevent the spread of the virus. Wear masks to protect yourself and others, stay at least 6 feet apart at all times, and use good hand hygiene! Be safe Hampshire County

Hardy County COVID-19 Update: 40 positive confirmed cases, 35 patients recovered.  Just a reminder that there will be FREE COVID-19 testing available this Saturday, June 13th from 10am to 4pm at all Hawse Health locations in Hardy County. For more details: https://www.facebook.com/hardylhd/videos/565532961030601/

With key statewide health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction, Governor Larry Hogan today announced additional safe and phased reopenings through Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’

“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced, but sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “And while I cannot promise you that we will fully recover from all these problems quickly, I will tell you that together we have faced and overcome daunting challenges before, and that we will get through these tough and difficult times together.”

The state’s critical health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction. Hospitalizations have dropped below 1,000, and to their lowest point in 61 days. ICU beds are also at an eight-week low. The state’s positivity rate has declined to 7.2 percent, and the positivity rate has dropped to single digits in 23 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions.

REOPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 12 AT 5 PM:

INDOOR DINING. Restaurants can resume indoor operations at 50 percent capacity, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association. Maryland Department of Health directives.

OUTDOOR AMUSEMENTS. Outdoor amusements and rides, including miniature golf and go-kart tracks, may resume with appropriate health and safety protocols. Capacity restrictions at pools will be increased to 50 percent with strict safety guidelines still in place. Guidelines and best practices.
Read the updated executive order.

REOPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 19 AT 5 PM:

INDOOR FITNESS ACTIVITIES. After an extra week of sanitization and safety preparations, indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities may begin to safely reopen at 50 percent capacity with strict health, distancing, and sanitization measures. Guidelines and best practices.

CASINOS, ARCADES, AND MALLS. Casinos, arcades, and malls may also begin to resume operations with strict safety protocols.
SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE REOPENINGS

GRADUATION CEREMONIES. The governor is encouraging local school systems to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies with appropriate capacity and social distancing measures in place.

SCHOOL BUILDINGS. School systems may now begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings. School systems are encouraged to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.

CHILD CARE PROVIDERS. All child care providers may begin to reopen, and the number of individuals child care providers can have in one room has been expanded to a maximum of 15.

OUTDOOR HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS. Outdoor high school sports may begin to resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines that were previously announced for youth sports programs.
EXPANDED TESTING IN BALTIMORE CITY. State officials are encouraging anyone who has recently attended peaceful demonstrations to get tested for COVID-19. As part of this effort, beginning next week, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland National Guard will open multiple high-volume COVID-19 testing sites across Baltimore City, including at the Baltimore Convention Center.

REOPENING GUIDANCE. As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.

COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH. Stage Two will continue to be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that allows local leaders to allow reopenings at their discretion.

In tandem with the State of Maryland’s advancement into Stage 2 of Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, the education community is moving forward as outlined in the recently updated “Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education.” Informed by stakeholder input and an emphasis on equity, the second iteration of the plan addresses requirements for local system reopenings, in-building summer school, the opening of nonpublic special education schools, athletic programs, requirements for any fall openings, as well as special focus on students most impacted by the pandemic. The updated plan also addresses arts programming and career and technical education.

“We are incredibly grateful to our educators, parents and community partners for all of their outstanding efforts to continue engagement and learning in these unprecedented extraordinary times,” said Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. “As we move forward, State and local education leaders must recognize that long-standing gaps in educational opportunity and access have been further exposed and widened by the COVID-19 crisis. We want to ensure that students most impacted receive intense focus and priority in our recovery efforts.”

Updates for Stage 2 of recovery addresses summer schools and meals, nonpublic special education, child care and athletics.

Summer School: After consultation with leading public health experts, school systems are now able to bring small groups of students and staff into school buildings. These small groups would consist of 10-15 individuals maximum at a time in rooms within a school building. Local school systems are advised to focus any return to school buildings for summer instruction on students most deeply affected by the pandemic or those who have struggled with distance learning.

Nonpublic special education schools: Nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities. These schools may begin bringing small groups of children back into their buildings under the same capacity parameters as public school systems. Eligible programs that choose to reopen will need to develop a recovery plan aligned with the new service delivery model. This plan will require thoughtful planning and intentional collaboration from all parties to ensure the continuum of teaching and learning as well as the smooth transition of students returning to a physical school building. Health and safety protocols and procedures in accordance with State guidelines must be addressed prior to reopening.

Child Care: All child care providers may reopen, as long as they follow all health department protocols listed on the MSDE website and adhere to class size restrictions. Class sizes in child care centers are now expanded to a maximum of 15 individuals per classroom.

School meals: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, local school systems and MSDE have consistently maintained student access to nutritious meals with more than 13 million meals served since the start of school closures. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended several waivers through the end of summer to include non-congregate meals, meal service time flexibility and allowing parents and guardians to pick up meals on behalf of their children. As we transition to a more familiar and routine Summer Food Service Program, local systems will determine operations, including number and types of meals served and locations.

Athletics: Outdoor high school sports may resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines that were previously announced for youth sports programs by the Governor in May. Any and all sporting activities must align with the health and safety parameters outlined by MSDE and local school systems.

Updated Maryland Together: Recovery Plan for Education: The revised plan, which has been posted on the MSDE website, includes several requirements for local school systems as they begin to return students and staff to school buildings.

· Each school system must establish a local stakeholder recovery group that is representative of their schools and the community with equity plans integrated throughout their individual recovery plans.

· Local school systems also must be following federal provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as all health and safety protocols developed by MSDE and the Maryland Department of Health for daily cleaning and collection of materials, as well as procedures if a student or staff member should test positive for COVID.

· Local systems and schools must determine where their students are instructionally, identify the gaps in learning, and prepare a path for instructional success and recovery. The Maryland College and Career Ready Standards and all state frameworks for each content area must continue to be followed. A system must also be in place to track student attendance and engagement in distance learning activities.

· The plan includes recommendations for safe transportation and vital steps to assist school systems as they make decisions on how to provide transportation to students in this current environment.

WV Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
NURSING HOME VISITATION PLAN ANNOUNCED
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources unveiled a multi-phased plan to resume visitation at West Virginia’s nursing homes, with limitations, beginning as early as next Wednesday, June 17.
Click here to view an overview of the plan
If, on June 17, a nursing home has had no active COVID-19 cases for at least the past 14 consecutive days, visitation will be permitted to resume, with certain restrictions in place.

Gov. Justice announced that, under the plan, appointments will be required to visit any nursing home.

Additional visitation rules will be determined on a facility-by-facility basis, but may include restrictions to the number of visitors permitted at once, age restrictions, time limits, contact limitations, and more.

“We know the people in our nursing homes are the most vulnerable of all,” Gov. Justice said. “So we’ve got to have a plan that phases-in visitation, while doing so as fast as safely possible.”

On March 12, Gov. Justice asked for all nursing homes to ban visitation to their facilities. On April 17, Gov. Justice issued an executive order to test every nursing home resident and employee – making West Virginia the first state in the nation to order the full testing of its nursing homes.

“In trying to protect the people in our nursing homes, we had to do what we did,” Gov. Justice said. “But, if you take a step back and think about it, if it were your mom or your dad, or your grandchildren that you just want to see, this has been horrendously difficult and horrendously sad for those families.

“We want to get you back together as safely as we possibly can, while also continuing to protect all those within the nursing home system.”

GRADUATION CEREMONY GUIDELINES RELEASED
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Board of Education and State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch have released guidelines for counties to use to start holding in-person graduation ceremonies beginning as early as Monday, June 22.

“This is something I wanted to see in the worst way because this is such an important moment for these children – an accomplishment beyond belief and we want to be able to stand and applaud and recognize them for all their hard work,” Gov. Justice said. “I salute everybody for all the hard work that’s been done behind-the-scenes to make this happen.”

The guidelines require that all in-person graduations must be held at outdoor venues and that events must be structured to allow for adequate social distancing and for other safety measures to be properly followed.

Six feet of social distancing is required at all times and face masks or coverings are strongly encouraged. Several additional safety precautions are also required.

ALL OUTDOOR, OPEN-AIR CONCERTS ALLOWED TO RESUME JULY 1
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that all outdoor, open-air concerts will now be permitted to resume on Wednesday, July 1, provided that strict safety guidelines are being properly followed.

The reopening of all outdoor, open-air concerts pertains to traditional concert venues, as well as bars or restaurants with outdoor performance areas, so long as they allow for patrons to have enough space to properly follow the appropriate safety guidelines.

“I am well aware of how difficult it is to run a business with one hand tied behind your back as far as being able to be successful and making the economics work,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve got a lot of great people who are working hard and we are trying to help them in every way we can.”

On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that outdoor, open-air concerts, specifically at fairs and festivals, would be allowed to resume to coincide with the reopening of fairs and festivals themselves on July 1.
JUNE 10 REOPENINGS NOW UNDERWAY
Also today, Gov. Justice reminded West Virignians that another round of reopenings officially went into effect as part of the Governor’s plan to restart the state’s economy.

As of today, private campgrounds as well as state park campgrounds, cabins, and lodges are now permitted to reopen to out-of-state guests, provided that their stays do not exceed seven days.

The seven-day restriction does not apply to individuals who maintain a semi-permanent or permanent resident at such campgrounds.
SAFETY GUIDANCE FOR REOPENING OF SUMMER YOUTH CAMPS NOW AVAILABLE
Additionally on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that safety guidelines for the upcoming reopening of summer youth camps have now been posted on the Governor’s website.

On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that both day camps and overnight camps will be permitted to reopen on Monday, June 22.
NEW WHITEWATER RAFTING GUIDANCE NOW IN EFFECT
Also, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that new safety guidelines for whitewater rafting businesses officially went into effect today.

Under the new guidelines, whitewater rafting groups are now allowed to have up to eight guests and one guide per raft.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG – THE COMEBACK | SAFER AT HOME ORDER
Week 7 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding future reopenings have been made. The Governor’s Safer At Home order also remains in effect. Click on the links to read more:

UPDATE ON CHURCH OUTBREAKS
Additionally on Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time to report that, in the time since churches have resumed in-person services, there have been at least four church-related outbreaks across the state, ranging between five and eight cases per congregation.

“In total, we’ve seen at least 24 positive cases among church members,” Gov. Justice said. “We all know that a lot of the attendance at our churches are our elderly and, being the most vulnerable of all, we surely don’t want to get in a situation where we are passing COVID-19 to our elderly.”

The Governor added that the primary factor in these outbreaks was that the organizations had not adequately planned or put in place social distancing or infection control guidelines.

“All I am doing now is encouraging you, in our church settings, to follow the guidelines as far as every other pew, as far as social distancing, as far as wearing masks,” Gov. Justice said. “We love our church activities, we absolutely treasure them the most of all. But I’m just cautioning you to take heed and be a little more careful.”

UPDATE ON STATEWIDE TESTING OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Gov. Justice also provided an update from the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation on the Enhanced Testing initiative, recently ordered by Gov. Justice, to test all inmates and employees within the State’s network of correctional facilities for COVID-19.

The Division of Corrections remains on track to expand testing to all facilities by June 12.

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: GREENBRIER, HANCOCK, LOGAN, AND WOOD COUNTIES
Gov. Justice also offered a reminder that free community COVID-19 testing will be provided this Friday, June 12, and this Saturday, June 13, in Greenbrier, Hancock, Logan, and Wood counties.

The effort is part of a plan to provide free optional testing to all residents in several counties that are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. However, other residents, including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Greenbrier County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Dorie Miller Park, 2300 Rosewood Avenue, Co Route 32/1, Lewisburg, WV 24901

Hancock County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Weirton Event Center, 3322 East Street, Weirton, WV 26062

Logan County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cora Volunteer Fire Department, 28 Aldridge Branch, Logan, WV 25601

Wood County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Parkersburg High School, 2101 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: GRANT, HAMPSHIRE, AND HARDY COUNTIES
Additionally, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that free community COVID-19 testing will also be provided only this Saturday, June 13, in Grant, Hampshire, and Hardy counties.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Grant County
Saturday, June 13
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
EA Hawse Health Center, 64 Hospital Drive #5, Petersburg, WV 26847

Hampshire County
Saturday, June 13
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
EA Hawse Health Center, 22338 North Western Turnpike, Romney, WV 26757

Hardy County (Three locations)
Saturday, June 13
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
EA Hawse Health Center, 17978 WV 55, Baker, WV 26801
EA Hawse Health Center, 8 Lee Street #127, Moorefield, WV 26836
EA Hawse Health Center, 106 Harold K. Michael Drive, Mathias, WV 26812

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also Wednesday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that, through a multi-agency effort between the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), and the United Way, an interactive free-feeding location map is now available to all West Virginians.

If food distribution locations aren’t available in some communities, individuals are encouraged to call 211 for further assistance.

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that the State recently sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for funding through the federal CARES Act.

A new web portal is now available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding, at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

DATA UPDATE
Gov. Justice provided another overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results had dropped to 1.86 percent.

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) released initial scenarios for the re-entry and recovery of schools for the 2020-21 school year and beyond during the June meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE). The information, housed on the WVDE’s website, represents the work of the state’s School Re-entry Advisory Council which is a partnership between the Office of Governor Jim Justice, WVDE, the WVBE, public health officials, local and national agencies and organizations and county superintendents.

The information considers three re-entry scenarios: Safer at School/Safer at Home; Blending Learning Delivery Models; or Full Remote Delivery. Counties may use the scenarios or hybrid models to best meet the needs of their students.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent national and state emergencies have shed a glaring light on critical issues facing children and families,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Child well-being, equity and access to technology, and the achievement gap will be the main focus of our work because they are an important part of everything we do. Our efforts will continue as we work with our partners to further develop the framework that will assist counties making local decisions.”

More than 40 partner organizations vetted, reviewed and provided insight around the focus areas that include: instruction and learning; physical, social-emotional and mental wellness; career technical education (CTE); child nutrition; special education; safe schools and transportation; finance; extracurricular activities/extended activities; and technology.

The WVDE recognizes that the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is fluid, and guidance will continuously be updated to ensure it aligns with Governor Justice’s and public health officials’ best practices. At utmost importance for all considerations of re-entry is the safety of West Virginia’s students, teachers and extended education community.

To view the re-entry scenarios, please visit wvde.us/reentry, and for more information and updates on the coronavirus in West Virginia, please visit coronavirus.wv.gov.

June 8th The Allegany County Health Department reports one new case of COVID-19 since Friday. The latest case is a male community member in his 30s who has not required hospitalization.

The COVID-19 outbreak at a church in Hampshire County on May 10th has been resolved according to officials with the Hampshire County Health Department. All positive cases from the outbreak have recovered and are no longer quarantined. All direct contacts have tested  negative. Members of the church service that were not direct contacts have not developed signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The congregation has a total of 8 positive cases. It was previously reported as 9 cases but one individual who was reported as attending the church service actually did not attend. The church has been compliant in following guidance for re-opening services and has been cooperative throughout the outbreak. The continuation of in person services is at the church’s discretion.  Health officials remind the public that it is important that all gatherings whether faith bases or social follow state and CDC guidelines. Mask usage and social distancing is highly recommended for attending church services, retail stores, restaurants and other places where you are in contact with groups of people.

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the state of Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate continues to decline and now stands at 7.38%, and total current hospitalizations dropped below 1,000 for the first time since April 10.

The governor also announced that beginning this week, state-operated testing sites at Six Flags America and other locations across the state will provide more summer-friendly testing hours. Tests are provided at no out-of-pocket cost to patients, and Marylanders do not need to exhibit symptoms or suspect exposure to COVID-19 in order to get tested.

More than 435,000 COVID-19 Tests, 7.38% Positivity Rate. Maryland has now conducted 435,363 COVID-19 tests, and the state’s positivity rate has dropped more than 72% from its peak, down to 7.38% statewide.
 
COVID-19 Hospitalizations Drop Below 1,000. Maryland’s current total COVID-19 hospitalizations—one of the state’s key recovery metrics—have dropped to 979, their lowest level since April 10. There are 392 ICU beds and 587 acute care beds currently in use for COVID-19 patients.
 
Positivity Rate Continues to Decline in Key Jurisdictions. The positivity rate in Baltimore City is at 7.98% and Frederick County is at 7.68%—above the state average. Anne Arundel County is at 7.28%, Howard County is at 6.37%, and Baltimore County is at 6.33%—all below the state average.
 
The positivity rate in Prince George’s County has dropped by nearly 72%, from a high of 41.96% to a current rate of 11.83%. Montgomery County has dropped by more than 68%, from a high of 32.64% to a current rate of 10.26%.
 
Summer Hours to Begin at State-Operated Testing Sites. The Six Flags America testing site will be open on Wednesday, June 10 and Friday, June 12 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day. No appointment or doctor’s order is required to get a test at the Six Flags America site. Patients who are tested at state-operated sites will be contacted with their results, typically within two to five days.
 
Now More Than 115 Major Testing Sites Statewide. With expanded capacity and supplies available, the state has broadened the criteria for COVID-19 testing to include those who are asymptomatic. There are now more than 115 major testing sites in Maryland. Visit coronavirus.maryland.gov to find a location that is most convenient for you.
 
Long-Term Strategy. On April 29, Governor Hogan announced a long-term COVID-19 testing strategy for Maryland, starting with high-priority clusters and outbreaks. 

The Garrett County Health Department was notified today that all of the COVID-19 testing results at a long-term care facility tested last week in Garrett County are negative.

Staff and residents of Oakland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ORNC) in Oakland, Maryland, were tested last week in conjunction with the state initiative to test all long-term facilities in the State.

The facility tested 123 residents and staff and all tests were negative.

“We are so glad to receive the news that Oakland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is COVID-19 free,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “We want to thank the staff at ONRC for the excellent job they have done in protecting their residents from the virus.”

At the end of April, Governor Hogan announced universal testing of all residents and staff at all Maryland nursing homes, regardless of whether they are symptomatic.

All nursing homes in Garrett County are now on a regular regimen of testing.

From MD HEALTH CONNECTION The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today is urging uninsured Marylanders to enroll in coverage before the June 15 deadline through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection, under the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period. To date, nearly 40,000 residents have received health coverage during this special enrollment period that began in March with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement of a State of Emergency in Maryland.

Individuals who enroll in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection today through June 15 will have a coverage start date of June 1. Of the nearly 40,000 residents who’ve already obtained health coverage through Maryland Health Connection during this special enrollment, 65 percent received Medicaid, while the remainder enrolled in private insurance.

“During this time of heightened awareness of the need for health coverage due to the coronavirus and loss of job-based coverage, Maryland Health Connection is offering options for free and low-cost health insurance,” says Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “Please reach out to your friends, families and communities to let them know coverage is available. The deadline is approaching quickly, but with your help we can work together to ensure every person has the coverage they need.”

While you do not have to be sick to seek coverage, it’s worth noting that health insurance companies on Maryland Health Connection cover testing, visits relating to testing, and treatmentof COVID-19. These consumers will not be billed for a copay, coinsurance or deductible for services to test, diagnose and treat COVID-19.

As the state faces record levels of unemployment, many Marylanders are losing health coverage offered by employers. Individuals who lose coverage through their jobs have 60 days from loss of coverage to enroll. If they’ve missed that deadline, they can get coverage through Maryland Health Connection’s Coronavirus Special Enrollment Period through June 15.

An additional special enrollment for Maryland tax filers runs through July 15. The Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program gives tax filers the option to share information, like household size and income, with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to see if they are eligible for free or low-cost health insurance. Those who check the box on state tax forms (502 and 502B) will receive a letter from Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to let them know if they are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage. To date, more than 4,000 Marylanders have enrolled in health insurance under this program.

 To enroll, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov. Individuals also can download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Help is available in more than 200 languages through the call center, as well as Relay service for the deaf and hard of hearing. Trained navigators and brokers statewide offer free help enrolling by phone. You can find information at MarylandHealthConnection.gov. Last year, nine out of 10 Marylanders who enrolled through Maryland Health Connection were eligible for free coverage or financial help to lower the cost of their health insurance. This special enrollment period is for private health plans. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.

 2020 Hampshire County Fair is cancelled

Click here to view more content
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.

View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.
WEEK 7 OF “THE COMEBACK” NOW UNDERWAY
During today’s briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the Week 7 phase of West Virginia Strong – The Comeback officially began today, meaning that several additional types of operations are now permitted to reopen, provided that all safety guidelines are being properly followed.

Operations permitted to resume operations today, Monday, June 8, include:Low-contact outdoor youth sports practicesWVSSAC-sanctioned athletics and band summer training programsLittle league sports practicesAll remaining adult sports facilities including indoor tennis courts, racquetball courts, outdoor basketball courts, and similar venuesClick here to view guidelines for all low-contact sports
Click here to view additional WVSSAC guidelines

Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This plan provides the option for reopening, not a requirement.
EXECUTIVE ORDER: ALLOWING JUNE 10 REOPENINGS & UPDATING GOLF RESTRICTIONS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that he has signed the executive order that will formally permit all entities scheduled to reopen this coming Wednesday, June 10, to do so.

On June 10, private campgrounds as well as state park campgrounds, cabins, and lodges will be permitted to reopen to out-of-state guests, provided that their stays do not exceed seven days. However, the seven-day restriction does not apply to individuals who maintain a semi-permanent or permanent resident at such campgrounds.

The same executive order also modifies the restriction to the number of people who can occupy a golf cart at once. A previous order mandated a limit of one individual per cart for anyone not residing together. But now, the latest safety guidelines for low-contact sports permit the shared use of golf carts by those who reside together or those who traveled to the golf course together.
SUMMER YOUTH CAMPS ALLOWED TO RESUME ON JUNE 22
Also Monday, Gov. Justice announced that summer youth camps may resume operations on Monday, June 22, provided that all additional guidelines are followed to help keep West Virginians as safe as possible.

Both day camps and overnight camps will be permitted to reopen.

Further safety guidance will be provided on The Comeback page of theGovernor’s website as soon as possible.
OUTDOOR, OPEN-AIR CONCERTS ALLOWED TO RESUME AT FAIRS AND FESTIVALS ONLY ON JULY 1
Additionally on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that outdoor, open-air concerts at fairs and festivals only will be allowed to resume, along with the reopening of fairs and festivals themselves on Wednesday, July 1, provided that strict safety guidelines are being properly followed.

Further safety guidance will be provided on The Comeback page of theGovernor’s website as soon as possible.
NEW WHITEWATER RAFTING GUIDANCE EFFECTIVE JUNE 10
Also on Monday, updated safety guidelines for whitewater rafting businesses were posted on the Governor’s website. The new guidelines will go into effect on Wednesday, June 10, and will supersede all previously released guidelines.

Under the new guidelines, whitewater rafting groups will be limited to eight guests and one guide per raft.
IN CALL WITH VICE PRESIDENT PENCE AND GOVERNORS ACROSS AMERICA, GOV. JUSTICE CELEBRATES THE GOODNESS OF WEST VIRGINIA
Gov. Justice explained that, prior to his address today, he took part in another videoconference call with Vice President Mike Pence and governors from across the United States to discuss the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to thanking the Vice President along with President Donald J. Trump and his entire administration for their tireless work in fighting COVID-19, Gov. Justice also described what he called a “miracle” happening in West Virginia.

“The West Virginia miracle is just this – we don’t have oceans or Great Lakes on our borders. We’re sitting right in the middle of a hotbed, with border counties all the way around our state,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re within a rock’s throw of two-thirds of the population of this country. We have a total number of deaths in our state, right now, of 84. We’re the most vulnerable, the most high-risk, but we have 84 deaths and only a 1.92 percent cumulative rate of positive test results. It’s really unbelievable.

“We were the first state in the nation to order the full testing of all of our nursing homes and our assisted living facilities,” Gov. Justice continued. “We also don’t have a single death in any of our correctional facilities and, on top of all of this, our economy in this state is still on solid ground.

“I said to all the states on the call: ‘Look at what has happened right here in West Virginia. We are the example of goodness. We are the very place that all of you should come to.’

“That’s exactly what I told them because I am so proud of what West Virginians have done.”
WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also Monday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that, through a multi-agency effort between the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), and the United Way, an interactive free-feeding location map is now available to all West Virginians. 

Click here to view the map

If food distribution locations aren’t available in some communities, individuals are encouraged to call 211 for further assistance.
UPDATE ON STATEWIDE TESTING OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Gov. Justice also provided an update from the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation on the Enhanced Testing initiative, recently ordered by Gov. Justice, to test all inmates and employees within the State’s network of correctional facilities for COVID-19.

The Governor announced that, as of Monday morning, positive cases of COVID-19 have been found in four jails: Eastern Regional, North Central Regional, Potomac Highlands Regional, and Tygart Valley Regional. Each of these facilities has one positive case at this time.

Additionally, there are two prisons with positive cases: Huttonsville Correctional Center and Martinsburg Correctional Center.

All of the positive inmates are being isolated in their respective facilities and are in good-to-fair condition.

At this time, no positive cases have been discovered at any of West Virginia’s juvenile centers or community corrections centers. Additionally, no new positive cases have been discovered among corrections employees.

Click here to view results of the Enhanced Testing initiative

The Division of Corrections remains on track to expand testing to all facilities by June 12.
FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: GREENBRIER, HANCOCK, LOGAN, AND WOOD COUNTIES

Gov. Justice also offered a reminder that free community COVID-19 testing will be provided this Friday, June 12, and this Saturday, June 13, in Greenbrier, Hancock, Logan, and Wood counties.

The effort is part of a plan to provide free optional testing to all residents in several counties that are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. However, other residents, including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Greenbrier County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Dorie Miller Park, 2300 Rosewood Avenue, Co Route 32/1, Lewisburg, WV 24901

Hancock County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Weirton Event Center, 3322 East Street, Weirton, WV 26062

Logan County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cora Volunteer Fire Department, 28 Aldridge Branch, Logan, WV 25601 

Wood County
Friday, June 12 & Saturday, June 13

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Parkersburg High School, 2101 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101

Click here to read more
FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: GRANT, HAMPSHIRE, AND HARDY COUNTIES
Additionally, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that free community COVID-19 testing will also be provided only this Saturday, June 13, in Grant, Hampshire, and Hardy counties.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Grant County
Saturday, June 13

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
EA Hawse Health Center, 64 Hospital Drive #5, Petersburg, WV 26847

Hampshire County
Saturday, June 13

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
EA Hawse Health Center, 22338 North Western Turnpike, Romney, WV 26757

Hardy County (Three locations)
Saturday, June 13

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
EA Hawse Health Center, 17978 WV 55, Baker, WV 26801
EA Hawse Health Center, 8 Lee Street #127, Moorefield, WV 26836
EA Hawse Health Center, 106 Harold K. Michael Drive, Mathias, WV 26812

Click here to read more
CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that the State recently sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for funding through the federal CARES Act.

A new web portal is now available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding, at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.
WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once again today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.
WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD TASKFORCE SUSTAINMENT KEEPS SUPPLIES AND SUPPORT FLOWING
More than 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) assigned to Taskforce Sustainment continue to play an integral role in supplying much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and additional provisions to first responders and medical professionals, and to assist with additional supply and manpower operations throughout West Virginia as COVID-19 pandemic response efforts endure.

In early March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep across the United States and West Virginia, one of the first lines of effort identified was to rapidly push much needed stock supplies of PPE to first responder agencies and medical professionals across the Mountain State. In order to assist with this effort, the WVNG established Taskforce Sustainment.

Headquartered at the Rock Branch facility in Poca, the taskforce began daily distribution of PPE supplies to all 55 counties in the state. Working with their counterparts from other state agencies, soldiers would arrive at the Rock Branch facility early each morning, load their vehicles with supplies that had been sorted and packaged the previous night, and then head out in a spider web of delivery points from Wheeling to Martinsburg to Bluefield and all points in between.

Click here to read more
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov.Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov

June 7th Three new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Allegany County, including two community members and a resident at The Kensington assisted living facility in Cumberland. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The community cases involve a male in his teens and a male in his 70s. This brings the cumulative total number of COVID-19 cases in the county to 184. To date, 3,194 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19. 2,845 tests were negative, 184 positive, and 165 results are still pending

Grant County has a total of 13 total cases 12 positive 1 probable and 12 have recovered 1 is hospitalized for a non covid related issue

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 2 additional positive cases of COVID-19. The total count for the county is now 33, with only 3 active cases at this time. Active cases are currently quarantined and monitored daily, including their direct contacts.

In Mineral County there are 48 positive cases, 10 active cases, 37 recovered

WV Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.

View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.
EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED THAT WILL OFFICIALLY ALLOW JUNE 8 REOPENINGS
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that he has signed an executive order that will formally allow activities, currently scheduled to reopen in the Week 7 phase of the Governor’s reopening plan, to resume operations next week if they so choose.

Approved activity reopenings, with limitations, on Monday, June 8 include:
Low-contact outdoor youth sports
WVSSAC-sanctioned athletics and band summer training programs
Little league sports practices
All remaining adult sports facilities including indoor tennis courts, racquetball courts, outdoor basketball courts, and similar venues
Reopenings allowed on ​Wednesday, June 10, 2020:
Private campgrounds and State Park campgrounds, cabins, and lodges to out of state guests.
All guidance documents are available on governor.wv.gov.

“We are excited to see youth sports and athletic programs continue in West Virginia after everything was put on hold to protect our people,” said Gov. Justice. “As with any reopening, we want people to continue to think smart, practice good hygiene, and keep a safe social distance from others to stay as safe as possible.”

The order will go into effect on Monday, June 8, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

CASINOS AND MOVIE THEATERS PERMITTED TO REOPEN
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice announced that casinos and movie theaters are officially permitted to reopen in West Virginia.

“Today marks the first day that these establishments are allowed to reopen,” Gov. Justice said. “We strongly urge that both the businesses and individuals take every necessary step to stay safe. This includes proper handwashing and staying a safe distance from one another.”

Both casinos and movie theaters must ensure that proper social distancing and hygiene practices are maintained.

Guidance is available on The Comeback page.
WEST VIRGINIA STRONG – THE COMEBACK | SAFER AT HOME ORDER
Week 6 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding future reopenings have been made. The Governor’s Safer At Home order also remains in effect.

June 5th Hampshire County officials report the National Guard performed a deep sanitization at the Hampshire County 911 Center this afternoon. According to a press release the sanitization, all 911 operations were transferred to a mobile bus around noon and 911 staff was able to provide all services without any glitches until services were transferred back to the Communications room at about 3:30 P.M. Nathan J. Sions Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy/911 Director wants to thank Greg Ganoe and his crew, the National Guard, Frontier Communications and 911 Staff for their work at making this all possible. Sions says they had an excellent collaboration.Sions says thankfully they found out today all of the remaining 911 Staff members tests were negative. He says they believe they have the situation controlled.

Grant County has another resident that tested positive. Contacts are being notified and protocol followed.  Grant County Total: 13 (12 positives, 1 probable) 11 have recovered, 1 person has been hospitalized for non COVID-19 related issues and 1 is recuperating at home. Multiple contacts have been tested and are following quarantine guidance.

Stage Two of Recovery Begins Friday at 5 p.m. By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he will lift the order requiring closure of non-essential businesses at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5th, marking the beginning of Stage Two of his Roadmap to Recovery. Despite Stage Two beginning in Garrett County tomorrow and testing for COVID-19 increasing, the positive results for county residents continues to remain at 10. A total of 1,730 COVID-19 tests were completed, with 1,349 negative results received locally. Results are pending for many recently tested staff and residents of local long-term care facilities.  The revised Governor’s Order prohibits social gatherings of more than 10 people and requires both social distancing and wearing facemasks in retail stores and public spaces.
The reopening of “non-essential” businesses includes:
• Manufacturing
• Construction
• Large and small retail shops
• Specialty vendors
• Wholesalers
• Warehouses
• Offices
➢ Information technology firms
➢ Legal offices
➢ Accounting
➢ Banking and financial institutions
➢ Insurance agencies
➢ Design studios
➢ Advertising and architectural firms
➢ Media production companies
➢ Real Estate
➢ Travel agencies
➢ Auto dealer showrooms
➢ Bank branches
Various other offices may all safely reopen with public health and safety guidance recommendations in place, including:
• Wearing face coverings whenever face-to-face interaction takes place.
• Conducting temperature checks for workers and other personnel.
• Limiting the proximity of employees by rotating employee hours.
• Instituting split schedules, shifts, or shorter work weeks.
• Staggering start, break, or shift times.
Additional personal services may resume operations at up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only, and with appropriate health and safety guidelines.
• Nail salons
• Massage therapists
• Tanning salons
• Tattoo parlors
Businesses or locations that are not yet allowed to open include:
• Senior centers
• Restaurants and bars for indoor dining
• Fitness centers
• Theaters
• Malls
• Recreational establishments subject to the admission and amusement tax such as bowling alleys and miniature golf courses
Maryland state government will also begin returning to more normal operations on Monday, June 8. The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and other customer-facing agencies will begin reopening select branches to customers on a limited basis by appointment only. Staff will be required to wear face coverings and will have plexiglass dividers at each station. The LaVale branch of MVA is included in the list to open, but the Garrett County branch is not.
Garrett County Government is under normal operation with the notice that employees continue to work remotely. In-person interaction is limited and with safeguards in place. Also, appointments must be made to meet with any County office.
The Garrett Health Department is currently open for limited services. Please call for an appointment. Clients will not be admitted without an appointment. Many services are available via telehealth. Many staff members continue to work from home. Visit garretthealth.org/status for updated information about each division of the Health Department.
The Maryland Department of Commerce provides guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness. Visit governor.maryland.gov/recovery for more information about the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’
COVID-19 information for Garrett County is available at garretthealth.org. Anyone with medical questions about the virus may call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.

June 3rd Now Fully Operational for COVID-19 Testing Marylanders Cautioned to Remain Vigilant as Gradual, Phased Reopening Continues

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland will begin to move into Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with a safe and gradual reopening of workplaces and businesses, along with additional personal services. This comes after the state’s positivity rate dropped to single digits, and total current hospitalizations fell to their lowest level in more than seven weeks.

As with Stage One, Stage Two will be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings. All 24 of the state’s jurisdictions have now entered Stage One.

“Moving into Stage Two is an important step forward for our state after what has been a very difficult period,” said Governor Hogan. “The people of our great state have endured so many significant personal, medical, and economic challenges. But in the face of the most daunting challenge in our lifetime, the people of Maryland have been resilient, they’ve never lost hope, and they are showing what it truly means to be Maryland strong.”

NEW UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE LAB FULLY OPERATIONAL FOR COVID TESTING. The governor also announced today that, as part of the state’s long-term testing strategy, the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences clinical lab is now fully operational and beginning to process COVID-19 tests, including the tests the state acquired from South Korea. In April, the governor announced an initial $2.5 million investment in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore to launch this large-scale testing initiative. This signature, state-of-the-art lab will be the backbone of the state’s sustained testing strategy, pre-positioning the state for any second wave and the coming flu season.

STAGE TWO BEGINS FRIDAY, JUNE 5 AT 5:00 PM:

To begin Stage Two, Governor Hogan announced that he will be lifting the order requiring the closure of non-essential businesses. The list of open businesses in Maryland will include manufacturing, construction, large and small retail shops, speciality vendors, wholesalers, warehouses, and offices including information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking and financial institutions, insurance agencies, design studios, advertising and architectural firms, and media production companies. Read the governor’s order here. https://governor.maryland.gov/…/Gatherings-EIGHTH-AMENDED-6…

Additionally, real estate offices, travel agencies, auto dealer showrooms, bank branches and various other offices may all safely reopen with public health and safety guidance recommendations in place. This guidance includes:

Wearing face coverings whenever face-to-face interaction takes place.
Conducting temperature checks for workers and other personnel.
Limiting the proximity of employees by rotating employee hours.
Instituting split schedules, shifts, or shorter work weeks.
Staggering start, break, or shift times.
Employees who can telework should continue to do so whenever possible.

ADDITIONAL PERSONAL SERVICES. Additional personal services including nail salons, massage therapists, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors may resume operations at up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only, and with appropriate health and safety guidelines.

REOPENING OF STATE GOVERNMENT. Maryland state government will also begin returning to more normal operations on Monday, June 8. The Motor Vehicle Administration and other customer-facing agencies will begin reopening select branches to customers on a limited basis by appointment only. Staff will be required to wear face coverings and will have plexiglass dividers at each station. With more Marylanders back to work, transit will begin to return to a more normal schedule and the Maryland State Department of Education will continue with its gradual plan to reopen child care centers.

REOPENING GUIDANCE. As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.

NEXT STEPS. State officials and the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team will continue to watch the data closely, and if encouraging trends continue, the next step, likely coinciding with the end of the school year, will be to consider opening additional amusement, fitness, sporting, and other summertime activities.

Visit governor.maryland.gov/recovery for more information about the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’

From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 9.5%—below 10% for the first time since late March—and total current hospitalizations have fallen to their lowest level since April 14.

State officials continue to encourage Marylanders to get tested for COVID-19, with more than 100 major sites now available across the state. No-cost, no-appointment testing is available today at Six Flags America in Prince George’s County.

Maryland has now conducted 380,716 COVID-19 tests, including 14,385 tests over the last 24 hours. The state’s positivity rate peaked on April 17, when it reached 26.91%. Since then, it has dropped by nearly 65%, down to 9.5% statewide⁠.

Positivity Rate Continues to Decline in Key Jurisdictions. The positivity rate in Baltimore City is at 9.9%—just above the state average. Frederick County is at 9.4%, Howard County is at 8.8%, Baltimore County is at 8.7%, and Anne Arundel County is at 8.6%—all below the state average.

The positivity rate in Prince George’s County has dropped by more than 66%, from a high of 41.96% to a current rate of 14.1%. Montgomery County has dropped by more than 62%, from a high of 32.64% to a current rate of 12.3%.

Positivity rate data for the state and all 24 jurisdictions is available atcoronavirus.maryland.gov.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations at Lowest Levels Since Mid-April. Maryland’s current total COVID-19 hospitalizations—one of the state’s key recovery metrics—have dropped to 1,109, their lowest level since April 14. There are 471 ICU beds currently in use for COVID-19 patients, the lowest number since April 17, and the number of patients in acute care, 638, is at its lowest number since April 12.

More Than 100 Major Testing Sites in Maryland. With expanded capacity and supplies available, the state has broadened the criteria for COVID-19 testing to include those who are asymptomatic. There are now nearly 100 major testing sites in Maryland.Visitcoronavirus.maryland.gov to find a location that is most convenient for you.

Long-Term Strategy. On April 29, Governor Hogan announced a long-term COVID-19 testing strategy for Maryland, starting with high-priority clusters and outbreaks. The state achieved its short-term goal of 10,000 tests per day before June 1.

To find out more log on to https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

Two new community cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Allegany County. Both cases are males – one in his 30s and one in his 40s – who have not required hospitalization. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county is now at 181.

To date, 3,145 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19. 2,784 tests were negative, 181 positive, and 180 results are still pending

Mineral County COVID-19 Daily Totals 6/3/20 46 positive cases 11 active 34 recovered

***Final Results from the High Density Community Testing. 512 individuals tested with only 2 positive***

The Hampshire County 911 Center has had 4 employees test positive for COVID-19 from May 22 thru May 31, 2020. One employee was tested during this time frame and their results were negative. According to a press release there are a total of ten 911 dispatchers. As a result of this, all 911 Staff was required to be tested at a drive-thru testing site on June 2, 2020. Results from this testing is expected later this week. Nathan Sions Chief Deputy/911 Director Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office says he wants to thank the Health Department, Valley Health and Trinity Family Health Care for making this a possibility. Also, the National Guard has agreed to do a deep sanitization on June 4, 2020. Other 911 Staff has been very committed to stepping up and making sure all shifts are being covered.

Very stringent mandates were put on the 911 Communications Center early on, in an attempt to keep the dispatchers healthy. At this time, it seems the virus has only effected 911 dispatchers, due to all other persons being prohibited from entering the Communications portion of the building.

WV Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.

View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.
CAMPGROUND STAYS FOR OUT-OF-STATE VISITORS ADDED TO WEEK 7 REOPENINGS
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that private and state park campgrounds, along with state park lodges and cabins, will be allowed to reopen to out-of-state guests beginning next Wednesday, June 10, provided that all additional guidelines are followed to help keep West Virginians as safe as possible.

The Governor announced that one of the restrictions will be that out-of-state guests will be limited to stays of no longer than seven days.

“We always want people to experience all of the beauty and adventure West Virginia has to offer,” Gov. Justice said. “But we surely don’t want people coming here from out-of-state and just taking up some level of permanency in our state parks. That’s not what we’re looking for right now.”

Further guidance will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s website as soon as possible.

GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS FOR LOW-CONTACT SPORTS NOW AVAILABLE
Additionally, new guidance for the resumption of low-contact sports for participants of all ages are now available online.

As previously announced by Gov. Justice, all low-contact outdoor youth sports practices can resume, with limitations, on Monday, June 8. All adult sports facilities are also permitted to reopen on June 8, provided that the safety guidelines are properly followed.

Youth sports games with spectators and all other outdoor sporting events with spectators are not permitted to resume until Monday, June 22.
GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR BINGO HALLS
Gov. Justice also announces today that new safety guidelines for bingo halls are now also available online.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG – THE COMEBACK | SAFER AT HOME ORDER
Week 6 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding future reopenings have been made. The Governor’s Safer At Home order also remains in effect.

GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES AWARD OF OAKWOOD ROAD PROJECT
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time during the briefing to announce that he has approved the award of the contract for the upcoming Oakwood Intersection Improvement Project at the intersection of Oakwood Road and U.S. 119 in Kanawha County.

The project will involve establishing a Restricted Crossing U-Turn – commonly known as an “R-CUT” – in the area to improve safety and decrease traffic light wait times.

The low bidder is Mountaineer Contractors, Inc., from Kingwood, with a bid of $5,852,067.80.

“When the Department of Transportation originally brought me the initial project design, it was estimated to cost approximately $30 million,” Gov. Justice said. “So I asked them to take a harder look at the project and they re-engineered it using cutting-edge ideas that resulted in a cost-savings of $25 million on this project.

“This is another example of the great work that our Highways workers and our Department of Transportation are doing every day,” Gov. Justice continued. “Everywhere you look, in the months to come across this state, you’ll see us fixing potholes, pulling ditches, and doing additional paving, and it will be going on in all 55 counties.”

STATEWIDE TESTING OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES UNDERWAY
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that his initiative to test all inmates and employees at every corrections facility in the state for COVID-19 is now underway.

The Governor reported that testing began Tuesday morning at five facilities in the northern and eastern panhandles, including three regional jails, two prisons, and two juvenile centers. More than 1,000 inmates and juveniles were tested. More than 500 employees were also tested.

In addition to its own employees, the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is testing its contract staff as well.

“They are tracking to complete the northern panhandle today, with two additional facilities,” Gov. Justice said.

The West Virginia DCR is scheduled to test all facilities statewide by June 12. Results will be posted on Coronavirus.wv.gov.

Gov. Justice also provided an update on the condition of the inmates and staff members from Huttonsville Correctional Center and Jail who tested positive amid the recent outbreak at that facility, reporting that seven of the eight positive employees at Huttonsville have recovered, with one employee back at work. Additionally, 21 of the inmates who tested positive have since recovered.

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS UPDATE
Acting Commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia Scott Adkins joined Gov. Justice Wednesday to provide an update on the spike in unemployment claims seen since the start of the pandemic.

Adkins reported that, in the past 10 weeks alone, WorkForce West Virginia has received a total of 250,000 unemployment claims.

“Just to put that in perspective, all of 2019, we took 46,862 claims,” Adkins said. “So, in just the past 10 weeks, we’ve taken five times more claims than we did the entire year of 2019.”

Adkins also said that WorkForce has paid out more than $701 million in unemployment benefits in the past 10 weeks.

“There’s about five percent of the 250,000 claims that have had issues that we’re having to work through and those issues must be resolved before we can issue payment.” Adkins said. “I know there’s some folks still in the system and I can assure you that the staff here at WorkForce and our partners have been working very hard and diligently to resolve all those issues.”

Adkins also added that, as the number of claims has risen dramatically over the past two-and-a-half months, so too has the amount of fraud. He encouraged any West Virginians suspicious of fraudulent activity to call 1-800-379-1032 or visit WorkForceWV.org.

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING REMINDER: HARRISON, MCDOWELL, AND OHIO COUNTIES
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that free community COVID-19 testing will be provided this Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6, in Harrison, McDowell, and Ohio counties.

The effort is part of a plan to provide free optional testing to all residents in several counties that are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. However, other residents, including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested.

Testing is scheduled as follows:

Harrison County
Friday, June 5 & Saturday, June 6
Monticello Playground, 518 Monticello Avenue, Clarksburg, WV 26201

Ohio County
Friday, June 5 & Saturday, June 6
Laughlin Chapel, 129 ½ 18th Street, Wheeling, WV 26003

McDowell County
Friday, June 5
Tug River Health Clinic, 5883 Black Diamond Highway, Gary, WV 24836
Saturday, June 6
City Hall, 32509 Coal Heritage Road, Keystone, WV 24852

MORE COMMUNITY TESTING: GRANT, HAMPSHIRE, AND HARDY COUNTIES
The Governor also announced that the next round of community testing will be provided next Saturday, June 13, in Grant, Hardy, and Hampshire counties.

The testing will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be offered at the following locations:

Grant County
EA Hawse Health Center, 64 Hospital Drive #5, Petersburg, WV 26847

Hampshire County
EA Hawse Health Center, 22338 North Western Turnpike, Romney, WV 26757

Hardy County (three locations)
EA Hawse Health Center, 17978 WV 55, Baker, WV 26801
EA Hawse Health Center, 8 Lee Street #127, Moorefield, WV 26836
EA Hawse Health Center, 106 Harold K. Michael Drive, Mathias, WV 26812

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that the State recently sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for funding through the federal CARES Act.

A new web portal is now available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding, at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
During today’s press briefing, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, reminded citizens that a hoax continues to make its rounds in our state and that the information is false.

The flyer has been identified in the eastern panhandle of the state and has also been circulated widely on social media platforms and falsely describes a “mobilization of National Guard forces by FEMA and Homeland Security.”

“It is exceptionally important that the people of West Virginia pay particular attention to the information they see and what they share, especially on social media, where rogue actors peddle in misinformation campaigns,” said Hoyer. “The entire goal of these groups –whether they be from Russia, China, or elsewhere – is to stoke fear and panic while undermining the positive work being conducted by our service members across the Nation.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov. :

June 2nd: In Hampshire County the COVID-19 testing drive-thru will be open on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. If you have a testing need, please contact the health department for scheduling at 304-496-9640. . This drive-thru only accepts scheduled patients.

The Mineral County Health Department has worked to obtain additional free COVID-19 Testing for all citizens in our area. The testing will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with support from the WV National Guard and local community partners at the following location:

Wednesday, June 10th
Frankfort High School
393 Falcon Way
Ridgeley, West Virginia, 26753

Identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, is required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This optional testing is free and available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals.

Hawse Health Center with facilities in Baker, Mathias, Moorefield and Petersburg would like to announce that they will be performing FREE COVID-19 testing at each of thier clinic sites as well as an additional site in Romney, WV on SATURDAY, JUNE 13th FROM 10am – 4pm. The testing sites are open to the general public.
The locations are:
Mathias: (Old Mathias School Building.
Baker: Hawse Health Center beside the HCEAA building
Moorefield: At the Michael Medical Building across from the Post office
Petersburg: At Grove Street Health Center next to Social Security Office
Romney: at the old Weimer’s dealership next to DMV building in Sunrise Summit.
We would like to thank the Weimer automotive group for their help and cooperation in the testing.
The tests are free of charge to everyone, but if you have insurance, please bring your card(s). There is no co-pay or cost to the public. Even if you have no insurance, the test is still free through State sponsored payment. People are asked to remain in your cars as you progress through the line.
Testing is available to all individuals, including asymptomatic individuals. Identification, such as a drivers license or proof of address will be required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
NOTE: Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you have any questions, you can reach Charles Rohrbaugh at 304-897-5915. Thank you and stay safe.

Grove Street Health Center will conduct community COVID testing on Saturday June 13 from 10 am-4 pm. This is for anyone, even if no symptoms. Bring ID and insurance cards if you are insured, no copays or deductible. No cost to you if uninsured. First come, first served. Call Charles Rohrbaugh at 304-897-5915 if questions. ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

June 1st The Allegany County Health Department reports one new case of  COVID-19 today, a male community member in his 40s who has not been hospitalized. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county is now at 179. To date, 3,073 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19. 2,714 tests were negative, 179 positive, and 180 results are still pending. Moving forward, data on new cases and death announcements will be released with testing data on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The Garrett County Health Department was notified today that all of the COVID-19 testing results at a long-term care facility tested last week in Garrett County are negative.  Staff and residents of Goodwill Nursing Home and Assisted Living in Grantsville, Maryland, were tested on Wednesday and Thursday of last week in conjunction with the state initiative to test all long-term facilities in the State.
The facility tested 348 residents and staff and all tests were negative. “We are so glad to start out this week with the great news that Goodwill Nursing Home is COVID-19 free,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “We commend the staff at Goodwill for the excellent job they have done in protecting their residents from the virus.” At the end of April, Governor Hogan announced universal testing of all residents and staff at all Maryland nursing homes, regardless of whether they are symptomatic.  One additional long-term facility in Garrett County will be tested this week.

Mineral 45 positive 12 active 32 recovered

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 2 additional COVID-19 positive cases, bringing our total count to 31. All contacts of the positive cases have been notified and are quarantined.

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes any of the following:
•Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19
•Caring for a sick person with COVID-19
•Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes
•Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.)

If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are at low-risk for infection.

Grove Street Health Center will conduct community COVID testing on Saturday June 13 from 10 am-4 pm. This is for anyone, even if no symptoms. Bring ID and insurance cards if you are insured, no copays or deductible. No cost to you if uninsured. First come, first served. Call Charles Rohrbaugh at 304-897-5915 if questions.

Grant County Total: 12 (11 positives, 1 probable) 7 have recovered, and 5 are recuperating at home. Multiple contacts have been tested, and are following quarantine guidance.

It is recommended that everyone wear face coverings if in public, especially if you cannot social distance 6 ft away from others. All businesses that are open are REQUIRED to follow the Governor’s Guidance which outlines social distancing protocol.
Guidance for openings can be found at www.governor.wv.gov West Virginia Strong-The Comeback.

The Governor reported:
• June 5, Movie theaters and Casinos may open (guidance provided on website
• June 8, Low contact outdoor sports / Little league practices may begin (guidance to follow when available).

If you have unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath or sudden loss of taste or smell please do NOT leave your home. 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 to help determine if testing is indicated.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

GMH COVID tests: 439 specimens have been sent for testing from Grant and surrounding counties; these tests include Day Care workers and pre-op screenings.
There have been 17 positives from GMH. GMH also tested 266 residents and staff from GCRCC in April that were all negative.
Grove Street Health Center: Has tested 36 for COVID from Grant and surrounding counties. 2 Grant County Residents were positive of those tested at the Center.

WV reported 99,751tests 2,028 positive 76 deaths
Positive/probable COVID19 cases reported to WVDHHR: Barbour 9/0, Berkeley 314/11, Boone 9/0, Braxton 2/0, Brook 5/1, Cabell 66/2, Calhoun 2/0, Clay 5/0, Fayette 50/0, Gilmer 10/0, Grant 11/1, Greenbrier 9/0, Hampshire 31/0, Hancock 19/2, Hardy 39/0, Harrison 40/1, Jackson 137/0, Jefferson 184/5, Kanawha 229/2, Lewis 9/0, Lincoln 6/0, Logan 17/0, Marion 51/0, Marshall 30/0, Mason 15/0, McDowell 6/0, Mercer 13/0, Mineral 47/2, Mingo 7/2, Monongalia 133/11, Monroe 7/1, Morgan 18/1, Nicholas 8/0, Ohio 42/0, Pendleton 12/2, Pleasants 4/1, Pocahontas 21/1, Preston 25/5, Putnam 34/0, Raleigh 16/1, Randolph 131/0, Ritchie 1/0, Roane 9/0, Summers 1/0, Taylor 8/0, Tyler 3/0, Tucker 4/0, Upshur 6/1, Wayne 100/0, Wetzel 8/0, Wirt 4/0, Wood 53/3 ,Wyoming 3/0. ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������8{}9{8{�9{8{U9{8{�9{8{-9{8{�9{8{ 9{8{q 9{8{� 9{8{I!9{8{�!9{8{!”9{8{�”9{8{�”9{8{e#9{8{�#9{8{=$9{8{�$9{8{%9{8{�%9{8{�%9{8{Y&9{8{�&9{8{1’9{8{�’9{8{ (9{8{u(9{8{�(9{8{M)9{8{�)9{8{%*9{8{�*9{8{�*9{8{i+9{8{�+9{8{A,9{8{�,9{8{-9{8{�-9{8{�-9{8{].9{8{�.9{8{5/9{8{�/9{8{ 09{8{y09{8{�09{8{Q19{8{�19{8{)29{8{�29{8{39{8{m39{8{�39{8{E49{8{�49{8{59{8{�59{8{�59{8{a69{8{�69{8{979{8{�79{8{89{8{}89{8{�89{8{U99{8{�99{8{-:9{8{�:9{8{;9{8{q;9{8{�;9{8{I<9{8{�<9{8{!=9{8{�=9{8{�=9{8{e>9{8{�>9{8{=?9{8{�?9{8{@9{8{�@9{8{�@9{8{YA9{8{�A9{8{1B9{8{�B9{8{ C9{8{uC9{8{�C9{8{MD9{8{�D9{8{%E9{8{�E9{8{�E9{8{iF9{8{�F9{8{AG9{8{�G9{8{H9{8{�H9{8{�H9{8{]I9{8{�I9{8{5J9{8{�J9{8{ K9{8{yK9{8{�K9{8{QL9{8{�L9{8{)M9{8{�M9{8{N9{8{mN9{8{�N9{8{EO9{8{�O9{8{P9{8{�P9{8{�P9{8{aQ9{8{�Q9{8{9R9{8{�R9{8{S9{8{}S9{8{�S9{8{UT9{8{�T9{8{-U9{8{�U9{8{V9{8{qV9{8{�V9{8{IW9{8{�W9{8{!X9{8{�X9{8{�X9{8{eY9{8{�Y9{8{=Z9{8{�Z9{8{[9{8{�[9{8{�[9{8{Y\9{8{�\9{8{1]9{8{�]9{8{ ^9{8{u^9{8{�^9{8{M_9{8{�_9{8{%`9{8{�`9{8{�`9{8{ia9{8{�a9{8{Ab9{8{({�Ԟ �b

May 31st The Allegany County Health Department reports that an Allegany County man who was in a medical facility in another county has died of COVID-19. This brings the county death toll to 19.  The Allegany County Health Department reports one new case of  COVID-19 today, bringing the cumulative total for the county to 178. The latest case involves a female community member in her 30s who is not affiliated with any known outbreaks and has not required hospitalization.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 1 additional positive case of COVID-19 today, bringing the total to 29. Case investigation is complete and all contacts have been notified. Fourteen of the 29 total cases are active, meaning they are not yet recovered. All active cases are quarantined and monitored daily.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management have confirmed one additional positive case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, bringing the total count to forty. The newly confirmed patient is now in quarantine at home, and is following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. 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 also now has fifteen individuals fully recovered, included in the total case count of forty.

Full release available here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/…/20200530-hardy-covid-update.pdf…

Grove Street Health Center will conduct community COVID testing on Saturday June 13 from 10 am-4 pm. This is for anyone, even if no symptoms. Bring ID and insurance cards if you are insured, no copays or deductible. No cost to you if uninsured. First come, first served. Call Charles Rohrbaugh at 304-897-5915 if questions.

Grant County reports an additional positive case May 29, 2020. This person is recuperating at home. All contacts have been notified and all are cooperating with self- quarantine.
Grant County Total: 12 (10 positives, 1 probable) 7 have recovered, and 5 are recuperating at home.

MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 10.9%, and current total hospitalizations have fallen to their lowest level since April 15.

Maryland’s Positivity Rate Continues Steady Decline. Maryland has now conducted 348,773 COVID-19 tests, including 9,412 tests over the last 24 hours. The state’s positivity rate peaked on April 17, when it reached 26.91%. Since then, it has dropped by 59.49%, down to 10.9% statewide.

The positivity rate in Baltimore City is at 10.5%, Baltimore County is at 9.9%, Frederick County is at 8.7%, and Howard County is at 8.9%—all below the state average.

The positivity rate in Anne Arundel County is down nearly 61%, from a high of 28.2% on April 16, to 11.0% today—slightly above the state average.

Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, while still above the rest of the state with respect to positivity, continue to see steady decreases. The positivity rate in Prince George’s County has dropped by more than 59%, from a high of 41.96% to a current rate of 16.9%. Montgomery County has dropped by more than 60%, from a high of 32.64% to a current rate of 12.9%.

Positivity rate data for the state and all 24 jurisdictions is available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations and ICU Beds at Lowest Levels In More Than Six Weeks. Maryland’s current total COVID-19 hospitalizations—one of the state’s key recovery metrics—have dropped to 1,183, their lowest level since April 15. There are 479 ICU beds currently in use for COVID-19 patients, the lowest number since April 17, and the number of patients in acute care, 704, is at its lowest since April 14.

Nearly 100 Testing Sites in Maryland. With expanded capacity and supplies available, the state has broadened the criteria for COVID-19 testing to include those who are asymptomatic. There are now nearly 100 major testing sites in Maryland. Visitcoronavirus.maryland.gov to find a location that is most convenient for you.

Long-Term Strategy. On April 29, Governor Hogan announced a long-term testing strategy for Maryland, starting with high-priority clusters and outbreaks. The state achieved its short-term goal of 10,000 tests per day before June 1. iots are not the way to do this and it is not a way to honor George Floyd or those that are peacefully protesting. I urge West Virginians to do as we have done before during difficult times and come together, listen to each other, and learn from one another.” ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

May 27th MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced that due to successful Stage One reopenings across the state and improvements in key data and metrics, the State of Maryland can now safely move forward with the completion of Stage One of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which includes the resumption of outdoor dining and outdoor activities such as youth sports and youth day camps, and the reopening of outdoor pools and drive-in movie theaters.

Stage One will continue to be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings. As of today, 23 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions have entered or announced their plan to begin entering Stage One.

“Though we continue to make great progress toward recovery, COVID-19 is still very much a deadly threat, and our responsible behavior is absolutely critical in the continued efforts to defeat it,” said Governor Hogan. “Thankfully, the vast majority of our citizens clearly understand that while doing things like avoiding crowds, practicing distancing, and wearing masks may be inconvenient, that these are some of the best tools we have to continue to slow the spread of this virus, and to put us in a position to rebuild and restore our economy, and to finally defeat this invisible enemy.”

MARYLAND’S POSITIVITY RATE HAS DROPPED BY HALF, NEW DATA NOW AVAILABLE. Maryland has now reached the goal of conducting 10,000 tests in a day, and has completed more than 300,000 COVID-19 tests statewide. With the state’s expanded testing and tracing capacity, Maryland now has the ability to take a closer and more accurate look at positivity rates—another important indicator of the recovery and a key metric being used by the CDC and other states to track the containment progress of COVID-19.

Building on Maryland’s data-driven approach, Governor Hogan unveiled positivity rate data for the state showing that Maryland’s statewide positivity rate peaked at 26.91% on April 7. Since then, it has dropped by more than half, down to 12.8%. This data is now available on the state’s public health dashboard.

LOWER RISK DOES NOT MEAN NO RISK. Governor Hogan continued to stress the importance of staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowds of people, teleworking when possible, practicing physical distancing, wearing masks in indoor public areas, and avoiding public transportation unless it is absolutely necessary.

Stage One Activities Effective Friday, May 29, at 5:00 pm:

OUTDOOR DINING. Restaurants as well as social organizations such as American Legions, VFWs, and Elks Clubs will be able to begin safely reopening for outdoor dining following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association. Read the governor’s order here.

Restaurants must:

Ensure patrons are appropriately distanced with no more than six people seated at a table, with the exception of members of the same household.
Ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other, except for households seated together.
Use single-use disposable paper menus or sanitize reusable menus between each seating.
Sanitize outdoor tables and chairs between each customer seating.
Train staff in current COVID-19 health and workplace guidelines.
Begin screening procedures including daily temperature checks of all staff.
Ensure staff wear masks or face coverings when interacting with other employees or patrons.
In an effort to promote safer dining and support the restaurant industry, the governor is encouraging local jurisdictions to expand the footprint of outdoor dining by allowing for the closing of streets and expanding into parking lots and public outdoor spaces.

Guidance and best practices for restaurants.

YOUTH SPORTS. Outdoor youth sports may resume following appropriate CDC guidelines including:

Limited, low-contact outdoor practices focused on individual skill building versus competition.
Limited group sizes.
Limited touching of shared equipment and gear.
The ability to engage in physical distancing while not actively engaged in play.
Guidance and best practices for youth sports.

YOUTH DAY CAMPS. Outdoor activities at youth day camps may resume under the following guidance:

Capacity limitation of no more than 10 individuals in a group.
Daily COVID symptom checks for youth camp staff and campers.
No out-of-state or overnight campers will be permitted.
Physical distancing and masks will be required for all staff and campers.
Department of Health directives regarding youth camp programs.
Guidance and best practices for youth day camps.

OUTDOOR POOLS. All outdoor pools may reopen with strict safety guidelines including:

25% capacity restrictions.
Strict physical distancing and sanitization measures.
Patrons will be required to sign-in and sign-out.
All pools will be required to post signage warning anyone who is sick not to enter.
Department of Health directives regarding swimming pools.
Guidance and best practices for outdoor pools.

STAGE TWO. Governor Hogan noted that health officials will continue to watch the data closely, and if these encouraging trends continue into next week, the state will then be in a position to move into Stage Two of the recovery, which would mean lifting the order on non-essential businesses.

May 26th As part of WV Gov. Jim Justice’s initiative to increase testing opportunities for minorities and other vulnerable populations in medically-underserved counties, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, with support from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) announced locations for testing on May 29 and 30, 2020.

The testing will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with support from the Mineral County Health Department and community partners at the following locations:

Friday, May 29: 
American Legion Piedmont, 10 Green Street, Piedmont, WV 26750

Saturday, May 30: 
Keyser Primary/Keyser Middle School Complex, 1123 Harley O. Staggers Sr Drive, Keyser, WV 26726

Identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, is required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Under the direction of Gov. Justice, the testing plan was developed by the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, DHHR and WVNG and targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. This optional testing is free and available to all residents in selected counties, including asymptomatic individuals.

WV Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
WEEK 5 OF “THE COMEBACK” NOW UNDERWAY
During today’s briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the Week 5 phase of West Virginia Strong – The Comeback officially began today, meaning that several additional types of businesses are now permitted to reopen, provided that all safety guidelines are being properly followed.

Businesses permitted to resume operations today, Tuesday, May 26, include:
State Park cabins and lodges (In-state residents only)
Bars (indoor bars at 50% capacity and outdoor bars)
Museums and visitor centers
Zoos​
Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This plan provides the option for reopening, not a requirement.
MORE REOPENINGS SCHEDULED FOR LATER THIS WEEK
The Governor also provided a reminder than an additional round of reopenings are scheduled to take place later this week.

Businesses permitted to resume operations on Saturday, May 30, include:
Spas and massage businesses​
Limited video lottery retailers
Swimming pools
Bowling alleys, pool halls, roller rinks, and other places with indoor amusement​

Week 6 of West Virginia Strong – The Comeback will begin next Monday, with reopenings for movie theaters and casinos scheduled to commence next Friday, June 5.

The Governor’s Safer at Home order remains in effect at this time.

TESTING OF ALL INMATES, STAFF COMPLETE AT HUTTONSVILLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
After ordering the full testing of all inmates and staff at Huttonsville Correctional Center and Jail last Friday, Gov. Justice reported today that the mass testing effort has been completed.

Last week, Gov. Justice announced that an inmate and a staff member at the Huttonsville facility had tested positive for COVID-19; the first positive tests found within West Virginia’s corrections system.

Late last Friday, results of an initial round of testing identified 25 additional inmates and four additional staff members were also positive.

“At first, we had just tested the block where we had the positive inmate. But I told our people on Friday, ‘Nope, that’s not good enough. Test the whole facility,’” Gov. Justice said. “We have now tested everyone in the facility.”

“Thanks to Gov. Justice’s quick action and quick response on Friday, we were able, on Monday, to test 1,029 inmates, which was the remainder of the inmate population at Huttonsville,” said Betsy Jividen, Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The process of analyzing all of the tests is ongoing at several labs across the state.

“We are hoping that we’ll have the remaining tests back in the next several days and we will plan our policy and our response accordingly,” Commissioner Jividen said.

“We expect, as these thousand-plus tests come back, that these numbers are going to rise,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re on it. Our people are staying right on top of it.

“We ran to the fire. I had to make the decision to go ahead and test everyone. It was the right thing to do because we’ve heard, all over the news, all of the problems other states across the nation have been having in their prisons,” Gov. Justice continued. “I think we’re ahead of the curve and we’re going to try to stay on top of it.”

“We are doing our best to be proactive and to protect the health of our inmate population and, of course, our staff, who are on the front lines every day, facing these challenges,” Commissioner Jividen said. “We have some contact tracing that has already begun and is continuing today and we hope that will help us in future preventative and reduction measures as well.”

NEXT ROUND OF TESTING FOR MINORITY, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS ANNOUNCED
Also Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that efforts to test susceptible populations across West Virginia are set to continue.

The plan provides free optional testing to all residents in several counties that are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission. It targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. However, other residents, including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested.

The DHHR and local jurisdictions, with support from the WVNG, will be conducting the next round of these testing efforts throughout the week.

Testing in Fayette County began today and will continue through Wednesday at various times and locations:
Fayette County
Mt. Hope Fire Department: 428 Main Street, Mt. Hope
Tuesday, May 26 | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Kilsyth Free Will Baptist Church: 119 Freewill Lane, Mt. Hope
Wednesday, May 27 | 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Oak Hill High School: 350 W. Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill
Thursday, May 28 | 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Additional testing will be held on Friday and Saturday in Berkeley, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mineral, and Morgan counties as follows:
Berkeley County
Musselman High School: 126 Excellence Way, Inwood
Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Jefferson County
Hollywood Casino: 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town
Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kanawha County
Shawnee Sports Complex: One Salango Way, Dunbar
Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mineral County
American Legion Piedmont: 10 Green Street, Piedont
Friday, May 29 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
School Complex: 1123 Harley O. Staggers Senior Drive, Keyser
Saturday, May 30 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Morgan County
Warm Springs Middle School: 271 Warm Springs Way, Berkeley Springs
Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Additionally today, State Health Officer and Bureau for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Cathy Slemp announced the results from previous community testing efforts in Berkeley, Jefferson, Raleigh, and Mercer counties.

Dr. Slemp reported that 2,385 individuals participated in the testing initiative, with a total of 31 tests coming back positive. The amount and the rate of positive tests, by county, were as follows:
Berkeley County: 15 positives (1.7 percent)
Jefferson County: 15 positives (2.0 percent)
Mercer County: 0 positives (0.0 percent)
Raleigh County: 1 positive (0.3 percent)
“I want to say thank you to the local health departments and the community partners, who worked really hard, and the National Guard, who worked to do these testing sites,” Dr. Slemp said. “We continue to refine that process as we move to other areas of the state and come back to visit these as well.”

GOV. JUSTICE OFFERS REMINDER ABOUT “WVSTRONG” 30 PERCENT DISCOUNT AT STATE PARKS
After announcing last week that West Virginia State Parks will be offering a 30 percent discount on lodging for all West Virginia residents for stays between June 1 and August 31 – called the WVSTRONG Discount – Gov. Justice reported today that state parks officials have seen a 58 percent increase in reservations this month compared to May 2019.

“You know, the pricing was already great, but now the pricing is unbelievable,” Gov. Justice said today. “People are taking advantage of this deal and booking stays at our parks and that’s really, really great. There’s lots of good stuff going on. What place could be better right now than going to our state parks?”

To claim the 30 percent discount on a new reservation, simply book online at wvstateparks.com and enter promo code WVSTRONG at checkout.

All West Virginians with existing reservations during this time will be proactively issued the discount as a credit on their reservation. Credits will be automatically applied, so guests with existing reservations do not need to call.

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that the State recently sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for funding through the federal CARES Act.

Gov. Justice also reiterated that a new web portal is now available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding, atgrants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

“We want to encourage you to continue to apply,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ll get those dollars out to you as expediently as we possibly can.

“You can and should benefit from this funding,” Gov. Justice continued. “We want to take advantage of this as much as we possibly can. It puts more money into the economy and it will make our comeback in West Virginia and our comeback as a nation even faster.”

To-date, applications have been received from the following counties and municipalities:
Kanawha County Commission
Roane County Commission
City of Hurricane
City of Summersville
Town of Bath
No CARES Act funding has been distributed to any county or city at this time.

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asks all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

DATA UPDATE
Once again today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has increased, slightly, to 2.05 percent.

“That number is still fantastic, but it has crawled back up just a little bit, and of course it’s being spurred on by what’s going on at the prison in Huttonsville” Gov. Justice said. “We’re hoping it’ll turn the other way and start drifting back down again after we finish getting the results of our testing at the prison.”

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Click here to read more about the WVNG’s latest response efforts

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

MD Governor Larry Hogan announced the Board of Public Works has approved nearly $9.6 million in funding, administered by the Office of Rural Broadband, to support broadband internet connectivity for more than 5,000 households and businesses in Maryland’s rural counties and communities. Housed in the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Office of Rural Broadband was established by executive order in 2017 to expand broadband capabilities statewide in rural areas of Maryland.

“This rapid and unprecedented shift to teleworking and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrates the importance of high-speed internet access for all Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “This funding continues my administration’s proactive efforts to increase broadband service in our state’s underserved communities.”

The Office of Rural Broadband provided nearly $2.3 million to eight local jurisdictions in western and southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore through the Maryland Broadband Pilot Funding Program. With this funding, local governments will partner with an Internet Service Provider serving the community to develop and manage projects to extend existing networks to incorporate underserved or unserved households. The projects receiving funding will provide internet access to more than 1,300 households and approximately 70 businesses in rural communities.

Additionally, nearly $7.3 million was provided through the Maryland Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, designed to support the construction of necessary broadband infrastructure to expand services. Approximately $5.1 million in funds will support three large-scale broadband infrastructure projects in Somerset, Garrett and Charles Counties. Nearly $2.2 million of this funding was awarded to the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, Inc. and will extend broadband service to an estimated 950 households in Allegany, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, and Wicomico Counties.

This funding follows the Board of Public Works’ prior approval of emergency broadband resources to five jurisdictions. Funds were used to expand access to school and library broadband networks in rural communities in response to the COVID-19 Stay At Home Order.

For more information, visit dhcd.maryland.gov/RuralBroadband.

MD Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention: The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services today announced $1.8 million in Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) funding allocated for victim service providers to address challenges in serving vulnerable populations in Maryland brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This white paper opportunity makes funding available to state government agencies, local government agencies, and victim service programs run by nonprofit organizations to address immediate needs for victims of crime and victim service providers during the pandemic.

“Victim services are essential services in Maryland always, and especially during this pandemic,” said Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “The funding made available by our office will allow for service providers to remove obstacles to victim safety, self-sufficiency, and knowledge of resources that can save lives. Our goal for this funding is to support innovations that will benefit Marylanders for years to come.”

The recipients of the $1.8 million VOCA funding locally include:

Organization Name

Organization Jurisdiction

CASA of Allegany County Allegany County

Family Crisis Resource Center, Inc. Allegany County

Jane’s Place, Inc. Allegany County

Dove Center (DVSARC, INC) Garrett County

CASA Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused, Inc.

Washington County

Since March, the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has helped grantees utilize more than $550,000 in other existing funds to address community needs that have resulted from COVID-19.

The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services developed a webpage to help subrecipients and applicants navigate available funding opportunities and use existing funding to meet needs presented by COVID-19: http://goccp.maryland.gov/coronavirus/grants-covid19-faq/

For daily updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak and the State of Maryland’s response, please visit the Maryland Department of Health’s Coronavirus Page:https://coronavirus.maryland.gov.

May 20th

During his latest daily COVID-19 press briefing today, WV Gov. Jim Justice announced that several new businesses and entities will soon be allowed to resume operations as part of the Governor’s reopening plan: West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.
INDOOR SHOPPING MALLS
Gov. Justice announced that indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen this Thursday, May 21, provided that all additional guidelines are followed to help keep West Virginians as safe as possible.

Guidance: Indoor shopping malls and similar facilities

“From the standpoint of our specialty retail opening back up and our big box stores opening back up, naturally, our malls should be open,” Gov. Justice said. “Working with our medical experts, we now have additional guidelines on our indoor malls and we feel very comfortable with them.”
ADDITIONAL WEEK 5 REOPENINGS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice added several businesses and entities to the list of Week 5 reopenings on Tuesday, May 26:
Indoor and outdoor bars at 50% capacity
Museums and visitor centers
Zoos
Guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.

Gov. Justice had previously announced that state park cabins and lodges would also be able to reopen on Tuesday, May 26, for use by in-state residents only.

Also today, Gov. Justice announced that spas and massage businesses will be permitted to reopen on Saturday, May 30, provided that all additional guidelines are followed. Guidance documents will be made available online.

“We want to give people a heads up on a date that they can plan and gear up for,” Gov. Justice said.
CASINOS & LIMITED VIDEO LOTTERIES
Additionally today, Gov. Justice announced that limited video lottery retailers will also be permitted to reopen on Saturday, May 30, while all casinos across the state will be allowed to open their doors beginning on Friday, June 5, provided that all additional guidelines are followed.

Guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.

“Our Lottery Director, John Myers, has worked closely with all of the operations in the state and with the medical experts to develop guidance that will allow these facilities to open safely,” Gov. Justice said.

“As we continue to go forward and as we continue to get closer and closer with dates, we’re monitoring our numbers all the time,” Gov. Justice continued. “We very well could have to change these dates if our numbers change. But, hopefully, we won’t. Our numbers have been unbelievable and, if they stay this way, we’ll be able to open more and more.”

PREVIOUSLY-ANNOUNCED REOPENINGS TAKE EFFECT THIS WEEK
Also today, Gov. Justice offered a reminder about several previously-announced reopenings that are scheduled to take effect this week.

Reopening today; Monday, May 18
Fitness centers, gymnasiums, and recreation centers
Sports training facilities (gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, martial arts, and similar facilities)

Reopening Thursday, May 21
Indoor dining at restaurants
Large/specialty retail stores
State park campgrounds for in-state residents only (Guidance for ALL campgrounds)
Hatfield McCoy Trail System
Outdoor recreation rentals (Kayaks, bicycles, boats, rafts, canoes, ATVs, and similar equipment)
Outdoor motorsport and powersport racing with no spectators
Tanning businesses​​
Whitewater rafting
Ziplining​

Guidance documents for these businesses and entities are also available on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website.

Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This plan provides the option for reopening, not a requirement.

The Governor’s Safer at Home order remains in effect this week as well.

ALL COUNTIES REMOVED FROM HOTSPOT LIST
Gov. Justice also announced that, with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources putting its new “High Alert Status” system in place to quickly identify specific areas in West Virginia that may be experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, all counties that were still remaining on the list of community hotspots have now been removed from the list by executive order. This includes Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Jefferson, and Berkeley counties.

“At this point in time, under the new system, we no longer have counties on the hotspot alert,” Gov. Justice said. “Our medical experts will be watching all of our 55 counties closely as we move forward with our new High Alert Status system.”

DHHR TESTING UPDATE
During his remarks today, Secretary Bill Crouch with the West Virginia DHHR reported that 2,388 individuals from several communities that have been identified as particularly susceptible to COVID-19 were tested over the weekend as part of the DHHR’s new initiative to test more minority and vulnerable populations throughout the state.

A breakdown of the drive-thru testing that was provided is as follows:
Berkeley County: 872 tests performed
Jefferson County: 748 tests performed
Mercer County: 364 tests performed
Raleigh County: 404 tests performed

“We are still awaiting the results from those tests…they will take a couple of days,” Sec. Crouch said. “We have additional testing scheduled for this week and will announce those later this week.”

NEW WEBSITE STREAMLINING CARES ACT APPLICATIONS FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that a new web portal is now available for city and county government officials across West Virginia to apply for grant funding through the federal CARES Act.

“I encourage all the cities and counties to apply,” Gov. Justice said. “As we get applications, we’ll work our way through them very quickly and find things they are qualified for and get those monies to you very quickly.”

Applications are available at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call a helpline for more information by dialing 1-833-94-GRANT.

“The federal guidelines are changing nonstop, they’re very fluid,” Gov. Justice said. “Jim Justice believes, as he has from day one, that the guidelines will become favorable for us before it’s over and, even though we encourage you to apply now, we want you to know that you can continue to apply as we go forward.”

DATA UPDATE
Today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has dropped, once again, to 1.96 percent.

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

May 18th During his latest daily COVID-19 press briefing today, WV Gov. Jim Justice announced that several new businesses and entities will soon be allowed to resume operations as part of the Governor’s reopening plan: West Virginia Strong – The Comeback.
INDOOR SHOPPING MALLS
Gov. Justice announced that indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen this Thursday, May 21, provided that all additional guidelines are followed to help keep West Virginians as safe as possible.

Guidance: Indoor shopping malls and similar facilities

“From the standpoint of our specialty retail opening back up and our big box stores opening back up, naturally, our malls should be open,” Gov. Justice said. “Working with our medical experts, we now have additional guidelines on our indoor malls and we feel very comfortable with them.”
ADDITIONAL WEEK 5 REOPENINGS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice added several businesses and entities to the list of Week 5 reopenings on Tuesday, May 26:
Indoor and outdoor bars at 50% capacity
Museums and visitor centers
Zoos
Guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.

Gov. Justice had previously announced that state park cabins and lodges would also be able to reopen on Tuesday, May 26, for use by in-state residents only.

Also today, Gov. Justice announced that spas and massage businesses will be permitted to reopen on Saturday, May 30, provided that all additional guidelines are followed. Guidance documents will be made available online.

“We want to give people a heads up on a date that they can plan and gear up for,” Gov. Justice said.
CASINOS & LIMITED VIDEO LOTTERIES
Additionally today, Gov. Justice announced that limited video lottery retailers will also be permitted to reopen on Saturday, May 30, while all casinos across the state will be allowed to open their doors beginning on Friday, June 5, provided that all additional guidelines are followed.

Guidance documents will be provided on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website as soon as they become available.

“Our Lottery Director, John Myers, has worked closely with all of the operations in the state and with the medical experts to develop guidance that will allow these facilities to open safely,” Gov. Justice said.

“As we continue to go forward and as we continue to get closer and closer with dates, we’re monitoring our numbers all the time,” Gov. Justice continued. “We very well could have to change these dates if our numbers change. But, hopefully, we won’t. Our numbers have been unbelievable and, if they stay this way, we’ll be able to open more and more.”

PREVIOUSLY-ANNOUNCED REOPENINGS TAKE EFFECT THIS WEEK
Also today, Gov. Justice offered a reminder about several previously-announced reopenings that are scheduled to take effect this week.

Reopening today; Monday, May 18
Fitness centers, gymnasiums, and recreation centers
Sports training facilities (gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, martial arts, and similar facilities)

Reopening Thursday, May 21
Indoor dining at restaurants
Large/specialty retail stores
State park campgrounds for in-state residents only (Guidance for ALL campgrounds)
Hatfield McCoy Trail System
Outdoor recreation rentals (Kayaks, bicycles, boats, rafts, canoes, ATVs, and similar equipment)
Outdoor motorsport and powersport racing with no spectators
Tanning businesses​​
Whitewater rafting
Ziplining​

Guidance documents for these businesses and entities are also available on The Comeback page of the Governor’s Office website.

Businesses included in each phase of this reopening plan are not required to resume operations on any specific date. This plan provides the option for reopening, not a requirement.

The Governor’s Safer at Home order remains in effect this week as well.

ALL COUNTIES REMOVED FROM HOTSPOT LIST
Gov. Justice also announced that, with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources putting its new “High Alert Status” system in place to quickly identify specific areas in West Virginia that may be experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, all counties that were still remaining on the list of community hotspots have now been removed from the list by executive order. This includes Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Jefferson, and Berkeley counties.

“At this point in time, under the new system, we no longer have counties on the hotspot alert,” Gov. Justice said. “Our medical experts will be watching all of our 55 counties closely as we move forward with our new High Alert Status system.”

DHHR TESTING UPDATE
During his remarks today, Secretary Bill Crouch with the West Virginia DHHR reported that 2,388 individuals from several communities that have been identified as particularly susceptible to COVID-19 were tested over the weekend as part of the DHHR’s new initiative to test more minority and vulnerable populations throughout the state.

A breakdown of the drive-thru testing that was provided is as follows:
Berkeley County: 872 tests performed
Jefferson County: 748 tests performed
Mercer County: 364 tests performed
Raleigh County: 404 tests performed

“We are still awaiting the results from those tests…they will take a couple of days,” Sec. Crouch said. “We have additional testing scheduled for this week and will announce those later this week.”

NEW WEBSITE STREAMLINING CARES ACT APPLICATIONS FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that a new web portal is now available for city and county government officials across West Virginia to apply for grant funding through the federal CARES Act.

“I encourage all the cities and counties to apply,” Gov. Justice said. “As we get applications, we’ll work our way through them very quickly and find things they are qualified for and get those monies to you very quickly.”

Applications are available at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call a helpline for more information by dialing 1-833-94-GRANT.

“The federal guidelines are changing nonstop, they’re very fluid,” Gov. Justice said. “Jim Justice believes, as he has from day one, that the guidelines will become favorable for us before it’s over and, even though we encourage you to apply now, we want you to know that you can continue to apply as we go forward.”

DATA UPDATE
Today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has dropped, once again, to 1.96 percent.

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

May 15th Stage One of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ takes effect today at 5:00 pm, with the state moving from a Stay at Home order to a Safer at Home public health advisory, and gradual reopenings of retail, manufacturing, houses of worship, and some personal services.

As the governor announced on Wednesday, Stage One will be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopening. Through a new interactive map ongovernor.maryland.gov/recovery, Marylanders will be able to see which counties are implementing Stage One of the ‘Maryland Strong:Roadmap to Recovery,’ which are partially implementing Stage One guidance, and which counties remain closed.

“As we begin to slowly and cautiously lift restrictions at the state level, we are encouraged that local leaders have embraced our flexible, community-based approach to gradual reopenings,” said Governor Hogan. “While lifting the statewide Stay at Home order and gradually moving into Stage One is a positive step forward, each and every one of us has an obligation to exercise responsibility for ourselves, for our families, our co-workers, and for fellow Marylanders so that as a community, together, we can begin to safely get back to work and get backto our daily lives.”

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This interactive map will be available on the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery webpage at governor.maryland.gov/recovery. It will be updated regularly with the most recently available data. 

For health resources, including case counts and clinician guidance, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

May 13th

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the beginning of Stage One of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ which includes moving from a Stay at Home order to a Safer at Home public health advisory and the gradual reopenings of retail, manufacturing, houses of worship, and some personal services. 

Stage One will be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings. 

“As we begin Stage One of our recovery, I want to assure every Marylander who may feel uneasy, and anyone who is concerned that we are moving either too quickly or too slowly, that each and every decision we make is both fact-based and science-based and made only after extensive consultation with our expert Coronavirus Recovery Team,” said Governor Hogan. “We are continually monitoring this crisis, we remain focused on the clusters, outbreaks, and hotspots, and I can assure you that we remain ready to quickly and decisively respond toany changes in the facts on the ground, and that we will continue to attack this virus with every single tool at our disposal.”

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Watch today’s press conference.
View the slides from today’s press conference. 

SAFER AT HOME. Effective Friday, May 15, at 5:00 pm, Maryland will move from a Stay at Home order to a Safer at Home public health advisory.

Marylanders, particularly older and more vulnerable Marylanders, are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible. Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees when possible. Individuals who can work from home should continue todo so. Maryland citizens should continue wearing masks in indoor public areas, retail stores, and on public transportation. Additionally, Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, continue avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keep washing their hands often, and frequently sanitize high-touch areas.

LOCAL FLEXIBILITY FOR JURISDICTIONS. Governor Hogan’s ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ provides a flexible and community-based approach which empowers county leaders to make decisions regarding the timing of Stage One reopening in their individual jurisdictions. Read the new order here.

RETAIL STORES. Governor Hogan announced that retail stores may reopen at up to 50 percent capacity, with curbside pickup and delivery strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions in place. Examples of businesses that may reopen include clothing and shoe stores, pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes, art galleries, and bookstores.

MANUFACTURING. Governor Hogan announced manufacturing may resume operations in a safe manner which protects the health of employees, with guidelines encouraging multiple shifts and other safety precautions.

CHURCHES AND HOUSES OF WORSHIP. Churches and houses of worship may begin to safely hold religious services, at up to 50 percent capacity, with outdoor services strongly encouraged. Religious leaders are strongly urged to do everything possible to keep their congregants safe, and particularly to protect the elderly and vulnerable within their congregations.

PERSONAL SERVICES. Some personal services, including barber shops and hair salons, may reopen with up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines.

‘BACK TO BUSINESS.’ Businesses that adopt all safety guidelines are encouraged to take a ‘Back to Business’ pledge.