Reopening and Recovery

Oct 6th The Allegany County Health Department reports four additional cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County since Friday. The latest cases include a female in her teens, a female in her 20s, a male in his 60s and a female in her 70s. None have required hospitalization. This brings the county’s total positive COVID-19 count up to 500.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for one additional person over the weekend, bringing the current county total positives to 76. The new positive COVID-19 case is a female in her 30’s with no symptoms who has already completed her isolation. There is one Garrett County resident currently in isolation due to positive COVID-19 test results.

The South Branch Career and Technical Center and the Grant and Pendleton County Health Departments received confirmation that two individuals associated with one of the programs at the SBCTC have tested positive for COVID-19. According to Grant County officials there has also been a confirmed cases related to the Union Educational Complex. All contacts have been notified and instructed on self-isolation and monitoring.

There were 2 new cases reported today in Grant County. One is related to Union Educational Complex (UEC) and South Branch Vocational Center (SBVC), and the other is community. All contacts have been notified and instructed on self-isolation and monitoring.

168 Total COVID Cases

166 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 2 Probable COVID cases

• 145 Total Recovered

• 12 Active Cases. 3 are hospitalized at this time, all cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

The Hampshire County Health Department has 1 new confirmed case of COVID-19 today. Case investigation has been completed and contacts have been notified. The current case count is 110 confirmed, 2 probable, and 4 active. No hospitalizations at this time.

The Health Department and National Guard will be offering a community-wide flu vaccine opportunity and/or COVID-19 testing on October 17th in the Hampshire High School parking lot from 8am-12N. This is open to anyone in our community. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact the Health Department at 304 496-7060

In Mineral County there are a total of 175 cases 1 active case 170 recovered

According to Pennsylvania Health officials Bedford and Somerset counties are listed in the moderate category for COVID-19 transmission.

Bedford County Total Cases: 262 Confirmed: 227  Probable: 35 Negative: 4,645
Cases per 100,000: 543.80

Somerset County Total Cases: 238 Confirmed: 202  Probable: 36
Negative: 10,674 Cases per 100,000: 321.80

Moderate – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Chester, Clearfield, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill

WVEA filed an injunction this morning in Kanawha County Circuit Court thatchallenges the safety of the governor’s school re-entry map. WVEA President Dale Lee announced the WVEA’s intent to file last week.“Our members have watched the constant manipulation of the map. As each rendition failed to provide the de-sired results sought by our state leaders, additional changes were made,” stated Lee. “The only way to restore confidence in the process and ensure safety in our public schools is to adopt a new system from independent experts recognized in the field of infectious diseases and public health, such as the original color-coded map from Harvard.”The filing seeks injunctive relief, including a temporary restraining order, as well as the enforcement of theWest Virginia Open Meeting Act as it pertains to the experts making changes to the map and the ‘Panel’ adjust-ing the map prior to its posting.“We have seen the manipulation of the map’s colors and metrics on numerous occasions as protests occurred and pressure was placed on the governor. Now we are seeing the manipulation of the testing numbers as aresult of the change made to the map using the positivity rate for counties to re-open,” says Lee. “The fact that the manipulation is occurring, and people are bragging about getting tested on multiple days show that the map and its metrics are not looking out for the safety of our students and employees and should not be used as the criteria for school re-opening.”WVEA believes the latest changes to the map have been done simply to create the illusion of a ‘green map’ and does not mean it is safe to return to in-person learning at this time in certain counties.“We know how important it is for students to be back in classrooms working with their teachers. No one wants in-person education more than our members, but they no longer feel their safety is the top priority of our state government’s leadership,” said Lee. “Our goal is for students to return to school as soon as possible but we must be able to do that safely based on the circumstances in individual counties.”Manipulating the map does not change the conditions of our schools. Space is limited and social distancing is difficult or impossible in many cases. A single exposure to COVID in many locations will require the entire pop-ulation to isolate because of the lack of space needed to appropriately social distance. Additionally, employees are still saying they do not have adequate PPEs and, in many buildings, mask wearing requirements appear lax.“School employees are particularly impacted by the lack of social distancing and mask wearing,” adds Lee. “As the governor has stated many times, a large portion of our teaching population is older and more at risk forCOVID. Over 2/3 of our members have identified that either they or someone in their immediate household have conditions that put them at risk.”WVEA’s injunction seeks to ensure safety in our public schools by adopting a new system to determine school re-entry from independent experts recognized in the field of infectious diseases and public health, such as the original color-coded map from Harvard.WVEA is the largest teacher organization in the state.

Oct 5th The Allegany County Health Department has announced that Allegany County kids age 18 and under can now receive free drive-up COVID-19 testing at the Allegany County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. This testing is expected to be available through the fall. The health department would like to thank the Allegany County Commissioners for their support of this important public health effort and for allowing us to use the fairgrounds to offer this testing to our youth. Since Wednesday, Allegany County has had thirteen new cases of COVID-19, with the majority of those cases involving individuals in their teens or 20s. The latest cases include a child under the age of 10, three females and two males in their teens, two females and two males in their 20s, a female in her 40s, and two males in their 50s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. This brings Allegany County’s total number of cases to 496. To date 21,174 Allegany County residents have been tested and received their results. Of those, 17,934 have tested negative, and 496 have tested positive.

Four people associated with Moorefield High School have tested positive for COVID-19, Remote learning will continue this week. According to Hardy County School Officials  they have been given clearance for athletic practices and events to resume as long as quarantined individuals do not participate. Moorefield High School will extend remote learning for all students through Friday. Staff members who are not under quarantine will report to the school and provide instruction to their students remotely. During the week of remote learning they will be implementing additional disinfecting measures throughout the building. 

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has 4 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making nine active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 95. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have nine patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 85 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 95.

WVDE School Metrics released today for the upcoming week show Grant County in the Yellow Metric. 166 Total COVID Cases

164 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 2 Probable COVID cases

• 145 Total Recovered

• 10 Active Cases. 3 are hospitalized at this time, all cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

The Hampshire County Health Department has 2 new confirmed case of COVID-19 today. Case investigation has been completed and contacts notified. The case is a direct contact of another positive case. It is not related to the nursing home.

The current case count is 109 confirmed, 2 probable, and 3 active. No hospitalizations at this time.

On Tuesday, September 29, the Garrett County Board of Education voted unanimously to accept Superintendent Baker’s recommendation to approve the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) plan to begin high school sports on October 7. Practice for the fall sports season will begin on October 7 and run through December 19. The first play date will be October 27, with the exception of golf, which may begin competition on October 7. The winter sports season will begin on December 14 and run through March 13 and the spring season will begin March 15 and conclude June 19.

The Return to Play plan for Garrett County includes safety protocols recommended by the CDC, Maryland Department of Health, and National Federation of High Schools, including no handshakes or high fives, wearing masks when practical, no sharing of water bottles, limited or no locker room use, maintaining contact tracing logs, and physical distancing to the extent possible. All student athletes, according to MPSSAA rules, will need an up-to-date physical to participate in sports. Attendance at athletic events will be significantly restricted to 250 total individuals at outdoor events (including athletes, coaches, and officials) and 100 total individuals at indoor events. Everyone attending in-person will need to wear appropriate face coverings and physically distance at all times.

The athletic directors, administrators, and central office personnel have been working with Allegany County and the WestMAC athletic conference to schedule and plan athletic competitions. ACPS has also adopted the October 7th start date. Individual schools and coaches in each sport will communicate directly with student athletes and parents about travel plans to events, practice protocols, and other relevant information regarding their specific Return to Play plans.

Garrett County Public Schools continues to move forward with returning students to in-person learning. The plan is contingent on being able to return students safely. We are asking that parents work with us to help mitigate the risk to our students and staff to the greatest extent possible. To assist parents and guardians, GCPS is providing reference documents to be used by parents for their children during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The GCPS Student COVID-19 Screening Tool must be used by parents/guardians to assess their children’s health before sending them to school each day. By sending children to school, parents/guardians are acknowledging that the children do not have any of the symptoms or indicators listed on the tool.

If a child is feeling ill, he or she must be kept at home. Parents/guardians must watch for symptoms of COVID-like illness (CLI), which include:

  • Fever (100.4 F or above)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • New Loss of Taste or Smell
  • Chills
  • Muscle Aches
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion
  • Runny Nose

If a child comes to school experiencing two or more of the above symptoms, he or she will be sent home and considered to have COVID-like Illness (CLI).Parents and guardians should familiarize themselves with the Maryland Department of Health’s Decision Aid: Exclusion and Return for Laboratory Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Persons with COVID–10-like Illness in Schools, Child Care Programs, and Youth Camps, which is used by health professionals throughout the state of Maryland for COVID-19-like Illness (CLI) and/or positive COVID-19 cases.

Oct 2nd Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that indoor visitation may resume at Maryland nursing homes where no new cases have been reported in 14 days or more, along with greater flexibility for compassionate care visits, and an additional $6 million specifically for testing nursing home staff. The governor was joined by State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon, who announced the expansion of child care in Maryland to full teacher to child ratios and capacities.“This spring, for states across the nation, nursing homes became ground zero in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, effective immediately as a result of new federal and state guidelines and our advances in rapid testing, indoor visitation is now able to begin in all nursing homes. We are also committing an additional $6 million specifically for testing of nursing home staff using state testing resources.”Earlier this week, the governor held his 25th meeting with the Maryland Coronavirus Response Team of doctors and public health experts. Discussions included additional measured and data-driven steps to continue moving forward with the state’s safe, effective, and gradual reopening plans.

INDOOR VISITATION FOR NURSING HOMES. Governor Hogan announced that under new federal and state guidelines, nursing homes and assisted living facilities can begin allowing limited indoor visitation, as well as compassionate care visits to support residents who may require emotional and spiritual support. To qualify, facilities must have no active cases in the last 14 days and no outbreak testing in progress. On June 19, the governor announced a return of limited outdoor visitation. Read the Department of Health’s notice to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

As part of this transition, state health officials are implementing new testing guidelines expanding the use of rapid antigen tests—which could be used to screen visitors—while continuing to require regular diagnostic testing depending on local conditions. The state will commit an additional $6 million to help facilities cover the cost of nursing home staff testing. To date, the state has dedicated nearly $102 million to testing and PPE for nursing homes.

On August 5, 130 Maryland nursing homes had active COVID-19 cases; as of October 1, that number has decreased to 76. This represents a decline of 41.5%.

CHILD CARE RATIOS EXPANDED. State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that child care providers in Maryland are now able to return to the full teacher to child ratios and capacities for which they are licensed. Child care centers can now serve up to 20 three- and four-year-olds in a room with a ratio of 1 teacher to 10 students and up to 30 school-age students with a ratio of 1 teacher to 15 students. Providers must continue to follow all appropriate public health and safety guidance.

“We have heard very clearly from many parents and providers who have written and called me, that we return to licensed capacity to meet the needs of working families and prevent the closure of child care centers once it could be done safely,” said Dr. Salmon. “I am hopeful this announcement effectively complements local school system efforts to bring students back into the classroom and provides more working families with access to safe child care programs.”

During Stage Two, when the capacity limit for child care programs was increased from 10 to 15 individuals per room, state health officials did not see any adverse impacts.

To date, more than 82% of child care providers in Maryland have reopened. Reopened programs will receive a one-time grant of $800 for family child care providers and $1,600 for center-based child care providers. These grants will be available through October 31. MSDE is also providing $1,000 in start-up grants to eligible, new child care providers in an effort to bolster new small businesses.

Licensed child care programs interested in reopening may contact their licensing specialist at MSDE and parents and guardians in need of child care may contact LOCATE: Child Care at (877) 261-0060 or through the LOCATE webpage.

FLU SEASON PLANNING. The governor discussed the state’s ongoing planning for flu season, including hospital contingency planning, and adapting Maryland’s long-term testing strategy.

“The First Lady and I have already gotten our flu shots, and I want to again strongly encourage all Marylanders to do the same,” said Governor Hogan. “The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent flu disease. To get your flu shot, you should go to your doctor, your local pharmacy, or you can call your local health department.” Visit health.maryland.gov/flu to learn more.

Members of Frostburg State University’s baseball team are being placed in quarantine. Five players tested positive and were placed in isolation. Subsequently, the Allegany County Health Department, based on the results of contact tracing, provided the guidance to quarantine the rest of the team. Practice had already been suspended after the positive results were received.

FSU has been conducting its intercollegiate athletic program under guidelines set forth in the NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport, which include specific COVID-19 testing protocols for all sports. FSU earlier had postponed all athletic competitions until the spring semester, but the NCAA allows practices to occur. All members of the baseball team were tested. The quarantine means that the student-athletes will not be allowed on campus until cleared by medical professionals, as is the same procedure for the positive cases in isolation. The Health Department is providing direction to the student-athletes for how long they should maintain their quarantine. On-campus students have the option of returning home for their quarantine or using the off-campus housing that FSU contracted for isolation and quarantine purposes. FSU will provide additional support to the students through the quarantine period. Contact tracing for positive COVID-19 cases is handled by local health departments.

There are two new cases of COVID-19 reported in Grant County.  One is associated with Petersburg High School, and the other is in the community with no known exposure.   Contacts named have been instructed on self-monitoring, isolation and testing procedures. Grant County officials were also notified of a soccer player from another county that played the PHS team testing positive for COVID. Players that have potentially been exposed are quarantined and will monitor for symptoms.  Officials were able to determine that the case reported on 9-26-20 was not a Grant County resident.

163 Total COVID Cases

162 confirmed Positive COVID cases

•      1 Probable COVID case

•  144 Total Recovered

• 8 Active Cases.  2 are hospitalized at this time, all cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:  

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.   .

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for one additional person, bringing the current county total positives to 75. The new positive COVID-19 case is a male in his 20s, with no symptoms, who is currently isolating at home. There are three Garrett County residents currently isolating due to positive COVID-19 test results.

In Mineral County there are 174 total cases 2 active 168 recovered 4 total deaths

All schools in Hardy County will be closed on Fri. Oct. 2, 2020 due to NTID.

Oct 1st On Monday, October 5, 2020, Allegany County Public Schools will begin the implementation of the in-person/hybrid learning model for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students. Students will attend school in-person Monday through Thursday, with Friday being a virtual day.

​Elementary School principals are coordinating orientation meetings for parents on October 1st and 2nd. At that time, parents will be provided with transportation information since specific start and end times vary for students due to the transportation schedules. Parents will also be provided with their child’s in-person learning schedule for their specific grade level as well as with a parent letter, a COVID-19 symptom checklist, and mask requirements and guidelines.

​Parents have been informed that they have the right to “opt out “of the in-person/hybrid learning model and have their child remain in a virtual learning environment. As Pre-K and kindergarten students enter school for in-person learning next week, these children who opt out will participate in a “Virtual School” facilitated by a certified teacher. Any parent who has opted out of in-person/hybrid learning can select to “opt-in” at the end of the nine-week marking period, with start date activation for the next marking period.

​Central office staff is currently working on logistical details for phasing in Grade 1 students in the near future. Additional information will be forthcoming once staffing and schedules have been finalized.

​On September 28, 2020, students without Internet connectivity began reporting to schools where they are engaging in synchronous learning via the Schoology Learning Management System. Juniors from the Career Center (CCTE) also returned to in-person learning in their respective skill areas.

​Please note that hybrid learning structures are subject to change based on health metrics and guidance provided by the Allegany County Health Department. Any changes will be communicated to parents through the ACPS website and Blackboard Notification System

The Allegany County Health Department reports four new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. The latest cases include a male in his 20s, a female in her 50s, a male in his 60s and a male in his 70s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The cumulative case count for Allegany County now stands at 483.

The Hampshire County Health Department received confirmation that one employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Hampshire Center nursing home. All staff, residents, and family members have been notified. The nursing home is working closely with the Health Department and the state on mitigation efforts.

In Mineral County there are 174 total cases, 4 active, 166 recovered 4 deaths

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has one additional confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making five active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 91. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have five patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 85 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 91.

The Hardy County Schools and Hardy County Health Department received confirmation that an individual associated with East Hardy Early Middle school tested positive for COVID-19

There was one new case reported today in Grant County that is a household contact to a recently diagnosed person. All contacts named have been instructed on self-monitoring, isolation and testing procedures.

161 Total COVID Cases

(162 if one reported 9-26-20 is confirmed as a Grant County resident)

160 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1 Probable COVID case

• 142 Total Recovered

• 8 Active Cases. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

Frostburg State University officials have released the results of the latest round of COVID-19 testing including 18 positive tests out of 3,300 https://www.frostburg.edu/fall2020/COVID-Testing.php

MD Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement after a meeting of the Board of Revenue Estimates:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented fiscal crisis for state and local governments nationwide, which according to Moody’s Analytics will face $500 billion in shortfalls over the next two fiscal years, with more than 4 million jobs at stake.

“Today’s revenue estimates are still nearly $1 billion less than what was budgeted prior to the pandemic. Because of our early and aggressive actions, Maryland’s fiscal situation remains challenging, but is significantly less painful than it could have been.

“Nearly six months ago, after dire projections by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates, I immediately implemented a budget freeze and directed the Department of Budget and Management to make recommendations for budget cuts in all state agencies. In addition, the Board of Public Works unanimously approved a series of targeted reductions. And, unlike many states, we were able to keep more than 70 percent of our economy open throughout the entire crisis.

“With this public health and fiscal crisis far from over, it is no time to declare victory. Though we are in a better position both economically and health-wise than much of the country, this is still the biggest fiscal challenge we have ever faced. We will continue to plan for the worst, press Congress to act on additional relief, and make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget.”Frostburg State University alumni from across the country will be able to attend this year’s Homecoming no matter where they are — It’s virtual. The festivities can be accessed from the Frostburg State’s Homecoming website and FSU Alumni Association Facebook page from Thursday, Oct. 15, to Sunday, Oct. 18. This year’s events start off with a virtual presentation in appreciation of retired faculty and staff all day Thursday, Oct. 15, on the Facebook page (@frostburgstatealumniassn). 

All day Friday, celebrate the Bobcat Athletics Hall of Fame over the years,as well as honor 2020’s inductees and athletic programs celebrating anniversaries. Look for the celebration on Facebook. Saturday will be filled with plenty of events to connect with fellow Bobcats, including an all-day Digital Alumni Welcome Center on the Facebook page. Yearbook memories, contests and prizes and a virtual check-in will be shared throughout the day. At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Jim Anderson Memorial Baseball Celebration will be featured on Facebook and the Homecoming website; the event will showcase memories of previous years. On Saturday afternoon, Bobcats are invited to decorate their porches, driveways or car trunks and join the Alumni Association for a virtual tailgating experience. Visit www.frostburg.edu/homecoming for more information.  

To wrap up Saturday’s events, there will be an All-Alumni Reunion on Zoom. Members of student organizations, athletic teams and other alumni groups can reserve a virtual room on the Homecoming website. Participants will receive a recipe for a themed cocktail and a themed Zoom background. 

On the final day of events, Sunday, Oct. 18, a virtual Golden Anniversary “Brunch” for the class of 1970 will be held at 11 a.m. to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation year. 

There will also be opportunities leading up to Homecoming to connect with fellow Bobcats. From Oct. 12 to 16, Alumni Relations and the Career and Professional Development Center will host a career readiness week. For information, contact Clarissa Lang at calang@frostburg.edu.  In addition, there will be a Homecoming Alumni Networking Series facilitated by Recreation and Parks Management faculty, Monday, Oct. 12, to Wednesday, Oct. 14. For more information, contact Dr. Martin Barrett at mbarrett@frostburg.edu.  

Sept 29th The Board of Education of Allegany County met in a special open session on Monday, September 28, 2020, to discuss the school system’s interscholastic athletic plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Members heard a presentation from ACPS Assistant Supervisor of Athletics, PE, Health, and Mental Health, Mrs. Tracey Leonard, outlining two options for returning to fall sports. One of these options was to continue with the current two-semester plan, and the second option was to begin fall sports on October 7, 2020, with the first available competition date being October 27, 2020.

​Prior to the vote, school board member, Dr. David Bohn, made the following motion to “move to approve the October 7, 2020, option with the approval being contingent on two issues, the first being that there are sufficient numbers of participating school schools to build a seven-week schedule so competition can be acquired, and two, is contingent upon further changes and direction by the Governor, the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the CDC.” The school board unanimously voted to approve the October 7, 2020, option.

​Mrs. Leonard noted that upon approval of this option, ACPS’s current spring conditioning schedule under the two-semester plan would conclude effective today.

​Additionally, Mrs. Leonard read the following statement from MPSSAA regarding the Interscholastic Athletic Contingency Season Options: “The State Board of Education, the State Superintendent, and the MPSSAA believes it is crucial not only to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of our high school students across the state to return to physical activity and athletic competition, as well as for attaining a high level of academic engagement. In doing so, MPSSAA is committed to providing as much of traditional experience as possible for students, without sacrificing the safety and well-being of students and staff through participation opportunities.”

​She continued reading, “Allowing extracurricular participation while students are in virtual learning does not place athletics or activities over education, rather it portrays the local school system’s commitment to strengthening the culture of the school, promoting the physical and mental health of students, and promotes these programs as valuable extended learning opportunities for students.”

​School board members stressed the need to give students some sense of normalcy during this unprecedented time, but reiterated that they were not placing the importance of extracurricular activities over that of academics.

The Allegany County Health Department reports one COVID-19-related death – a community member in his 70s. Fifteen new cases of COVID-19 have also been identified in Allegany County, including three females in their teens, three females and six males in their 20s, a female in her 30s, and two females in their 50s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The cumulative case count for Allegany County now stands at 479.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for two additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 74.

The new positive COVID-19 cases include two males in their teens, with symptoms, who are currently isolating. These are the only Garrett County residents currently isolating due to positive COVID-19 test results.

174 cases, 5 active , 165 recovered Mineral County COVID-19 Daily Totals 9/28/20

No new cases…1 case transferred out to another jurisdiction from yesterday’s positive list

There were two new cases reported today in Grant County.

One is a resident of Grant County and is recuperating at home. Contacts have been identified and have been instructed on self-isolation and monitoring.

One was determined to be counted in another county (college students are not counted in their “home” county but in the county they “live” in for college).

One of the cases reported on Saturday was determined to be a resident of another county. We are still attempting to contact the other person that was reported on Saturday to determine place of residence.

160 Total COVID Cases

(161 if one reported 9-26-20 is confirmed as a Grant County resident)

159 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1 Probable COVID case

• 142 Total Recovered

• 7 Active Cases. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

Sept 28th The Allegany County Health Department reports four new cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday. The latest cases include two males and a female in their 20s and a female in her 60s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The cumulative case count for Allegany County now stands at 464.

To date, 17,807 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 464 have been positive and 17,343 have been negative.

 In Mineral County there are a total of 175 cases, 7 active, 164 recovered 4 total deaths

There were two new cases reported from DHHR in Grant County over the weekend, however we have been unable to confirm if they are Grant County residents. These will not be counted until residency is confirmed.

There have been no additional positive staff or students from Grant County schools reported since 9-21-20. There are still students and staff in self-quarantine that are being monitored.

159 Total COVID Cases

(161 if those reported today are confirmed as Grant County residents)

158 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1 Probable COVID case

• 139 Total Recovered

• 9 Active Cases. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 4 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. Case investigation and contacts have been notified. three of the cases are direct contacts of previous positive cases. Case investigations and all new contacts have been notified. Fortunately, due to contact quarantining, the new cases had very few additional contacts.

The new case count for Hampshire County is 106 confirmed, 2 probable, 8 active, and 1 death. No one is hospitalized at this time. We have no outbreaks in our county at this time.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has one additional confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making eleven active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 90. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have eleven patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 78 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 90.

Hardy County Schools and the Hardy County Health Department have received confirmation that an additional individual associated with Moorefield High School and the Moorefield High School football team have tested positive for COVID-19 making the current positive number within the school two. The Hardy County Health Department has been working closely with Hardy County Schools to identify any potential people who may have had close contact with them including students, staff, family members and friends. Those that need to be quarantined will be contacted by the Health Department.

Furthermore, Moorefield High School will extend remote learning for all students through Friday October 2nd. That means that Moorefield High School students will not report to the building those five days. Staff members who are not under quarantine will report and provide instruction to their students remotely. During this week of remote learning they will implement additional disinfecting measures throughout the building. Officials also hope this time apart will slow the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent any additional exposures.

Per the WVDE, WVSSAC, Governor’s Office and the Hardy County Health Department only WVSSAC regional and state level competitions are permitted while under remote learning. Individuals participating at the regional or state level MAY NOT be under a mandatory quarantine. Therefore, all other athletic events and practices will be suspended for Moorefield High School for the week of Sept 28th-Oct 2nd.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will post data on COVID-19 outbreaks in public schools on its website at https://wvde.us/schooloutbreaks. The data, provided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) through the local county health departments, offers a snapshot of information to keep the school and the broader community informed regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in local schools.

The chart provides details about confirmed outbreaks as determined by DHHR health officials. A confirmed outbreak is described as two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/staff from separate households within a 14-day period in a single classroom or core group. The chart will be updated daily.

“Our goal remains to provide confirmed and up-to-date information to the public so that communities, families and individuals have the data they need to protect themselves with good decision making and best health practices,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Collaborating with our partner agencies and relying on our state health professionals is key to collecting, analyzing and organizing information that is helpful for our education community.”

The information on the website can be filtered by several categories including county, school name and number of outbreaks, and it will be archived for future reference. Viewers can also see if the outbreak(s) caused the school to move into remote learning.

For more information and updates on COVID-19 in West Virginia, please visit coronavirus.wv.gov or wvde.us/COVID-19.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has posted the September 26, 2020, School Alert System: Saturday Education Map update. This map, guided by information from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and vetted by the COVID-19 Data Review Panel, determines which counties will hold in-person and blended instruction, and it will direct the level of extracurricular activities permitted.

The weekly updates are posted at https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics. County plans should be reviewed for additional requirements.

Sept 25th Following a visit to schools in Frederick County today, Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced the return of fall sports in Maryland. Each local school system will now have the ability to officially start the interscholastic athletic fall season in secondary schools beginning Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

“Getting our kids back on the playing field and allowing youth sports to resume this fall is critical for the social and mental well-being of our students,” said Governor Hogan. “Now that all 24 jurisdictions have submitted plans to resume in-person instruction, allowing fall sports to begin next month marks another important step on our road to recovery.”

The decision of the State Superintendent was reached after recent discussions with the State Board of Education, the 24 local school system Superintendents, the Executive Director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), parents, and other stakeholders. Additional considerations included statewide health metrics and guidance provided by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) as Maryland continues to operate in the early portion of Stage Three of its Roadmap to Recovery plan.

“High school sports and competition are deeply rooted in the fabric of our schools and communities,” said Dr. Salmon. “The steps taken today are directly related to the need of our students to be active and engaged for their physical, social, and emotional well-being. These programs have a history of providing opportunities for all students, and not just those with the economic capabilities, to participate.”

All 24 school systems have now submitted plans to begin resuming in-person instruction this fall. To date, 11 local school systems—Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Cecil, Frederick, Garrett, St. Mary’s, Washington, and Worcester—have announced plans to bring students back onto school campuses for in-person athletic opportunities this fall.

October 7 Option For Fall Sports.

All school systems shall, as soon as possible, provide conditioning and training opportunities utilizing the current available options provided by the MPSSAA.

On October 7, 2020, all local school systems may choose to begin formal fall sport season practices in preparation for a competition season which will begin on October 27. All practices and preparation must be in accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) required practice regulations, and all face covering and public health protocols established by the state and local health departments.

The state is expanding the seasonal competition timeframes as previously announced for all winter and spring sports within this plan.

The October 7 option provides for seven weeks of competition for fall sports—including cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, and volleyball:

First available practice date: October 7, 2020

First available competition date: October 27, 2020 (Golf may resume competition on October 7, 2020.)

Last play date: December 12, 2020

Culminating event/tournament: December 14-19, 2020

With the October 7 option, winter sports can begin practice on December 14, and spring sports can begin practice on January 4. Additional details will be provided by MPSSAA.

Local school systems that choose not to exercise the October 7 option for fall sports may utilize the Second Semester Plan option as previously announced.

Return to Play Timeline.

On June 10, Dr. Salmon announced that outdoor high school sports may resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines for youth sports programs.

On June 12, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) issued a directive allowing all youth sports to begin resuming.

On July 7, the MPSSAA released a return to play guidance document requiring each local school system to assemble a Return to Play Committee. Within that document, the MPSSAA states: “The MPSSAA will issue additional detailed guidance periodically, as deemed necessary by the state’s movement toward phase three and schools operating under a new modified sense of normalcy.”

The “Maryland Together” Recovery Plan for Education required school systems to include preparations for a return to play in their reopening plans that were due on August 14.

As of today, Maryland is currently one of only seven states to have no fall competition.

Public Health Protocols. The Maryland Department of Health has released Best Practices and Guidance for Youth Sports, and the CDC has published Considerations for Youth Sports.

Capacity and Spectator Limits. In addition to face coverings and social distancing guidelines, schools must follow all capacity and spectator limits set by the Maryland Department of Health.

On September 24, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan and Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, held a joint press conference with regards to fall athletics. ACPS is currently reviewing this new information. Any updates on local decisions will be announced as soon as the information becomes available. Until that time, ACPS will continue to follow their current plan for athletics.

GCPS is aware that Governor Hogan and the State Superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon, recently made an announcement regarding the potential schedule of return to extra curricular activities including athletics. Superintendent Baker and Mr. Paul Edwards, Supervisor of Athletics, are aware of the announcement and will be gathering additional information in order to plan our next steps. We will provide coaches, students, and families with an update as soon as possible.

13 positive COVID-19 test results are being reported by Frostburg State University officials following testing at the beginning of the month. The test results were released on Sept 22nd. A total of 770 tests were conducted between Sept 6th and 19th. Meanwhile the second round of universal testing of students, faculty and staff has been held this week at Frostburg State University. The testing was held Sept 21st through the 23rd and results are expected to be published next week.

 In Mineral County there are 172 total positive cases, 7 active, 161 recovered and 4 total deaths

There was one (1) new case in Grant County today.

There are 9 active cases, 8 are self-quarantining at home and are being monitored, 1 is hospitalized.

158 Total COVID Cases

157 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1 Probable COVID case

• 138 Total Recovered

• 9 Active Cases. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.

• 11 Deaths, of these:

§ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)

§ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

Beginning next week thanks to a partnership between Aeon Technologies and PharmaCare COVID-19 testing will be offered daily. Starting on October 1 PharmaCare nurses will perform the swabbing at the drive through testing site at the PharmaCare corporate headquarters at 3 Commerce Drive in Cumberland. Participants will be given the option for either nasal-pharyngeal or oral-pharyngeal swabbing. Laboratory processing will be conducted by Aeon, a CLIA certified and Maryland licensed laboratory.

The cost for testing will be $100, and PharmaCare will accept cash, check, or credit cards at the time of swabbing. Results will be produced within 24-48 hours. Hours of availability will be between 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 8:30 am – 12:00 pm on Friday. This service is for high-complexity PCR diagnostic tests.

Individuals are encouraged to call ahead to obtain a same-day timeslot. The number to call is 301-723-2440 and press 0. The testing does not take the place of medical care and any patient in acute distress should seek care from a healthcare provider.

Aeon Technologies which operates at the Frostburg Advanced Technology Park is the only minority-owned laboratory in Maryland. Aeon also developed partnerships with Frostburg State University focused on workforce training and internships for FSU students.

Dr. Kimberly Brown, CEO of Aeon Technologies and John Balch, President of the PharmaCare Network discuss the partnership and testing opportunities. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/dr-kimberly-brown-ceo-of-aeon-technologies-and-john-balch-president-of-the-pharmacare-network-for-pht

Sept 24th The Allegany County Health Department reports nine new cases of COVID-19 since Monday. The latest cases include three males in their 20s, a female in her 30s, two males and two females in their 40s, and a female in her 50s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The cumulative case count for Allegany County now stands at 460.

A 12th grade student at Bishop Walsh has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a letter being sent to families of BW students officials were notified September 15th, 2020 that an 8th grade and a 12th grade student were identified as close contacts of a person outside of the school who received a positive COVID-19  test result. Officials were recently notified that the 12th grade student also tested positive. Rest assured that in accordance with the safety protocols required by the school, the 12th grade student was socially distanced from other classmates and was wearing a facemask while in attendance. The student has not been at school since Friday, September 11th, 2020 and was not contagious while in the school building. The student will continue quarantining. Officials with BW are in communication with the Archdiocese and the Allegany County Health Department to ensure that all necessary follow-up procedures are undertaken in an efficient manner.According to the letter officials “encourage our parents to continue to actively monitor the health of their child and family members daily and be alert to any of the major symptoms of the virus, including, but not limited to, fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. Should any concerning symptoms appear, please do not hesitate to contact your medical professional and alert the school office at 301-724-5360. By continuing to adhere strictly to our safety protocols, we are committed to maintaining a safe environment for our students and staff. Each of us, working together, has a responsibility to act safely based upon the most current information on hand.”

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has five additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making ten active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 89. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have ten patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 78 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 89.

The Hardy County Schools and Hardy County Health Department have received confirmation that an individual associated with Moorefield High School and the Moorefield High School football team has tested positive for COVID-19. The Hardy County Health Department has been working closely with Hardy County Schools to identify any potential people who may have had close contact with them including students, staff, family members and friends. Those that need to be quarantined will be contacted by the health department. If there is a chance you may have been exposed and the health department can trace that activity to you, you will be notified. Please understand that contact  tracing and testing take time and that there are levels of contact, low, medium and high. In order to provide time to thoroughly complete contact tracing, due to the increased potential exposure since the individual is associated with an athletic team, Moorefield High School will engage in the REMOTE learning plan for all students today and Friday Sept 25th. This means that Moorefield High School students will not report to the building for these two days. All athletic practices and events have been cancelled for these two days. They will be providing testing for individuals that are considered a close contacts as notified by the Health Department. These individuals will be contacted with details regarding the testing process. The results of these tests as well as the completed contact tracing will allow officials to make a more informed decision as regarding when a safe return to the building is appropriate. They will notify everyone once a decision has been made regarding the week of Sept 28th-Oct 2nd for Moorefield High School.

Hardy County Public Schools Superintendent Sheena Van Meter talks about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on HCPS. She says they received confirmation that a contract employee with East Hardy Early Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19. Van Meter says there was a student who tested positive at Moorefield High School following the first week of school. Van Meter says there are 715 students who are attending virtually and 2300 are in school five days a week. The students who are in school are dismissed about an hour early each day to allow for daily disinfecting. Van Meter says one of the biggest issues with the virtual learning is the access to broadband. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/…/hardy-county-public-schools-superi…

The Hampshire County Health Department has received one new probable case. Due to the type of rapid test that was completed, the state classified it as probable. Probable cases are treated the same as confirmed, in respect to quarantine and contact tracing requirements.Case investigation and contact tracing has been completed on the case. The new case count is 102 confirmed, 2 probable, 5 active cases. 0 hospitalizations.

In Mineral County there are 171 total cases, 10 active, 157 recovered 4 deaths

Sept 23rd Grant County Public Schools Superintendent Doug Lambert discusses the impact COVID-19 on the schools.  A staff member associated with Maysville Elementary School tested positive and as a result for the next two weeks the school will be closed to in-person learning switching to virtual. The main reasons for switching to virtual learning are the lack of substitute teachers and to slow the spread of the virus. Lambert says seven staff members from MES have been placed on quarantine. Cases have also been reported in association with Petersburg High School and the Union Educational Complex. He says about 1600 kids about 20 percent are virtual  To hear the interview click here: https://soundcloud.com/…/grant-county-public-schools-supe

Hardy County Public Schools and the Hardy County Health Department received confirmation that an individual associated with East Hardy Early Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19. The Hardy County Health Department has been working closely with Hardy County Schools to identify any potential people who may have had close contact with them including students, staff, family members and friends. Those that need to be quarantined have already been contacted.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making seven active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 84. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have seven patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 74 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 84.

In Mineral County there are a total of 170 cases, 12 active, 154 recovered and 4 total deaths

There were no new cases in Grant County today. There are ten active cases, nine are self-quarantining at home and are being monitored.

157 Total COVID Cases
156 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 136 Total Recovered
• 10 Active Cases. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.
• 11 Deaths, of these:
▪ 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)
▪ 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to proceed.

The GCPS staff and administration are continuing to work to bring students back to in person learning. Our teachers deserve the highest praise as they work to become experts of a new learning platform while striving to provide the best possible instruction to all students. The reopening plan continues to go through revisions as we work with stakeholders and the Garrett County Health Department to ensure we are mitigating the risk to the greatest extent possible. Important – This plan has been amended. Please read carefully.

As of today, September 22, the following plans are in effect:

September 28
Students in grades PK, K & 1 will return to in-person learning in a hybrid “yellow” model. Principals are currently working to identify cohorts of students and will be reaching out to those families to provide further information.
An additional 10-15% of students in grades 2-12 have been invited to come back for in-person learning. Principals have identified these students and information has been provided to those families.
Students who are attending in person will continue to be dismissed 3 hours early.

The following plan is tentative and based on available health metrics as we move forward. All students attending in-person will be dismissed three hours early during each of the following phases:

October 12
Students in grades 2 & 3, 6, 9, & 12 will return in cohorts under the hybrid model outlined in the GCPS Reopening Plan.

October 26
Students in grades 4 & 5 and 7 & 10 will return in cohorts under the hybrid model outlined in the GCPS Reopening Plan.

November 9
Any students not in the previous cohorts or those who wish to move to in-person learning.

Please note:
All students may take advantage of at-home virtual learning for the entire school year. Teachers and various school staff will be polling parents to determine who would like to remain on this “blue model” schedule.https://www.garrettcountyschools.org/…/gcps-provides-adjust…

Sept 22nd The Allegany County Health Department reports six new cases of COVID-19. The latest positives include a male in his teens, three females in their 20s, a male in his 40s and a male in his 60s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The cumulative case count for Allegany County now stands at 451.

Positive COVID-19 cases continue to slowly increase in Garrett County, with the total positive cases currently at 72.The two most recent cases include a male in his 30s who has symptoms and did not need hospitalized, and a female in her 60s who has symptoms and is isolating at home.

Governor Larry Hogan announced on Friday that today, September 21 at 5 p.m., capacity for indoor operations at restaurants may increase from 50 to 75%, with strict distancing and public health measures in place. This announcement was made in conjunction with Maryland Restaurant Week that begins today. The garretthealth.org website and some web services may be temporarily offline due to a server issue with one of the web hosts used by the Garrett County Health Department. Status updates of web services will be provided on the health department’s Facebook page.

There were 3 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Grant County on Monday. One of the people that tested positive was associated with Maysville Elementary School. All students and staff that were in close contact have been notified to self-quarantine and monitor symptoms. The decision was made to close Maysville Elementary School for 2 weeks due to lack of substitute teachers and to limit spread.  One person that tested positive was a household contact to 3 others that were positive last week. The third person that tested positive was not exposed to any known positive cases, and this person is hospitalized.  There are ten active cases, nine are self-quarantining at home and are being monitored.  

According to Grant County Health Officials

157 Total COVID Cases
156 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 136 Total Recovered
• 10 Active Cases. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.
• 11 Deaths, of these:
– 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)
– 3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record).

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to proceed.

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of an employee testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Dawnview Center nursing home located in Fort Ashby, WV.The Health Department is working to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual, including family members, friends, residents and health care professionals.Because of the ease of spread in a long-term care setting and the severity of illness that occurs in residents with COVID-19, a single case of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in a long-term care facility (LTCF) is defined as an outbreak.
The Health Department is working closely with the West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology to provide testing for all residents and staff at the facility.For more information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit our website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com. BE SAFE…from a distance. In Mineral County there are 167 total cases, 10 active, 153 recovered and 4 deaths

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed a new positive case of COVID-19 today. Case investigation has been completed and all contacts have been notified. The current case count for Hampshire County is 102 confirmed, 1 probable, 7 active and 1 death.

COVID-19 can have symptoms that are very similar to allergies, common cold, and the flu. We would estimate that at least 50% of our positive cases in Hampshire County were caught by surprise because they thought it was some other illness.

Some cases have had the more severe symptoms of extreme fever, headache, cough, and very short of breath. Fortunately, this has only occurred for a smaller portion of our cases.

So regardless of the severity of your symptoms, please take it serious and STAY HOME. Contact your doctor if you are concerned that is COVID-19.

Bedford County

Total Cases: 229
Confirmed: 198 
Probable: 31
Negative: 4,282
Cases per 100,000: 475.30

Somerset County

Total Cases: 206
Confirmed: 175 
Probable: 31
Negative: 9,805
Cases per 100,000: 278.60

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $1,420,723 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) provide preventative health services to West Virginians.

“West Virginians deserve to have access to the best healthcare possible, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will help the West Virginia DHHR provide West Virginians with preventative health services such as check-ups, screenings, and immunizations. Providing these services helps keep West Virginians safe and healthy. I am pleased by this investment into our state’s care system and will continue to fight for funding that supports our healthcare providers and ensures West Virginians are getting the care they need during this public health crisis,” said Senator Manchin.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important the communication is between our state health department and local health clinics. I’m proud to announce this funding, which will provide the resources needed to help improve important services across our state that keep our West Virginians healthy, while also recognizing potentially serious conditions before it is too late. These services must be available to West Virginians regardless of location. I will continue to advocate for funding like this that encourages better care and increases the accessibility of that care for people across our state,” said Senator Capito.

Sept 21st The Allegany County Health Department reports ten new cases of COVID-19. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The latest positives include a male under age 10, a male and female in their teens, three females and two males in their 20s, a male in his 30s and a male in his 50s. The cumulative case count for Allegany County now stands at 445.
To date, 17,276 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 16,831 were negative and 445 were positive.

In Mineral County there are 166 total positive cases 21 active, 141 recovered and four deaths total Mineral County is in the YELLOW metric

Grant County was in the YELLOW

There were 5 new cases in Grant County 2 associated with Petersburg High School. One was associated with Maysville Elementary School. Grant County Health Department is working closely with School staff to identify contacts and advise on isolation and monitoring for symptoms.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

Eight active cases are self-quarantining and being monitored. Contacts (those that have been within 6 ft for 15 minutes or more to a person that tests positive to COVID from 2 days prior to symptoms until recovered) have been notified with quarantine and symptom monitoring instructions.

154 Total COVID Cases
153 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 135 Total Recovered
• 8 Active Cases are recuperating at home. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.
• 11 Deaths, of these:
– 8 Deaths listed as COVID related (6 from GRCC)
-3 others tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record).

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 t

Hardy County is in the Green Metric. It is with the utmost sadness that the Hardy County Health Department is reporting that it has received notification of the 1st COVID-19 related death in Hardy County. Our community member was a 48-year-old male and had been under isolation. During his isolation, the Health Department worked to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual, including family members, friends, co-workers and health care professionals.

The Hardy County Health Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making seven active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 82. We have had one confirmed COVID-19 death. We currently have seven patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 74 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 82.

Hampshire County is in the Yellow Metric. The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional positive COVID-19 cases today. One of the new cases is a direct contact of a previous positive case. The new case count is 101 confirmed, 1 probable, 6 active, 95 recovered, and 1 death. Zero hospitalizations at this time.

Please remember that face to face conversations (within 6 ft) without a mask is a direct contact. If the person you were speaking with is asymptomatic or shows symptoms within two days of your contact, you are at risk. Wear your masks even for normal day to day conversations with people to prevent this risk.

The data contributing toward the WVDE School Alert System Map is based on data from the DHHR’s County Alert Map as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, September 17, 2020. This cut off time is used to give time to verify the accuracy and completeness of all data to be utilized in the WVDE School Alert System Map.

To review the WVDE School Alert System Map, visit https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics. For more information, please visit https://wvde.us/wv-department-of-education-releases-sept-19-2020-school-alert-system-map-update.

The COVID-19 dashboard is located at www.coronavirus.wv.gov.

Members of Frostburg State University’s men’s lacrosse team are being placed in quarantine after a player tested positive for COVID-19 and, between when the team members had been tested and the result was received, the team engaged in a high-intensity practice involving close contact among team members.

FSU has been conducting its intercollegiate athletic program under guidelines set forth in the NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport, which include specific COVID-19 testing protocols for all sports.

The action is being taken to practice an abundance of caution and with the guidance of the Allegany County Health Department. The student-athlete who tested positive has already entered an isolation period, per Health Department procedures.

FSU earlier had postponed all athletic competitions until the spring semester, but the NCAA allows practices to occur. All members of the men’s lacrosse team were tested on the same day. Of those tests, one test was returned positive, a small number are still pending, and the rest of the tests returned negative.

The quarantine means that the student-athletes will not be allowed on campus until cleared by medical professionals. The Health Department is providing direction to the student-athletes for how long they should maintain their quarantine. On-campus students have the option of returning home for their quarantine or using the off-campus housing that FSU contracted for isolation and quarantine purposes. FSU will provide additional support to the students through the quarantine period. Contact tracing for positive COVID-19 cases is handled by local health departments.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan marked the beginning of the state’s first-ever Maryland Restaurant Week by announcing expanded capacity for indoor dining.

Effective Monday, September 21 at 5:00 p.m., capacity for indoor operations at restaurants may increase from 50 to 75 percent, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association.

“As we continue with the third and final stage of our recovery, I want to commend our state’s restaurant industry for their incredible resilience this year and for their continued commitment to the health and safety of Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “To celebrate the first-ever Maryland Restaurant Week, I encourage Marylanders to support their favorite local businesses, whether you do so through delivery, curbside pickup, or by dining indoors or outside.”

While local jurisdictions have observed individual restaurant weeks over the past decade, this is the very first statewide observance. There are no entry fees or course requirements, and restaurants may offer special menus, discounts, or other promotions. The Maryland Office of Tourism has contributed $50,000 in sponsorship to support the marketing efforts of the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

According to statistics announced today by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state’s Leisure and Hospitality sector experienced the most job growth in August with an increase of 5,800 jobs—4,000 of which belong to Accommodation and Food Services. Starting in May, when Governor Hogan announced Phase One of recovery and the safe resumption of outdoor dining, Leisure and Hospitality has added 65,900 jobs, 53,400 of which belong to Accommodation and Food Services. Overall, the state has gained 183,200 jobs during the recovery.

As with Stages One and Two, Stage Three continues to be implemented in multiple phases with a flexible, community-based approach where individual jurisdictions make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings.

Sept 18th Grant County Health Officials are reporting a COVID-19 case involving reinfection. The person had tested positive at the end of Aug after testing positive in early June, followed with negative tests after recuperating. Even though it is one person, it is counted as two cases.

According to Grant County Health Officials in late August when the test result was reported, they sent the case to State Epidemiologists to review the circumstances to determine if this met the criteria for a reinfection before reporting this as a case. Reinfection is defined as a minimum time span between positive tests, and negative tests between the positive tests.

Grant County was in the GREEN metric today.Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

149 Total COVID Cases
(the dashboard shows 150 cases, and we are working with DHHR to determine where the discrepancy is).
148 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 135 Total Recovered
• 3 Active Cases are recuperating at home. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medication.
• 8 Deaths
• 6 GRCC Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
(3 other GRCC residents tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record).
• 2 Community Residents

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 h

Mineral County Health Department officials announced there are 162 total positive cases of COVID-19, 17 of those cases are active with 141 recovered, 4 total deaths.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed one new positive COVID-19 case today. Case investigation has been completed and all contacts have been notified. The new count for Hampshire County is 99 confirmed, 1 probable, 6 active and 1 death. Zero hospitalizations at this time.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, making five active cases, with a total confirmed case count of 80. We currently have five patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 74 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 80.

UPDATE ON THE ACPS PHASE 2 OF THE LEARN IN SCHOOL PHASED-IN PLAN:

On Monday, September 21, 2020, ACPS will begin Phase 2 of the Learn in School Phased-In Plan. The senior students at the Career Center will report to their skill areas. The transportation department is finalizing bus routes, and parents will be notified about pick up/drop off times. The CCTE students will attend their skill areas five half-days per week, every other week. On the week of September 28th, the junior students will report to their skill areas. Students at the Career Center will still continue to take their academic week classes virtually through Schoology. Students will eat breakfast and lunch at the school, and dismissal time will be close to noon. CCTE students will be required to wear masks and socially distance appropriately. The skill area class sizes at the Career Center are small enough, and the class spaces have been determined large enough to accommodate appropriate social distancing.

Students with special needs who have been identified for an early return to school will report to their classrooms on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. At the elementary level, in order to maintain the social distancing requirements, classes will be split in half, with one group attending on Monday and Wednesday and the other group attending school on Tuesday and Thursday. The in-person portion of the elementary day will end at 1:30 p.m.

Middle school students with special needs who have been identified for an early return to school will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. High school students with special needs who have been identified for an early return to school will be dismissed at 12:15 p.m. The transportation department is finalizing bus routes for all of these students, and parents will be contacted within the next few days with this information.

These students will eat breakfast and lunch at the school during in-person learning, and they will take a ‘to go’ breakfast bag with them when they are dismissed. Lunches will continue to be available for pickup on the virtual days at any of the ACPS schools.

Part of the decision making process for the phased-in plan involves the Maryland Department of Health and Allegany County Health Department criteria that must be met by public schools. Students need to wear masks and maintain six feet distance in classrooms and on the school bus.

If the health metrics remain stable, then ACPS will begin to bring in general education students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. At that time, ACPS will also look at increasing the number of days for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students with disabilities. The anticipated target date for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten to begin in-school learning is the week of October 5th.

A COVID-19 symptom checklist will be provided to every parent. It will be the responsibility of parents and guardians to review this checklist daily to determine if their child has any of the symptoms listed. Parents and guardians should also take their child’s temperature each morning. Under no circumstances should a child who is exhibiting any of the symptoms as outlined on the checklist attend school on that day.

If a student becomes ill while at school, the student must be picked up from school within 30 minutes unless there are extenuating circumstances. Parents and guardians should proactively develop a plan for pick-up in the event their child is symptomatic for the COVID-19 virus while at school.

In the event that there is a potential exposure to COVID-19 at school, the health nurse and school administrators will determine who has been in close contact with the individual following state guidelines. Parents and guardians will be notified in writing if their child is a close contact of someone either positive for COVID-19 or symptomatic of COVID-19. The Allegany County Health Department will determine the quarantine length and return date for each person with COVID-19, symptomatic of COVID-19, or exposed to someone who is positive or symptomatic. The quarantine length will be adhered to without exception. Students who are quarantined will participate in remote learning for the length of their quarantine period.

Our main concern, in addition to providing appropriate services for students, is the health and safety of our students and staff. Thank you for your continued optimism, patience, and support. Please be assured and confident that we are working diligently to ensure that your child will have a robust education as well as the social and emotional support needed to help them thrive. During this unprecedented time, we hope that our ACPS parents and guardians know that our students are our top priority.

If you have a particular question or concern, please email it to comments@acpsmd.org and it will be addressed as soon as possible.

ACPS would like to clarify that the special education students who will begin school on September 23rd are only those students who attend specialized programs at Cash Valley, Washington, Fort Hill, Mountain Ridge, and Allegany College of Maryland. Families of those students have been contacted.

Allegany County Public Schools will be moving into Phase 2 of the Learn in School Phased-In Plan next week for students at the Career and Technical Education Center along with students with special needs. ACPS Board of Education President Tammy Fraley explains the details. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/tammy-fraley-boe-president-phase-two-for-pht

Sept 17th The Allegany County Health Department reports five new cases of COVID-19 including a female in her 30s, two females in their 40s, a male in his 50s, and a male in his 60s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. This brings the cumulative case count for Allegany County to 435.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for four additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 70.
The new positive COVID-19 cases include:
A female in her 50s with symptoms, isolating at home
A male in his 30s with symptoms, isolating at home
A female in her 30s who had symptoms and has already completed her isolation period
A female in her teens who had symptoms and has already completed her isolation period
There are currently 4 persons isolating in Garrett County due to COVID-19 positive tests.

In Mineral County there are 157 total cases, 13 active, 140 recovered and 4 deaths

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two new positive cases today. The two new cases are thought to be travel associated, as the individuals recently traveled out of state. Contact tracing has been completed.

This makes our count 98 confirmed, 1 probable, 5 active and 1 death.

There was one (1) additional case reported in Grant County today. Contacts are isolating as required, and the person is recuperating at home.

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school. If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

148 Total COVID Cases
• 147 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 134 Total Recovered
• 3 Active Cases are recuperating at home. These cases will remain active and in quarantine until a minimum of 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset, AND no symptoms for 24 hours without medications.
• 8 Deaths
• 6 GRCC Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
(3 other GRCC residents tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record).
• 2 Community Residents

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to proceed.

Bedford County

Total Cases: 219
Confirmed: 189 
Probable: 30
Negative: 4,117
Cases per 100,000: 454.60

Somerset County

Total Cases: 195
Confirmed: 167 
Probable: 28
Negative: 9,539
Cases per 100,000: 263.70

Sept 15th The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has posted the updated School Alert System map that includes the new gold category metric. As announced by Governor Jim Justice, counties in gold have 10 – 14.9 cases of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 people.

In the gold category, counties will be able to move to an in-person instructional model with restrictions including face coverings at all times for grades 3-12. Extracurricular activities are permitted and competitions may occur against schools within the same county as well as schools in other gold counties. Additionally, modifications to spectator requirements at extracurricular activities have been made.

As a part of this re-set, students from several counties that were deemed orange as of last Saturday’s (September 12) School Alert Map update, are now gold and may, at the discretion of their local boards of education, return to in-person instruction tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16. They may also resume activities described above and  outlined at https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics. These county boards of education may also decide to wait and make decisions based on the Saturday, September 19, 2020, School Alert System map update.

Red (Substantial Community Transmission): Counties in red include Monongalia.

* Orange (Heightened Community Transmission): Counties in orange includeKanawha and Monroe.

* Gold (Elevated Community Transmission): Counties in gold includeBoone, Fayette, Logan, Mingo and Putnam.

Yellow (Increased Community Transmission): Counties in yellow includeBerkeley, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Grant, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mercer, Ohio, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur and Wayne.

Green (Minimal Community Transmission): Counties in green include Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Hardy, Hampshire, Lewis, Marion, Marshall,  Mason, Mineral, Morgan, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Tyler, Webster, Wetzel, Wood, Wirt and Wyoming.

The next School Alert System map update is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

All schools, both public and private, are expected to adhere to the WVDE School Alert System map to guide in-person instruction and extracurricular activities.

*Indicates county changes due to the inclusion of the gold metric.

Sept 14th The Allegany County Health Department reports 13 new cases of COVID-19 in the county since Friday. Among the new cases are a North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI) inmate and a resident at Sterling Care Frostburg Village. The remaining new cases include a female in her teens, three females in their 20s, a male and female in their 30s, two females in their 40s, a male and female in their 50s, and a male in his 70s. Of the new cases, only the nursing home resident has required hospitalization.

During the drive-thru testing clinic held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds last Wednesday, 360 individuals were tested for COVID-19. Only one of those tests – an Allegany County resident – came back positive

Two positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed involving Grant County Schools. One was an individual at Union Educational Complex testing positive, the other is a Petersburg High School staff family member. Grant County Health Department staff is working closely with Grant County School personnel to notify and isolate contacts following state DHHR and CDC guidelines.  

All Grant County School and Grant County Health Department Personnel remind parents to please monitor your children for any symptom of COVID every morning BEFORE sending them to school.

If there is any question about a symptom, please call the Health Department or your private provider BEFORE sending the student to school.

147 Total COVID Cases

• 146 confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1 Probable COVID case

• 131 Total Recovered

• 5 Active Cases are recuperating at home.

• 8 Deaths

• 6 GRCC Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.

(3 other GRCC residents tested positive soon before dying from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record).

• 2 Community Residents

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of an individual testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Burlington Primary School.
The Health Department worked closely with the Mineral County Schools, the Burlington Primary School and the positive individual and identified any potential persons who may have had close contact with them including students, faculty, family members and friends. Persons identified have been put on isolation and are being monitored by the Health Department. Additionally, environmental cleaning has been completed at the Burlington Primary School.
As we move forward, the health department and Mineral County Schools are asking parents to keep children home if they are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms. If you are unsure concerning symptoms, please contact the health department at (304) 788- 1321 for help with any questions you may have. Our goal is to provide the safest learning environment for our students and staff.
For more information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit our website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com.

·

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two new positive COVID-19 cases today. Both case investigations have been completed and all contacts have been notified.

The new count for Hampshire County is 96 confirmed, 1 probable, 3 active and 1 death. Zero hospitalizations at this time.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has one additional confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 78. We currently have four patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. No patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 74 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 78.

Hardy County Public School officials announced an individual associated with Moorefield High School has tested positive for COVID-19. The Hardy County Health Department has been working closely with Hardy County Schools to identify any potential people who have had close contact with them including students, staff, family members and friends. Those that need to be quarantined will be contacted by the health department.  

Sept 7th

The Allegany County Health Department reports a community member in their 70s has died from COVID-19. Since Wednesday, there have been five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 including two females in their 20s, a female in her 30s, a female in her 40s, and a male in his 70s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. This brings the cumulative number of cases in Allegany County to 404.

To date, 16,142 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their result, with 404 testing positive and 15,738 testing negative.

A free drive-thru COVID-19 testing event will be held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. Participants are asked to bring an ID and remain in their vehicles.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed an additional positive case of COVID-19 in the county. Case investigation has been complete and contacts have been notified. Total case count for Hampshire County is 92 positives, 1 probable, and 1 active. No hospitalizations at this time.

In Grant County One (1) additional positive case from the community Identified. All contacts have been notified and are self- isolating and monitoring for symptoms. Testing will be conducted per protocol.

144 Total COVID Cases
• 143 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 129 Total Recovered
• 6 Active Cases include 3 community members that remain hospitalized
• 6 Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
• 3 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to proceed.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has posted the September 5, 2020, School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols map as part of the School Alert System. This map determines which counties will open their school year with in-person instruction and it will direct the level of extracurricular activities permitted for the week of September 6 – 12.

Guided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) County Alert System and vetted by the COVID-19 Data Review Panel, the WVDE Re-entry map provides an objective health measure for determining the safety of in-person instruction and related activities. The weekly updates are posted at http://wvde.us/reentrymetrics.

Counties with higher levels of community spread of COVID-19 will not commence in-person instruction this week and will begin the year with remote learning. Students enrolled in their county’s virtual school option will not be impacted by the map updates. The color-coded updates are as follows:

Red (Substantial Community Transmission): Counties that are red will commence the school year in remote learning mode. No extracurricular competitions or practices are permitted. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue. Counties in red include: Monongalia.

Orange (Heightened Community Transmission): Counties that are orange will commence the school year in remote learning mode. Extracurricular practices may occur, however, competitions may not. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue. Counties in orange include: Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Putnam and Wayne.

Yellow (Increased Community Transmission): Counties that are yellow will commence the school year with in-person instruction. Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings at all times for grades three and above. Please refer to your county for specific face covering requirements. Counties in yellow include:
Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Grant, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Mason, Marion, McDowell, Raleigh, Roane and Wyoming.

Green (Minimal Community Transmission): Counties that are green will commence the school year with in-person instruction. Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings in grades three and above when students are outside of core groups and in congregant settings and on school buses. Please refer to your county for specific face covering requirements. Counties in green include: Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Lewis, Marshall, Mineral, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Webster, Wetzel, Wood and Wirt.

Each week, the COVID-19 Data Review Panel will verify the data used to inform the WVDE School Metrics Map to ensure both accuracy and reliability. Although Monroe County is red on the WVDHHR’s County Alert System Map, it was determined that it should be changed to orange on the WVDE map.

“Upon further review of the data by the Panel, it was determined that Monroe County should be moved to orange status,” said WVDHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch. “This is because the county’s daily number of cases and the average seven-day incidence have declined sufficiently to meet the criteria for orange. From this analysis, the Panel concluded the level of COVID-19 transmission in Monroe County was improving.”

The county color announced each Saturday at 9:00 p.m. will be in effect until the following Saturday at the same time. The only exception is if a county turns red during the week. That change would be made immediately to the WVDE map because all in-person instruction and extracurricular and athletic activities would be suspended.

All schools, both public and private, are expected to adhere to the WVDE Re-entry map to guide in-person instruction and extracurricular activities.

Sept 3rd

The Allegany County Health Department will offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Allegany County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 9 from 1 PM to 6 PM. 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 2-5 days. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a phone call from 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 clinic 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.

For more information, please call the Allegany County Health Department at 301-759-5000.

According to Mineral County Health Department officials there are 145 cases in Mineral County 6 active 135 recovered 4 total deaths

In Hardy County there are 75 total positive confirmed cases, 7 active 2 hospitalized and 68 recovered. No new cases today.

DHHR reported Grant County in the Yellow County Metric.

Please, protect yourself and others; wear a face covering (covering mouth and nose), maintain social distancing, and practice hand hygiene. With Labor Day Weekend approaching, please follow the Governor’s Guidance for all group activities. You can find these guidelines at www.governor.wv.gov.

144 Total COVID Cases
• 143 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 129 Total Recovered
• 6 Active Cases include 2 Hospitalized
• 6 Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
• 3 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

Morgan County Schools and the Berkeley Morgan County Health Department received confirmation that an individual associated with the Berkeley Springs volleyball team has tested positive for COVID-19. Officials have also been informed that additional team members are being tested with results pending. All volleyball related activities are suspended until at least Sept 16. The Health Department is working closely with the school system and Berkeley Springs High School administration and the person who tested positive to identify anyone who may have been exposed. Those being identified are being told to quarantine for 14 days.

The Allegany County Health Department is accepting applications from Allegany County organizations/agencies for reimbursement for COVID-19 health-related purchases. Funding is made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The following entities are eligible to apply for reimbursement for COVID-19 health-related purchases: nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, outpatient clinics conducting COVID-19 testing, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare agencies. All applicants must be located in Allegany County, Maryland.

Eligible organizations/agencies may request reimbursement for COVID-19 health-related purchases made between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. Examples of allowable purchases include: medical masks, face coverings, gloves, gowns, face shields, thermometers, partitions, disinfecting supplies, hand sanitizer, and employee COVID-19 testing. Reimbursement is for the purchase of health-related items only. Staff salaries and teleworking equipment are not eligible for reimbursement.

COVID-19 health-related purchases submitted for reimbursement must be above and beyond normal expenses. Purchases must not have been reimbursed through any other funding source.

Organizations/agencies should complete the following application and submit it electronically to wendi.spiker@maryland.gov by September 22, 2020. Receipts or proofs of purchase for all purchases must be included with the application. Applications that do not include receipts or proofs of purchase will not be awarded.

Applications for reimbursement may be fully funded, partially funded, or not funded at all. As funding allows, additional reimbursement opportunities may be available in the future for health-related purchases made September-November 2020.

Organizations/agencies can direct any questions to wendi.spiker@maryland.gov

Application due date: September 22, 2020

Today, Gov. Jim Justice signed an executive order that will allow West Virginia to leverage $766 million over the next 10 years to connect 121,000 West Virginia homes to world-class broadband, particularly those in currently underserved areas across the state.

“We’re going to cover up West Virginia with broadband,” Gov. Justice said. “This is monumental beyond belief and will absolutely revolutionize and change this state.”

The Federal Communications Commission has created a program called the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Through this program, the FCC will direct billions of dollars to finance the deployment of high-speed broadband networks across underserved regions of rural America, connecting millions homes and businesses to world-class broadband access.

“For West Virginia, there’s almost $800 million-worth of broadband projects just sitting out there for the taking, but it’s going to expire in October,” Gov. Justice said. “So we’ve got to move.”

There is an existing program administered by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, called the Broadband Infrastructure Loan Insurance program, that is already set up to help providers interested in bidding for these broadband projects. Subject to a liquidity determination and cash availability, this program makes funds available to the EDA in the form of a nonrecourse revolving loan for the purpose of insuring loans for broadband expansion projects.

The program currently has strict regulatory caps in place that would limit any one project to $10 million per year and all projects to a strict cap of $50 million per year. However, to fully leverage the money from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, the State would need to provide insurance for nearly $80 million in letters of credit these providers need to apply for the program.

“In order for this to really flow, we need to increase the cap,” Gov. Justice said.

“We all know that our state is deficient on broadband,” Gov. Justice continued. “The caps must be removed because they are preventing the state from responding to the emergency that we have on-hand with the pandemic. Whether it be remote learning, telehealth, and so many other things, if we had broadband now, we would be able to be serving our citizens in a better way.”

The Governor’s order temporarily suspends the Broadband Infrastructure Loan Insurance program’s regulatory caps. To maintain strict oversight, the Governor added that he has directed the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, under Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch, to limit the applications approved from this fund to no more than is necessary for the first year of this program.

Gov. Justice also announced that he will propose legislation in the next legislative session to replace the caps on the use of these funds.

“Before a dollar is spent, the Legislature will come back into session, I’ll send up a bill, and they will actually review and establish the caps.” Gov. Justice said.

“This is what we’ve got to do to meet this October date; to be able to reach out and snag $766 million to cover up our state in broadband where we have deficiencies today,” Gov. Justice continued. “I am tickled teetotally to death because I think that this initiative will not only cover our state in broadband, but also be an incredible construction project that will employ hundreds if not thousands of people.

“We have now, in this situation, a truly bipartisan effort. Everybody has come together with ideas. This is anything but a Jim Justice idea. I just see the beauty of this gigantic deal for West Virginia. But we’ve all had meeting after meeting about this. Truly so many people have stepped up.”

Leaders from both the majority and minority caucuses of both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature – including Senate President Mitch Carmichael, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, and House Minority Leader Tim Miley – all signed a joint letter, requesting that Gov. Justice issue the executive order announced today.

West Virginia State Auditor JB McKuskey, State Treasurer John Perdue, Senator Bob Plymale, and Delegate Daniel Linville also offered their support during today’s virtual briefing announcing the initiative.

Update from MD Governor: MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced that, based on the state’s improving health metrics, Maryland will begin to move into Stage Three of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with additional safe and gradual reopenings. As with Stages One and Two, Stage Three will be implemented in multiple phases with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings.

“As we move into this third and final stage of our recovery, I want to sincerely thank our doctors, nurses, and public health officials, our small business community, and, most importantly, the people of Maryland who have pulled together over the last five months to respond to this unprecedented challenge with incredible courage and perseverance,” said Governor Hogan. “It is thanks to all of you that we have crushed the curve and saved lives, and that our state response to this global pandemic continues to serve as an example for the rest of the nation.”

STAGE THREE BEGINS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 AT 5:00 PM:

As part of the state’s initial entry into Stage Three, Governor Hogan announced the following additional safe and gradual reopenings:

INDOOR THEATERS. Indoor theaters where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium—whichever is less—with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

OUTDOOR VENUES. Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 250 people—whichever is less—with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

RETAIL AND RELIGIOUS FACILITIES. Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50 to 75 percent.
Read the governor’s order.
Read reopening guidance for theaters.

MARYLAND PARTNERS WITH APPLE AND GOOGLE ON EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS EXPRESS. The governor announced today, in collaboration with Apple and Google, that Maryland will be one of the first states to deploy a new exposure notification tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Exposure Notifications Express is designed to help public health officials more quickly and easily provide notifications for their residents about potential COVID-19 exposure and guide them on recommended actions. This new technology will be optional for users.

UPDATES ON SCHOOLS, YOUTH SPORTS, AND ELECTIONS

SCHOOLS. The governor thanked the State Board of Education for voting to require those school systems that have not developed a plan for returning any students for any in person instruction until 2021 to reevaluate their reopening plans by the end of the first quarter. Last week, the governor announced that, as a result of improved COVID-19 health metrics, every county school system in Maryland is authorized to begin safely reopening, but made clear that the legal authority and final decision making on safe openings rests with county boards of education. Guidance to support the safe reopening of schools can be found here.

YOUTH SPORTS. The governor reiterated that while counties may issue more restrictive rules, state health officials issued an order on June 12 allowing all youth sports gatherings and events to begin resuming. “County governments of course, by law, do have the power to be more restrictive, but it is the position of the State of Maryland that our young people should have the opportunity to play sports this fall, and we are encouraging local health officials to reassess their guidelines,” said Governor Hogan.

ELECTIONS. The governor noted that, as of today, and after asking them to immediately do so nearly eight weeks ago, the State Board of Elections has mailed out ballot applications to every Maryland voter. Marylanders are strongly encouraged to take advantage of voting by absentee ballot or to participate in early voting. Those who choose to vote in-person on Election Day are encouraged to do so at off-peak times to avoid long lines and crowds.

Additionally, through the recruiting efforts of the Hogan administration, more than 11,000 Marylanders have signed up to serve as election judges. The governor continues to urge local election boards to immediately contact and train these election judges and poll workers.

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

From ACPS: UPDATE: Allegany County Public Schools Will Now Serve FREE Meals

Beginning on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, Allegany County Public Schools will once again provide FREE meals to all children age 18 and younger through December 31, 2020, pending the availability of funding. This is a change to the earlier update provided by ACPS to families last week and comes as the result of an announcement just released by the federal government (USDA).

Breakfast and lunch will still be provided at all 21 school locations Monday-Friday from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Sept 2nd

The Allegany County Health Department reports four new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. The latest cases include a male in his teens, a male in his 30s, and a male and female in their 40s. None of the new cases have required hospitalization. The cumulative total number of cases in Allegany County now stands at 399.

The Garrett County Health Department received the COVID-19 results for all 216 persons tested at the August 26 county community testing opportunity.

Letters have been sent out to all 216 participants stating that the lab results confirmed that their test was negative for COVID-19.

“It may take several days for all of those persons tested on August 26th to receive their letter,” said Tiffany Fratz, Director of Personal Health at the health department. “It’s good to be able to announce that all the tests were negative, easing peoples minds about their health status.”

Of those tested at the event, 180 people (83%) were from Garrett County, and 36 people (17%), were from other parts of Maryland and other states.

Any additional COVID-19 testing dates will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org. Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

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

Mineral County COVID-19 Daily Totals 9/1/20

**Final Testing Results**

Potomac State College
1046 Total Tests
1036 Negative, 2 Positives, 8 needing retested for various reasons

Mineral County Community Testing
Frankfort High School/Keyser Primary School
495 Total Tests
495 Negative

143 total cases, 4 active, 135 recovered

DHHR reported Grant County in the Yellow County Metric this morning. We have asked for clarification from state leadership on this change. This was reported prior to receiving new positive cases today.

Today, September 2, 2020, we had 2 new positive cases from the community. These are from the same household and were contacts from a previous community case. One is at home following self-isolation, and the other is hospitalized. There are now two (2) community members hospitalized related to COVID complications.

Please, protect yourself and others; wear a face covering (covering mouth and nose), maintain social distancing, and practice hand hygiene. With Labor Day Weekend approaching, please follow the Governor’s Guidance for all group activities. You can find these guidelines at www.governor.wv.gov.

144 Total COVID Cases
• 143 confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1 Probable COVID case
• 129 Total Recovered
• 6 Active Cases include 2 Hospitalized
• 6 Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
• 3 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to proceed

Bedford County

Total Cases: 172 Confirmed: 153  Probable: 19
Negative: 3,735 Cases per 100,000: 357.00

Somerset County Total Cases: 172 Confirmed: 152 
Probable: 20 Negative: 8,530 Cases per 100,000: 232.60

MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced that, based on the state’s improving health metrics, Maryland will begin to move into Stage Three of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with additional safe and gradual reopenings. As with Stages One and Two, Stage Three will be implemented in multiple phases with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings.

“As we move into this third and final stage of our recovery, I want to sincerely thank our doctors, nurses, and public health officials, our small business community, and, most importantly, the people of Maryland who have pulled together over the last five months to respond to this unprecedented challenge with incredible courage and perseverance,” said Governor Hogan. “It is thanks to all of you that we have crushed the curve and saved lives, and that our state response to this global pandemic continues to serve as an example for the rest of the nation.”

STAGE THREE BEGINS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 AT 5:00 PM:

As part of the state’s initial entry into Stage Three, Governor Hogan announced the following additional safe and gradual reopenings:

INDOOR THEATERS. Indoor theaters where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium—whichever is less—with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

OUTDOOR VENUES. Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 250 people—whichever is less—with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

RETAIL AND RELIGIOUS FACILITIES. Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50 to 75 percent.

MARYLAND PARTNERS WITH APPLE AND GOOGLE ON EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS EXPRESS. The governor announced today, in collaboration with Apple and Google, that Maryland will be one of the first states to deploy a new exposure notification tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Exposure Notifications Express is designed to help public health officials more quickly and easily provide notifications for their residents about potential COVID-19 exposure and guide them on recommended actions. This new technology will be optional for users.

UPDATES ON SCHOOLS, YOUTH SPORTS, AND ELECTIONS

SCHOOLS. The governor thanked the State Board of Education for voting to require those school systems that have not developed a plan for returning any students for any in person instruction until 2021 to reevaluate their reopening plans by the end of the first quarter. Last week, the governor announced that, as a result of improved COVID-19 health metrics, every county school system in Maryland is authorized to begin safely reopening, but made clear that the legal authority and final decision making on safe openings rests with county boards of education. Guidance to support the safe reopening of schools can be found here.

YOUTH SPORTS. The governor reiterated that while counties may issue more restrictive rules, state health officials issued an order on June 12 allowing all youth sports gatherings and events to begin resuming. “County governments of course, by law, do have the power to be more restrictive, but it is the position of the State of Maryland that our young people should have the opportunity to play sports this fall, and we are encouraging local health officials to reassess their guidelines,” said Governor Hogan.

ELECTIONS. The governor noted that, as of today, and after asking them to immediately do so nearly eight weeks ago, the State Board of Elections has mailed out ballot applications to every Maryland voter. Marylanders are strongly encouraged to take advantage of voting by absentee ballot or to participate in early voting. Those who choose to vote in-person on Election Day are encouraged to do so at off-peak times to avoid long lines and crowds.

Additionally, through the recruiting efforts of the Hogan administration, more than 11,000 Marylanders have signed up to serve as election judges. The governor continues to urge local election boards to immediately contact and train these election judges and poll workers.

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

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Stage Three of the Recovery Plan will begin Friday. Hogan held a press conference this afternoon. He says based on the improving health metrics the state can begin to take the initial steps of Stage Three. Starting Friday at 5pm capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities can increase from 50 to 75 percent, indoor theatres where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown can open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people or whichever is less.

Aug 31st The Allegany County Health Department reports four new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. The latest cases include a female in her teens, a male in his 30s, a male in his 50s, and a female in her 60s. None of them has required hospitalization. The cumulative total number of cases in Allegany County now stands at 395

In Mineral County there are 143 confirmed cases, 5 active, 134 recovered

Grant County remains in the Green County Metric.There was one (1) additional positive  from the community. Local Health staff has tracked all community contacts and provided instructions on self-isolating and monitoring symptoms.

142: Total COVID Cases
• 141: Confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1: Probable COVID case
• 128: Total Recovered
• 5: Active Cases includes
• 2: Hospitalized
• 6: Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
• 3: others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to procee

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has three additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 75. Currently there are ten patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. Two patients are currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 63 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 75.

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.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RELEASES FIRST EVER SATURDAY 9 P.M. SCHOOL RE-ENTRY MAP UPDATE
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice went over the results of the West Virginia Department of Education’s first ever Saturday 9 p.m. school re-entry map update.

The WVDE’s Saturday snapshot determines the level of athletic and extracurricular activities permitted in each county for that particular week.

Counties in green and yellow are permitted to hold competitions, counties in orange can hold practices but are not permitted to compete, and counties in red must halt all school-related activities immediately.

This past Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, a total of 32 counties were green, while 19 counties were yellow.

Three counties were orange: Fayette, Kanawha, and Logan counties. Only one county, Monroe County, was red.

These designations will not change throughout this week unless a county enters red status, at which point all activities, including school, athletics, and other extracurriculars would immediately be halted.

STUDENT-ATHLETES IN ORANGE COUNTIES GIVEN OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IF TESTED
In an effort to allow as many athletics programs as possible to be able to participate in competitions, Gov. Justice announced on Monday that he would provide an opportunity for student-athletes in orange counties – Fayette, Kanawha, and Logan counties – to play immediately by being tested.

“We’ve consulted with every health expert we have to try to come up with a plan that gets as many of our student-athletes on the field as possible while also keeping our communities safe,” Gov. Justice said. “So, in those counties, we’re going to offer for our student-athletes and our coaches the opportunity to be tested for free. And, if a full team would test negative, then they could play immediately, right alongside our green and yellow counties.”

The Governor added that the offer was only for the three counties designated as orange in this past Saturday’s map update and would only be available for this week. In addition to all athletics teams and coaches, school-affiliated marching bands and auxiliary groups would also be able to perform immediately by testing negative.

“This is the first week that a lot of these competitions begin, so we just need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to make sure our programs are starting on solid footing,” Gov. Justice said. “Also, by testing in these orange counties, we would be able to make our communities safer because it would give us more information about where this disease is currently located and spreading.”

“TRIPLE-CHECK” FOR SAFETY AND SANITIZATION SUPPLIES IN SCHOOLS UNDERWAY
Also on Monday, State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch announced that West Virginia education leaders are in the process of “triple-checking” that every classroom in the state has the PPE and cleaning supplies they need to safely begin the school year.

“Our offices are reaching out to all of the principals just to triple-check that those supplies are there and ready,” Superintendent Burch said. “I cannot thank our principals, superintendents, and others enough, and I encourage each and every teacher, please, continue communicating to your principal and your school leadership if you need anything at all. We have a lot of folks here willing to help.”

MON COUNTY BARS PERMITTED TO REOPEN
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that the countywide bar closure in Monongalia County has been lifted.

“We’ve confirmed with the medical experts that our numbers are stable,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re excited to be able to get these businesses back to work. However, we urge them to be cautious in every way.”

In order to reopen, such establishments must implement additional safety measures as described in the guidance document: Supplemental Protocols for Reopening Monongalia County Bars​.

“We’re going to be watching our numbers constantly,” Gov. Justice said. “If they start to move in the wrong direction, we’ll shut them back down, but we hope and pray that it does go well.”

DMV LICENSE EXTENSION
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is offering a deadline extension on license expirations through the end of this year.

Any driver’s license, instruction permit, Graduated License (level 1, 2, or 3), or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as allowed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), with an expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later, will be extended until December 31, 2020. Identification cards are included in the extension as well.

This announcement revises the July memorandum that extended the expiration date on the face of these documents until September 30, 2020.

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia’s statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – has increased to 1.00.

The Governor added that West Virginia’s number of active cases has reached a new record high of 2,019. Still, West Virginia’s COVID-19 numbers have been among the best in the nation. West Virginia has outperformed the national average, as well as the rates of all of its bordering states, in percentage of population tested, percentage of population positive, percentage of positive test results, and case fatality rate.

CORRECTIONS FACILITIES UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is continuing enhanced testing efforts at Mount Olive Correctional Complex.

So far, there are 142 total positive cases among Mount Olive inmates and residents. However, 1,982 results have come back negative, with 36 results still pending. There are also 15 total positive cases among staff members. Mount Olive continues to quarantine and medically isolate inmates as necessary.

South Central Regional Jail has eight active cases among inmates. Western Regional Jail

UPDATE ON CHURCHES, LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that church-related outbreaks remain active in three counties across West Virginia: Cabell, Monroe, and Wyoming counties.

Meanwhile, the Governor added that there are now 36 outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state. The largest of these outbreaks are at Grant Rehab and Care Center in Grant County; Meadowbrook Acres, Cedar Ridge Center, and the Marmet Nursing Home in Kanawha County; Trinity Healthcare in Logan County; Princeton Healthcare Center in Mercer County; Springfield Center in Monroe County; Pine Lodge Nursing Home in Raleigh County; and Rosewood Nursing Home in Taylor County.

WEST VIRGINIA REMAINS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN CENSUS RESPONSE RATE; ALL URGED TO PARTICIPATE
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

West Virginia currently boasts the 2nd-best U.S. Census response rate in the country.

To date, 92.9 percent of West Virginians have been counted. For perspective, during the last Census in 2010, the state’s final response rate was just 74 percent.

West Virginians are able to complete the Census until Sept. 30, 2020.

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.

BROOKE COUNTY POWER PLANT UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his briefing to announce that he has directed Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch to instruct the West Virginia Economic Development Authority once again review the application for the proposed natural gas power plant in Brooke County.
GENERAL COUNSEL PROVIDES CLARIFICATION ON EXECUTIVE ORDERS, GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS
Also on Monday, Brian Abraham, General Counsel to the Governor, offered a reminder regarding the many executive orders and guidance documents that have been issued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of the language in the executive order and the guidelines should be read together to understand the purpose and the effect of both,” Abraham said.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Gov. Justice also updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19 testing events taking place over the next several weeks at various dates and times in multiple counties across the state.

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.

Counties with upcoming free testing events include:
Cabell County
Fayette County
Jackson County
Logan County
Morgan County
Nicholas County
Raleigh County
Click here to view dates and additional details

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS: $10.6 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on small businesses that have applied for funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, reporting that over 2,900 applications have been submitted, with more than $10.6 million being awarded to date.

The initiative is providing $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on March 1, 2020, with 1-35 employees, is able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Gov. Justice has also opened up the West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program to sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals in West Virginia.

Any sole proprietor or self-employed person, in operation on or before March 1, 2020, is now able to apply for up to $2,000 in grant funding.

Businesses planning to apply must first be registered as a vendor with the State to be eligible. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

The application will remain open until Sept. 30, 2020.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $94.2 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $94.2 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

More than 696 free-feeding locations have now 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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 Division of Motor Vehicles announced today that any driver’s license, instruction permit, Graduated License (level 1, 2, or 3), or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as allowed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), with an expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later, will be extended until December 31, 2020. Identification cards are included in the extension as well.

This announcement revises the July memorandum that extended the expiration date on the face of these documents until September 30th. Additionally, this new extension applies to driver’s license and ID card transactions only. Customers are encouraged to visit the DMV online services portal at dmv.wv.gov and renew online or visit a local kiosk (with no changes and every other renewal cycle).  Appointments for changes to driver’s licenses and ID cards, and new issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards, may be made by visiting go.wv.gov/dmvappointment or by calling 304-558-3938.

Vehicle transactions are not included in the new extension, and have an expiration date of September 30th (with an original expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later). However, vehicle transactions are able to be taken care of in a variety of ways. Title work may be done through the mail, by appointment in the regional offices, and by utilizing the secure drop boxes outside of each office (except the Fairmont Exam Center). Vehicle registration renewals may be done online, at a kiosk, through the mail, over the phone, by appointment at many regional offices, at local county sheriff’s departments, and by utilizing the secure drop boxes outside of each regional office (except the Fairmont Exam Center). If a customer chooses the secure drop box, their transaction paperwork is mailed back to them once completed.                               
 
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is taking this extraordinary action in response to the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

For more information, please visit the DMV website.

MD Governor Larry Hogan announced that more than $10 million has been awarded to 445 small businesses through the Maryland Department of Labor’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, saving more than 8,800 jobs. One of several relief programs introduced by the governor in March, the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund quickly provided crucial financial assistance to Maryland’s small businesses and helped them to forego layoffs and closures.

“The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund is a critical part of our comprehensive relief efforts to help small businesses retain their employees and get through this difficult period,” said Governor Hogan. “We remain committed to doing everything we can to help hard-pressed Marylanders and small businesses weather this storm and come back stronger than ever.”

Maryland has gained more than 156,000 jobs during the COVID recovery, and the unemployment rate decreased to 7.6 percent.

Recipients represent nearly 20 diverse industry sectors, ranging from health care to retail, and are located in each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Grantees used the average award size of $22,738 per business for such things as purchasing remote access equipment and software to promote teleworking, assisting with employee training and education, purchasing cleaning supplies and services to maintain an onsite workforce, and taking advantage of Labor’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program by supplementing employee income.

“From the onset of Maryland’s response to the pandemic, our administration has delivered solutions-oriented programs designed to support Maryland’s small businesses and workers undergoing financial stress,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “In just a matter of days, Labor created the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, reviewed applications, and delivered essential financial relief directly to hundreds of small businesses, saving the jobs of nearly 9,000 Marylanders.”

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business andEntrepreneurship Committee,Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee,andCongressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (All D-Md.) Friday announced $3.4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Recovery Assistance to support Maryland small businesses and entrepreneurs harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress wrote and passed the CARES Act earlier this year, with strong provisions to help smallbusinesses and entrepreneurs make it through these difficult times. The three grants announcedwill capitalize Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to smallbusinesses and entrepreneurs for a range of needs including supporting payroll, acquiring equipment and inventory, reconfiguring existing or new space to meet Coronavirus guidelines, capital improvements and more.

“Congress came together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to pass the CARES Act anddeliver emergency support to American families and small businesses,” the lawmakers said.“While our nation continues to address the public health crisis that is hurting communities coast to coast, we must simultaneously face the economic crisis threatening so many working Americans, entrepreneurs, employers and local communities.

“Small businesses in Maryland and across the country are the engine of our economy and, with so many of them struggling to stay afloat, Congress must build on the CARES Act to deliver more relief for our local communities, small businesses and nonprofits. This pandemic will not miraculously disappear on its own and neither will the economic fallout,” the lawmakers added.“As a delegation, we supported the Heroes Act, which passed the House of Representatives inMay, and continue to urge Senator McConnell to take up this critical legislation in the Senate. Congress must deliver more funding to Marylanders in need.”

U.S. Department of CommerceEconomic Development Administration (EDA) Grants announcedinclude:

·        Baltimore County DEWD (Department of Economic and Workforce Development), Towson,Md., will receive a $1.6 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Baltimore County.

·        Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, Frostburg, Md., will receive a $1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to administer RLFs that will provide critical gap financing to coronavirus impacted small businesses in Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties.

·        Maryland Department of Commerce, Baltimore, Md., will receive a $770,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to administer RLFs that will provide critical gap financing tosmall businesses adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic across Maryland. 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regionsfor growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. The lawmakers have fought for robust funding for the EDA and have worked to support Maryland’s efforts to secure these funds.

The Maryland State Board of Elections announced that applications for mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 general election were mailed to eligible voters in each of the state’s counties as well as Baltimore City. The applications come with a postage-paid return envelope to make it easy and free for voters to request ballots.

While there are multiple ways to participate in the 2020 Presidential Election, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Maryland State Board of Elections is encouraging all eligible Marylanders to cast mail-in ballots. Voting by mail is a safe and secure way of voting.

To cast mail-in ballots, Maryland residents must request a mail-in ballot from the State Board of Elections or their local board of elections.

The Maryland State Board of Elections has mailed eligible voters an application for a mail-in ballot by first-class U.S. Mail. Some voters who requested a ballot prior to Aug. 6 may still receive a ballot application in the mail. This may happen if a voter’s request was not processed before Aug. 6. These voters should go online to verify their application has been processed. It is not necessary to send in two ballot requests.

Mail-in ballot applications began shipping by first-class U.S. Mail on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 to eligible voters in all counties and Baltimore City. 

Eligible voters in every Maryland jurisdiction should begin receiving ballot applications in coming days, if they haven’t already. Any eligible voter who does not automatically receive a ballot application by mail may request a ballot online or by printing and returning by mail or fax the request form on the State Board of Elections’ website.

All requests for a mail-in ballot must be received by Oct. 20, 2020. When requesting a ballot by mail, voters should leave at least five business days for the United States Postal Service to deliver the application to the local board of elections.

Mail-in ballots will be sent via first-class mail to the address the voter provides on the ballot request.

The Maryland State Board of Elections is encouraging eligible residents who have not yet registered to vote in the Nov. 3 general election to do so online. The board is also urging those who have already registered to go online to confirm that their mailing address and other registration information is up to date.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election and to verify voter registration information online is Oct. 13. Voters wishing to register to vote or to check their registration status should visit the following web page:

https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration/InstructionsStep1.

“It is essential that all eligible Maryland residents have the opportunity to participate in the general election being held November 3,” said Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone. “For those who have not yet registered to vote, we strongly encourage you to do so. If you have already registered, please take this opportunity to review your voter registration information online and make any necessary updates. This will help ensure you have a seamless voting experience.”

Aug 30thThe Allegany County Health Department reports five new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. The latest cases include a female in her teens, two females in their 20s, a male in his 30s, and a male in his 40s. None of the new cases has required hospitalization. The cumulative total number of cases in Allegany County since the first case was announced in April now stands at 391.

To date, 15,524 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 15,133 people have tested negative and 391 have tested positive.

The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services was notified late Saturday evening that the second clinician tested for the contagious COVID-19 virus had tested negative, according to emergency services officials. 

“The results came back for the second clinician as negative,” Lt. Todd Bowman, public information officer for the Allegany County Department of Emergency Service said. “Our policy, as guided by local and state medical direction will be to continue to keep the employee off work and perform a second COVID-19 to confirm the initial findings.” Any clinician that tests positive will be off work at minimum of 14-days and required to undergo two negative COVID-19 tests before safely returning to shift, Bowman

Having the second test will just ensure that the clinician is not infectious, Bowman said. 

“As the situation develops, we have been working closely with the affected clinicians and station officials at LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad to ensure that their needs have been met,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “This is an isolated incident. We will continue to move forward ensuring that the citizens receive the safest, most efficient patient care possible.”

Saturday AC DES officials announced an Allegany County Department of Emergency Services operational employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and a second employee, has tested negative according to emergency service officials.

“We learned late Friday that one of our paramedics and emergency medical technicians had been exposed to the virus,” Lt. Todd Bowman, public information officer for the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services said. “One has tested positive and we are waiting results of the second clinician.”

We want to emphasize that both clinicians remain in good condition, are only experiencing mild symptoms, self-monitoring at home and have not required hospitalization.

“It is DES policy that clinicians that are high risk, either by exposure or testing positive for the infectious virus be quarantined at home and self monitored regularly for fever and other conditions,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “These guidelines were established earlier this year to protect our clinicians, support staff, community members, patients and families.”

Pyles said that first responders with Allegany County are required to abide by laws set forth by Governor Larry Hogan when in public.

“Our clinicians follow local and state medical direction provided from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems by wearing masks on all incidents and increasing protection on higher risk calls,” Bowman said. “DES clinicians follow these strict guidelines and we have no reason to believe that they have exposed the public. Our local medical directors do not believe any additional notifications need to be made.”

The two clinicians were assigned to our LaVale station, Bowman added. We are in communications with the department to offer any additional assistance.

Pyles added that the station and equipment have under went a deep cleaning to protect oncoming crews, volunteers and visitors.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed a new case of COVID-19. Case investigation has been complete and contacts notified.The new case count for Hampshire County is 91 positive, 1 probable, 1 death. We have one active case now.

In Mineral County there are 142 positive cases 6 active 132 recovered Mineral County is in the yellow

A 77-year old female from Grant County has died from COVID-19  according to the WV DHHR. Grant County remains in the Green County Metric.

Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) received results on tests conducted on Thursday, August 27:
1 additional resident tested positive
1 additional staff member tested positive

Local Health staff has tracked all community contacts and provided instructions on self-isolating and monitoring symptoms.

There are 3 tests pending at GRCC that were tested on Friday, August 28.

141: Total COVID Cases
• 140: Confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1: Probable COVID case
• 128: Total Recovered
• 4: Active Cases includes
• 2: Hospitalized
• 6: Residents whose death was documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related.
• 3: others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
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 and instructions how to proceed.

For the school metrics Hardy and Mineral Counties locally are currently in the yellow.

YELLOW
Increased Community Transmission
3.1-9.9 CASES PER 100,000 PEOPLE

  • Require face coverings for grades 3-5 on buses and in congregant settings (outside of core groups) where social distancing cannot be maintained. Require face coverings for grades 6 and above at all times.
  • Increase student cohorting by limiting exposure outside of core groups.
  • No assemblies or activities where social distancing is not feasible.
  • Local education leaders work with county health officials to determine if increased mitigation and community engagement activities are necessary to prevent escalation of disease.
  • Athletic & Extracurricular Activity Guidance
  • Athletic and extra-curricular activities permit parents/guardians only.
  • According to WVSSAC guidelines cheerleaders and bands may participate at home games.

Aug 27th Allegany County Public Schools will start virtually on Sept 8th. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday August 27th that every county school system in Maryland is now fully authorized to begin safely reopening. ACPS Board of Education President Tammy Fraley says the Governor’s announcement was not shared with local officials prior to the press conference.ACPS officials submitted a plan to state officials. The plan did not include a specific date for return to in person instruction. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/tammy-fraley-on-acps-start-for-pht

As a result of improved COVID-19 health metrics across the state, Governor Larry Hogan Thursday announced that every county school system in Maryland is now fully authorized to begin safely reopening.

The authority and decision making on safe openings continues to rest with county boards of education. Decisions should be based on a set of statewide metrics, guidelines, and benchmarks issued today by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Read the guidance and benchmarks.

The governor was joined by Dr. Jinlene Chan, Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services at MDH, and MSDE State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Karen Salmon. Currently, 16 of the state’s local school systems have developed plans for returning children to schools for some form of in-person instruction this calendar year, including students with special needs.

Governor Hogan and Dr. Salmon will visit school sites across the state in the coming weeks to observe systems that are bringing small groups of students back into a safe and educationally effective environment.

“As a result of our improved health metrics, every single county school system in the State of Maryland is now fully authorized to begin safely reopening,” said Governor Hogan. “Nearly everyone agrees that there is no substitute for in-person instruction. It is essential that we all work together on flexible hybrid plans to safely get some of our kids back into classrooms and into healthy and supportive learning environments.”

COVID-19 UPDATES. Maryland’s key COVID-19 health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, and the state’s economic recovery continues.

Health Metrics:

The statewide positivity rate is now down to 3.3%, a decline of more than 87% since it peaked on April 17 at 26.91%.
Maryland’s positivity rate has now been under 5%, the benchmark recommended by the World Health Organization and the CDC, since June 25, and has been under 4% since August 8.
Last week, for the first time, the COVID-19 positivity rate for all 24 jurisdictions in Maryland fell below the 5% milestone. Currently, 17 of the state’s jurisdictions have positivity rates below 3.5%.
The positivity rate among Marylanders under the age of 35 has declined by 44% since July 23, and has now fallen below 4%, to 3.79%. The positivity rate among Marylanders 35 and older has dropped below 3%, and is now 2.97%.
Economic Recovery:

The State of Maryland has now added 156,200 jobs in 90 days, and the state’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.6%, which is more than 25% better than the national unemployment rate and the very best in the region.
This week, Maryland saw its lowest number of unemployment claims since the first week of the pandemic in early March.
More than 70% of Maryland’s economy remained open through the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 98% of the state economy has been open since completing all Stage Two reopenings on June 19.
SCHOOLS UPDATE. Dr. Salmon announced that based on the state’s improving health metrics, she is urging local school systems to reevaluate their modes of instruction at the end of the first quarter. The state is making $10 million in grant funding available to help systems that are able to move toward in-person instruction.

“While adherence to these metrics for re-entry into classrooms are not considered requirements, I am strongly encouraging local school systems to utilize our improving numbers and the provided metrics as the driving force for the decision to return to school buildings,” said Dr. Salmon. “Health and safety precautions must remain in place once we begin to bring more students back into schools, and school systems should continue to work in conjunction with local health officials to monitor trends in the metrics and any outbreaks at area schools.”

HEALTH BENCHMARKS. Dr. Chan presented county-specific benchmarks for conversations among local officials regarding in-person instruction. These benchmarks are based on metrics that, taken together, reflect the levels of community transmission, including test positivity and case rates.

“I want to emphasize that this is guidance to aid in decision-making rather than being prescriptive, and there is flexibility that schools have to make decisions about how to best meet the educational needs of their students while taking into account the level of community spread and their capacity to implement the guidelines,” said Dr. Chan.

During a press conference this afternoon MD Governor Hogan announced that as a result of the state’s improved health metrics, “every single county school system in the State of Maryland is now fully authorized to begin safely reopening.”MD State Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon says she is strongly encouraging local school systems to reevaluate their mode of instruction at the end of the first quarter. 16 Maryland county school systems have developed plans to include some form of in-person instruction this fall. Eight jurisdictions have not submitted reopening plans that bring any students back into the classrooms this calendar year.

According to Hogan the authority and decision making on safe openings rest with county boards of education, but their decisions should be based on a new set of statewide metrics, which have been established by the Maryland State Health Department in collaboration with Maryland Public Schools.

Students, faculty and staff at Frostburg State University were required to be tested for COVID-19 at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. Students who are taking their courses entirely online and will not come to campus as well as employees who will telework the entire semester are exempt. Testing data is among the several key COVID-19 indicators the University is monitoring to determine the raising or lowering of our institutional recovery response levels.

Validated results reported in the table below include universal testing, Brady Health Center testing of individuals showing symptoms, and verified results from other sources that are uploaded to the University’s portal.

https://www.frostburg.edu/fall2020/COVID-Testing.php

(Surveillance testing results will be included in future updates.) Data will be updated regularly.
Results from Aug. 3-22, 2020 – TOTALS FOR UNIVERSAL TESTING

NEGATIVE TESTS 3,801
POSITIVE TESTS 23
TOTAL VALIDATED TEST RESULTS 3,824
The data above includes initial results posted on Aug. 20: from Aug. 11-15, 2,673 students and employee were tested or reported the following validated results — 2,661 individuals, or 99.55%, tested negative and 12 individuals, or 0.45%, tested positive.
Important Notes:

INDIVIDUALS WITH POSITIVE RESULTS: All individuals with positive tests are immediately called by a healthcare professional and contract tracing by the Allegany Health Department begins. They are required to quarantine away from campus. Those who reported positive results before the semester began were told not to come to campus until cleared to do so by a healthcare professional.
INDIVIDUALS NOT TESTED: Nearly 1,200 students in online-only programs as well as an additional number of employees who will continue to work remotely and will not visit campus and students who moved to online-only classes for just this semester and will not visit campus will not be tested.
IDENTIFICATION: To protect individuals’ private health information, FSU will not identify anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.
FURTHER TESTING: Throughout the semester, the University will conduct surveillance testing of non-symptomatic individuals. Officials will closely monitor these results to determine possible further action.
MONITORING: Additionally, all FSU students, faculty and staff participate in daily self-symptom monitoring by visiting https://www.frostburg.edu/checkin. Visitors to campus are required to attest that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for two additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 63.The new positive COVID-19 cases include two females in their 20s who both have symptoms and are isolating at home.
Today Garrett County’s 7-day positivity rate is 0.5%, and 3 persons are currently isolating due to COVID-19 positive tests. The Health Department, with the help of community partners, tested 215 persons on August 26 at the fourth county community testing opportunity. Participants receiving positive results will be called as soon as possible, but negative results may take up to 14 days to be delivered by mail. Please do not call concerning testing results. Any additional testing days will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 72. We currently have eight patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. One patient is currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 63 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 72. See https://www.dropbox.com/s/…/20200827-hardy-covid-update.pdf… for more information

Aug 26th According to Mineral County Health Department officials there are 140 COVID-19 cases in Mineral County 9 active 127 recovered 4 deaths

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING FOR ALL MINERAL COUNTY

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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with support from the WV National Guard and local community partners at the following location:

Thursday, August 27th

Frankfort High School 393 Falcon Way

Ridgeley, West Virginia, 26753

Friday, August 28th

Keyser Primary School

450 Harley O Staggers Sr Dr

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.

This optional testing is free and available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has four additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 70. We currently have six patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. One patient is currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 63 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 70.

For more information, see https://www.dropbox.com/s/3plhtb0afiw22qc/20200826-hardy-covid-update.pdf?dl=0

One (1) additional positive test from the community. This person is self-quarantining at home, and contacts have been notified.

This brings Grant County COVID Cases to:

139: Total COVID Cases

• 138: Confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1: Probable COVID case

• 126: Total Recovered

• 5: Active Cases

(includes 2 in hospital from GRCC, the 1 from the Community was discharged today and is recuperating at home).

• 5: Deaths documented on the Death Certificate as COVID related (the 5th person passed away 2 weeks ago, but the death certificate which listed COVID as contributory was not made available until 8-25-20).

3 other people had tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record. This includes one resident from GRCC that passed away on 8-24-20, but the death certificate was not available until 8-25-20 which did NOT list COVID as a contributory factor.

The County Metric shared by DHHR showed Grant County in GREEN based on the 14-day rolling average of newly diagnosed cases. Residents from Long Term Care Facilities are not included in the Metric calculation. All laboratories report positive COVID results to the State DHHR data system, and this information is used by the State DHHR to determine the Metric.

The State DHHR recognized errors in their data system which impacted dashboard reports for multiple counties, as numbers frequently did not match the county reports. There is a new data system at the State level which will hopefully correct this in the future.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

Aug 25th According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources  92-year old female from Grant County has died from COVID-19.

According to Grant County Health Department officials one new positive COVID test has been confirmed.  Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) received results from the testing for all residents and staff on August 20. There was one (1) additional resident positive, and no staff. Protocol requires testing all each week until 14 consecutive days with no positives.

Recently the National Guard conducted an onsite inspection at the Care Center, and in response to a request for input about continued isolation procedures, this correspondence was sent:

“I’ve been watching Grant County numbers from afar and watching it drop, so that is great news! I’m not surprised your team has it under control as I was impressed with your team and isolation construction”.

Grant County COVID Cases

138: Total COVID Cases

• 137: Confirmed Positive COVID cases

• 1: Probable COVID case

• 126: Total Recovered

• 4: Active Cases (1 community, 2 GRCC). This includes 3 Hospitalized.

• 5: Deaths COVID related and documented on the Death Certificate.

3 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

The Metric shared by DHHR using this calculation showed Grant County in GREEN based on the 14-day rolling average of newly diagnosed cases. Residents from Long Term Care Facilities are not included in the Metric calculation. All laboratories report positive COVID results to the State DHHR data system, and this information is used by the State DHHR to determine the Metric.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

Officials with Dairy Queen in LaVale have confirmed an employee tested positive. According to a statement from the CFO of Peterson Enterprise “ An employee tested positive five days after he had been in the building. We are following every guideline/procedure the health department, both at the local and the state level, recommended. We also have strict safety measures in place including hourly high-contact area cleaning, mask and glove usage.  All employees that worked during the contagious period with this employee are in 14 day quarantine and being paid for their time off.  Team Members that didn’t work directly with him that elected to self-quarantine were off 14 days off, unpaid, and they will not lose their jobs.  Due to the shortage of employees we closed the inside of the restaurant and we are opened in the drive thru shorter hours. Daily everyone working has a temperature check, which we have been doing for several months, along with checking to make sure they are symptom free. “

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

Additional testing days are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org.

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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with support from the WV National Guard and local community partners at the following location:

Thursday, August 27th

Frankfort High School

393 Falcon Way

Ridgeley, West Virginia, 26753

Friday, August 28th

Keyser Primary School

450 Harley O Staggers Sr Dr

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.

This optional testing is free and available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals.

Tuesday WV  Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement:

“As a coach and someone who is in our schools all the time, I appreciate how much our extracurricular activities, including our marching bands, mean to our students, parents, and communities.

“Yesterday, the WVSSAC announced that our marching bands would not be able to perform at extracurricular activities this fall. This decision was made without my input.

“Today, I directed our medical experts to work with the WVSSAC and the Department of Education, and go back to the drawing board to find a safe way for our marching bands to do what they love to do: perform.

“I am now proud to announce that the WVSSAC and our medical experts have developed new guidelines for our marching bands to be able to perform on our football fields this fall.

“Our medical experts evaluated guidelines from the National Federation of High School Sports, and the West Virginia Bandmasters Association and put a plan together that keeps our band members socially distanced and as safe as possible, while allowing them to perform in the stadium on game days and allowing their families to watch their performances.

“The WVSSAC will release the new marching band guidelines this afternoon.”

Yesterday, a recommendation was released regarding the participation of middle and high school marching bands at football games. Since that recommendation was released, the WVSSAC has had additional discussions with state health officials, the WVDE, and the WV Bandmaster’s Association.    Based on those discussions, the WVSSAC is recommending the following: Middle and high school marching bands be allowed to attend and perform pre-game (National Anthem) and half-time shows at HOME football games with the following modifications: • Designation of a separate seating area for band members (not in the bleachers) • Designation of a separate seating area for band parents and families • Requirement that band members maintain social distancing as per NFHS guidelines                    (6’ x 6’  and 9’ x 6’ for trombone players).  A diamond formation is recommended.  • Requirement that only the percussion section be permitted to play during the game • Requirement that face coverings be worn by all band members when not performing • Recommendation that face coverings be worn while performing when possible (as per NFHS guidelines) • Recommendation of use of instrument bell covers when possible (as per NFHS guidelines) • Recommendation that band members and families enter and exit the facility separately from athletes and their families when possible The same spectator guidelines used for football and cheer will be used for band. WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan released the following statement: “We fully support the participation of band at football games.  After further discussion, we believe this revised recommendation will allow participation while still maintaining safety protocols for everyone involved.  We will monitor the situation closely knowing we may have to adjust again as we move forward.”

Aug 24th The Allegany County Health Department reports 14 new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County since Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 386 cases. The latest cases include two children under the age of 13, four males and one female in their teens, a male in his 30s, five females in their 40s, and a male in his 70s who is hospitalized.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has three additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 66. They currently have two patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. One patient is currently hospitalized due to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Due to privacy, additional information regarding the persons, area of residence, and travel history will not be disclosed. The Hardy County Health Department has completed the necessary contact tracing to ensure the safety of close contacts and to prevent additional transmission. Hardy County now has 63 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 66.  For more information, see https://www.dropbox.com/s/seutpsf7uj1hxey/20200824-hardy-covid-update.pdf?dl=0

Test results from last week from Potomac State College of WVU show only two positive tests, one student and one faculty or staff member.

Hampshire County Health Department will have a drive-thru testing site open today Tuesday, August 25th 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 August 20th 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, August 25th 9a-11a Please bring your insurance card with you.

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.  This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING FOR ALL MINERAL COUNTY

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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with support from the WV National Guard and local community partners at the following location:

Thursday, August 27th  Frankfort High School

Friday, August 28th  Keyser Primary School

450 Harley O Staggers Sr Dr

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.

According to Grant County Emergency officials the County Metric is now based on the previous 14 day rolling average of new cases for counties below 16,000 population, not the previous 7 days.  The Metric shared by DHHR using this calculation showed Grant County in GREEN today based on the 14-day rolling average of newly diagnosed cases. All laboratories report positive COVID results to the State DHHR data system, and this information is used by the State DHHR to determine the Metric.

For information regarding what this Metric means for schools, go to www.wvde.us. Please, remember to wear a face covering TO PROTECT yourself and OTHERS. The 14-day rolling average of new positive cases can impact school and athletic schedules.

Aug 23rd

The Allegany County Health Department reports that a community member in their 50s has died from COVID-19, bringing the death toll in Allegany County to 23. That number includes three Allegany County residents who were living in facilities outside of the county at the time of their death. Additionally, 14 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Allegany County since Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total to 372 cases. The latest cases include a child under the age of 10, four males and one female in their teens, four males in their 20s, a male in his 30s, a female in her 40s, a male in his 50s and a male in his 70s. None of these individuals have required hospitalization. To date, 14,578 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 14,206 were negative and 372 were positive.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for one additional person, bringing the current county total positives to 61.

The new positive COVID-19 case is a female in her 50s who has symptoms and is isolating at home.
Today Garrett County’s 7-day positivity rate is 1.0%, and 6 persons are currently isolating due to COVID-19 positive tests.

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

Additional testing days are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org.

In Mineral County there are 138 positive cases 17 active 117 recovered

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING FOR ALL MINERAL COUNTY

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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with support from the WV National Guard and local community partners at the following location:

Thursday, August 27th
Frankfort High School
393 Falcon Way
Ridgeley, West Virginia, 26753

Friday, August 28th
Keyser Primary School
450 Harley O Staggers Sr Dr
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.

This optional testing is free and available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals.

In Hampshire County there has been one new confirmed case of COVID-19. The investigation has been completed and contacts have been notified. The new count is 90 confirmed, 1 probable case, 3 active cases. No hospitalizations.

Grant County COVID Cases

There was one (1) new person from the community that tested positive for COVID today. This person is hospitalized, and contacts have been notified.

137: Total COVID Cases
• 136: Confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 1: Probable COVID case
• 125: Total Recovered
• 5: Active Cases (2 community, 3 GRCC). This includes:
• 2: Hospitalized
• 4: Deaths
4 deaths COVID related and documented on the Death Certificate.
(3 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record).

The County Metric is now based on the previous 14 day rolling average of new cases for counties below 16,000 population, not the previous 7 days.

The Metric shared by DHHR using this calculation showed Grant County in GREEN today based on the 14-day rolling average of newly diagnosed cases. All laboratories report positive COVID results to the State DHHR data system, and this information is used by the State DHHR to determine the Metric.

For information regarding what this Metric means for schools, go to www.wvde.us. Please, remember to wear a face covering TO PROTECT yourself and OTHERS. The 14-day rolling average of new positive cases can impact school and athletic schedules.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

Bedford County Confirmed: 144  Probable: 17

Somerset County Confirmed: 140  Probable: 16

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.
UPDATED “COUNTY ALERT SYSTEM” FOR SCHOOL STATUS & NURSING HOME VISITATION
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that his nationally-renowned county-by-county color-coding system, recently put in place to communicate the safety status of schools, is being expanded to include the safety status of nursing homes and has been updated with an enhancement to its metric calculation for low-population counties.

The West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard has been updated to include a live, interactive map that reflects the color status of each county in real time. The map will now be called the County Alert System and will be used for multiple purposes.

Beyond reflecting how schools in each county will operate, nursing homes across the state will begin using the same green-yellow-orange-red color scale to notify the public about the status of visitation at such facilities within each county.

An additional announcement will be made next week regarding an implementation schedule.

For both schools and nursing homes, Gov. Justice and health experts also announced an enhancement to the metric calculation that determines each county’s color. To account for the possibility of outliers in regions with smaller populations, the metric for counties with fewer than 16,000 residents will be based on the number of new daily cases per 100,000 people on a 14-day rolling average. Meanwhile, the metric for counties with more than 16,000 residents will still be based on the number of new daily cases per 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average.

“This method will allow us to make decisions faster and will be much fairer for our small counties,” West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Clay Marsh said.

COUNTY ALERT SYSTEM DRAWS ADDITIONAL PRAISE FROM DR. BIRX
In an email from the White House Friday, sent to all 50 of the nation’s governors offices, Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, specifically highlighted Gov. Justice and West Virginia’s County Alert System as a leading practice for other national leaders to emulate as they make decisions about their own school re-entry plans

In a visit to Charleston on Wednesday this week, Dr. Birx praised Gov. Justice and West Virginia for executing an effective virus response.

“West Virginia got it right and continues to get it right,” Dr. Birx said Wednesday. She went on to speak to reporters about the County Alert System.

“We’re going to put it in our governors report next week and I’m worried that West Virginia is going to get a call from another 49 governors,” Dr. Birx said. “To really lay out the metrics of where every county is, making that visible to every single parent, and linking that to school choice and then very clear guidances of what to do depending on what your category is.”

SCHOOL RE-ENTRY MASK PROTOCOL UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice announced that, at his direction and with the approval of state medical experts, the Department of Education has modified its School Re-Entry Protocol.

The new protocol requires face coverings for students in grades 3 and above in various settings:

GREEN: Require face coverings for grades 3 and above on buses and in congregant settings (outside of core groups) where social distancing cannot be maintained.
YELLOW: Require face coverings for grades 3-5 on buses and in congregant settings (outside of core groups) where social distancing cannot be maintained. Require face coverings for grades 6 and above at all times.
ORANGE: Require face coverings for grades 3 and above at all times.
RED: N/a (In-person instruction will be canceled if a county reaches red status).

These requirements are in addition to previously announced protocols for in-person instruction.

SCHOOL RE-ENTRY HOTLINE ANNOUNCED
State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch announced Friday that the West Virginia Department of Education has launched a School Re-entry Hotline, specifically dedicated for answering any parent, educator, or citizen’s questions or concerns related to the WVDE’s plan for returning to school.

The School Re-entry Hotline is available at 304-957-1234.

KIDS CONNECT EXPANSION ANNOUNCED
Also Friday, Superintendent Burch also reported that Gov. Justice’s Kids Connect initiative – a joint effort between the Governor’s Office of Technology, the WVDE, and the Higher Education Policy Commission to establish over 1,000 free wireless internet access points statewide by Sept. 8 – is ahead of schedule and has plans to expand its reach even further than originally anticipated.

At the suggestion of West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the WVDE will add more Kids Connect hotspots at each of the state’s 20 armories.

Superintendent Burch added that the WVDE’s interactive map of Kids Connect locations will soon be updated with the extra hotspot sites.

FIRST MIS-C CASE IDENTIFIED IN WEST VIRGINIA
Gov. Justice and health leaders also announced that the DHHR yesterday confirmed that a West Virginia child has been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, marking the first ever reported case in West Virginia.

“This is a disease that is recently described related to COVID, in children 21 years old or less, who have fever, who have evidence of COVID infection on average about 25 days after the infection happens,” Dr. Marsh said. “So many people don’t have active COVID infection but they had it and they have evidence of inflammation. And this is a syndrome where your body’s response to the virus may be the real problem.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19.

“There is very prescriptive treatment, which is treatment designed to reduce the immune system’s response against the activation that’s happened for the virus,” Dr. Marsh said. “And so, that child is now being treated very aggressively and expertly in West Virginia.”
GOVERNOR JUSTICE PROVIDING GRANT FUNDING ALL VOLUNTEER EMS AGENCIES STATEWIDE
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice announced that he has authorized $10,000 in grant funding to be distributed among each of the 12 volunteer emergency medical service agencies across the state.

These grants equal the $10,000 in funding sent out this week to each of the state’s volunteer fire departments.

“I know that it’s just a small token of thanks for all that you’re doing,” Gov. Justice said. “But we want to absolutely do any and everything we can to help you know your organization and what you’re doing, because our EMS volunteers are unbelievable.”

The funds must be used to help pay, specifically, for extraordinary costs incurred by these volunteer EMS agencies during this pandemic.

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia’s statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – is currently tied for the 4th-best such rate in the country, dropping to 0.89 today. If a given state’s Rt value is above 1.0, it means the virus will spread quickly, while values under 1.0 mean infections are slowing. West Virginia’s Rt has remained under 1.0 every day since July 6, 2020; the same day that the Governor instituted his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement.

PLASMA DONATION OPERATION BEING ESTABLISHED IN WEST VIRGINIA
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice announced that he is working with state leaders to stand up a plasma donation operation in West Virginia.

“We have received some calls regarding plasma donation in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “There are some innovative uses for plasma in treating COVID-19.”

“This involves taking blood products from people that have been infected with COVID-19, who’ve developed an immune capability against the virus, isolating the plasma a part of their blood, and then being able to give that to other people where the blood types match,” Dr. Marsh said. “It’s been shown in research studies that this reduces the severity of illness in people that need to be put on a mechanical ventilator in the ICU.

“That’s still a experimental protocol, a clinical trial which we’re a part of here in West Virginia,” Dr. Marsh continued. “And through the National Guard and the Governor’s Office, we have been able to secure freezers to be able to have stores of this convalescent plasma here in West Virginia.”
OFFICIALS WARN AGAINST CONTACT TRACING SCAM
Also on Friday, Maj. Gen. Hoyer of the National Guard warned West Virginians that scammers across the country have been calling individuals, pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers.

“They start out by asking you for personal information, potentially your Social Security Number, and, in some cases, have even attempted to get credit card numbers,” General Hoyer said. “So please pay attention to that, if you’re being contacted by somebody with the DHHR, local health departments, or the National Guard, they will not be asking for credit card information or other sensitive information.”

GOV. JUSTICE PRAISES WEST VIRGINIANS FOR 2ND-BEST CENSUS RESPONSE RATE IN NATION
Gov. Justice also took time out of his address Friday to praise West Virginians after learning that West Virginia now boasts the 2nd-best U.S. Census response rate in the country.

To date, 84.5 percent of West Virginians have been counted. For perspective, during the last Census in 2010, the state’s final response rate was just 74 percent.

“You have done a great job and I couldn’t be prouder,” Gov. Justice said. “What you’ve done will make a positive impact on West Virginia for the next decade. But let’s not stop now. Let’s get it above 90 percent, let’s all be counted, let’s be #1 in the nation.”

West Virginians are able to complete the Census until Sept. 30, 2020.

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.

UPDATE ON CHURCHES, LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES
Also Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that church-related outbreaks remain active in three counties across West Virginia: Cabell, Taylor, and Wood counties. These outbreaks account for about 44 total cases combined.

The Governor added that there are now 30 outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state. There are new outbreaks at the Springfield Center in Monroe County (25 residents and 20 staff positive) and at the Marmet Nursing Home in Kanawha County (23 residents and 7 staff). 
FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Gov. Justice also updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19 testing events taking place over the next several weeks at various dates and times in multiple counties across the state.

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 details listed below in chronological order:

Hancock County
Saturday, August 22
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Weir High School: 100 Red Rider Road, Weirton, WV

Boone County
Tuesday, August 25
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Madison Civic Center: 261 Washington Avenue, Madison, WV

Lincoln County (2 of 2)
Wednesday, August 26
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Alum Creek Church of Christ: 2368 Childress Road, Alum Creek, WV

Mason County
Friday, August 28 & Saturday, August 29
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM 
Webster County High School: 1 Highlander Drive, Cowen, WV

Webster County
Saturday, August 29
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Webster County High School: 1 Highlander Drive, Cowen, WV

Nicholas County
Thursday, September 17
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Nazarene Camp: 6461 Webster Road, Summersville, WV

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS: $10.4 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on small businesses that have applied for funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, reporting that over 2,500 applications have been submitted, with more than $10.4 million being awarded to date.

The initiative is providing $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on March 1, 2020, with 1-35 employees, is able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that he is opening up his West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program to sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals in West Virginia.

Any sole proprietor or self-employed person, in operation on or before March 1, 2020, is now able to apply for up to $2,000 in grant funding.

Businesses planning to apply must first be registered as a vendor with the State to be eligible. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

The application will remain open until Sept. 30, 2020.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $86.4 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $86.4 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

More than 696 free-feeding locations have now 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

Aug 20th

The first laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in an Allegany County, Maryland resident occurred on April 1, 2020. As of August 19, 2020, 14,290 Allegany County residents had been tested for COVID-19 and received results (20.3% of the total population, based on a 2019 count of 70,416 people living in the county). Cumulative total case counts for Allegany County at that time were 358 positive tests and 22 deaths. Currently, there are 36 individuals isolating, and 300 individuals are now out of isolation.

Between April 1 and June 1, cases were largely skewed toward older residents, primarily due to outbreaks within local nursing homes which accounted for about 70% of early cases. However, of the 358 positives in the county since April 1, nursing homes account for just 36% of cases. In fact, 61% of all Allegany County COVID-19 cases have been in persons under age 60, with the highest rate of illness among individuals in their 20s. When viewed by sex, rates of illness are slightly higher in women than in men. Men account for 47% of Allegany County’s COVID-19 cases, while women account for 53%. In terms of racial and ethnic breakdown, COVID-19 cases in Allegany County are generally representative of county demographics, with no over-representation of any minority groups.

Of the total number of COVID-19 cases in Allegany County, the majority have been able to isolate and recover at home. On average, 14% of all cases have required hospitalization, as shown in the pie chart to the left. Hospitalization rates dropped from 22% of cases between April 1 and May 26 to just 7% of cases between May 27 and August 18.

The bar graph below shows the breakdown of COVID-19 cases by age category on a weekly basis between March 21 and August 19 (partial week). The largest spike in cases occurred the week of April 18, coinciding with a major nursing home outbreak of COVID-19. While nursing homes and older individuals accounted for the majority of cases in the early months of the pandemic, most of the cases since late May have been community transmission involving individuals under age 60.

The next chart provides a visual of the weekly proportion of cases which were community-transmission (blue) versus affiliated with an outbreak involving congregate living environments such as a nursing home or correctional facility (yellow). Again, since late May, a shift can be seen from a majority of cases occurring in congregate living situations to nearly all new cases involving community transmission.

135 total positive cases in Mineral County, 17 active 114 recovered 4 total deaths

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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with support from the WV National Guard and local community partners at the following location:

Thursday, August 27th
Frankfort High School
393 Falcon Way
Ridgeley, West Virginia, 26753

Friday, August 28th
Keyser Primary School
450 Harley O Staggers Sr Dr
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.

This optional testing is free and available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has confirmed that a West Virginia child has been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). This is the first reported case in West Virginia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. Many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

“This development is an unfortunate reminder that COVID-19 does not just affect the elderly,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “We must continue to be diligent in our efforts to protect each other by social distancing, wearing masks in public and following all recommendations of local, state and federal health experts.”

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/mis-c/index.html.

From Aug. 11-15, 2,673 Frostburg State University students and employees completed pre-semester, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at the Cordts PE Center or uploaded verified results to the University’s portal. Of the certified results from that number, 12 individuals, or 0.45%, tested positive, and 2,661 individuals, or 99.55%, tested negative.

Important notes:

  • All individuals with positive tests are required to quarantine away from campus. Those who reported positive results before the semester began were told not to come to campus until cleared to do so by a healthcare professional.
  • Pre-semester testing was also conducted Aug. 16; these results are still being certified for public dissemination. Those results will be among those reported next week.
  • A group of students was scheduled for initial testing on Aug. 18 and results are still being processed and certified for public dissemination; those results will be among those reported next week.
  • Not requiring testing were nearly 1,200 students in online-only programs, as well as employees who will continue to work remotely and will not visit campus, and students who moved to online-only classes for just this semester and will not visit campus.
  • Individuals testing positive are immediately called by a healthcare professional.
  • To protect individuals’ private health information, FSU will not identify anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Throughout the semester, the University will conduct surveillance testing of non-symptomatic individuals. Officials will closely monitor these results to determine possible further action. 

This COVID Testing page will be updated weekly thereafter. Certified results reported will include surveillance testing, Brady Health Center testing of individuals showing symptoms, and verified results from other sources that are uploaded to the University’s portal.

Additionally, all FSU students, faculty and staff participate in daily self-symptom monitoring (https://www.frostburg.edu/checkin). Visitors to campus are required to attest that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms.

https://www.frostburg.edu/fall2020/COVID-Testing.php

Beginning today & throughout the semester, we’ll be providing updates on the number of positive COVID-19 test results on the WVU Potomac State campus. As of 8/20, there has been 1 total positive result from 535 tests. More info: http://wvu.edu/return-to-camp

Aug 19th The Allegany County Health Department reports 10 new COVID-19 cases in Allegany County since Monday, bringing the cumulative total to 358. The latest cases include four males and one female in their 20s, a female in her 30s, two females in their 40s, and a male and female in their 70s. Of those, one person –a male in his 20s – has required hospitalization.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for two additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 60.

The new positive COVID-19 cases include:
• A female in her 20s with symptoms, isolating at home
• A male in his 60s with symptoms, isolating at home
Today Garrett County’s 7-day positivity percentage is 1.5%, and 5 persons are currently isolating due to COVID-19 positive tests

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

Additional testing days are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org.

The Garrett County Health Department is updating the COVID-19 dashboard on their website, garretthealth.org, to better reflect the current status of the virus in Garrett County.

Beginning at the time of this release, a box will be added to show the number of persons released from isolation. This will be a cumulative total of the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 and have completed their required isolation period.

“Just because a person is no longer required to be isolated does not necessarily mean that person has recovered from their illness,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “Some patients will continue to deal with health issues brought on by COVID-19.”

Another box will list the 7-day positivity percentage for the county. This number will be an average of the positivity percentage of tests administered in the 7 days immediately before the release of the information.

“The 7-day positivity percentage will be a good way to determine where things currently stand with COVID-19 in the county,” Dr. Corder said. “Our current rate is fairly low, but if we have a string of several days where we received a number of positive results each day, then the rate will increase significantly.”

The boxes for positive and negative tests will remain on the dashboard, as well as the number of deaths for the county, which continues to remain at 0. The only number which will no longer be displayed on the dashboard is the total number of tests administered.

“We hope that adding this information to our dashboard will help give a more complete picture of Garrett County’s current COVID-19 status,” Dr. Corder said. “However, just because our numbers are low does not mean we can stop being vigilant about COVID-19 precautions. Our numbers are low partially because of the precautions we have been taking, and we need to continue to wear face coverings, wash our hands frequently, social distance, and stay away from large gatherings.”

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed one additional case today. The confirmed case is a contact to a previous positive case. Case investigation has been completed and new contacts have been notified. The new count is 89 confirmed, 1 probable case, 5 active cases. No hospitalizations.

There are 131 total  13 active 114 recovered 4 deaths in Mineral County

MD Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland has submitted an application to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) grant, which will provide an additional $300 per week to Marylanders who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Maryland is doing much better on our health metrics than most of the rest of the country, we are doing much better on our economic recovery than most of the rest of the country, and we want to do whatever it takes to keep it that way,” said Governor Hogan. “But far too many Marylanders are still struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic. With this critical funding, we can help those struggling Marylanders weather this storm, get back on their feet, and recover.”

Once FEMA reviews and approves the state’s grant application, the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and FEMA to program, implement, and distribute LWA funds, which is expected to begin in late September.

“Our department is grateful for the opportunity to apply for federal funding from FEMA to provide additional financial support to unemployed Marylanders as our state continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “While it will take some time to work with the federal administration to implement this new program, all claimants will receive benefit payments retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility within the new program.”

Eligible claimants will receive the $300 per week in benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020 and ending no later than December 26, 2020. To qualify for the additional $300 per week, claimants must be eligible for a weekly benefit amount of at least $100 and must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Claimants will not have to file a new application to receive LWA benefits.

Per guidance from USDOL, FEMA will fund the $300 per week benefit and Maryland will fulfill the 25% state match through funding that is already paid to claimants in regular unemployment insurance benefits. It is important to note that the terms of the LWA program may be subject to change if the FEMA funding is exhausted or the federal government enacts a new law providing supplemental federal unemployment compensation, or similar compensation, for unemployed or underemployed individuals due to COVID-19.

Maryland’s unemployment rate is 8.0%—nearly 28% lower than the national unemployment rate and better than 32 other states in the nation. In May and June, as the state began its COVID-19 recovery, Maryland gained 96,700 jobs. The next report on state unemployment data will be released this Friday, August 21.

To receive updates and additional information about unemployment insurance programs in Maryland, visit MDunemployment.com.

Aug 18th

The Allegany County Health Department reports that a resident of Sterling Care Frostburg Village who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 has died. Health officials also reported 11 new COVID-19 cases in Allegany County since Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 348. The latest cases include three females in their teens, a female and three males in their 20s, a female in her 30s, a male and female in their 40s, and a male in his 50s. Only the male in his 50s has required hospitalization.

The Hampshire County Health Department has one additional confirmed case and one probable case today. The confirmed case is a contact of a previous positive. The case investigation is complete and contacts have been notified.The probable case is an individual who had symptoms in the past, but did not get tested at that time. Recently, an antibody test was completed and it came back as COVID-19 antibodies present. This made this case a probable COVID-19, but not a confirmed because of the lack of confirmatory testing at the time of illness. The new case count is 88 confirmed, 1 probable, 3 active, 84 recovered, and 1 death. No hospitalizations at this time.

Hampshire County is currently in the yellow status

128 total cases in Mineral County 10 active 114 recovered 4 total deaths

Mineral County is also in the yellow status. Yellow means that if school were in session right now we would be able to continue in person classes with additional precautions in place:

Required masks for grades 3 and above in congregant settings where social distancing is limited.

Increased hand washing and hygiene protocols.

Increased student cohorting by limiting exposure outside of core groups.

Limiting activities where social distancing is not feasible.

Increased community engagement to prevent escalation of disease.

Sports practices and games would be allowed to continue.

Aug 17th

The Allegany County Health Department reports that COVID-19 cases in the county have risen to 337, an increase of 19 cases since Wednesday. The latest cases include one inmate at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Cumberland and 18 community members: seven males and one female in their teens, two males and a female in their 20s, a female in her 30s, a female in her 40s, two males and two females in their 50s, and a male in his 60s. None have required hospitalization.

To date, 12,692 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 337 were positive and 12,355 were negative.


The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 58.

The new positive Garrett County COVID-19 cases include:

• A child under the age of 10, with symptoms, isolating at home.
• A female in her 50s, staff at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home, no symptoms, isolating at home.
• A female in her 20s, staff at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home, no symptoms, isolating at home.
• A female in her 40s, staff at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home, no symptoms, isolating at home.
Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home also received positive results for two additional staff members who are from surrounding counties and will not be added to the county total. They are both isolating at home, and include a female in her 40s with no symptoms, and a female in her 30s with symptoms.

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

Grant County COVID Cases
1 new positive case from the community today. This person is hospitalized.
133: Total COVID diagnosed cases to date.
• 132 Confirmed Positive COVID Tests
• 1 Probable COVID case (we received notification of change in definition)
116: Total Recovered
10: Active Confirmed Cases: (8 GRCC, 2 community)
We realize there is a discrepancy on the WVDHHR website regarding active cases for several counties including Grant… This is being addressed at the state level, and this will be corrected. This does not appear to impact the school metrics.
7: Deaths
4 deaths determined to be COVID related and documented on the Death Certificate
1 additional death 8-13-20 (no death certificate available at this time) 2 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 today. Both individuals are contacts of a previous positive case.

Our new case count is 87 total with 8 active, 78 recovered and 1 death

In Mineral County there are 125 total positive cases, 9 active, 112 recovered and 4 total deaths

Bedford County Total Cases: 153 Confirmed: 136  Probable: 17 Negative: 3,199
Cases per 100,000: 317.60

Somerset County Total Cases: 142 Confirmed: 127  Probable: 15 Negative: 7,130
Cases per 100,000: 192.00

The School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols – developed by Governor Jim Justice, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and the West Virginia Department of Education – provide a consistent tool to determine whether schools can hold in-person instruction and scheduled athletic and extracurricular activities. The protocols set forth will be in effect so long as the state as a whole remains below a 5% positivity rate based on a seven-day rolling basis. This tool will assess community transmission. The color-coded system is driven by data and science to monitor the level of COVID-19 in each county. Once the disease reaches identified levels, counties must respond with mitigation to prevent further spread. The metrics provide county education and local health officials the opportunity to make local decisions within permissible guidelines. Communities are key in managing the transmission of COVID-19 so that school, athletic and extracurricular activities can begin as scheduled and continue uninterrupted.
On September 8, 2020, all counties identified as green and yellow may begin in-person instruction and may maintain this status as long as levels remain steady. Counties with orange or red levels will not be permitted to open to in-person instruction until yellow or green levels are reached on a seven-day rolling basis. After opening, if a county elevates to orange, it may continue to operate under the orange school re-entry protocols. If the county continues to elevate to red, in-person instruction will be suspended and will not resume until the county’s levels return to green or yellow.

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.
SCHOOL RE-ENTRY METRICS AND PROTOCOLS
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice joined State education and health leaders to unveil the new metric and color code system that will determine how in-person instruction, athletics, and other extracurricular activities are conducted at West Virginia’s pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools, to ensure the safety of students, teachers, service personnel, and the community as a whole.

“There’s no state that we know of that has a rating system that is similar to what we’re going to propose to do,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve been working on this, night and day, for a long long time, with all the experts that we could gather: people from West Virginia, out-of-state, and around the world, our medical experts, the education community, our teachers and counties, and many more.”

The School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols – developed by Gov. Justice, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) – provide a consistent tool that will assess community transmission. The color-coded system is driven by data and science to monitor the level of COVID-19 in each county.

The system will be based on each county’s number of new daily cases per 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average. This figure will be calculated and updated by the DHHR.

“The new daily cases are then population-adjusted per 100,000 so small counties and big counties can be compared equally,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, state Coronavirus Czar, who also went on to discuss the use of new daily cases as the key data point in the metric. “The idea behind this is we actually do this at a metric that can change on a daily basis, which then reflects the status of the county. If we wait for the number of active cases to be cleared, that would generally be a minimum of 14 days to see any change and this model changes things much more rapidly and does it on a population-adjusted basis.

“I believe this is a very safe and innovative approach to make sure that we are trying to balance the need to get our students back in class while also protecting them, as well as our teachers, service personnel, and the whole community,” Dr. Marsh continued.

Based on that figure, each county will be assigned one of four colors – green, yellow, orange, or red – which is meant to represent the severity of the rate of community spread.

An online map, tracking each county’s performance in the metric and associated color status, is published on the West Virginia COVID-19 dashboard (under the “Overview” tab, select “Click here to view incidence rate”).
The map will be updated daily for informational purposes. However, each county’s officially designated status will be determined on a weekly basis. At approximately 9 p.m. each Saturday, each county will receive an official color status that will remain in place through the following Saturday evening.

Once the spread of COVID-19 reaches identified levels, counties must respond with specific mitigation actions to prevent further spread.
Click here to view mitigation actions by color
All counties identified as green and yellow on the Saturday prior to the scheduled first day of school, may begin in-person instruction and will be permitted to do so as long as levels remain steady.

Counties with orange or red levels will not be permitted to begin in-person instruction until yellow or green levels are reached on a seven-day rolling basis. Schools in orange or red counties will be full remote learning until yellow or green levels are achieved.

After opening, if a county elevates to orange in its official Saturday status, it may continue to operate in-person instruction under the orange school re-entry protocols. Athletics and extracurricular activities would be limited to controlled practices/activities only and no competitions would be permitted. However, if a county were to reach orange levels in the middle of the week, athletics and extracurricular activities would be permitted to continue until the county reaches orange levels in its official Saturday status.

If a county elevates to red at any time, regardless of the day of the week, all in-person instruction, athletics, and extracurricular activities will be halted the next regularly scheduled school day, and will not resume until the county’s levels return to green or yellow. In this scenario, schools in red counties will be full remote learning until yellow or green levels are achieved.

All of West Virginia’s private and Christian schools will be subject to the same color scale as public schools.

In the event of an outbreak within a contained location, such as a correctional facility, nursing home, etc., the outbreak would count as one positive incidence of COVID-19 among inmates/residents, while the number of positive staff members will be counted at 50 percent before being added to the total case number that will be used in determining each county’s metric.

These School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols will be in effect so long as the state, as a whole, remains below a 5 percent positivity rate based on a rolling, seven-day average.
The School Re-entry Metrics and Protocol applies to students who select the in-person or hybrid options as their preferred model of instruction.

Each county is also offering full virtual instruction. Parents and guardians will have the flexibility to select their preferred instruction model as part of theGovernor’s previously announced plan to reopen all Pre-K-12 schools.

“We’re going to see blended instruction, we’re going to see in-person, five-day instruction, and we’re going to see virtual instruction. That was the goal from day one: to make sure that parents had options,” State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch said. “I just want to thank Governor Justice for the leadership he’s shown in developing the plan. All of the collaboration that’s gone into this process has been wonderful.”

The target date for statewide school re-entry currently remains Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. A final decision on whether to go through with that start date will be made by no later than Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.
CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES UPDATE
Today, Gov. Justice announced that enhanced testing at South Central Regional Jail was completed on-schedule Wednesday.

More than 460 inmates and 80 staff were tested, with no new positive cases being identified since the Governor’s previous update at Wednesday’s press briefing.

The facility remains on lockdown to eliminate movement within the jail.

There are also no new inmate cases at the Southern Regional Jail. The West Virginia National Guard sanitized the medical unit at SRJ on Thursday. The number of active cases among staff at the facility remains at eight, with two additional recoveries.
WEST VIRGINIA VETERANS NURSING FACILITY UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice announced that all 84 residents at the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility tested negative for COVID-19 the Governor ordered the facility to be retested earlier this week.

To-date, 183 staff members tested negative, while nine additional staff tests remain pending.

“I want to thank Administrator Sherri Reed and her staff,” Gov. Justice said. “They have have done an outstanding job.”
ACTIVE CHURCH OUTBREAKS REMAIN IN THREE COUNTIES
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice announced that church-related outbreaks remain active in three counties across West Virginia: Cabell, Taylor, and Wood counties. These outbreaks account for about 42 total cases combined.
FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Gov. Justice also updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19 testing events taking place over the next several weeks at various dates and times in multiple counties across the state.

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 details listed below in chronological order:

Brooke County
Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Bethany College
Hummel Field House: 6268 Main Street, Bethany, WV

Lewis County
Friday, August 14
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday, August 15
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Lewis County High School: 205 Minute Man Drive, Weston, WV

Lincoln County
Wednesday, August 19
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Harts PK-8: 1246 McClellan Highway, Harts, WV 

Hancock County 
Friday, August 21
1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Weir High School: 100 Red Rider Road, Weirton, WV 
Saturday, August 22
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Weir High School: 100 Red Rider Road, Weirton, WV 

Boone County
Tuesday, August 25
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Madison Civic Center: 261 Washington Avenue, Madison, WV

Lincoln County
Wednesday, August 26
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Alum Creek Church of Christ: 2368 Childress Road, Alum Creek, WV 

Webster County
Saturday, August 29

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM 
Webster County High School: 1 Highlander Drive, Cowen, WV 

Nicholas County
Thursday, September 17

12:00 PM – 8:00 PM 
Nazarene Camp: 6461 Webster Road, Summersville, WV 
SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS: OVER $8.3 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on small businesses that have applied for funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, reporting that over 2,000 applications have been submitted, with more than $8.3 million being awarded to date.

The initiative is providing $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on March 1, 2020, with 1-35 employees, is able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Businesses planning to apply must first be registered as a vendor with the State to be eligible. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

The application will remain open until Sept. 30, 2020.
CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $77.6 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $77.6 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.
WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

Click here to view the map

More than 696 free-feeding locations have now 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.
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.
Gov. Jim Justice today joined Vice President Mike Pence, along with several other national and state leaders, for a briefing to discuss efforts being made in West Virginia to combat the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopen the state.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS

“Thank you for your leadership during this extraordinarily challenging time,” Vice President Pence said to Gov. Justice. “I truly do believe, Governor, that because of your leadership and because of this team you have assembled and because of the cooperation of the people of West Virginia, you have saved lives in this state.”

“We all know it’s been a struggle, but we could have never, ever gotten out of the gate if it hadn’t been for this man right here, his team,” Gov. Justice said to Vice President Pence. “How they have pivoted and how they have adjusted to something that came like a wave beyond belief is incredible.”

Vice President Pence serves as the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“I can’t fathom what this battle would have been like if we hadn’t had our President and our Vice President and all of his great people with us,” Gov. Justice added.

“The President wanted me to be here with a very special message to you,” Vice President Pence said. “We are with you. We are going to stay with you until the day comes we can put this coronavirus in the past once and for all.”

Vice President Pence and Gov. Justice were joined for the briefing by U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Congresswoman Carol Miller, Congressman Alex Mooney, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh, and West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. James Hoyer.

“We are truly grateful for the leadership that you have shown, your team has shown, your delegation to Washington, D.C., has shown,” Vice President Pence said. “Very soon, West Virginia will be going back to school and we’re absolutely determined to partner with you until we bring West Virginia all the way back.”
JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION COVID-19 RESPONSE HIGHLIGHTS: Under Gov. Justice’s direction, West Virginia’s COVID-19 numbershave been among the best in the nation. West Virginia has outperformed the national average, as well as the rates of all of its bordering states, in percentage of population tested, percentage of population positive, percentage of positive test results, and case fatality rate. West Virginia was also the final state in the country without any positive cases of COVID-19.   West Virginia’s statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – is currently tied for the 8th-best such rate in the country. If a given state’s Rt value is above 1.0, it means the virus will spread quickly, while values under 1.0 mean infections are slowing. West Virginia’s Rt has remained under 1.0 every day since July 6, 2020; the same day that the Governor instituted his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement.   At Gov. Justice’s direction, West Virginia was the first state in the nation to order the full testing of all nursing home and assisted living facility residents and staff. Several weeks later, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to governors in all 50 states across America, calling on them to follow West Virginia’s lead by focusing their COVID-19 testing efforts on nursing homes and other vulnerable communities.   After the initial shutdown, Gov. Justice’s multiphased approach to reopening the economy – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – strategically permitted businesses, operations, and other entities to reopen in waves over the course of 10 weeks, allowing for the economy to come back online quickly and safely. As a result of this plan, West Virginia ended Fiscal Year 2020 with a budgetary surplus of $28 million despite the effects of the pandemic.   Under Gov. Justice’s leadership, hundreds of millions of dollars have been distributed to small businesses, local city and county governments, the state’s unemployment fund, and more through federal funding provided by the CARES Act. A recent report by the U.S. Treasury Department ranked West Virginia as the 4th-best state in the nation when it comes to the rate at which CARES Act funding is being used. According to the report, West Virginia also ranks 1st in both total funding used and funding usage rate among all 21 states across the country that received the base CARES Act amount of $1.25 billion from Congress.   Gov. Justice has developed a comprehensive plan to reopen Pre-K-12 schools that works for all West Virginians. The plan provides parents the choice between full-time in-person learning, full-time virtual learning, or a hybrid model to best suit the needs of their child. The plan is also rooted in safety, using a scientific metric to precisely measure the level of spread in each county and gives county school systems the flexibility to build protocols that are tailored to the unique needs of their communities.   Gov. Justice has also committed millions of dollars, both to ensure all West Virginia students have the capability to learn in a remote environment by establishing more than 1,000 free wireless internet access points statewide, and to ensure safety on college and university campuses by providing additional funding for all public and private higher education students and staff members to be tested for COVID-19.

CLICK HERE to view a full timeline of all of Gov. Justice’s actions and executive orders since the beginning of the pandemic.
ADDITIONAL REMARKS:
“Nursing homes have been a critical area that we’ve been focused on from day one. The President and the Vice President have said we have always known that the nursing homes are the most vulnerable,” Administrator Verma said to Gov. Justice. “You’ve been one of the first states to do the testing in each of the nursing homes, which is absolutely critical. You’ve been a model for a lot of other states and we hope to share some of your best practices with the rest of the country.”

“I think it’s just phenomenal what you’ve done here,” Secretary Perdue said to Gov. Justice. “Leadership does matter.

“I think it’s a testament to, not only to your leadership, but to the people of West Virginia to follow that and see the results,” Secretary Perdue continued. “I’m happy to be here to see the details.”

“The Governor and his team, General Hoyer, Dr. Marsh, and many others, have done a great job for the state, figuring out how to act, what to do, and how to best protect,” Senator Capito said. “Once we saw our numbers become manageable, success breeds success, and we found out that what we were doing was really beginning to work.”

“Your team has been incredible. What you’ve done since January has been wonderful,” Congresswoman Miller told the Vice President, adding: “We are team players in West Virginia. West Virginians do work together.

“I think the brilliance of what the Governor has done with the new system that he’s doing with implementing our schools, is you’re giving the schools and the students responsibility,” Congresswoman Miller continued. “You’re letting them know that their behavior is very important.”

“I thank you, Mr. Vice President, for coming to West Virginia again. Your administration has shown West Virginia more attention and support than, I think, any previous administration,” Congressman Mooney said, adding: “Our Governor has come up with a system that works for West Virginia. I appreciate that we have a Governor that we can talk to.”

Gov. Justice wrapped up the briefing with final remarks.

“West Virginia has been a model in a lot of ways,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve done the right things here. We have stayed together. I could never be more proud of what the people of West Virginia have done. But we could never have done this without the Trump team and all the work everybody has done.

“We’re going to win this battle,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’re going to get across this finish line.”

As part of Maryland’s ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, several state agencies are working together to facilitate a statewide communication process for citizens to report concerns about potential situations where precautions are being ignored that will prompt follow-up by local health officials and, if necessary, law enforcement officers.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Maryland Department of Health and Maryland Department of State Police are  announcing Maryland’s toll-free COVID Prevention Line.

1-833-979-2266

prevent.covid@maryland.gov

This is a statewide toll-free number and an email address which can be used 24-hours-a-day to report situations of concern where prevention guidelines are being ignored and the potential for the spread of COVID-19 is high. Callers/emailers may remain anonymous or they can provide their name and phone number in the event additional information is needed from officials.

Information provided on this line will be forwarded to the local health department officials in the jurisdiction of the location or situation described in the call. Depending on the circumstances, teams of appropriate local officials from agencies including the health department, liquor board, and law enforcement will assess the situation and take the appropriate action. Ultimately, individuals violating the Governor’s Executive Order could be charged with a violation of that order, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

It is important for each Marylander to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Maryland. Following state and local health guidelines will result in a safer and healthier state that can return to normal sooner rather than later

Aug 13th The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional positive COVID-19 cases. Both of these cases are contacts of a previous positive case. Case investigation is complete and contacts have been notified. All results are in from the 8/5 community testing drive-thru event. There was 1 positive out of 262 residents tested. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped with this event. Top of FormBottom of Form

Total case count is now 85- 10 active, 74 recovered, 1 death. No hospitalizations.

In Mineral County there are 122 total positive cases, 11 active 107 recovered 4 deaths

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 62. We currently have five patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 57 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 62.

Grant County COVID Cases There were no additional positive cases reported today.

Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center staff and residents were all swabbed for COVID today per CDC protocol, and specimens submitted to the lab. Results will be shared when available and all positives notified.

135: Total Cases diagnosed
• 131 Confirmed Positive COVID Tests
• 4 Probable COVID cases
120: Total Recovered
10: Active Confirmed Cases: (9 GRCC, 1 community)
None Hospitalized at present.
4: deaths determined to be COVID related and documented on the Death Certificate / 2 others tested positive soon before passing away from other causes and COVID was not determined to contribute to the death by the physician of record.

Please, remember to wear a face covering TO PROTECT OTHERS.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced $10 million in grant awards to support expanded broadband access for education. The Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband has awarded nearly $8 million in grant assistance to increase internet access for Maryland public school students. Approximately $2 million will support feasibility and design studies for a new statewide wireless network solely dedicated for educational use. The grant funding will be provided by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and administered by the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband.

“Our administration is committed to expanding broadband to every corner of our state, and as many local school systems prepare for remote or hybrid learning models in the fall, this access is more important than ever,” said Governor Hogan. “These grants will support partnerships between the state, local governments, and internet service providers to ensure distance learning options are available and accessible for all Maryland students.”

21 out Maryland’s 24 local jurisdictions applied for and received additional resources. In urban areas where students have access to broadband infrastructure, the grants will be used to help currently unserved students obtain internet service from an existing provider. In rural areas where broadband infrastructure does not exist, the grants will be used to provide wireless access to students with cellular hotspots or similar resources. View the full list of grantees.https://dhcd.maryland.gov/…/Broadband_School_Grants_2020.pdf

Funding will also support feasibility studies and design for a statewide fixed wireless network to further expand access for unserved students in rural areas. The Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband will work with local partners to incorporate existing vertical assets, such as communications towers and water towers, as part of the network infrastructure. This network is expected to be operational by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Allegany County $70,000 Anne Arundel County $58,989 Baltimore City $1,778,600 Calvert County $15,600 Caroline County $111,370 Carroll County $50,192 Cecil County $14,000 Charles County $812,008 Dorchester County $124,000 Garrett County $185,000 Harford County $79,138 Howard County $213,649 Kent County $45,973 Montgomery County $1,117,512 Prince George’s County $517,500 Queen Anne’s County $708,000 St Mary’s County $1,685,821 Talbot County $101,900 Washington County $172,935 Wicomico County $112,125 Worcester County $11,200 Total $7,985,512

GCPS has been awarded a grant from the Maryland State Office of Rural Broadband to provide hot spots for at-home, virtual learning. Please apply for a hot spot if you currently do not have internet access, or if you feel your internet access is not sufficient for virtual learning. The applications will be used to prioritize distribution, as we will not be provided enough for every individual household. To apply online, please fill out the form below. If you have trouble accessing the form, you may apply via phone, toll-free at 1-888-285-7254. This line is open Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm. If you do not reach us, please leave a voicemail, and we will return your call as soon as possible. Please note that this hotline is intended only for hot spot applications. Officials  will be accepting applications through the start of school. However, quantities are limited and unfortunately they will not be able to supply one for every home. They  currently do not have a definitive date for the arrival of these hot spots, but will distribute them as soon as possible.

Cellular Hotspot Application

If you have any questions, please email hotspot@garrettcountyschools.org

As part of Maryland’s ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, several state agencies are working together to facilitate a statewide communication process for citizens to report concerns about potential situations where precautions are being ignored that will prompt follow-up by local health officials and, if necessary, law enforcement officers.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Maryland Department of Health and Maryland Department of State Police are today announcing Maryland’s toll-free COVID Prevention Line.

1-833-979-2266

prevent.covid@maryland.gov

This is a statewide toll-free number and an email address which can be used 24-hours-a-day to report situations of concern where prevention guidelines are being ignored and the potential for the spread of COVID-19 is high. Callers/emailers may remain anonymous or they can provide their name and phone number in the event additional information is needed from officials.

Information provided on this line will be forwarded to the local health department officials in the jurisdiction of the location or situation described in the call. Depending on the circumstances, teams of appropriate local officials from agencies including the health department, liquor board, and law enforcement will assess the situation and take the appropriate action. Ultimately, individuals violating the Governor’s Executive Order could be charged with a violation of that order, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

It is important for each Marylander to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Maryland. Following state and local health guidelines will result in a safer and healthier state that can return to normal sooner rather than later

.

Aug 12th The Allegany County Health Department reports 20 new cases of  COVID-19 since Monday, bringing the county total to 318 cases. New cases include three children under age 10, two females and two males in their teens, three females and one male in their 20s, a female in her 30s, two females and a male in their 40s, two females and a male in their 50s, and two females in their 60s. None of these individuals have been hospitalized.

Grant County COVID Cases 135: Total Cases Diagnosed • 131 Confirmed Positive Tests • 4 Probable cases 119: Total Recovered 10: Active Confirmed Cases: (9 GRCC, 1 community) None Hospitalized at present. 4: deaths determined to be COVID related and documented

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 today. Through case investigation it has been determined that there are shared personal contacts with these cases. Contact notification is currently underway.

The total case count for today is 83 with 8 active cases, 74 recovered and 1 death. No one is hospitalized at this time.

Bedford County Total Cases: 145 Confirmed: 128  Probable: 17 Negative: 2,958
Cases per 100,000: 301.00

Somerset County Total Cases: 138 Confirmed: 123  Probable: 15 Negative: 6,830
Cases per 100,000: 186.60

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.
TEMPORARY NURSING HOME VISITATION RESTRICTION
After reporting during Wednesday’s briefing that 28 active outbreaks of COVID-19 have now been identified in nursing homes across the state, Gov. Justice announced that he has issued an executive order, temporarily prohibiting all visitation in all of West Virginia’s nursing home facilities, except in cases of compassionate care due to end-of-life or deteriorating physical and/or mental health.

“We have got to try, with all in us, to some way calm this down,” Gov. Justice said. “I know how much it means for your mom, dad, grandma, or granddad to be able to see you and for you to see them. But, at the same time, we cannot come in every other day and lose 12 people without trying everything we can to stop it.”

Since the Governor’s most recent briefing on Monday, another 12 West Virginians passed away from COVID-19, with 11 of those individuals ranging from 71 to 89 years old.

The visitation stoppage will go into effect on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

“I know it is absolutely just plain horrible for us to not be able to have visitation,” Gov. Justice said. “But I promise you this: we’re going to work like crazy to come up with a metric that we can go by so we can make decisions for each county and not have to close everything statewide.

“We will work as diligently as we can to have that out very, very quickly,” Gov. Justice continued. “Not something that’s going to be out in a month, something that’s going to be out in days – so we can have visitation in some nursing homes, even if we can’t have it in others.”

On March 12, Gov. Justice asked 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. On June 2, Gov. Justice announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to governors in all 50 states across America, calling on them to follow West Virginia’s lead and focus their COVID-19 testing efforts on nursing homes and other vulnerable communities.

On June 10, 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 several limitations in place.

The Governor’s new visitation restriction announced Wednesday does not apply to assisted living facilities.

MON COUNTY BARS TO REMAIN CLOSED ANOTHER SEVEN DAYS
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice issued another executive order, extending the closure of all bars in Monongalia County for an additional seven days.

The new order extends the countywide bar closure until Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

“We’ve been in communication with our bar owners, landlords, medical experts, and restaurant owners, trying to determine how we can reopen our Monongalia County bars,” Gov. Justice said. “They have done much, much better with their numbers there and that’s good.

“Now, if we can come up with a protocol that truly works, from a standpoint of reopening those businesses, we will do so.”

Fall move-in week for West Virginia University students in Morgantown is scheduled to begin this Saturday, August 15 and continue through Saturday, August 22.

“WVU has recommended for us to keep the bars closed for another seven days,” Gov. Justice said. “So we’re going to keep them closed for seven more days and see where we stand.”

The countywide bar closure was originally established under Executive Order 52-20, first extended under Executive Order 55-20, and further extended under Executive Order 58-20.

The order keeps all Monongalia County bars closed for the on-premises consumption of food or drinks or occupancy by the general public. However, customers are still permitted to pick up food or drinks to be taken away.

The order maintains that patrons are allowed to be seated, for dining, at tables and bar tops within “bar areas” of restaurants, hotels, and other similar facilities, subject to the same limitations that are in place for restaurants.

CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES UPDATE
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation will finish retesting all inmates at South Central Regional Jail in Kanawha County today.

The Governor reported that the jail now has 26 active cases among inmates and one active case among staff. The facility remains on lockdown to eliminate movement within the jail.

“This is another example of how, when there’s a problem, we run to the fire and proactively try to get it under control as best we can,” Gov. Justice said. “I want to thank the Division of Corrections, the DHHR, and all those that are involved, for continuing to run to the fire.”

HELP304: NEW EMOTIONAL STRENGTH HOTLINE
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced an all-new service, called HELP304, which is funded by FEMA and administered by the DHHR to help West Virginians deal with COVID-19-related stress.

“This is a hotline for those that are really struggling emotionally with the pandemic,” Gov. Justice said. “If you’re stressed and need someone, we want you to call and someone who’s there to help will answer.”

West Virginians can call or text 1-877-HELP-304 (1-877-435-7304) or chat online at www.HELP304.com to receive free help from trained crisis counselors who can listen to concerns, help sort out emotions, and provide connections to community resources.

“We know how difficult all of this is for lots and lots of people,” Gov. Justice said. “So if you’re out there and you’re struggling, please reach out.”

PRE-INSTALLATION WORK UNDERWAY AT KIDS CONNECT SITES
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that pre-installation work as part of his new Kids Connect program is now underway at sites across the state where new equipment is needed.

Last week, Gov. Justice announced that he had pledged $6 million for Kids Connect – a joint effort between the Governor’s Office of Technology, the WVDE, and the Higher Education Policy Commission to establish over 1,000 free wireless internet access points statewide, allowing all West Virginia students to have a safe and reliable way to access their assignments online.

“We’re on schedule for all of the sites to be up and going by September 8th,” Gov. Justice said.

September 8 remains the tentative first day of school under the Governor’s plan to reopen all pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools in West Virginia.

An interactive map of all 1,006 potential Kids Connect locations is available on the Department of Education’s website.

WEST VIRGINIA’S RATE OF SPREAD 7TH-LOWEST IN NATION
West Virginia’s statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – is now the 7th-lowest such rate in the nation.

At one point, before Gov. Justice instituted his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement, West Virginia’s Rt value was the worst in the country.

During Wednesday’s briefing, the Governor added that West Virginia’s numbers remain considerably better than those of the surrounding states.

“States across the nation would give anything to have these numbers,” Gov. Justice said. “But we can’t be content when we’ve lost 153 great West Virginians. If we can prevent the 154th one, we need to try, with all in us, to do just that.”

ACTIVE CHURCH OUTBREAKS DOWN TO THREE COUNTIES
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that previous church-related outbreaks in Grant, Logan, and Mason counties are no longer considered active at this time.

Additional church-related outbreaks remain active in three counties across West Virginia, including Cabell, Taylor, and Wood counties.

These outbreaks account for about 38 total cases combined – down from 89 such cases on Wednesday.

NEW HOT/COLD TRUCKS FOR SENIOR MEAL DELIVERY PROGRAMS
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that he presented a fleet of new hot & cold food trucks at an event in Boone County yesterday, that will allow more seniors across West Virginia to receive fresh meals in their homes through the State’s senior nutrition meal delivery programs: Meals on Wheels and Home-Delivered Meals.

A total of 16 new Ford F-150 trucks, which utilize hot and cold food storage systems, will be used by county aging programs across the state to bolster senior nutrition efforts and replace aging vehicles currently in use.

“Yesterday was a really special day for all of our great seniors, who have truly given so much to West Virginia, and it was a special day for me because I always say we need to step up to the plate and try to help our seniors where we can,” Gov. Justice said. “I want to thank West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Commissioner Robert Roswall for all his work leading this important program.

“I also want to thank all of our local directors of county senior and community services,” Gov. Justice continued. “They are our boots on the ground, making sure our seniors are taken care of.”

The new fleet of food trucks will be used in Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Lewis, Marion, Mercer, Pocahontas, Roane, Tyler, and Wirt counties. However, Gov. Justice added that another round of vehicle additions will be announced in the coming weeks in support of senior nutrition programs all across West Virginia.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Gov. Justice also updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19 testing events taking place over the next several weeks at various dates and times in multiple counties across the state.

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 details listed below in chronological order:

Brooke County
Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Bethany College
Hummel Field House: 6268 Main Street, Bethany, WV

Lewis County
Friday, August 14
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday, August 15
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Lewis County High School: 205 Minute Man Drive, Weston, WV

Lincoln County
Wednesday, August 19
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Harts PK-8: 1246 McClellan Highway, Harts, WV

Hancock County 
Friday, August 21
1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Weir High School: 100 Red Rider Road, Weirton, WV 
Saturday, August 22
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Weir High School: 100 Red Rider Road, Weirton, WV

Boone County
Tuesday, August 25
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Madison Civic Center: 261 Washington Avenue, Madison, WV

Lincoln County
Wednesday, August 26
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Alum Creek Church of Christ: 2368 Childress Road, Alum Creek, WV

Webster County
Saturday, August 29
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM 
Webster County High School: 1 Highlander Drive, Cowen, WV

Nicholas County
Thursday, September 17
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM 
Nazarene Camp: 6461 Webster Road, Summersville, WV

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS: $8.3 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on small businesses that have applied for funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, reporting that over 2,000 applications have been submitted, with more than $8.3 million being awarded to date.

The initiative is providing $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on March 1, 2020, with 1-35 employees, is able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Businesses planning to apply must first be registered as a vendor with the State to be eligible. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

The application will remain open until Sept. 30, 2020.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $75.6 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $75.6 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

Click here to view the map

More than 696 free-feeding locations have now 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.

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

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.

U.S. Congressman David Trone along with U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (all D-Md.) announced that Western Maryland Area Health Education Center will receive $1 million dollars in funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to help combat the worsening opioid crisis in the region.

The Western Maryland Area Health Education Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to improve access and quality of care in Western Maryland, servicing Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties, and portions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

The funding comes through a $101 million grant to help states address substance use and opioid use disorders in high-risk communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the addiction crisis in our country, placing millions of Americans at risk,” said Congressman David Trone, founder of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction. “Right now, we need to be getting resources in the hands of states to confront this crisis and help the communities that are most impacted by this disease. This funding for the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center will help the organization tailor their prevention and treatment methods to the communities they serve. I look forward to seeing this funding in action in Western Maryland.”

“Local organizations like the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center that are on the front lines of this public health crisis are being asked to do more with fewer resources as they respond to the challenges of COVID-19,” said Senator Cardin. “While communities are still battling the opioid crisis, stay-at-home orders and isolation due to COVID-19 have taken a toll on mental health and those with substance use disorders. Our local health centers must have the ability to address the specific needs of their residents, while keeping them safe from this virus.  With these funds, the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center will be able to continue to deliver quality substance use disorder treatment to patients in need and better address the priorities of Western Maryland residents.”

“For too long, the opioid crisis has plagued communities in Maryland. Now, many are facing additional complications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding directs support services to areas that have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. We will continue fighting for additional resources to address addiction and mental health issues in communities across Maryland,” said Senator Van Hollen.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services working to expand access to health care services to vulnerable Americans.

Aug 11th The Allegany County Health Department reports 14 new cases of  COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the county total to 298 cases.

New cases include one male in his teens, two females and three males in their 20s, one male and one female in their 30s, one male and one female in their 40s, one male and two females in their 50s, and one female in her 60s. None of these individuals have been hospitalized.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for three additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 54.

The new positive COVID-19 cases include:

• A male in his 20s who has symptoms and is isolating at home.
• A female in her 20s who had symptoms and isolated at home. This case was originally reported in another county, but was transferred to Garrett County because of her actual place of residence. This patient has already been released from isolation.
• A male in his 40s who has symptoms and is isolating at home.
The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

In Mineral County there are a total of 120 positive cases 13 are currently active 103 have recovered and 4 deaths

No additional positive cases were reported Monday in Grant County.There have been 122 Grant County residents with confirmed cases of COVID 19 since April 12. There have been 4 probable. There are currently 9 active cases, with hospitalized There have been 111 have recovered.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed three new cases of COVID-19 today. One of the positive cases came from our community wide testing held last week at Hampshire High School. Case investigation is underway and contacts are being notified.

Less than half of the results from last week’s testing event are pending. Individuals who were tested at the high school event can go to https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/ to look up their results. NOTE: The positive case from the event has been notified. If you haven’t heard from us then you are negative or pending.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has three additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 60. We currently have six patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 54 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 60.

Allegany Museum regrets to announce that they will not hold the annual George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Fest this year.Earlier this year, as they watched the progress of the corona virus, they decided that it was prudent to move the original date of June 12 to September 11.
The continuing pandemic and the current upswing make hosting the event and complying with the necessary safeguards too difficult to manage.They put the safety of their guests and volunteers ahead of everything else. They want to thank the sponsors and volunteers for their efforts this year.
Please join for the next George Washington’s Whiskey Rebellion brought to you by Community Trust Foundation on June 11, 2021. If you have purchased tickets, officials will gladly refund you, or you can keep it and it will be honored next year.
The Museum IS planning to reopen on September 1, with appropriate health safeguards in place.

Aug 10th The Allegany County Health Department reports six new cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. The new cases are all among community members including a school-aged male, two males and one female in their 20s, a male in his 60s, and a female in her 70s. None have been hospitalized.

As of Friday 11,797 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 11,513 were negative and 284 were positive.

There are currently 117 COVID-19 cases in Mineral County, 15 active, 98 recovered and 4 deaths.

There will be a drive-thru testing site open Tuesday, August 11th 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 August 6th 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, August 11th 9a-11a Please bring your insurance card with you.

There were NO additional positive cases reported this weekend in Grant County.

Grant County current total positive case count is:
122 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (81 community, 41 GRCC)
126 Total (122 confirmed, 4 probable).

No one is hospitalized at this time with COVID.

Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center completed COVID testing for all residents and staff following Outbreak Protocol and will report results when received.

Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive cases, and we are instructing on self-isolation, monitoring symptoms and testing protocol as indicated.

A reminder about contacts and self-isolation: A contact that is instructed to self-isolate for 14 days after the last exposure is a person that has been exposed to a someone that has TESTED POSITIVE for COVID. This is NOT a person that has contact to another that has been exposed to COVID.

Please, remember to wear a face covering TO PROTECT OTHERS. Many of the CONTACTs that became positive were exposed to a confirmed case up to two days before symptoms appeared. Some had minor symptoms and thought a cold or sinus before the symptoms changed to fever, muscle aches, cough etc.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

Bedford County Total Cases: 142 Confirmed: 124  Probable: 18 Negative: 2,892

Somerset County Total Cases: 134 Confirmed: 119  Probable: 15 Negative: 6,540

Aug 6th The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for two additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 51.

The new positive COVID-19 cases include:

• A female staff member at Dennett Road Nursing Home in her 20s without symptoms, isolating at home
• A male in his 50s without symptoms, isolating at home
The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

Additional testing days are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org

Whether you have tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have been identified as a close contact of someone else who tested positive, the requirements are the same: Stay at home!

Two different terms are used by public health, isolation and quarantine, but they both lead to the same result, requiring the person under consideration to stay at home. The only exception would be to go to a medical appointment, and then only if the provider has been informed of the situation and they still advise the person to come to the appointment.

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have, or may have, a contagious disease. The CDC offers the following definitions:

• Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
• Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Once a positive case is identified, they are told to isolate.

“If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be asked to isolate for the appropriate time period,” said Tiffany Fratz, Director of Personal Health at the Garrett County Health Department. “Isolation means you should stay home the entire time, and stay away from others in your home as much as possible.”

When you test positive for COVID-19, and you have symptoms, you will be

asked to isolate for at least 10 days from the beginning of symptoms and until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If you remain symptom free, isolate for a least 10 days from the date you were tested.

The next step to reduce the spread is a process known as contact tracing. If any potential exposures to COVID-19 are discovered through contact tracing activities, individuals who have had close personal contact will be notified. The contact tracing team works closely with neighboring counties, including those in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our area.

It is important to answer the call if caller ID shows either Garrett County Health Department or MD COVID because calls from contact tracers could show up as either one.

The CDC defines a close contact as someone who has been within 6 feet or closer to a positive case for 15 minutes or more. If you do not hear from contact tracers by phone, you have not been identified and are not on the list of close contacts.

If you have been identified as a close contact of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure to the positive case.

“Please remember that whether you are asked to isolate or quarantine, you must stay home,” Fratz said. “That means have someone else run your errands, and don’t go to any gatherings, including church. You don’t want to spread the virus to anyone else who may become very sick, or even die.”

Throughout the pandemic, state and local health officials have required or recommended various general safety precautions such as wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, washing hands and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus

There were 2 additional positive cases today reported from the community, which makes 119 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (78 community, 41 GRCC) in Grant County.
There was also 1 additional case determined to be probable.

This brings our current Grant County total positive case count to 123 Total (119 confirmed, 4 probable). No one is hospitalized at this time with COVID.
There are 44 active cases currently.

Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive cases, and we are instructing on self-isolation, monitoring symptoms and testing protocol as indicated.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

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 and instructions how to proceed.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 57. There are currently four patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. They have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 53 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 57.

In Mineral County there are 115 total positive 14 active 97 recovered and 4 deaths

Aug 5th

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Allegany County has increased to 278, with seven new cases reported since Monday. The latest cases include a resident of Devlin Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and six Allegany County community members – two males and two females in their 20s, a male in his 50s and a female in her 70s. None have been hospitalized.

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for three additional persons, bringing the current county total positives to 49. The current total for negative tests for Garrett County is 5,979.

The new positive COVID-19 cases include:
• A male in his 60s with symptoms, isolating at home
• A female in her 80s without symptoms, isolating at home
• A female in her 70s without symptoms, isolating at home
The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between the Health Department and Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

Additional testing days are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org.

Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

In Mineral County there are 113 total positive cases, 12 active, 97 recovered and 4 deaths

There have now been 117 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (76 community, 41 GRCC) in Grant County. There were 4 additional positive cases today reported from the community.

This brings our current Grant County total positive case count to 120 Total (117confirmed, 3 probable). Thankfully, no one is hospitalized at this time with COVID.

Unfortunately, there were 13 residents and 6 staff that were tested on July 29 and 30 from Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) that tested positive. CDC and State Health Department protocol is being followed to protect the residents and staff. Local Health Department staff is conducting contact tracing and is working with the staff of the Center and the State Health Department to address this outbreak and prevent the spread.

Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive cases, and we are instructing on self-isolation, monitoring symptoms and testing protocol as indicated.

If you have any symptoms (loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, headache or diarrhea) or have been told that you are a close contact to a positive case and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

You can 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 and instructions how to proceed.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed one new case of COVID-19. The case investigation has been complete and all contacts have been notified.

The case count is now 76 with 7 active, 68 recovered, and 1 death. One person is hospitalized.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 55. We currently have six patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 49 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 55.

For more information, please see https://www.dropbox.com/s/…/20200805-hardy-covid-update.pdf…

Bedford County Total Cases: 134 Confirmed: 117  Probable: 17 Negative: 2,756

Somerset County Total Cases: 127 Confirmed: 113  Probable: 14

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.
WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS REOPENING PLAN
During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice joined State education and health leaders to unveil the multifaceted plan that will be used to reopen all pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools in West Virginia and will also provide multiple options and resources to allow all students to resume their education.

“I’ve told you repeatedly that there’s no chance in the world, to the best of all my abilities, will I put a kid, a teacher, our service personnel, or anyone into a situation that’s unsafe,” Gov. Justice said. “Today, I am extremely proud to announce that we have a safe method to reopen our schools that we built in from a standpoint of local control and scientific metrics.”

Timeline and options
Gov. Justice announced that the target date for school re-entry currently remains Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Local data including community spread and infection rates will continue to be monitored to ensure students and staff are able to return to school safely.

All 55 counties are required to submit their re-entry plans to the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) by Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. Each county will offer multiple options for instruction, including in-person instruction, virtual instruction, or a hybrid model. Parents and guardians will have the flexibility to select their preferred instruction model.

In-person instruction and hybrid models would place students in the classroom for a set number of days based on each county’s re-entry plan. However, generally, the hybrid option will feature reduced days or reduced hours of in-person instruction, combined with distance or virtual learning.

Virtual instruction would serve as an option for parents or guardians who have concerns about sending their child back to school. Virtual instruction will require complete online learning with a broadband or wifi access.

All counties must have plans in place to minimize exposure and to implement best health practices like social distancing, face coverings, hand washing, and disinfection protocols. They must also provide a plan to continue to feed children daily, regardless of the mode of instruction they choose and they must continue to provide support services for students who may require additional assistance.

Safety metrics
If a county were to see substantial community transmission, Gov. Justice, State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch, and the affected county superintendent would work together on additional actions to keep schools safe, including stopping in-person instruction and going to full remote learning if necessary.

Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that he has directed the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and State medical experts to work with the WVDE to develop a metric that will be used to indicate when it is safe to go to school and when community transmission rises to a level where additional action may be necessary.

The Governor announced that the metric, which is still in development, will be based on each county’s rate of COVID-19 cases over certain periods of time.

As soon as the metric is finalized, it will be made publicly available. The numbers for each county will be posted to an online dashboard and a map for the public to see.

“Over the next 10 to 14 days or so, we will develop a code system,” Gov. Justice said. “From that, what we’ll do is be able to look at an area and say, ‘This county has this level of the metric and it is beyond what we think is acceptable for the schools to be open.’ From there, in that county at that point in time, we would not have schools open. We would do it all virtually until we get the numbers back down.”

Depending on how each county is performing in the metric, they will each be assigned one of four colors: green, yellow, orange, or red.

Green indicates that a county is experiencing minimal community transmission, allowing counties to operate under general re-entry guidelines while continuing to follow best health practices to prevent the spread of the disease.

Yellow indicates that a county is experiencing moderate community transmission and increased restrictions may be necessary.

Orange indicates that a county is experiencing higher community transmission and further restrictions will be necessary, in collaboration with local health officials.

Red indicates that a county is experiencing substantial community transmission. Under these conditions all in-person instruction would be suspended and remote learning plans would be activated. Staff would continue essential support services, including meals, student engagement, and special education.

Each county’s performance in respect to the safety metric will be continuously evaluated by DHHR and updated on the online dashboard and map resources.

Kids Connect: Broadband expansion
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that in order to ensure all West Virginia students have the access to broadband that they need to participate in virtual or remote learning, he is committing $6 million to his new Kids Connect initiative.

Under this program, the Governor’s Office of Technology will work alongside the WVDE and the Higher Education Policy Commission to establish over 1,000 free wireless internet access points statewide by Sept. 8, with locations in all 55 counties.

“Today, there’s 40 percent of our state where our kids can get onto broadband,” Gov. Justice said. “What this will enable them to do is go to one of these 1,000 locations and go into a parking lot, or whatever it may be, and download their online assignments.”

The access points will be in the parking lots of all Pre-K-12 schools, totaling 688 sites. Additional access points will be provided at 32 higher education institutions, 255 libraries, and 31 of West Virginia’s state parks.

Later in his address, the Governor also announced that he is planning to work alongside the WVDE and each county board of education to make sure that all students have access to devices like laptops and tablets so they can participate in virtual learning.

“If they don’t have a laptop or a tablet, what we want to do is be able to provide one for every kid in this state,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to make sure that our kids can get online. We’re going to deliver a quality education to all of our kids.”

Transportation
During his remarks, the Governor added that he is working with education leaders to ensure that, if a student needs transportation to school, a feeding location, a Kids Connect broadband access point, or to sports practice, transportation will be provided through each county’s bus system.

“We’re going to send buses so we can get our kids to these needs as best as they possibly can,” Gov. Justice said. “Is it tough? Yes. But there is nothing more important than providing our kids with access to these resources and opportunities.”
School sports
Gov. Justice added that he and Superintendent Burch continue to work alongside West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission Executive Director Bernie Dolan on how to make sure our athletes are safe, and how to account for the possibility that some counties may have to stop in-person sporting events if community transmission rises to a high level.
Private and Christian schools
The Governor also announced today that he is providing $1.6 million to all private and Christian schools across the state to use for their reopening plans.

“We know all the great work you do,” Gov. Justice said. “It is phenomenal, the successes you have and we commend you in every way on that.”

The funding will come out of West Virginia’s portion of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds, provided by the U.S. Department of Education to support educational needs in each state related to COVID-19. The GEER funds, approved by Congress through the CARES Act, are a separate allocation from the $1.25 billion in discretionary funds appropriated to the State.

“This money will flow to you immediately to help you be better prepared to reopen your schools as well,” Gov. Justice continued.

The Governor added that the WVDE has another $1.6 million for private and Christian schools that came from another federal bucket of money. However, those funds are currently tied up in a lawsuit. Gov. Justice pledged that, if the legal problems are cleared up, the additional $1.6 million will also be sent for COVID-19 response purposes.
Community
Finally, the Governor discussed how, in many cases, schools are seen as a community lifeline to children who may be in need of support.

“We all know that in a lot of instances, the safest place a kid can be is in school,” Gov. Justice said. “We know that there are all kinds of people, from our health experts to all kinds of people from the education community, who are working to provide that place where we can recognize trauma or abuse or neglect and we can aid in helping kids if we have them where we can have our eyes on them.”

Education leaders comment on reopening plan
In his remarks during today’s briefing, State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch praised Gov. Justice’s reopening plan.

“It’s hard not to rally behind the Governor when he has such a caring heart,” Superintendent Burch said. “But he’s been clear from day one, and we continue to reiterate we’re going to do a few things, and one is we will make sure it’s healthy and safe.”

Superintendent Burch added that, with the support of the Governor and First Lady Cathy Justice bolstering the Communities In Schools program across West Virginia, schools with CIS programs were better-prepared to assist students in need of resources and materials during the pandemic.

“I’m glad the Governor mentioned Communities In Schools,” Superintendent Burch added. “I thank the First Lady, Mrs. Justice, for being our champion for Communities In Schools. But the Governor is right; we were much more prepared. We were prepared to take care of the children that the schools are there to take care of.

“We want to create the most equitable education system we can during this crazy, crazy time,” Burch continued. “And, even though we’re in a pandemic, every one of us in the education field, the health field…we’re going to make sure that every one of these children are taken care of.

“We also want to challenge the communities. The communities hold the key to making it safe for our children. If we can keep those numbers low we can get our children back to the closest thing to normalcy we can and that includes school, that includes sports, that includes all those activities and services that we all associate with our schools.”

Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System added that the Governor’s Kids Connect initiative will be a game-changing program for years to come.

“When we surveyed our college students, we found out that more than a third of them didn’t have access to the internet at home,” Dr. Tucker said. “With this critical project, Governor Justice is filling an urgent need that will allow both K-12 and college students to complete schoolwork in convenient locations across the state.

“We are tremendously grateful that the Governor has developed this immediate plan for our students to access broadband close to home this fall.”

GOVERNOR URGES AGAINST EVICTIONS
Following his segment on school reopening plans Wednesday, Gov. Justice urged landowners, landlords, and banks to be patient with those who may not be able to pay rent and are facing the possibility of being evicted during a pandemic.

“We have people that are scared to death because they are going to get evicted from their homes or apartments,” Gov. Justice said. “I would plead with those landlords not to proceed down this course.

“It’s not right,” Gov. Justice continued. You’ve got people that are on unemployment and everything and they’re waiting because now their checks and their payments are being somewhat suspended – those bonus dollars that they need very badly.

“They are drivers to our economy. We absolutely need to help these people. And so, from the standpoint of our landowners, our landlords, and our banks, please give these people a pass for right now. They really, really need it.”

ACTIVE CHURCH OUTBREAKS REMAIN IN FOUR COUNTIES
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced church-related outbreaks remain active in four counties across West Virginia, including Grant, Logan, Mason, and Taylor counties.

These outbreaks account for about 89 total cases combined.

During the briefing, the Governor was also joined by Pastor Matt Friend and Michelle Thompson from Bible Center Church in Charleston, who took time to thank all of the churches across the state who have helped their communities through the pandemic and encourage churches to do their part to make sure their congregations are as safe as possible.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Gov. Justice also updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19 testing events taking place over the next several weeks at various dates and times in Boone, Brooke, Jackson, Lewis, McDowell, and Taylor 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 details listed below in chronological order:

Jackson County
August 7
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
River Front Park: 220 Riverfront Park, Ravenswood, WV
August 8
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Cedar Lakes Conference Center: 82 FFA Drive, Ripley, WV

McDowell County
August 7
8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Southside Middle School: 13509 Rocket Boys Drive, War, WV
August 8
8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Tug Lot: 198 Tug Tower Addition Road, Welch, WV

Taylor County
August 8
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Grafton High School: 400 Yates Avenue, Grafton, WV

Brooke County
August 14 & 15
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Bethany College
Hummel Field House: 6268 Main Street, Bethany, WV

Lewis County
August 14
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
August 15
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Lewis County High School: 205 Minute Man Drive, Weston, WV

Boone County
August 25
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Madison Civic Center: 261 Washington Avenue, Madison, WV

SMALL BUSINESS GRANT APPLICATIONS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that applications are available for small businesses seeking to receive funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program.

The initiative is providing $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on March 1, 2020, with 1-35 employees, is able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Businesses planning to apply must first be registered as a vendor with the State to be eligible. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

The application will remain open until Sept. 30, 2020.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $68.1 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $68.1 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

More than 696 free-feeding locations have now 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.

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

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 Mountain Maryland Pledge to Prevent campaign intends to inspire local business owners to take a pledge to do their part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. Responsibilities include practicing proper use of personal protective equipment while in the establishment, following social distancing guidelines, and adhering to CDC and local health guidelines.

“The Mountain Maryland Pledge to Prevent was developed as a way to assure the community and potential travelers that local businesses are stepping up to ensure everyone’s health and safety,” said Ashli Workman, Director of Tourism for the county.

According to research firm Destination Analysts, which has published the findings of its Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report every week since March 13, nearly one-third of American travelers say they are less likely to visit destinations that they most associate with Coronavirus-related issues, even after the pandemic ends. When asked how they would feel if a destination they wanted to visit required visitors and residents to wear masks while in public, more than two-thirds (67.4%) said that would make them happy.

“What we know from weekly travel sentiment data is that Americans are eager to travel, but concern about health and safety remains the primary barrier to doing so. Destinations that are making safety a priority and are perceived as safe have a far greater opportunity to see economic recovery through local and visitor spending,” said Workman. “The Mountain Maryland Pledge to Prevent is one way we intend to get our entire local community on board with plans and practices to help put everyone’s minds at ease.”

Business owners can take the Pledge by visiting www.mdmountainside.com/pledge-to-prevent. Once the pledge information form is filled out and submitted, the business will receive a window or door cling for their business and will be granted access to the Pledge to Prevent business toolkit. Their business name will also be listed on the official tourism website at www.mdmountainside.com/pledge-to-prevent, demonstrating that they have committed to the health and safety of their employees and customers. Customers can use the website to see if their favorite businesses have taken the pledge and even discover new businesses they may want to patronize in the future.

Representatives of the following businesses and organizations collaborated with Allegany County Tourism on this initiative: The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Cumberland’s Downtown Development Commission, Downtown Cumberland Business Association, and FrostburgFirst.

Aug 4th The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of an employee testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the ResCare Cornell Group Home located in Keyser, WV. The Health Department is working to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual, including family members, friends, residents and health care professionals. Because of the ease of spread in a group home setting and the severity of illness that occurs in residents with COVID-19, a single case of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in a long-term care facility (LTCF) is defined as an outbreak. The Health Department is working closely with Potomac Valley Hospital to provide testing for all residents and staff at the facility. For more information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit our website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com. BE SAFE…from a distance.

The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival Committee must announce, with deep regret, that we are cancelling the 2020 Bedford Fall Foliage Festival. We were planning to wait until Labor Day to make our decision, however, with the state of the virus at this time, we do not believe that Governor Wolf will relax the mandated limit of 250 people at an outdoor event. This mandate makes it impossible for us to receive Penn DOT approval to close the streets. We regret the added hardship this decision makes for our vendors and shoppers, but be assured that we are already in planning for the 2021 festival.

 West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers to watch for identity theft, particularly as children spend more time indoors — and online — due to COVID-19.
 
Every smartphone, tablet and gaming device poses an increased risk of identity theft by way of malicious apps and social networks.
 
Parents and guardians may want to sit down with children and discuss the dangers of talking to strangers and giving out personal information.
 
“A lot of kids right now are spending more time online, so you want to make sure that there are adequate security mechanisms and that your passwords are up to date,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Also, talk to your kids about the potential for abuse of social media. A lot of people are going to try to befriend a child online, lure them in, and get them to give their password or some personal, identifiable information.”
 
The Attorney General also offers these tips:

  • Monitor social media use, even if children object.
  • Lay down ground rules as a protective measure.
  • Warn children that private information should not be shared on websites.
  • Caution children against downloading games or apps from third-party sites. It’s also a good idea to have an adult approve any downloads.
  • Maintain strict privacy settings on Facebook and other social networks.

Anyone who believes his or her child has been the victim of identity theft, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

Aug 3rd The Allegany County Health Department reports four new community cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 271. The latest cases involve a female school-age child, a male and female in their 20s, and a female in her 70s. None of them has required hospitalization.

The Garrett County Health Department received a positive COVID-19 result for one additional person, bringing the current county total to 46.The new positive COVID-19 case is a male in his 30s who has symptoms and is isolating at home. Future community COVID-19 testing dates are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org. Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

In Mineral County there are 112 total positive cases, 17 active cases 91 recovered and 4 deaths

There was 1 additional positive case today reported in Grant County. There have been 87 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (64 community, 23 GRCC). This brings our current Grant County total positive case count to 90 Total (87 positives, 3 probable) with two still hospitalized.  Please, if you have services provided that make it impossible to be 6 ft away from someone i.e., hair appointments, manicures, etc., please wear a mask and insist that the person providing the service wear a mask. If you have had such a service and have symptoms of COVID i.e., runny nose, loss of taste or smell, cough, fever, flu like symptoms, muscle aches, please consider being tested.  Please be careful, wear your mask to protect yourself and others, wash your hands frequently, and limit exposure to large groups of people. Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive cases, and we are advising on self-isolation, monitoring symptoms and testing protocol as indicated. Unfortunately, there may be contacts that we were not notified about that could be infecting others. Please be careful always, social distance and wear a face covering. You may be a person that may not have shown symptoms yet and could unknowingly infect others. You can 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 and instructions how to proceed. If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

Free community COVID-19 testing will be offered in Hampshire County tomorrow including those who are asymptomatic are welcome to be tested. The testing will be happening at Hampshire High School Aug 5 from 8am until 2pm.  

MD Governor Larry Hogan today issued an amended emergency order ensuring that local schools and school systems retain the primary authority to initially determine when to safely reopen their facilities for in-person instruction based on public health guidance. Read the governor’s order. https://governor.maryland.gov/…/2020/08/2020-08-03-11-08.pdf

Under an order issued April 5, local health departments continue to have the authority to close any individual facility deemed to be unsafe. After signing the amended order, Governor Hogan issued the following statement:“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials. Over the last several weeks, school boards and superintendents made their own decisions about how and when to reopen public schools, after consultation with state and local health officials. “Private and parochial schools deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions based on public health guidelines. The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer. “To be clear, Maryland’s recovery continues to be based on a flexible, community-based approach that follows science, not politics. As long as schools develop safe and detailed plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community.“I want to thank all the parents, students, and school administrators who have spoken out in recent days about this important issue.”

The Allegany County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. for a public meeting with the main agenda item being the ACPS reopening plan. In accordance with local, state, and federal mandates and guidance surrounding COVID-19, Allegany County Board of Education meetings will be held virtually. The public may watch the livestream of the meeting at http://bit.ly/ACPSMedia, and the meeting agenda may be accessed at https://bit.ly/ACBOEBoardDocs (Note: The agenda will be updated by 1:00 p.m. on Monday August 3, 2020.)Public comment may be submitted by following a modified procedure.  Community members may submit public comments via email to comments@acpsmd.org.  Emails must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday August 3, 2020.  All emails will be shared with board members prior to the meeting. During the public comment portion of the meeting, emails will be acknowledged by the Board President or her designee.

Garrett County Public Schools officials are pleased to release the GCPS Recovery and Reopening Plan. This plan outlines procedures for learning when school begins on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The plan was developed in conjunction with each GCPS department with input from the central office and school-based administrators, teachers, staff members, parents, and students. It is a comprehensive plan that serves to answer a number of questions and provide guidance for families. If, after review, parents have additional questions, please reach out to the specific department via phone or email. Emails may also be directed to public.info@garrettcountyschools.org. We also encourage everyone to visit our website for the most up-to-date information. Questions from these emails and phone calls are added to the 2020-2021 School Year Frequently Asked Questions document. This document can be found on the GCPS website, garrettcountyschools.org or by clicking the following link:(FAQ).https://docs.google.com

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) in consultation with the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland (PSSAM) has decided to postpone the 2020 high school fall and winter competition season during the first semester. This decision comes in light of the recent announcements of local school systems to begin education virtually and provides each school system with options for the gradual increase of student engagement for the physical and social-emotional health of students. With this announcement, local school systems will be able to use MPSSAA waiver regulations as approved by the ​Maryland State Board of Education on June 23, 2020​ for student engagement during the first semester. The MPSSAA, the MDH, and the PSSAM will continue to collaborate on finalizing a hybrid two-semester plan focused on student engagement options in the first semester and modified competition seasons for all sports during the second semester. Details of the hybrid two-semester plan will be available in the coming weeks prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.
The health and safety of student participants, coaches, and officials is a primary concern for the return of interscholastic athletics and activities. The MPSSAA, the PSSAM, and the Maryland State Department of Education collectively share a commitment for the return of these highly beneficial educational programs when it is deemed safe for all school communities.

As of Monday  at 4:00 pm all Grant County conditioning and practices will stop for the next two weeks due to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in Grant County.

Aug 2nd MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced that all 24 of Maryland’s jurisdictions have now met the goal of testing 10% of their populations, as the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 4.47%. This represents another milestone for the state’s long-term testing strategy

“Our aggressive statewide testing strategy is helping us to understand, identify, and stop the spread of this virus, and I want to commend all of our local jurisdictions for stepping up to meet our goal of testing 10% of their populations,” said Governor Hogan. “The State of Maryland continues to make unlimited quantities of tests available to any jurisdiction that needs them.”

Cecil County Hits 10% Testing Goal. On June 18, state health officials urged county leaders to step up local testing efforts and meet the goal of testing 10% of their populations. With Cecil County testing 10.1% of its population, all 24 jurisdictions have now met this milestone.

Nearly 1.25 Million COVID-19 Tests, 15.4% of Population Tested. In total, Maryland has now conducted 1,245,767 COVID-19 tests, including 31,003 tests over the last 24 hours. 929,354 Marylanders have now been tested for COVID-19—representing 15.4% of the state’s population.

Statewide Positivity Rate Drops to 4.47%. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped to 4.47%, and has been below 5% since June 25. The daily positivity rate dropped to 3.44%. The positivity rate is above 5% in four of the state’s 24 jurisdictions: Baltimore County (5.53%), Baltimore City (6.12%), Prince George’s County (6.35%), Talbot County (5.49%).

Total Current Hospitalizations Are 592. There are 592 total current COVID-19 hospitalizations—an increase of two—with 132 ICU beds in use.

Nearly 56% of New Cases Are Marylanders Under 40. 55.8% of today’s new cases are Marylanders under the age of 40. The positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 (6.25%) is 73.6% higher than the positivity rate for Marylanders age 35 and older (3.60%).

200+ Testing Sites. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to find a site convenient and accessible for you.

According to Grant County officials there have been 13 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed over the past thres days.  They were not associated with the outbreaks at GRCC or the church. One was a household contact to a previous positive. Also an  92-year-old gentleman passed away over the weekend. There were 3 additional positive cases today reported in Grant County. They were not associated with the outbreaks at GRCC or the church.

There have been 86 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (63 community, 23 GRCC).
This brings our current Grant County total positive case count to 89 Total (86 positives, 3 probable) with two still hospitalized.

Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive cases, and we are advising on self-isolation, monitoring symptoms and testing protocol as indicated.  Unfortunately, there may be contacts that we were not notified about that could be infecting others. Please be careful always, social distance and wear a face covering. You may be a person that may not have shown symptoms yet and could unknowingly infect others. Limit exposure in large groups of people.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person you may need to be tested. You can 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 and instructions how to proceed.
If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

Number fluctuation this week has been due to four positive staff counted from GRCC previously in Grant County numbers, but in comparing line lists with addresses from the facility finding that they are residents of another county. There are three still hospitalized. Positive staff counted from GRCC previously were found to be residents of another county, and one that was negative last week developed symptoms and tested positive at GMH.Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive cases and advising on self-isolation and monitoring of symptoms and testing protocol as indicated.

A contact is someone that has been exposed within 6 feet of an infected person for 10-15 minutes without a mask. The virus is transported on droplets, and a cloth mask can block the droplets and trap the virus. Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmission significantly, especially if both the infected person and the other in close proximity have a mask. Please remember to protect yourself AND OTHERS…wear a mask when you cannot maintain a safe distance. This has been mandated by Governor Justice and is the right thing to do to protect our community. We all need to do our part to Flatten the Curve. Our Health Care providers are doing a great job, but limited resources make it difficult to care for multiple ill patients at one time.

Grant County officials are also are working with DHHR to determine the cause for discrepancy in numbers reported on the dashboard and numbers reported here. This may be caused by a lag in data recording from the various labs that report to DHHR, or difficulty establishing county of residence when addresses are in two counties, i.e., New Creek and Upper Tract.

These are not numbers; they are people and we can assure you that they are all being given health advice as well as guidelines for keeping others as safe as possible. We understand that the numbers are important and reflect the infection rate, and we are working to assure they are correct.

Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to a positive case, and we are advising on self-isolation, monitoring symptoms and testing protocol as indicated. Unfortunately, there may be contacts that we were not notified about that could be infecting others. Please be careful always, social distance and wear a face covering. You may be a person that may not have shown symptoms yet and could unknowingly infect others.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 today. Both cases are contacts of a previous positive. Case investigation is complete and there were no contacts due to their quarantine as contacts. The current case count is now 74 with 7 active, 66 recovered and 1 death. One case remains hospitalized.

In Mineral County There are 110 positive cases 16 active 9 recovered and 4 total deaths

The Maryland Department of Labor today announced that Maryland has begun offering an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits program. Under federal and state law, the Extended Benefits program is available for claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) assistance.  Upon exhausting both regular and PEUC benefits, Labor will issue written notification to all potentially eligible claimants informing them they can apply for the Extended Benefits program in their BEACON One-Stop portal. If a claimant is determined to be eligible, the weekly benefit amount will be the same as the claimant received under the regular and PEUC programs.
Maryland is able to offer the 13 week Extended Benefits program because it met the federally mandated requirement that Maryland’s insured unemployment rate (IUR) exceed 5.0 percent and be at least 120 percent of the corresponding average rate in the prior two years. For more information, please visit MDunemployment.com.

July 30th Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he is expanding the statewide masking order, and directing the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to issue a public health advisory for out-of-state travel. These changes are based on the state’s data-driven approach to win the fight against the coronavirus. 

The expanded order takes effect Friday, July 31 at 5:00 p.m., and requires all Marylanders over the age of five to wear face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses across the state. Face coverings will also be required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.

The expanded order continues to provide certain exceptions, including for medical conditions.

The travel advisory, which takes effect immediately, strongly advises Marylanders against traveling to states with positivity rates of 10% or higher – currently Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho. It advises Marylanders to postpone or cancel travel of any kind to these areas until their positivity rates decline. Anyone traveling to Maryland from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results.

The expanded face covering mandate now includes all of the following:

  • Public transportation
  • Indoors at any location where members of the public are generally permitted including, but not limited to:
    • Religious Facilities
    • Retail Establishments
    • Foodservice Establishments
    • Fitness Centers
    • Gaming Facilities
    • Indoor Recreation Establishments
    • Personal Services Establishments
  • Outdoors where unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals who are not members of their household
  • Healthcare services including, but not limited to:
    • Physician’s office
    • Dentist’s office
    • Hospital
    • Pharmacy
    • Laboratory
  • Working in any area where interaction with others is likely, including, but not limited to:
    • Shared areas of commercial offices
    • Where food is prepared or packaged

For more information on the Governor’s new order and the travel advisory visit bit.ly/md-gov-july. For other coronavirus questions call the COVID-19 hotline at 301-334-768

The Garrett County Health Department received a positive COVID-19 result for one additional person, bringing the current county total to 45. The new positive COVID-19 case is an asymptomatic female in her 80s who is isolating at home.The final results are in for the community COVID-19 testing held on July 17. The total tests administered were just under 530, with only 5 positive results. The Garrett County totals were 445 testes, with only one positive, whose case was reported in an earlier release. The additional 4 positives were not from Garrett County and were not added to the county total.Garrett County participants made up 84% of the total, with Marylanders from outside of Garrett County making up 5%, West Virginia residents making up another 5%. The rest of the participants were from across the U.S.

During the Governor’s press conference on Wednesday, he reported some interesting statistics that have been discovered through contact tracing. The governor announced the following findings based on recent interviews conducted with COVID-19 patients and the activities they had participated in.

Of those who tested positive:
o 44% had recently attended family gatherings
o 23% attended house parties
o 21% attended outdoor events

Additional information for those who tested positive:
o 54% work outside the home
o 39% shopped at retail stores
o 23% ate inside at a restaurant
o 23% ate outside at a restaurant

Of those testing positive for COVID-19 and who work, these occupations were represented the most:
o 25% health care
o 23% people who work in offices, without direct contact with the public
o 13% people who work in jobs that deal directly with the public
o 12% restaurant and food service employees

“Wearing a mask is the single-best mitigation strategy that we have to fight the virus, and the science and the data are very clear,” Governor Hogan said. “It’s the best way to keep you and your family safe, to keep people out of the hospital, and to keep Maryland open for business.”
Future community COVID-19 testing dates are being planned and will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org. Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19. One case is currently hospitalized. Case investigation is complete and contacts have been notified.

Our current case count is 72 with 8 active, 63 recovered and 1 death.

In Mineral County there are 106 cases 23 active 79 recovered and four total deaths

There were no additional positive cases today reported in Grant County. We were notified that the person that was hospitalized yesterday and reported as a Grant County resident is actually a Pendleton County resident.

There have been 78 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (51 community, 27 GRCC). This brings our current Grant County Total Positive case count to 81 Total (78 positives, 3 probable). There are 35 cases still active with 3 hospitalized (1 that was hospitalized was discharged to recuperate at home).

Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) retested all residents and staff today as required by CDC protocol. Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive staff members and advised self-isolation and monitoring of symptoms and testing protocol as indicated following CDC protocol.

A contact is someone that has been exposed within 6 feet of an infected person for 10-15 minutes without a mask. The virus is transported on droplets, and a cloth mask can block the droplets and trap the virus. Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmission significantly, especially if both the infected person and the other in close proximity have a mask. Please remember to protect yourself AND OTHERS…wear a mask when you cannot maintain a safe distance. This has been mandated by Governor Justice and is the right thing to do to protect our community. We all need to do our part to Flatten the Curve. Our Health Care providers are doing a great job, but limited resources make it difficult to care for multiple ill patients at one time.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person you may need to be tested. You can 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 and instructions how to proceed.
If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.

Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) Custodial Supervisor Paul Blank has a new “coworker” that stands 68 inches tall and glows in the dark: an ultraviolet (UV) sanitation cart. For high touch areas like the college’s many computer labs as well as dental and health clinics, this 65-pound “colleague” is the college’s newest cleaning tool in its fight against an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus.

Equipped with four, 48″ UVC fluorescent lamps, the sanitation cart offers 57.2 watts of total UV output, within the 200nm to 280nm UV-C range (254 nm peak). Its lights emit a flood beam pattern able to clean up to 1,750 square feet of space with full, 360 degrees of coverage. When used for the recommended 20-25 minute exposure time for viruses, the UV light can disinfect over 99% of bacteria, viruses, mold, and spores.

The UV sanitation cart, which is used by goggled, trained custodians like Blank to clean multiple areas each night on campus, is one of the many health and safety measures that Allegany College of Maryland is using in hopes of preventing an outbreak on campus.

Spending upwards of $60,000 on cleaning equipment, medical grade cleaning supplies and PPE, ACM is practicing both science-based and common sense measures, and relying heavily on guidance recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Allegany County Health Department.
In compliance with a [Maryland] statewide order, all students, campus visitors and employees must wear face masks or face coverings inside ACM buildings as well as outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. In addition to providing students and employees with reusable cloth facemasks, the college is promoting the proper hand hygiene and social distancing measures. Visitors, students and employees are required to sign in when visiting an office or department, and attending class or a lab.

Campus visitors, students and employees are asked to self-monitor for coronavirus/COVID-19 disease symptoms. Individuals with symptoms are encouraged to contact their health care provider and refrain from coming to campus.

Hand sanitizer is available in all buildings. While ACM campuses and education sites undergo intensive cleaning and sanitation daily, disinfectant wipes are also provided to individual students as they enter their classroom so that they may wipe down their desk or table surfaces between cleanings.

Fall semester full-term courses begin on Monday, August 24, and delayed start courses begin on Tuesday, September 12. There are no plans at this time to shorten the semester.

ACM is reducing classroom density, and offering several options for taking fall credit courses, including face-to-face instruction, face-to-face alternating schedule, online courses, blended or hybrid courses, flex courses, and distance learning. Students are encouraged to order their fall books and supplies online, and select home delivery or in-person pickup using the Campus Bookstore’s new pickup window. More information is available at allegany.edu/bookstore or by contacting Bookstore staff at acmbookstore@allegany.edu or calling 301-784-5348.

Individuals interested in the college’s noncredit classes and lifelong learning programs are encouraged to request a Fall Continuing Education catalog online at allegany.edu/ce/request-more-information or by emailing sbonarigo@allegany.edu. Course catalogs will be available mid-September.

The college is continuing to offer optional phone and virtual appointments with students. Applications for the fall semester are still being accepted with course registration continuing through the start of the semester.

Individuals with general questions about the college or its safety measures and accommodations are encouraged to call 301-784-5005 or email info@allegany.edu for assistance.

July 29th The Allegany County Health Department reports four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 262. The latest cases include a female in her 30’s, a female in her 70s, a male in his 30s and a male in his 60s. Only the female in her 70s has required hospitalization.

On Monday, a typographical error in our press release mistakenly listed the current case count at 253. The correct number at that time should have been listed as 258. The four additional cases reported today bring the total case count for Allegany County up to 262.

The Mineral County Health Department has received confirmation of a third football player testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Keyser High School. The 3rd case of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 classifies this as an official outbreak with the West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology.
The Health Department has worked closely with the Mineral County Schools, the Keyser High School staff and the positive individuals to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with them including team members, faculty, family members and friends. Persons identified have been put on isolation and are being monitored by the Health Department. Additionally, environmental cleaning is underway at the Keyser High School Complex. Mineral County has almost doubled its cases in the month of July. As of this release, the case count is at 103 individuals. This is up from 55 on June 30 , 2020. The active case count has also increased from 4 to 23. These cases are a result of community spread. The health department is asking everyone to protect our community by social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask. These 3 things are still the best way to not only protect yourselves but protect others in the community. For more information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com. BE SAFE…from a distance.

There were 2 additional positive cases today reported in Grant County. One was related to the church exposure, which brings that total to 29 (27 confirmed and 2 probable). The other person has an unknown exposure and is hospitalized.

There have been 79 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (52 community, 27 GRCC). This brings our current Grant County Total Positive case count to 82 Total (79 positives, 3 probable). There are 38 cases still active with 5 hospitalized (1 that was hospitalized was discharged to recuperate at home). CDC published an updated guideline for fewer quarantine days for positive cases.

Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) is following CDC protocol for the care and isolation of residents and staff. Grant County Health Department staff has traced multiple household and community contacts to positive staff members and advised self-isolation and monitoring of symptoms as well as testing protocol as indicated following CDC protocol.

A contact is someone that has been exposed within 6 feet of an infected person for 10-15 minutes without a mask. It has been shown that loud talking or singing can increase the distance for transmission. The virus is transported on droplets, and a cloth mask can block the droplets and trap the virus. Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmission significantly, especially if both the infected person and the other in close proximity have a mask. Please remember to protect yourself AND OTHERS…wear a mask when you cannot maintain a safe distance. This has been mandated by Governor Justice and is the right thing to do to protect our community.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person you may need to be tested. If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
If you are a contact of confirmed positive person or you have symptoms, 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 and instructions how to proceed. If your are tested, please follow instructions for self isolating until you receive your results and are cleared

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 today. Case investigation has been completed and all contacts have been notified.

The current case count is 70 total cases, 9 active, 60 recovered, and 1 death. Due to revised guidance from CDC, active cases are considered recovered in a more timely manner now, so you will see the active count go down quicker than before.

Remember- wear your mask or face covering to slow the spread. Your mask helps others, their mask helps you!

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 53. We currently have five patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 48 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 53.

D Governor Larry Hogan today announced, based on the state’s data-driven approach, the expansion of the statewide masking order and a public health advisory for all out-of-state travel. The governor also unveiled contact tracing data showing that family gatherings are the most common high-risk gathering and working outside the home is the most common high-risk location for COVID-19.

A recent increase in hospitalizations has triggered a ‘stop sign’ in the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ calling for a pause in further reopening plans.

“We find ourselves at a fork in the road—a critical turning point where we could either continue making progress and continue heading in the right direction, or we could ignore the warnings and spike back up like much of the rest of the country,” said Governor Hogan. “We are doing much better on our health metrics than most of the rest of the country, and we are doing much better on our economic recovery than most of the rest of the country, and we want to do what it takes to keep it that way. We have come too far together to lose the progress that we have made on the road to health and economic recovery here in Maryland.”

EXPANDED MASKING ORDER. With the unanimous support of the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team, Governor Hogan is expanding the statewide masking order that has been in effect since April 18.

Under this order, which takes effect Friday, July 31 at 5:00 p.m., all Marylanders over the age of five are required to wear face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses across the state.

Face coverings will also be required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing. The expanded order continues to provide certain exceptions, including for medical conditions. Read the governor’s order.

OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL ADVISORY. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to issue a public health advisory for out-of-state travel. Under this advisory, Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to states with positivity rates of 10% or higher. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results.

This public health advisory—which takes effect immediately—applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity rates decline.

As of today, this advisory applies to Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho. Read the travel advisory.

CONTACT TRACING DATA. In addition to identifying individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19, Maryland is now using contact tracing data to find patterns of behavior, and to identify where and how the virus is spreading. The governor announced the following findings based on recent interviews conducted with COVID-19 patients:

Higher-Risk Gatherings (Percentage of Interviewed Cases):
Family Gatherings – 44%
House Parties – 23%
Outdoor Event – 21%

Higher-Risk Locations (Percentage of Interviewed Cases):
Work Outside the Home – 54%
Indoor/Retail Shopping – 39%
Indoor Dining at Restaurant – 23%
Outdoor Dining at Restaurant – 23%

Employment Information (Percentage of Interviewed Cases):
Health care – 25%
Other – Non-public Facing – 23%
Other – Public Facing – 13%
Restaurant/Food Service – 12%
FRAN PHILLIPS TO RETIRE, DR. JINLENE CHAN TO BECOME ACTING DEPUTY SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES. Governor Hogan announced that Fran Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services at MDH, is retiring after a 33-year career in public health. Deputy Secretary Phillips has led the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to advise the governor and state officials.

Dr. Jinlene Chan, currently Assistant Secretary and Chief Medical Officer, will serve as Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services. Dr. Chan has served on the front lines of Maryland’s coronavirus response, leading the state’s testing task force for the past five months.

Prior to joining MDH, Dr. Chan served as the Health Officer for Anne Arundel County, where she developed and implemented initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, improve the behavioral health care system, and address infant health and chronic disease outcomes. She completed her residencies in pediatrics and general preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

For coronavirus resources from the Maryland Department of Health, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov. Paul Blank has a new “coworker” that stands 68 inches tall and glows in the dark: an ultraviolet (UV) sanitation cart. For high touch areas like the college’s many computer labs as well as dental and health clinics, this 65-pound “colleague” is the college’s newest cleaning tool in its fight against an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus.

Equipped with four, 48″ UVC fluorescent lamps, the sanitation cart offers 57.2 watts of total UV output, within the 200nm to 280nm UV-C range (254 nm peak). Its lights emit a flood beam pattern able to clean up to 1,750 square feet of space with full, 360 degrees of coverage. When used for the recommended 20-25 minute exposure time for viruses, the UV light can disinfect over 99% of bacteria, viruses, mold, and spores.

The UV sanitation cart, which is used by goggled, trained custodians like Blank to clean multiple areas each night on campus, is one of the many health and safety measures that Allegany College of Maryland is using in hopes of preventing an outbreak on campus.

Spending upwards of $60,000 on cleaning equipment, medical grade cleaning supplies and PPE, ACM is practicing both science-based and common sense measures, and relying heavily on guidance recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Allegany County Health Department.
In compliance with a [Maryland] statewide order, all students, campus visitors and employees must wear face masks or face coverings inside ACM buildings as well as outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. In addition to providing students and employees with reusable cloth facemasks, the college is promoting the proper hand hygiene and social distancing measures. Visitors, students and employees are required to sign in when visiting an office or department, and attending class or a lab.

Campus visitors, students and employees are asked to self-monitor for coronavirus/COVID-19 disease symptoms. Individuals with symptoms are encouraged to contact their health care provider

Garrett County Public Schools will open for the first nine weeks in a red phase, consisting of virtual instruction in which students will engage in learning from home via the Schoology learning management system.

The goal, as detailed in the chart below, is to transition to a “yellow” hybrid phase after the first nine weeks of school. The hybrid model offers in-school learning at a reduced capacity with virtual learning opportunities for students when they are not scheduled to be present in the school building. Virtual instruction will continue to be offered to all families who do not feel comfortable returning their child(ren) to school in-person in the hybrid model. Families will have the opportunity to transfer from one option to the other at the end of each grading period.


To plan appropriately for staff and students following the first nine weeks, GCPS is requesting that parents/guardians inform the school system which option you choose by Thursday, August 6th at 4:30 pm.

The GCPS 2020-2021 Learning Model Enrollment Form must be completed for each GCPS student.Or type in the following URL: https://forms.gle/zc5oDWvE6YAXDozV8


When completing the form, please be prepared to provide the student’s name, school, and grade, and your choice for the 2020-21 school year:

Option 1: In-School Hybrid Learning Model

Option 2: Full Virtual Learning Model

If you do not have access to complete the form online, please call Mrs. Bonnie Edwards at 301-334-8930 between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday, August 3rd, through Thursday, August 6th.

July 28th

Attention parents of students currently registered in ACPS: Please be on the lookout for a survey, which will be sent to the email address we have on file, later today. The intent of this survey is to gather information from parents and guardians regarding hybrid and fully virtual models of instruction being considered for the 2020-2021 school year.  If you do not have an email address on file with the school system and wish to provide input, you can contact your child’s school or send feedback to comments@acpsmd.org (Images of the survey questions are below). The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, July 31, 2020, at noon. Please note that this survey is voluntary, but completion is highly encouraged.

The Allegany County Board of Education will meet on Sunday, August 2, 2020, 10 a.m.  At that time, it is anticipated that the Board will consider closure of the Open Session to meet in an Executive Session to discuss personnel matters, negotiations, and conduct administrative functions.  These discussion items are permitted under the Open Meetings Act, Section 10-508 (a)(1) and (a)(7) and Section 10-103.  In accordance with local, state, and federal mandates and guidance surrounding COVID-19, the Board Office will be closed to the public and the public portion of Allegany County Board of Education meeting will be available via conference call which will be recorded.
The meeting agenda may be accessed at
https://bit.ly/ACBOEBoardDocs and does not include a public comment section. Community members may submit comments for board review via email to comments@acpsmd.org

The Mineral County Health Department received confirmation of an employee testing positive for COVID-19 at the Dawnview Center nursing home in Fort Ashby. The Health Department is working to identify any potential people who may have some into close contact with that individual  including family members, friends, residents and health care professionals. Because of the ease of spread in a long term care setting and the severity of the illness that occurs in residents with COVID-19 a single case of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in a long term care facility is defined as an outbreak. The Health Department is working closely with the WV DHHR Bureau for Public Health Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology to provide testing for all residents and staff at the facility.

In Mineral County there are 102 total positive cases of COVID-19 22 active cases and 76 recovered with 4 total deaths

Grant County received notification of 1 new positive from the community today and this person is hospitalized. Unfortunately, we also received reports of 17 additional residents and 8 staff from Grant County Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) which makes 77 confirmed cases of COVID 19 (50 community, 27 GRCC). This brings our current Grant County Total Positive case count to 80 Total (77 positives, 3 probable). There are 56 cases still active with 4 hospitalized (1 that was hospitalized was discharged to recuperate at home).

There were no new cases because of the church outbreak today, and the church total is now 26 plus 2 probable.

Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) is following CDC protocol for the care and isolation of residents and staff with Grant County Health Department staff assisting in community tracing of those possibly exposed.

A contact is someone that has been exposed within 6 feet of an infected person for 10-15 minutes without a mask. It has been shown that loud talking or singing can increase the distance for transmission. The virus is transported on droplets, and a cloth mask can block the droplets and trap the virus. Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmission significantly, especially if both the infected person and the other in close proximity have a mask. Please remember to protect yourself AND OTHERS…wear a mask when you cannot maintain a safe distance. This has been mandated by Governor Justice and is the right thing to do to protect our community.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person you may need to be tested. If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
If you are a contact of confirmed positive person or you have symptoms, 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 and instructions how to proceed. If your are tested, please follow instructions for self isolating until you receive your results and are cleared

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed one additional case of COVID-19 today. This case is not related to HMH Extended Care. Case investigation has been completed and direct contacts have been notified. The case count is currently 68 with 13 active, 54 recovered and 1 death.

Officials with the Union Rescue Mission have announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the mission has been reported this week. According to Pastor David Ziller a female resident was asymptomatic and took a test for personal reasons expecting to be negative. Officials have been in contact Allegany County Health Department, UPMC, and all residents. Through UPMC they are in the process of testing staff and residents at this time. They have set up a quarantine area for the infected person and all residents are to remain on sight at all times. If a resident decides to not comply with regulations and leave the shelter space, officials will then contact ACHD to follow the person for appropriate tracing. Right now they are stopping all volunteer activities, and stopping all drop off of all in-kind donations until further notice.

July 27th The Allegany County Health Department reports 14 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 253. The latest cases include two young children, a female in her teens, a male and female in their 20s, two females in their 30s, a male in his 40s, two females in their 50s, a male in his 60s, a male and female in their 70s, and a male in his 80s.

The health department continues to emphasize the urgency of maintaining social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and wearing a face covering when out in public and in retail and dining establishments to limit the spread of illness.

In Mineral County there are 99 positive cases, 22 active, 73 recovered and 4 total deaths

The Mineral County Health Department is reporting that it has received official notification of the 4th COVID-19 related death in Mineral County. The community member was an 84 year old woman who has been hospitalized. During her isolation and hospitalization the health department worked to identify any potential persons who may have some into close contract with her including family members, friends, co-workers and health care professionals. The Mineral County Health Department would like to extend their deepest sympathies to family and friends

The Garrett County Health Department received positive COVID-19 results for six additional persons, bringing the current county total to 44.

The new positive COVID-19 cases include:

• A male in his 50s, with symptoms, isolating at home
• A female in her 20s, no symptoms, isolating at home

Four additional cases were reported at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home:

• A female staff member, in her 20s, no symptoms, isolating at home
• Two female residents, in their 90s, no symptoms, isolating at the facility
• A male resident, in his 70s, no symptoms, isolating at the facility

Diagnosing COVID-19 requires either a PCR test or an antigen detection test. The PCR test is the type of test used for the majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19. The likelihood of a false positive PCR for COVID-19 test results is exceptionally low. It is much more likely for a PCR test to produce a false negative. For more information about PCR test visit bit.ly/about-testing.

Any future community COVID-19 testing dates will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org. Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please
do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

Grant County received notification of 4 positive cases today in the community, which makes 49 confirmed cases of COVID 19. This brings our current Grant County Total Positive case count to 52 (Total 49 positives, 3 probable). There are 29 cases still active with 4 hospitalized.

Four confirmed cases today are a result of the church outbreak, and there are two others that now live in another state that were at the church and were exposed and are positive. These are not reflected in the county totals; however, the church total is now 26 plus 2 probables.

Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) has received some of the results and will release numbers of those positive as soon as all families are notified, these numbers will be added to the county total when available. CDC protocol is being followed for screening staff and residents. Grant County Health Department staff will assist and be involved with any community tracing found necessary.

Contact tracing of individuals exposed in the community is being conducted by Grant County Health Department staff. A contact is someone that has been exposed within 6 feet of an infected person for 10-15 minutes without a mask. It has been shown that loud talking or singing can increase the distance for transmission. The virus is transported on droplets, and a cloth mask can block the droplets and trap the virus. Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmission significantly, especially if both the infected person and the other in close proximity have a mask. Please remember to protect yourself AND OTHERS…wear a mask when you cannot maintain a safe distance. This has been mandated by Governor Justice and is the right thing to do to protect our community.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person you may need to be tested. If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
If you need testing because of a confirmed exposure, or you have symptoms, 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 and instructions how to proceed.
Grant Memorial Hospital time schedule for testing:
Monday-Friday 6 am- 9 am and 6 pm- 9pm.
Saturday 8 am – 12 noon,
None on Sundays.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed three additional cases of COVID-19 today. This brings our count to 67 total cases with 12 active, 54 recovered and 1 death.

Please wear your face coverings as appropriate to help slow the spread of the virus.

They will be holding a FREE COVID-19 drive thru on Wednesday, August 5th at Hampshire High School. This drive-thru will be open to any Hampshire County resident who is interested in being tested. No insurance required, only a form of ID.

On behalf of the Attorney General’s COVID 19 Access to Justice Task Force, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today sent a letter to the chief judges of the Court of Appeals and the District Court of Maryland requesting the Court extend its moratoria on eviction actions and debt collection cases until January 31, 2021.  In its letter to Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and Chief Judge John P. Morrissey, the Task Force, citing the ongoing public health and economic devastation of the pandemic, requested holding the moratoria in place until the General Assembly has the opportunity to enact, and the Governor to sign, emergency legislation to assist Marylanders with the housing and debt crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The current moratorium restricts Maryland’s District Court system from hearing eviction proceedings until July 25, when the current stay on residential evictions is scheduled to be lifted.

“COVID-19 has caused significant hardship for thousands of Maryland families,” said Attorney General Frosh.  “Loss of jobs and the resulting loss of income have left many residents with little to no resources to pay rent or other bills.  If eviction and debt collection proceedings are allowed to move forward, many Maryland families will be forced out of their homes, with no place to go and no income to obtain new housing.”   

Extension of the moratoria is critical because the ongoing public health emergency has rendered Marylanders’ inability to pay rent and consumer debt largely unchanged since the onset of the pandemic. Many Marylanders were struggling to pay housing and other expenses before the COVID-19 crisis, and the pandemic has exacerbated these difficulties exponentially.  Specifically:

  • The disease continues unabated and disproportionately harms communities of color;
  • Economic conditions that will reduce unemployment and enable schools to reopen seem unlikely to improve significantly in the short term;
  • Unemployment and other CARES Act benefits are inaccessible or slated to end on July 31;
  • Rental assistance is limited;
  • Court proceedings under COVID-19 conditions will make eviction and debt collection more challenging.

In its letter, the Task Force noted that allowing landlord-tenant and debt collection cases to proceed will exacerbate what is already a dire situation for many Marylanders. A few months reprieve would help the State avoid thousands of evictions and provide Marylanders much-needed time to begin to overcome the extraordinary health and economic challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Attorney General Frosh also noted the ongoing work of the Task Force in taking this action to urge extension of the moratoria. 

“I also want to thank the Access to Justice Commission, our partner in this endeavor, and members of the Task Force and its committees for their tremendous commitment so far in working to develop solutions and strategies to help address the most pressing and critical needs of so many of our neighbors in the midst of the pandemic.  The wealth of knowledge, experience, and diversity amongst the members of the Task Force, along with a shared commitment to assist those in dire need, will allow us to continue our efforts to assist and advocate for those facing unprecedented and unforeseen hardship.”

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Tuesday, July 28, 2020, meeting of the State Board of Education will be conducted entirely via livestream, and there will be no public access to the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m., State Board members and presenters will participate in the virtual meeting, and members of the public will be able to hear the audio and see presentations in real time via live stream. The livestream, agenda and meeting materials can be accessed at: http://marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Pages/meeting-agendas/2020/2020-07-28.aspx.

In addition, members of the public will have the opportunity to call in using the Cisco application WebEx and speak live during the usual three-minute time allotments offered. The public comments will be conducted via phone only, and require the participant to dial into the meeting, use a passcode, then wait until called on for comment by the Board President. There is a limit of 10 speakers, first-come, first-served, and pre-registration is required.

More details regarding the new procedure for public comment are available online: http://marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Documents/PublicCommentGuidelinesVirtualMeeting.pdf.

Scheduled agenda items in the morning include: the introduction of new board members, and public comment at approximately 9:35 a.m. After the Board’s private Executive Session, the afternoon agenda includes a discussion of the budget and closeout of the fiscal year 2020, data releases, and an update on Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education. Also to be discussed: local school system recovery plans, a review of summer school programs, and social studies programming.

July 26th The Allegany County Health Department reports five additional community cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 244. The latest cases include a female in her teens, a male in his 20s, a male in his 40s, a female in her 60s, and a female in her 80s. None of the new cases has required hospitalization.  To date, 10,305 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those 244 were positive for COVID-19 and 10,061 tested negative.

Understanding COVID-19 PCR Testing  By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team

From the desk of Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties.

Diagnosing COVID-19 requires either a PCR test or an antigen detection test. The PCR test is the type of test used for the majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19. The community needs to be aware of the imperfections of these tests. Recently there has been a lot of chatter about so-called “false positive” PCR tests. The likelihood of a false positive PCR for COVID-19 test results is exceptionally low. PCR tests are fraught with a different problem. They produce an abundance of false negatives. This means people are given news making them think they do not have COVID-19 when in fact they do. You can only imagine how this results in further undetected spread. Anyone who has had one positive PCR test is by definition, a COVID-19 case. It does not matter if the person has symptoms or not. Usually, there is no need to repeat a PCR test, but some have had their tests repeated. If a repeat test is done and it is negative, one of two things has occurred.

Option one: the person has convalesced in the interval and is no longer shedding the virus and the test is truly negative.

Option two: the person is no longer shedding the virus at detectable levels of the test itself (some tests only detect viral levels at relatively higher concentrations and some tests are more sensitive and detect viral levels at lower levels for example). The test is false negative.

Once you test positive, you isolate for a designated period of time, and a subsequent negative test does not change that recommendation.

False negatives occur frequently. There are people in some hospitals on ventilators who have false negative COVID-19 results! Eventually, when retested, you will find (if you take a sample from deep in the lungs) the test is finally positive. Our testing situation is imperfect, but it’s all we have.

So how do we manage this imperfect situation with regard to testing?

We wear masks, distance and wash our hands.

We act as if we might have it and we protect ourselves and our families from others who might have it.

That’s the state of the world. We are coexisting with COVID-19 indefinitely and balancing risk and benefit. We have all of our eggs in one basket, the vaccine basket. Until an efficacious and safe vaccine becomes available, we need to use the only tools we have in our toolboxes.

Antibody tests are a different topic entirely,.

For more information call the Garrett County COVID-19 hotline at 301-334-7698.

Bedford County Total Cases: 123 Confirmed: 109  Probable: 14
Negative: 2,453 Cases per 100,000: 255.30

Somerset County Total Cases: 106 Confirmed: 95  Probable: 11
Negative: 5,304 Cases per 100,000: 143.30

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx

Mineral County has 95 positive cases 26 active 66 recovered and 3 deaths

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed three additional positive COVID-19 cases today. These three cases are contacts of a previous positive case, but are not linked to the HMH Extended Care case. All new contacts have been notified and quarantined. An employee of Hampshire Memorial Hospital Extended Care Unit has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee and all contacts are currently quarantined. All residents and staff of the Extended Care Unit are undergoing testing. Due to state and federal guidelines, one positive case in this setting is considered an outbreak. Additional information will be provided as testing continues.

Current case count is 64 with 13 active.

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 51. We currently have four patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 47 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 51.

Grant County received notification of one positive case today, which makes 45 confirmed cases of COVID 19. This brings our current Grant County Total Positive case count to 48 (Total 45 positives, 3 probable). There are 26 cases still active with 3 hospitalized.
The confirmed case today is not a result of the church outbreak. The total from that church exposure is  20 confirmed and two probables, or 22. There are still some test results pending.

Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center (GRCC) is awaiting results of testing. CDC protocol is being followed for screening staff and residents. Grant County Health Department staff will assist and be involved with any community tracing found necessary.

Contact tracing of individuals exposed in the community is being conducted by Grant County Health Department staff. A contact is someone that has been exposed within 6 feet of an infected person for 10-15 minutes without a mask. It has been shown that loud talking or singing can increase the distance for transmission. The virus is transported on droplets, and a cloth mask can block the droplets and trap the virus. Wearing a mask decreases the risk of transmission significantly, especially if both the infected person and the other in close proximity have a mask. Please remember to protect yourself AND OTHERS…wear a mask when you cannot maintain a safe distance. This has been mandated by Governor Justice and is the right thing to do to protect our community.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person you may need to be tested. If you have symptoms and are tested, please follow the instructions given at that time for self-isolation until test results are returned and you are instructed when to discontinue isolation.
If you have symptoms or have been exposed, 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 and instructions how to proceed.
Grant Memorial Hospital has implemented a new time schedule for testing.
Monday-Friday 6 am- 9 am and 6 pm- 9pm.
Saturday 8 am – 12 noon,
None on Sundays.

The State of Maryland is reporting a drop in the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate today to 4.47%, and a drop in the daily positivity rate to 3.77%, as well as a slight decrease in total hospitalizations. Maryland has now tested 13.9% of the state’s population.

Maryland officials continue to advise residents to heed all state and local public health guidance: wear masks or face coverings, telework when possible, avoid public transportation unless it is absolutely necessary, practice physical distancing, and avoid all large gatherings. All Marylanders are still safer at home, particularly older and more vulnerable populations.

Statewide Positivity Rate Drops to 4.47%, Daily Positivity Rate Drops to 3.77%.The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped to 4.47%, and has been below 5% since June 25. The daily positivity rate fell for the third consecutive day, to 3.77%.

Nearly 1.1 Million COVID-19 Tests, 13.9% of Population Tested. In total, Maryland has now conducted 1,097,361 COVID-19 tests, including 22,045 tests over the last 24 hours. 838,572 Marylanders have now been tested for COVID-19—representing 13.9% of the state’s population. Maryland’s 7-day testing average has increased by more than 220 percent over the last month.

Total Current Hospitalizations Are 540.There are 540 total current COVID-19 hospitalizations—a decrease of five—with 153 ICU beds in use. State officials are continuing to closely monitor the recent uptick in hospitalizations.

Nearly 60% of New Cases are Marylander Under 40. 59.3% of today’s new cases are Marylanders under the age of 40. The positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 (6.61%) is now 91.6% higher than the positivity rate for Marylanders age 35 and older (3.45%).

210+ Testing Sites; Use State-Operated Testing Sites For Faster Turnaround Time. To further increase convenience and accessibility at COVID-19 testing sites, the Maryland Department of Health and local partners are providing patients with the ability to schedule their own appointments online at more sites. State officials strongly advise Marylanders concerned about delays in testing turnaround time to use state-operated testing sites, where the turnaround time is generally as low as 24-48 hours. For more information about testing sites in Maryland, visit covidtest.maryland.gov.

Hampshire County Schools will continue to exercise an abundance of caution when associated with our students. We are extending our closure of all athletic and extracurricular activities countywide for the week of July 27, 2020.

Top of Form

Mineral County Schools “Remote Virtual School” (RVS) registration is now opened—through August 14 for families choosing this option. A SchoolMessenger will go out this evening to ensure we reach all parents. Click here to register: tinyurl.com/MINCORVS

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today announced open enrollment for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Assisted Housing Relief Program, which will provide a four-month rent rebate voucher for renters living in DHCD-financed properties who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the first actions I took in response to this unprecedented crisis was prohibiting the eviction of tenants affected by the pandemic during the state of emergency,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration will continue to do everything we can to help Marylanders weather this storm, get back on their feet, and recover.”

The Assisted Housing Relief Program is intended to help bring rental delinquencies current and provide real relief for tenants through direct payments to their eligible property management company. Tenants in eligible properties will be credited a four-month rent rebate paid directly to the property management company, which will eliminate their rental debt and the threat of eviction.

The program will include rental units in multifamily 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.

Eligible Applicants for Assisted Housing Relief Program:

Eligible applicants will be tenants who can certify that the cause of their rent delinquency is COVID-19 related.
Applications will be collected and consolidated by property managers and submitted to DHCD.
A property look-up website is available here. All eligible properties can submit one application per property.
For more information, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/AHRP-NOFA.aspx.
Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership. In addition to the Assisted Housing Relief Program, DHCD is deploying federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding across all 24 local jurisdictions in Maryland to prevent evictions. ​​​​​The first round of program funding is currently being deployed to local jurisdictions, which will administer the funds to local residents. Landlords and tenants should contact their local jurisdiction for more information, or email DHCD customer service at customerservice.dhcd@maryland.gov. Learn more about the Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership.

Prohibition on Evictions During State of Emergency. On March 16, Governor Hogan issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can demonstrate that their inability to pay rent was the result of COVID-19—for example, because of lost or reduced employment, or needing to care for a school-aged child—or because they are diagnosed with, or under investigation for, COVID-19. The order remains in place during the state of emergency. The District Court of Maryland has delayed any hearings on failure to pay rent cases until August 31.

July 22ndThe Allegany County Health Department reports six new community cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 239. The latest cases include a female in her 30s, a female in her 40s, a male in his 20s, a male in his 50s, a male in his 60s and a male in his 70s. Only the male in his 50s has required hospitalization.

The Garrett County Health Department received a positive COVID-19 result for one additional person, bringing the current county total to 35.

The new positive COVID-19 case is an asymptomatic female in her 30’s. She is a staff member at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home and is isolating at home.
“The increase in positive cases over the past two weeks continues to show that we have asymptomatic community spread of COVID-19 in Garrett County,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany County. “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.”

Any future community COVID-19 testing dates will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org. Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

“Wearing a mask is a simple step we can all take to slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to Maryland’s #MaskOnMaryland campaign. “Our health and economic recovery depends on each and every one of us doing our part.”

Mineral County has 83 total positive cases 15 active 65 recovered and 3 deaths

According to a statement released on social media by Mineral County Public Schools Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft two students have tested positive for COVID- 19. “We were recently notified two students have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We’ve also been informed additional students have been recently tested with results pending. The Mineral County Health Department is/has been working to notify those who were known to be in close contact with these students. Exercising an abundance of caution, we are pausing all athletic and extracurricular activities countywide. All organized activities, conditioning programs, gyms, and weight rooms will be closed effective immediately through August 7th. During the week of August 3rd, we will reevaluate current conditions and make determinations about future activities.”

Grant County received notification of 2 positive cases, these are the 37thand 38th confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the current Grant County total positive cases to 38  There are 21 cases still active with 3 hospitalized. The two confirmed cases were a result of a church outbreak. That brings the total from that exposure to 14, with others that are symptomatic with test results pending.

Unfortunately, Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center reported 2 additional cases.
All residents and staff will be tested per protocol. This is being coordinated with Health Command and all involved will notified of plans and results by the Center’s staff. Grant County Health Department staff will assist and be involved with any community tracing found necessary.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 1 additional COVID-19 case this afternoon. Contacts are currently being notified. Our total case count is 54 positives with 11 active, 42 recovered, and 1 death.

MD Governor Larry Hogan today provided an update to Marylanders on the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery, stressing the need for continued caution and vigilance. The governor was joined by Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon, who announced that MSDE will extend flexibility to local school systems to determine re-openings while instituting guardrails and protocols for in-person instruction.

“I want to make very clear to the people of Maryland again that this crisis is not over and your actions may help determine whether we see a resurgence of the virus here in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “As we have from the beginning, we will continue to follow the advice of our doctors and public health experts, and we will not hesitate to take statewide actions if and when we deem them to be necessary.”

SCHOOLS UPDATE. Dr. Salmon announced that local school systems will have the flexibility to determine, in consultation with their local health officers, how they will open and which groups of students and staff will be able to re-enter school buildings. Depending on conditions in their locality, school systems may be more restrictive than the requirements outlined in the state’s recovery plan.

“We want to get our students back to school as soon as possible for in-person instruction, and this should be the driving goal and the basis for all of our decisions,” said Dr. Salmon. “However, the imminent safety and health of students and staff must, and always will be, the first priority.”

Within the framework of local control, MSDE will set a series of guardrails for school systems:

All systems must follow CDC guidelines for schools, which stress the importance of handwashing, physical distancing, and cloth face coverings. Face coverings must be worn by all staff and students, particularly when physical distancing is not possible.
Guidance for face coverings in schools.
All school systems must adhere to protocols instituted by state health officials for addressing an outbreak. Schools should provide written notification and next steps to all identified contacts. Schools should follow instructions from the local health department for all matters regarding quarantine, exclusion, and return to school for persons with a positive test for COVID-19 and those who had close contact.
Guidance for outbreaks.

All school systems must meet a series of benchmarks before reopening:
Incorporate equity as a component in the local recovery plan;
Establish local education recovery stakeholder groups;
Identify learning gaps and instructional placement of students;
Follow and maintain curricular frameworks and Maryland College and Career Ready Standards;
Adhere to components of IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and ADA;
Adopt and follow health procedures outlined by the MSDE, MDH, and CDC, including cleaning and sanitization;
Ensure safe transportation for all students;
Develop a system for tracking attendance; and
Follow the Maryland Public Secondary Sports Athletic Association guidance for interscholastic athletics and activities.
COVID-19 UPDATES. Unlike many states across the nation, Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate continues to remain low and stable. The statewide seven-day positivity rate is now 4.49%, a decline of nearly 83% since it peaked at 26.91% on April 17.

Testing. In total, Maryland has now conducted 1,000,179 COVID-19 tests and is consistently reporting roughly 20,000 tests every day. 20 out of the state’s 24 jurisdictions have met the goal of testing at least 10% of their population.

The dramatic rise in infection rates in other states has significantly increased the national demand for testing and caused delays of up to 10 days at commercial labs across the country, including in Maryland. In response, the governor announced the following:

The LabGun COVID-19 test kits acquired from LabGenomics, a South Korean company, continue to be the centerpiece of the state’s long-term testing strategy.
Last month, the state opened a signature lab at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, which is now staffed up and fully operational to utilize the LabGenomics tests. Unlike many commercial labs, this facility is reporting test results in just 24-48 hours and utilizing several thousand tests per day.
The state is on track to have an adequate supply of tests through the end of November, in accordance with Maryland’s long-term testing strategy, but is prepared to take additional actions, if necessary, in response to outbreaks, shortages, and delays in other states.
Out-of-State Travel. State health officials are closely monitoring spiking numbers in states across the region and states further south and west of Maryland’s borders.

Marylanders should refrain from traveling to areas that are experiencing rapidly escalating numbers. Anyone who does travel out of state should immediately get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting test results.
Safer At Home Guidance. The governor continues to advise Marylanders to heed all state and local public health guidance:

Wear masks or face coverings in public areas, businesses, and on public transportation.
All Marylanders are still safer at home, particularly older and more vulnerable populations.
Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees whenever possible.
Do not use public transportation unless it is absolutely necessary.
Practice physical distancing, staying six feet apart when possible, and avoiding all large gatherings.
Local Enforcement. The governor continued to press local leaders to actively and aggressively enforce the public health measures already in place, especially in bars and restaurants across their counties, and commended Montgomery County for cracking down on those businesses that were flagrantly violating health orders.

It is the responsibility of county officials to get their local health departments, local liquor boards and inspectors, and local law enforcement agencies to work together to enforce the following:

Bars and restaurants in Maryland are permitted to be open for seated service only, with strict physical distancing and capacity restrictions.
Customers must be seated at least 6-feet apart from other guests.
Standing in bar areas is strictly prohibited.
Contact Tracing. The governor again reminded Marylanders that contact tracing is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Maryland’s contact tracing operation has increased by 440% since its launch in April.

From June 11 to July 18, the state’s contact tracers consistently conducted outreach to more than 80% of confirmed COVID-19 cases within 24 hours of the case being entered into COVIDLink, Maryland’s state-of-the-art data management platform.
Contact tracers have been successful in reaching nearly 75% percent of cases.
Marylanders are encouraged to cooperate with the state’s contact tracing efforts by answering calls from ‘MD COVID,’ or (240) 466-4888. Learn more about COVIDLink and contact tracing in Maryland here.
ELECTION UPDATE. Governor Hogan addressed concerns about the State Board of Elections’ preparations for the November general election, which will follow CDC guidance and give voters as many options as possible, including early voting and absentee voting by mail. The governor called on leaders in both parties to join him in strongly encouraging Marylanders to vote by mail.

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.
$4.19 MILLION PROVIDED TO HELP VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS
During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that he and his team have found a way to provide $10,000 in grant funding directly to each of the 419 volunteer fire departments across West Virginia.

In total, the Governor’s initiative will provide $4.19 million to help volunteer firefighters in all corners of the Mountain State.

“Our volunteer fire departments have been hurting because they haven’t been able to do a lot of the fundraising they need to do during this pandemic,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve been trying to figure out what we can do.

“We all know the beauty of what they give to all of us,” Gov. Justice continued. “Not only do they run to the fire, but they do it on a volunteer basis. All the good they bring to every one of us is unbelievable.

“Our communities abound with volunteer fire departments and we’re very proud to be able to send $10,000 to each and every one of them because these firefighters are true heroes to all of us beyond belief.”

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Gov. Justice also reported a modest improvement in West Virginia’s COVID-19 case numbers in recent days, announcing that out of 2,838 tests taken on Tuesday, only 30 were positive; a rate of less than 1.06 percent.

“The number of active cases in Mon County has dropped from 394 to 339 and that’s also very good,” Gov. Justice said. “Our numbers, for the past couple of days, have been moving back in the direction that we want them to move.

Gov. Justice pointed out that Wednesday marked two weeks and two days since he established his statewide indoor face covering requirement.

“Something is making this move in our favor,” Gov. Justice said. “I’m a believer that one robin doesn’t make spring and this is more like one robin right now, as far as the numbers we have. But we’re going to keep watching the numbers for a few more days and then we’ll be able to react from there.”

The Governor also reported that West Virginia’s Rt value – an indicator of how much COVID-19 is spreading – which had been the highest among all 50 states, has now improved to 19th nationwide. However, Gov. Justice also pointed out that COVID-19-related hospitalizations have increased slightly since his previous briefing on Monday.

“We still have to be really careful and keep watch of what’s going on in other places,” Gov. Justice said. “But, at least for today, we’re doing a little bit better and I can never thank you enough, West Virginia, for being the miracle.”

View additional data: Coronavirus.wv.gov.

GOVERNOR DISCUSSES REOPENING PLANS WITH ALL WEST VIRGINIA COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS
Also, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that he held a virtual meeting on Tuesday with all 27 of West Virginia’s public and private college and university presidents to discuss reopening plans for the fall semester and how to ensure the safety of West Virginia’s students, teachers, faculty members, and communities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the end of day, all of our schools want our kids back and our kids want to be back in school and back on campus,” Gov. Justice said. “So how do we do that while also protecting our kids, their staff and faculty, and all of the communities where our kids will be? How do we move forward in the best way possible, without disrupting the education process for our students? Not to mention the economics, because we don’t want to start losing any of our colleges and universities within the state.

“I commend, beyond belief, the incredible plans that these institutions have put forward,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’ve listened to all of them and their plans are spectacular, to ensure, without a doubt, the safety of our kids, the staff, their communities, and everyone.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, Gov. Justice renewed his calls for all students coming into West Virginia from out-of-state to be tested upon their return. The Governor also advocated for individuals on campuses to wear face coverings to the greatest extent possible and pledged to provide colleges and universities with any additional support they may need to facilitate a safe return.

STATE PARK RESERVATIONS UP 227 PERCENT IN MIDST OF WVSTRONG DISCOUNT
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that in June 2020, compared to June 2019, West Virginia saw a 227 percent increase in online reservations for stays at West Virginia State Parks among in-state residents. Revenue from West Virginia residents also increased by 187 percent.

“West Virginians are taking advantage of our State Parks because they are a great place to socially distance while exploring the beauty of Almost Heaven West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said.

In May, as a show of appreciation for the resiliency and support of West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia State Parks would offer a historic discount on lodging for all West Virginia residents.

The offer, called the WVSTRONG Discount, is providing West Virginians with a 30 percent discount on lodging at all State Parks for stays between June 1 through August 31.

“Under my administration, we said that we were going to do anything and everything we could to improve our State Parks,” Gov. Justice said. “Through our State Park Bond Program, projects are underway or planned at every single park.

“These projects are making our Parks shine, and I am so proud to see West Virginians taking advantage of them,” Gov. Justice continued. “They’re your State Parks, West Virginia, go to them, enjoy them, you’ll find something really special going on.”

ACTIVE CHURCH OUTBREAKS IN EIGHT COUNTIES
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that one new church-related outbreak of COVID-19 has been identified at a place of worship in Mason County, meaning there are now active church outbreaks in a total of eight counties across West Virginia.

Other counties where such outbreaks have been identified include Boone, Grant, Logan, Kanawha, Raleigh, Taylor, and Wood counties. These outbreaks account for about 85 total cases combined.

“I, again, want to strongly encourage all West Virginians, especially when in church settings, to follow the guidelines: use every other pew, maintain social distancing, and please wear face coverings,” Gov. Justice said. “A lot of the attendance at our churches are those that are elderly and at higher risk, so I am cautioning everyone to strictly follow our guidelines.”

FREE COVID-19 TESTING: BROOKE, GILMER, LOGAN, AND MARION COUNTIES
Gov. Justice also updated the schedule of upcoming free community COVID-19 testing events taking place over the next two weeks at various dates and times in Brooke, Gilmer, Logan, and Marion 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.
THIS WEEK

Brooke County
Friday, July 24 & Saturday, July 25
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Brooke High/Middle School Complex:
5 Bruin Drive, Wellsburg, WV
Transportation will be provided for individuals who are unable to drive to this location only. To arrange for transport, please call 304-737-3665.

Logan County
Saturday, July 25
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Logan County Emergency Ambulance Authority, Station #30:
26 ½ Main Avenue, Logan, WV
NEXT WEEK

Gilmer County
Friday, July 31 & Saturday, August 1
7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
809 Medical Drive, Suite 3, Glenville, WV

Marion County
Saturday, August 1
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Windmill Park:
900 Ogden Avenue, Fairmont, WV

SMALL BUSINESS GRANT APPLICATIONS
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that applications are available for small businesses seeking to receive funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program.

The initiative will provide $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on February 29, 2020, with 1-35 employees, is able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Businesses planning to apply must first be registered as a vendor with the State to be eligible. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

The application will remain open until Sept. 30, 2020.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $51.8 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Additionally today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $51.8 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

EXECUTIVE ORDER ON PART-TIME PERSONNEL
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice signed an executive order suspending the regulatory statute that prevents part-time professional personnel from being employed by the State for more than 1,000 hours per year.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

More than 696 free-feeding locations have now 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.

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.

July 20th The Allegany County Health Department reports six new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 233. The latest cases include a female in her 40s, a female in her 50s, a male in his 30s, a male in his 50s and two school-aged children.

From Hampshire County Schools Superintendent: Hampshire County Schools were notified on Sunday, July 19th of a student who had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Following our established procedures and protocol, our local health officials were immediately contacted to inform them of the confirmed case. Our school administration coordinated with local health officials to notify staff and peers who were in contact with the affected student, while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with FERPA and other state and federal laws. Upon the recommendations of our local health officials, all conditioning programs, gyms, and weight rooms were closed. Coaches, students, and parents were immediately notified of the closures. Cleaning and disinfecting procedures will begin occurring following CDC guidelines. Hampshire County Schools recognizes the risk of exposure of the COVID-19 virus. We will continue to take immediate steps working in conjunction and under the guidance of health officials to protect the safety and well-being of our staff and students.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 1 additional COVID-19 case this afternoon. Contacts are currently being notified. Our total case count is 54 positives with 11 active, 42 recovered, and 1 death.

Grant County received notification of six positive cases today, those are the 27th, 28th, 29th 30th 31st and 32nd confirmed cases of COVID 19. This brings our current Grant County Total Positive cases to 32 (Total 31 positives, 1 probable). Five of those confirmed today were a result of the church outbreak. That brings the total from that exposure to 10, with others that are symptomatic with test results pending. Unfortunately, Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center also reported the following:  “July 20, 2020 Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center has received notification of our first positive Covid-19. We are following our policy and procedures set forth with the guidance from CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, and our local Health Department. We continue to take every precautionary measure to prevent the spread of potential infections. Testing of all residents and staff will begin as soon as test kits arrive within the next 24 to 48 hours. Residents and families will be notified of results as they become available. GRCC remains dedicated to the well-being and safety or our residents and staff!”
Grant County Health Department will work closely with the Center to identify any contacts to prevent further spread. Any positive cases in a Nursing Home is considered an outbreak.

There now have been 11 new eases confirmed in Grant County since Thursday July 9, 2020.

Please, Social Distance always…6 feet away! Wear a mask to protect others. I have heard people say it is their right to take the risk if they want. Individual freedom does not mean anyone has the right put other’s health at risk. That is what you could do if you do not wear a mask and you are infected.  If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person, please 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

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 49. We currently have five patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 43 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 49

In Mineral County there are 78 total positive cases, 12 active and 63 recovered with 3 deaths

The Garrett County Health Department, in cooperation with state and local partners, tested 527 participants at a community COVID-19 testing event held on Friday, July 17, in Oakland.As the event opened up for testing at 7 a.m., cars were lined up in four rows in the lower parking lot beside the health department, waiting to be released to move up to the next lot where teams were set up to do the actual testing. More cars were lined up as far as you could see on Frazee Estates Drive, waiting to be given the green light to move down into their designated row in the lower lot.

“The testing was quick and easy!” said Kerrie Margroff from Accident. “Thank you to all the employees of the Garrett County Health Department for all that you do for our community each and every day. You are all the best of the best!”

Of the 527 persons who participated in testing, 443, or 84% were from Garrett County. Marylanders from outside of Garrett County and West Virginia residents each made up a total of 25 participants. A few of those tested were from Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the rest were from across the U.S. All tests are currently pending.

“It was quick and painless,” said Kevin Bass, also from Accident, who came later in the morning when the line was not so long. “I’ve only been here for 5 minutes.”

Any future community COVID-19 testing dates will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org. Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-

19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing unless you are sick enough to need emergency care.

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

Governor Larry Hogan today announced eight counties will receive more than $2.3 million in the first round of Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership grants.

“These awards reinforce my administration’s strong support for ensuring Marylanders stay safe and secure in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “We are dedicated to assisting counties in their efforts to prevent eviction during these tough economic times.”

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will administer the grants, funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The $2.3 million distribution is the first wave of funding in the Hogan Administration’s promised $30 million program to prevent evictions across the state. These efforts, combined with the additional $30 million in efforts of local governments, represent more than $60 million dedicated to providing rental assistance for Marylanders.

The national CDBG program was enacted into law by Congress as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. For 45 years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program has supported community redevelopment, affordable housing, and the expansion of economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. The program is a vital resource for Maryland’s counties, cities, and towns in their efforts to provide critical services to their residents.

“The Community Development Block Grant has been an important federal resource in Maryland,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “This funding is essential as local governments respond effectively to the impacts of COVID-19.”

During the Hogan administration, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has administered over $51 million in CDBG assistance for more than 170 projects across Maryland.

Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership Awards

  1. Allegany County- $55,000
  2. Cecil County- $100,000
  3. Charles County- $200,000
  4. Frederick County- $722,129
  5. Kent County- $84,246
  6. Queen Anne’s County- $80,000
  7. Somerset County- $100,000
  8. Wicomico County- $1,000,000

TOTAL – $2,341,375

For more details log on to https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/EvictionPrevention/default.aspx

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to put many Americans in danger of falling behind on monthly rent payments, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and a group of their colleagues urged the Trump Administration to enforce bans on housing evictions for the duration of the crisis. Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, has pushed for increased assistance for American families facing housing insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – including by introducing the Coronavirus Housing Counseling Improvement Act in June.

In a letter to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria, the Senators wrote that an estimated 32 percent of renters were unable to make payments this month, and that despite a ban on evictions for renters in federally-subsidized housing, some tenants have still been unlawfully evicted during the pandemic.

“As you know, the CARES Act created temporary protections from eviction for millions of tenants who live in properties with federally-backed mortgages or that receive certain types of federal housing assistance,” wrote the Senators. “During a time when having a roof over your head is essential for Americans’ abilities to stay safe and healthy, Congress insisted that these safeguards be put in place to help those at risk of losing their housing in the midst of the public health and economic crises. These protections, as well as all tenant protections available under federal, state, and local law, must be honored and enforced.”

A recent oversight hearing by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with federal housing regulators revealed that, since April, communities in several states have allowed landlords to move forward with eviction proceedings, despite the mandated temporary protections for renters established under the CARES Act. The Senators urged the Administration to help renters understand what protections they have under the CARES Act, and to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with rules that prohibit evictions during the crisis.

“During this pandemic, when it is dangerous for individuals to even be required to appear in a court room, it is troubling that some renters have been unlawfully removed from their homes in violation of the clear protections of the CARES Act,” the Senators’ letter continues. “As evictions continue to rise, more must be done to ensure these protections are adhered to and any violations are immediately addressed, otherwise the repercussions will be severely felt by millions of the most vulnerable Americans, including elderly and low-income renters and many essential workers.”

Senators Van Hollen and Tester were joined by Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.),  Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

July 19th The Allegany County Health Department reports four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 227. The latest cases include a male in his 20s, a female in her 30s, a female in her 40s, and a female in her 60s. None of the new cases has required hospitalization.

At the drive-thru clinics on July 9 and July 12 a total of 1,059 people were tested. Of those, only four tested positive for COVID-19 – two Allegany County residents and two individuals from out of state.

To date, 9,276 Allegany County residents have been tested for COVID-19 and received their results. Of those, 9,049 were negative and 227 were positive.

The Garrett County Health Department received notification of additional positive COVID-19 cases which brings the county’s total positive cases to 31.

Dennett Road Manor Nursing home has reported 5 additional positive cases. All of the cases are asymptomatic.
• a staff member in his 50s, isolating at home
• a staff member in her 50s, isolating at home
• a staff member in her 20s, isolating at home
• a staff member in her 30s, isolating at home, from a surrounding county and will not be added to the county total
• a female resident in her 70s, isolating at the facility

In addition, a positive result has been received for a male in his 60s who has symptoms and is isolating at home. This person is a close contact of a previously reported case.

“The COVID-19 virus is extremely contagious and is easily spread,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “Even individuals who seem to be taking all the precautions can be infected if their guard is down even momentarily. In Garrett County, we have had health care workers and even a Health Department staff member contract the virus. It is important to constantly be vigilant and practice social distancing, and face coverings.”

No matter where a positive case is identified, the next step to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to determine the person’s close contacts during the time they could have been infectious. If any potential exposures are discovered, individuals who have had close personal contact will be called by the contact tracing team.

Any future community COVID-19 testing dates will be announced on the health department’s Facebook page and website, garretthealth.org.Anyone going to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for a COVID-19 test must have a physician’s orders and must go through the lab. Please do not go to the emergency room for testing.

Grant County received notification of the 24th, 25th and 26th confirmed cases of COVID 19 today. This brings our current Grant County Total Positive cases to 27 (Total 26 positives, 1 probable). A probable is a close contact of a confirmed case (spouse or household member) that is symptomatic but not tested.

The 3 confirmed today were a result of an outbreak resulting from a church gathering. That brings the total from that exposure to 5, with others that are symptomatic with test results pending. An outbreak is defined as 3 or more positives are not immediate family members from the same exposure.

The church has notified all that were in attendance and are cooperating with isolation and cleaning recommendations.

There now have been 11 new eases confirmed in Grant County since Thursday July 9, 2020.

Please, Social Distance always…6 feet away! Wear a mask to protect others. I have heard people say it is their right to take the risk if they want. Individual freedom does not mean anyone has the right put other’s health at risk. That is what you could do if you do not wear a mask and you are infected.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person, please 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.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed one additional positive case of COVID-19 today. Contacts are currently being notified. Our new total count is 51 with 9 active cases.Please use caution even when attending family or friend social gatherings. Maintain social distance, use good hand hygiene and if inside wear masks!

In Mineral County there are 71 total cases 8 active 60 recovered and three deaths

The Allegany County Public School system recognizes that schools are a vital and irreplaceable component of a community. Schools not only provide academic services for students but other services such as social and emotional learning, counseling services, and food and nutrition.

The school closures on March 13, 2020 in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis were heartbreaking for our students, staff, and community. How and when schools in Allegany County reopen impacts more than just students and teachers – it impacts the entire community.

The Allegany County Public Schools staff are faced with a tremendous challenge in preparing for the 2020-2021 school year. We are truly vested in doing what is best and what is right for our students and staff’s well-being. We are using the “Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education” and Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the Allegany County Public School System continues to work towards recovery, we would like to provide parents, students, and staff with the status of our Recovery Plan.

ACPS is currently reviewing recovery options for the three stages within Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery in preparation for the opening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year, which is currently scheduled for August 26, 2020, for students. An ACPS staff sub-committee has been formulating our plan with various community members, staff from the Allegany County Health Department and staff from multiple ACPS departments including facilities, food service, health/wellness, instruction, operations, safety/security, technology, and transportation in order to ensure the feasibility of all recovery options. The feedback gathered to date is being carefully considered and appropriate revisions to our recovery plan are being incorporated.

Within the next two weeks details of the draft ACPS recovery plan will be provided to parents, students, and staff for their review and comment. There will also be a survey sent to all families with student(s) currently enrolled requesting input by the end of July 2020. The school system’s final recovery plan will be presented to the Board of Education at the August 11, 2020, regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The approved recovery plan will then be submitted to the Maryland State Department of Education by August 14, 2020, for review and final approval.

Please note that during Stage 2 within the Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery, all ACPS families will have the option of fully remote learning for health and/or family reasons.

After a record 28,899 COVID-19 tests reported in the past 24 hours, Maryland’s daily positivity is 3.83% with a seven-day average of 4.46%. There are 449 current total hospitalizations.

Nearly half of new cases belong to Marylanders in their 20s and 30s, and the positivity rate for Marylanders under 35 is over 85% higher than Marylanders 35 and older. We are urging younger Marylanders to take these statistics seriously: this pandemic is by no means behind us.

Our recovery depends on each and every Marylander exercising personal responsibility. Wear a mask in indoor public areas, practice physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings.

We encourage anyone interested to get tested for COVID-19, particularly those who have recently traveled or engaged in high-risk activities. Plan your test today by visiting covidtest.maryland.gov.

A total of nearly 58,000 Marylanders enrolled in health coverage during Maryland Health Connection’s two special enrollment periods that began in February and March and ended Wednesday, July 15.

The Maryland Health Insurance Easy Enrollment program launched Feb. 26 as the first of its kind in the nation. The Comptroller of Maryland asked state tax filers to check a box on their state tax return if they lacked health insurance and desired that information to be shared with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. Several states are in the process of looking at creating similar programs.

 Since February:

  • More than 41,000 filers checked the box
  • More than 3,700 enrolled as of July 13

Final numbers are pending, because tax filers had until the July 15 tax filing deadline to check the box on their state tax form and will have several weeks to enroll. 

On March 16, the marketplace also opened a special enrollment period in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With support from Gov. Larry Hogan and participating insurance providers, Maryland held one of the longest special enrollment periods in the nation.

“Maryland Health Connection was quickly able to respond to this global crisis and help our Maryland families get the health coverage they need,” says Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

Since March 16 when the coronavirus special enrollment period began, 54,028 enrolled. Of those:

  • 35 percent purchased private plans
  • 65 percent enrolled in Medicaid
  • 90 percent of enrollees received free or reduced cost coverage
  • Prince George’s County had the highest enrollment with 10,897; Montgomery County had nearly as many, with 10,594
  • Ages 18-34 made up 35 percent of enrollments
  • Nearly a third were self-reported Black/African American, the largest group of enrollees

Marylanders who have lost health coverage due to job loss or have experienced other major life changes may still be eligible to enroll through Maryland Health Connection within 60 days of the loss of coverage.  Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.

To enroll, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. For free consumer assistance, call 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

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $150,175.87 in federal funds for fire departments in Frederick and Allegany Counties.

“Each and every day, Maryland’s firefighters put themselves on the front lines to protect the public. Their work has been crucial to our COVID-19 response, as they often respond to a range of calls including health emergencies. This funding will ensure that our local fire departments have the equipment necessary to do their jobs safely,” said Senator Van Hollen. “We will continue fighting for federal dollars to support Maryland’s first responders in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Equipping our first responders with the protection and the tools they need to do their job and keep our communities safe is essential always, but particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Cardin. “I am pleased to join in announcing this crucial federal funding for firefighters, as they have sacrificed their time and safety to help keep Marylanders safe. Team Maryland will always fight to support and provide for Maryland’s first responders.”

“We rely on firefighters to protect the public and I believe they should be able to rely on us in government,” said Rep. Raskin. “I’m grateful to our brave Frederick County firefighters for all that they do to support public safety and public health during this pandemic,  and I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing federal funding to support their efforts.”


“Especially during a global pandemic, we have been able to count on our firefighters to protect our communities,” said Congressman David Trone. “It’s critical that we give these heroes the resources they need to do their jobs and stay safe. This funding will do just that. I will continue working with my Maryland colleagues to provide additional support for our first responders during this pandemic and beyond.”

The funding, awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters – COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) program, includes:

  • $132,080.99 for the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services
  • $18,094.88 for the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department

The AFG-S program provides funds for the purchase of PPE and related supplies for our nation’s first responders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response. The AFG program provides grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first responder personnel. The Members worked to secure $355 million for the AFG program for Fiscal Year 2020 as well as $100 million for the Fiscal Year 2020 AFG-S program, and continue to work towards robust funding for the program – including by urging FEMA Administrator Gaynor to increase federal support for firefighters as the pandemic devastates state and local budgets.

July 16th

As COVID-19 cases in Garrett County continues to increase, it is important to understand that contact tracing is a critical part of reducing the spread of the virus.

Once a positive case is identified, the next step to reduce the spread is a process known as contact tracing. If any potential exposures to COVID-19 are discovered through contact tracing activities, individuals that have had close personal contact will be notified by the contact tracing team. This team works closely with neighboring counties, including in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our area.

CDC defines a close contact as someone who has been within 6 feet or closer to a positive case for 15 minutes or more. If you do not hear from contact tracers by phone, you have not been identified and are not on the list of close contacts.

“As the positive numbers in the county increase, personnel from state and local public health are working to investigate the positive cases, and trace their contacts, and will be in touch with any individuals with potential exposure,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “Please make sure you answer the call when you see either Garrett County Health Department or MD COVID on your caller ID. Calls from contact tracers could show up as either one.”

To maintain the privacy of persons who test positive for COVID-19, specific locations were these persons live or work are not disclosed by the health department, but sometimes are disclosed by worksites or the individuals themselves. While outbreaks within nursing homes are reported by the name of the facility, the individual names of the patients are never disclosed.

Throughout the pandemic state and local health officials have required or recommended various general safety precautions such as wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, washing hands and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, in an attempt to slow the spread the virus.

In Mineral County there are 70 positive cases 9 active, 53 recovered

The Hampshire County Health Department has received confirmation of an additional positive case of COVID-19 in the county. The individual is quarantined and all contacts have been notified.

Our total case count is now 45, with 3 active cases. Please ensure you are following all state guidance including wearing a facemask at indoor facilities, no gatherings greater than 25, etc.

From Grant County OEM:Grant County received notification of the 23rd confirmed case of COVID 19 today.

This brings our current Grant County Total Positive cases to 24 (Total 23 positives, 1 probable). 17 have recovered (16 confirmed,1 probable)

7 cases are active and are self-quarantined at home.

There now have been eight (8) new cases confirmed in Grant County since Thursday July 9, 2020. Prior to that it had been a month with no new cases.

Please, Social Distance always…6 feet away! Wear a mask to protect others. I have heard people say it is their right to take the risk if they want. Individual freedom does not mean anyone has the right put other’s health at risk. That is what you could do if you do not wear a mask and you are infected.

The Governor repeated the order for masks when indoors unless social distancing can be maintained. It is very difficult to MAINTAIN 6 ft distance with others when walking around.

If you work alone in a space, you may remove the mask. When up and around others the ask must be worn covering the nose and mouth, not the chin or hanging from an ear. t is recommended that you wear a mask even outside if you cannot stay 6 feet away from others.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person, please 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.

July 15th

The Allegany County Health Department reports five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 223. The latest cases include a male and female in their 30s, two females in their 20s, and a female in her 50s who has required hospitalization.

The Garrett County Health Department received notification of two additional positive COVID-19 cases which brings the county’s total positive cases to 26.

The two new positive cases are one male in his 40s and one female in her teens. Both persons have symptoms and are isolating at home.

The Garrett County Health Department, in cooperation with local and state partners, has coordinated two community COVID-19 testing events in Garrett County since the end of June, and has another one scheduled for this Friday.

The two events that were already held were on June 26th at Northern Middle School and on July 3rd at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. The combined total tests completed was nearly 450, and only one positive result was returned from any of the tests. This positive result was for a Garrett County resident and was reported in an earlier press release. County residents made up 70% of those tested at the two events.

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is on 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.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

“The best way to protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing, wear a face covering when indoors with non-family members, and frequently wash your hands,” said Tiffany Fratz, Director of Personal Health at the health department.

The next community COVID-19 testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for 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.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

The Hampshire County Health Department has confirmed 2 new positive cases of COVID-19. The county’s total case count is now 44, with 2 active, 41 recovered, and 1 death. Both active cases are quarantined and all direct contacts have been notified.

Please remember that masks are required at indoor facilities, unless you have a medical reason. We hope with mask compliance, our state will start to see less cases.

HARDY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

July 14, 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE

😷

Please, wear your facecovering or mask when in public and close to others!

The Hardy County Health Department and Hardy County Office of Emergency Management has two additional confirmed cases and one probable case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hardy County, with a total confirmed case count of 48. We currently have eight patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 40 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 48.

Grant County received notification of the 21st and 22nd confirmed cases of COVID 19 today.

This brings our current Grant County Total Positive cases to 23 (Total 22 positives, 1 probable). 16 have recovered (15 confirmed, and 1 probable)

7 cases are active and are self-quarantined at home.

There have been seven (7) new cases confirmed in Grant County since Thursday July 9, 2020. Prior to that it had been a month with no new cases. The last three (3) cases have no known connection to the previous four (4) or with each other, and they reported that they had not traveled; that is the definition of community spread. This shows that you can be exposed in Grant County. You do not have to go to Myrtle Beach, Morgantown, or even Moorefield. You can be exposed right here by someone that you know.

Please, Social Distance always…6 feet away! Wear a mask to protect others. I have heard people say it is their right to take the risk if they want. Individual freedom does not mean anyone has the right put other’s health at risk. That is what you could do if you do not wear a mask and you are infected.

The Governor repeated the order for masks when indoors unless social distancing can be maintained. It is very difficult to MAINTAIN 6 ft distance with others when walking around.

If you work alone in a space, you may remove the mask. When up and around others the mask must be worn covering the nose and mouth, not the chin or hanging from an ear.

It is recommended that you wear a mask even outside if you cannot stay 6 feet away from others.

While face coverings (masks) are ordered, there are no penalties currently except for food services and bars. These workers are always mandated to wear masks (unless eating), as well as other restrictions on distancing etc., as outlined in the Governor’s Guidance for Restaurants and Bars. (Guidance can be found at www.wvgovernor.gov.)

Local Health Departments can suspend the operating permit for food services including delis and restaurants that are not in compliance with the Governor’s Guidance. The mandates include masks for ALL workers, as well as number of customers, spacing and disinfecting of surfaces etc. The Alcohol and Beverage Control Administration (ABCA) can suspend permits for non- compliance of the Governor’s orders in bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.

If you have flu like symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea or sudden loss of taste or smell or know that you have been in close contact with a positive person, please 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.

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the State of Maryland has uncovered a massive and sophisticated criminal enterprise involving more than 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims in Maryland and totaling over $501 million. The governor was joined for today’s announcement by Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson and Special Agent Derek Pickle from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG).

Maryland’s swift and decisive actions to notify federal authorities and expose this illegal scheme helped shed light on related fraudulent criminal activity in other states across the country. The Maryland Department of Labor continues to coordinate on the ongoing investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DOL-OIG.

“Thanks to the efforts of our Labor Department, not only did we identify the fraudulent activity here in Maryland and save the taxpayers half a billion dollars, but we also helped federal authorities uncover related illegal activity in states across the country,” said Governor Hogan. “This criminal enterprise seeking to take advantage of a global pandemic to steal hundreds of millions—perhaps billions—of dollars from taxpayers is despicable. We will continue to work with both the U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General on this ongoing investigation, both here in Maryland and in other states across the country, to do whatever it takes to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“My office and the entire law enforcement community are committed to bringing to justice fraudsters who are preying on citizens during this unprecedented public health crisis by using their stolen personal information to fraudulently attempt to obtain unemployment benefits,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We are grateful for our partnership with the State of Maryland in stopping unemployment fraud and believe that this joint federal-state partnership will continue to bear fruit. We will continue to work together to prevent this abuse as well as continue our outreach efforts to make the public aware of COVID-19 scams and frauds. I urge citizens to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity or fraudulent use of their personal information.”

“Today’s announcement results from our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the State of Maryland, and demonstrates our joint commitment to combating fraud in the Unemployment Insurance program,” said Derek Pickle, Special Agent-in-Charge, Washington Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. “The OIG will continue to work closely with our law enforcement and state workforce agency partners to aggressively pursue criminals who choose to enrich themselves without regard for taxpayers and individuals who truly need assistance.”

The Maryland Department of Labor is now reporting the following:

Over $4.3 billion in CARES Act and regular unemployment insurance benefits payments have been paid out.

96.4% of all claims have been successfully processed.

The proportion of pending cases (3.6%) is below pre-pandemic levels.

COVID-19 UPDATES: In the second part of his press conference, Governor Hogan provided a number of COVID-19 updates to Marylanders. On Tuesday, he met with the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team of doctors, public health experts, scientists, business, and labor leaders, and held an emergency meeting of the full Cabinet.

Bars and Enforcement. The governor continued to stress the importance of local leaders enforcing public health requirements in bars and restaurants. State health officials are strongly advising that young people should avoid crowded bars, house parties, and large gatherings of any kind. Any Marylanders who have engaged in this type of behavior should immediately get tested for COVID-19.

Out-of-State Travel. State health officials are strongly advising that Marylanders refrain from traveling to areas that are experiencing rapidly escalating numbers. Any Marylander who has traveled to, or is returning from travel out of state, especially from any states that are experiencing spiking numbers should immediately get tested.

Safer At Home. The governor continues to advise Marylanders to heed all state and local public health guidance:

All Marylanders are still safer at home, particularly older and more vulnerable populations.

Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees whenever possible.

Marylanders should not use public transportation unless it is absolutely necessary.

Everyone should continue wearing masks or face coverings in public areas, businesses, and on public transportation.

Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, staying six feet apart when possible, and should avoid all large gatherings.

Schools. Local jurisdictions continue to submit their proposed reopening plans for Maryland public schools to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) ahead of the August 14 deadline. MSDE will institute protocols that follow CDC guidance, take into account the input of public health experts, and provide flexibility to local school systems. State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon will provide an update to Marylanders next week.

Testing. While a number of states have experienced testing shortages, Maryland continues to expand its testing capacity, with a strategic stockpile of tests and a long-term strategy. Maryland has more than 220 testing sites available across the state. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to find a site that is convenient for you.

Congressman David Trone (MD-06) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) saved more than 56,000 jobs and more than 12,000 small businesses and nonprofits in Maryland’s Sixth District during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A full list of MD-06 PPP recipients can be found here https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses/sba-paycheck-protection-program-loan-level-data?source=email

“As a former small business owner myself, I know how important it is to support the hardworking Americans employed by our small businesses,” said Congressman David Trone. “The Paycheck Protection Program provided much-needed assistance during this difficult time, allowing thousands of small businesses and nonprofits to keep their doors open. While PPP has been a lifeline for small businesses in my district and across the country, far too many have been shut out of this important program. The Senate must pass the HEROES Act to ensure that all business owners have access to this critical resource.”

Congressman Trone has been a strong advocate for expanding and protecting the Paycheck Protection Program. On May 15th, he voted in favor of the HEROES Act to strengthen PPP for minority and underserved communities.

On May 28th, he voted in favor of bipartisan legislation to expand PPP, making the loan program more forgivable and more accessible to small business owners across the country.

On July 1st, he voted to extend the deadline for PPP to August 8th.

The Allegany County Library System is happy to announce that we are starting sidewalk pickup services on July 15. Library users will be able pickup items through a contactless pickup system at the Frostburg, George’s Creek, South Cumberland, Washington Street, and Westernport Libraries.

Library users can select material to borrow by placing a request through the library’s website or by calling any library. Staff will contact patrons when the item has arrived to schedule the pickup and explain the pickup system to ensure the health and safety of library users and staff. Face masks will be required for all sidewalk service interactions. Please take all returns to the book drops, staff will not be able to accept returns at the sidewalk service area.

With the sudden closing of the libraries in March, those users with items on hold when we closed will be contacted first. The LaVale Library is closed for renovations and LaVale patrons will also be contacted to discuss alternate pick-up locations.

Pickup services have been highly anticipated by the community and the staff. Cathy, service specialist from the South Cumberland Library says, “Our customers miss the library so much. Sidewalk service is an exciting venture because we can fill a vital need right now. Our customers need us, we want to be there for them.” The library has received many well wishes and remarks of longing for library services during the closure. Library staff can attest to feeling the same eagerness to reconnect with our patrons. Connie, service leader at the Frostburg Library says, “I am so glad we will get to see our patrons when we start sidewalk service, we’ve missed them!”

Sidewalk Pickup Service will be available Monday through Thursday from 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM. For more information about sidewalk service, please visit alleganycountylibrary.info/sidewalkservice or call 301-777-1200.

The Cumberland Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) is pleased to announce that Matthew B. Miller will lead the organization as its Executive Director commencing September 1, 2020.

Mr. Miller has been with the organization since its creation, and previously served as Economic Development Specialist where he was fully focused on, and attentive to, citizens thoughts and concerns while leading job creation efforts and working to improve the quality of life for City residents. Miller’s local expertise in business development, workforce development, business attraction, retention and expansion will serve him well in this new role.

Garrett County Public Schools recognizes that schools provide an essential and irreplaceable role for a community. In addition to providing academic learning for students, schools provide social and emotional learning through interaction with children and adults; nutrition through free and reduced cost breakfast and lunch; connection to community resources through school social workers; counseling services through school psychologists and professional school counselors; and athletic and extracurricular activities.

Rippling effects were felt throughout our communities when schools closed on March 13, 2020 in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. How and when schools in Garrett County reopen impacts more than just students. It affects parents and their ability to return to work as well as local and state businesses and agencies that depend on Garrett County parents as their workforce.

The Garrett County Public Schools staff was faced with an unprecedented challenge in preparing for the 2020-2021 school year in the face of a national pandemic. Using the Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education, Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and executive orders from Governor Larry Hogan as resources, the Superintendent and senior GCPS staff developed a plan in alignment with the GCPS goals to:

  • Work closely with representatives from the Garrett County Health Department to return to full operational status as quickly as possible and to do so safely.
  • Maintain the safety and health of students, employees and families at all times.
  • Consider equity when making all decisions.
  • Consider the social-emotional well-being of students and staff in all decisions.
  • Communicate concisely and accurately as things change frequently.
  • Engage stakeholders in the decision-making process as appropriate.

The Superintendent’s Cabinet and LEAD team members worked together to establish the use of the TIGER Teams structure to lay the groundwork for the reopening plan. These teams included stakeholder input at each level.

This Recovery Plan document outlines in detail the programs and protocols for returning to school for 2020-2021 in a methodical, consistent and safe manner. In addition, the document outlines initiatives that the school system has been moving toward over the last several months and that will last long past the COVID-19 crisis, including a one-to-one technology initiative and the use of Schoology as our digital learning management platform for students in grades K-12. The initiatives give Garrett County students and families options not previously available. The Recovery Plan is an intentional move toward more individualized learning based on a student’s needs and progress.

As outlined in the document, many elements of school operations may change depending upon the degree of spread of COVID-19 in the community, in a particular school or in a particular classroom. The three classifications of spread are: No/Low Spread; Minimal/ Moderate Spread; and Substantial Spread. As of June 30, 2020, Garrett County is classified as having Minimal/Moderate Spread.

It should be noted that this is a working document that provides guidance based on guidelines available at the time of publication. It can and will be changed and updated as new guidance becomes available.

The school system acknowledges and respects that families have different situations and comfort levels with being in public venues at this time. To address the varying concerns of parents, the Garrett County School System will offer three models of learning for the 2020-2021 school year. Details of programs and protocols are available in this document.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CLICK HERE: GCPS Reopening 2020 FAQs

July 14th As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the Mountain State, Mineral County Health Department Administrator AJ Root says we as a community can all do our part to slow the spread. Root says wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitizing of hands are the best ways to keep number of cases low. Wearing a mask protects those around you. Social distancing limits the chances of COVID-19 droplets from spreading from one individual to another. Hand washing and sanitizing as well as not touching the mouth, eyes, or nose help eliminate or reduce self-contamination. For more information on COVID-19 you may visit www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com , visit our Facebook page or go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov (COVID-19 tab).  To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/aj-root-for-pht

Allegany County Board of Education President Tammy Fraley recently posted a series of questions on social media in an effort to understand the concerns of the community as plans are being created for schooling in the fall. Fraley says she will be pushing to allow families to have options. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/tammy-fraley-boe-for-pht

MD Governor Larry Hogan today directed local leaders to step up enforcement of public health requirements in bars and restaurants across the state. State health officials have connected an increasing number of COVID-19 cases to non-compliance with face covering and physical distancing rules.

“The vast majority of bars and restaurants in our state are in compliance, but some are flagrantly violating the law and endangering public health,” said Governor Hogan. “You have the responsibility to enforce these laws. Violators should be warned, fined, have actions taken regarding their licenses, or closed if necessary. Local health departments, local liquor boards and inspectors, and local law enforcement agencies must work together to ensure public health is protected.”

Read the governor’s letter to county leaders.https://governor.maryland.gov/…/July-14-Letter-Bars-and-Res…

As of today, the positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 is now 84% higher than it is for Marylanders 35 and over.

Under Executive Order 20-06-10-01, which was issued on June 10, and accompanying directives from the Maryland Department of Health:

Bars and restaurants are open for seated service only with physical distancing and capacity restrictions. Customers must be seated at least 

https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/July-14-Letter-Bars-and-Restaurants.pdf

July 13th

On Sunday, July 12, the Allegany County Health Department held a second drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. A total of 515 people were tested at Sunday’s event, for a grand total of 1,059 tests administered over the course of two drive-thru clinics. As with last Thursday’s clinic, individuals testing positive will be contacted by the health department as soon as their results are received. Those testing negative will not be contacted but can call the health department in two to four days to confirm their negative result if they like.The county has recorded four new community cases of coronavirus since Friday. None of the new cases has required hospitalization. They include two males and one female in their 20s and one male in his 80s. Allegany County’s total count of positive cases for COVID-19 now stands at 218.

Garrett County’s current COVID-19 case count is now 24, following the findings of contact tracing operations. Garrett County continues to protect public health and devote all available resources to testing and contact tracing operations to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19.The extra cases listed on the State COVID-19 map for Garrett County are being reassigned to the proper jurisdictions. As stated below the map, all map numbers are preliminary. Once a positive case shows up in the database that feeds information into the map, health department staff in the county assigned the positive case begin their investigation.Cases are reported as soon as possible to keep the public informed. Unfortunately, sometimes a case is reported for a county, but the investigation determines that the case actually belongs to a different jurisdiction. For more information on why cases need to be assigned other counties, please visit bit.ly/covid-19-answers.A spokesperson for the Health Department reiterated that the virus has begun spreading throughout the community and it is important to continue taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus.

The Mineral County Health Department received notification of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a food worker on July 13, 2020. The individual worked a shift at Denny’s Restaurant in Keyser, WV. The Health Department believes the risk to the public is low as Denny’s Restaurant was following the State of WV and CDC guidance regarding employees wearing masks while working in the establishment. The food worker worked on the following date:
Tuesday, July 7: 3:00pm – 8:00Pm. If you ate at this restaurant during the date and time listed above, you may have come in contact with a positive case. The purpose of this alert is preventative as well as informative; no cases resulting from exposure while visiting the restaurant have been reported. If you develop symptoms, have concerns, or feel you need to be tested, you may contact the Mineral County Health Department at (304) 788-1321 or your local provider.
Through the investigation by the Health Department, all employees who had possible contact have been quarantined and will remain there until their 14 days from exposure has come to an end. Additionally, the facility has been closed for environmental cleaning and will reopen following a reinspection by the Health Department.
As a reminder, wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitizing of hands are the best ways to keep numbers low. Wearing a mask protects those around you. Social distancing limits the chances of COVID-19 droplets from spreading from one individual to another. Hand washing and sanitizing as well as not touching the mouth, eyes, or nose help eliminate or reduce self-contamination.

A drive-thru testing site open Tuesday, July 14th 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 July 9th 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, July 14th 9a-11a
Please bring your insurance card with you.

The Hardy County Health Department is currently working on contact tracing for positive COVID-19. If you were at a wedding the weekend of July 4, 2020 in Hardy County please call the Hardy County Health Department at 304-530-6355 between the hours of 8am and 4pm.

Grant County received notification of the 19th and 20th confirmed cases of COVID 19.
This brings our current Grant County Total Positive cases to 21: (Total 20 positives, 1 probable).
16 have recovered (15 confirmed, and 1 probable) 5 cases are active and are self-quarantined at home. (the DHHR website is reporting Grant County as 22 cases…21 confirmed and 1 probable. We are trying to have that error corrected by them).

There are Grant County contacts who have symptoms and are waiting for lab results.
Contacts that have been identified have been notified

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.
STATEWIDE SOCIAL GATHERING LIMIT REDUCED TO 25 INDIVIDUALS
With the daily number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to climb across West Virginia, Gov. Justice announced Monday that he has issued an executive order reducing the statewide social gathering limit from 100 to 25 individuals.

“We want everyone to know this is not playtime stuff,” Gov. Justice said. “We now, in West Virginia, have 1,338 active cases. We have grown 206 active cases since I saw you the last time on Friday.

“We are in great shape with our hospitals. But there’s no guarantee that it’s going to stay that way,” Gov. Justice continued. “So we have got to significantly restrict the crowd size again.”

The 25-person limitation applies only to purely social gatherings. It does not apply to any activity, business, or entity that has been deemed essential, such as religious services, weddings, or group meetings, conferences, or other special events held for essential businesses and operations, as defined by Executive Order 9-20, as amended. Such meetings, conferences, or other special events will need to plan for social distancing between attendees based on CDC recommendations.

This order will go into effect beginning Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
FAIRS, FESTIVALS, CONCERTS, SIMILAR EVENTS CLOSED STATEWIDE
Additionally on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that the same executive order also closes all fairs, festivals, and similar events, and prohibits both indoor and outdoor concerts statewide.

“It’s no fun to close things,” Gov. Justice said. “But we’ve got to do the things that are going to be the prudent things for all West Virginians, so we can still do many of the things that we love to do.”

MONONGALIA COUNTY BARS ORDERED CLOSED FOR 10 DAYS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that he has issued another executive order, closing all bars in Monongalia County for 10 days, after seeing a significant spike in positive cases in the area in recent days.

“This is a real hotspot,” Gov. Justice said. “Their rise in active cases and the number of community-based outbreaks is extremely concerning. With their current active cases at 340, we must act right now to stop this from getting any worse.

“Students are coming back to school and a huge threat is the students congregating at the bars,” Gov. Justice continued. “During that 10-day period, I am very hopeful that what’s going to happen is that we’re going to begin to see a correction in the numbers.”

Gov. Justice pointed out that, according to recent information from the Texas Medical Association, going to bars ranks among the riskiest activities possible when it comes to furthering the spread of COVID-19.

Monongalia County restaurants that also include bars will have their bars closed, but will be permitted to continue restaurant service, including the sale of alcoholic beverages to dine-in customers.

This order will also go into effect beginning Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

GOVERNOR AGAIN URGES CHURCHGOERS TO FOLLOW SAFETY GUIDELINES
After receiving reports of large church gatherings in various places across the state this weekend, Gov. Justice again urged all West Virginians to wear face coverings and properly social distance from one another to help prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“It is absolutely mandatory that you wear a mask to church and it is only the smart thing to do,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going the wrong way here. We’ve got to get this thing turned around and going the way we want it to go.

“I’m a Christian and I’m really proud of it,” Gov. Justice continued. “I truly understand the importance of church and I understand that it is the highest priority in our lives and I get it.

“But then I see a photo of one of our church settings and there’s no one anywhere in the congregation that’s got a mask on. There’s no pews in-between people. We’re just asking for it.

“I don’t question our love. But, at the same time, we cannot keep doing this. We just can’t.”

APPLICATIONS: WEST VIRGINIA CARES ACT SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that applications will soon be available online for small businesses seeking to receive funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program.

The initiative will provide $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on February 29, 2020, with 1-35 employees, will be able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding per business.

Businesses planning to apply must first register as a vendor with the State. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

ADDITIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS NOW AVAILABLE
The Governor also announced Monday that, per WorkForce West Virginia, any worker who has exhausted their regular state unemployment and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits may now apply for Extended Benefits.

Under federal law, Extended Benefits offer up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits to workers who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of PEUC assistance.

Applications for Extended Benefits are now available at WorkForceWV.org.

FREE TESTING: BARBOUR, BERKELEY, HARRISON, JEFFERSON, AND MERCER COUNTIES
Gov. Justice also announced that the next round of free community COVID-19 testing will continue through this week at various dates and times in Barbour, Berkeley, Harrison, Jefferson, and Mercer 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:

Barbour County
Thursday, July 16
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Philip Barbour High School: 99 Horseshoe Drive, Philippi, WV

Berkeley County
Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18
7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Patriot Antique Center and Flea Market: 615 King Street, Martinsburg, WV

Harrison County
Tuesday, July 14
12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Robert C. Byrd High School: 1 Eagle Way, Clarksburg, WV

Jefferson County
Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18
7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ranson Civic Center: 432 W. 2nd Avenue, Ranson, WV

Mercer County
Friday, July 17
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mercer County Health Department: 978 Blue Prince Road, Bluefield, WV

TAX FILING DEADLINE THIS WEDNESDAY: JULY 15, 2020
Gov. Justice also took time out of his address to remind all West Virginians that income tax returns, which were originally due April 15, 2020, are now due this Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

On March 26, 2020, Gov. Jim Justice extended the April 15, 2020 filing deadline by three months in response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s decision aligns with federal income tax relief provisions issued March 20 by the Internal Revenue Service in response to the coronavirus.

This three-month extension applies to income taxes and returns for individuals, corporations, fiduciaries, and pass-through entities, including declarations of estimated tax that would have been due April 15, 2020. If the taxes due April 15, 2020 are paid by July 15, 2020, no interest or additions to tax will apply.

More information is available at Tax.wv.gov.

DMV EXTENSION ON DRIVER AND VEHICLE TRANSACTIONS
Gov. Justice also took time to offer a reminder that the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently announced that they are once again extending many driver and vehicle transaction deadlines to Sept. 30, 2020.

These extensions include drivers’ licenses and vehicle registrations.

Additional information and services related to the DMV are available at dmv.wv.gov or by calling 304-558-3938.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $39.3 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $39.3 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

More than 690 free-feeding locations have now 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.

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. ��

July 12th

On Thursday, July 9, the Allegany County Health Department held its first drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. A total of 544 people were tested during the six-hour event. Results from Thursday’s clinic are pending, and individuals testing positive will be contacted by the health department as soon as the results are received.  A second drive-thru COVID-19 testing event was held Sunday, July 12 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds.  The health department also reported two additional community cases of coronavirus – one a female in her 30s and the other a female in her 60s who required hospitalization. Allegany County’s total count of positive cases for COVID-19 now stands at 214.

The Garrett County Health Department has received notification of additional positive COVID-19 test results.

Positive results were received for two males and one female, all in their 20s. Neither of the males have any symptoms and are isolating at home. Additional information on the female was not available at the time of this release.

Goodwill Nursing Home and Assisted Living in Grantsville received confirmationof positive results for two staff members. The facilities staff members were tested this week as one of the steps necessary before moving into Phase 1 of Governor Hogan’s Relaxing Restrictions plan for nursing homes. All residents are being tested today.

One of the persons who tested positive is a female Garrett County resident in her 40s who does not have symptoms and is isolating at home. The other person who tested positive is a resident of a surrounding county and will not be added to Garrett County’s testing result numbers.

Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home in Oakland received confirmation of a positive testing result for a female resident in her 90s. She is does not have symptoms and has been isolated at the facility.

One additional positive result was also received for a staff member of Goodwill Nursing Home and Assisted Living in Grantsville. However, this person is a resident of a surrounding county and will not be added to Garrett County’s testing result numbers

Positive results were received for two additional staff members at Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home. One of the persons who tested positive was a female Garrett County resident who is in her 60s. She does not have any symptoms and is isolating at home

The other person who tested positive is a female in her 30s who began having symptoms the day after being tested. However, she is a resident of a surrounding county and will not be added to Garrett County’s testing result numbers.

This new positive result for a Garrett County resident has increased the county’s total positive cases for COVID-19 to 25.

The next community testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for 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.

This free testing will be without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.

Mineral County has 66 cases 9 active 54 recovered  Due to continued requests for face covering, the Mineral County Office of Emergency Services will be adding an additional location on the north end of Mineral County for mask pickup as well as extending the dates masks are available to residents.
Starting Monday, July 13 through Friday, July 17 residents can pick up a free mask at M&T Bank in Fort Ashby, and Monday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 15 at the Mineral County Office of Emergency Services on Pine Swamp Rd. For residents that choose to pick up a mask from M&T Bank in Fort Ashby, the masks can be picked up on those dates during normal business hours, by walk in or through the drive thru. Masks can be picked up at the Mineral County Office of Emergency Services on the above listed dates from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
For any questions please contact the Mineral County Office of Emergency Services at 304-788-1821.

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 46. We currently have six patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 40 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 46.

Grant County received notification of the 18th confirmed cases of COVID 19. This brings our current Grant County Total Positive cases to 19: (Total 18 positives, 1 probable).
A probable is a household contact WITH symptoms but not laboratory tested. 16 have recovered (15 confirmed, and 1 probable) 3 cases are active and are self-quarantined at home. (the DHHR website is reporting Grant County as 20 cases…19 confirmed and 1 probable. We are in the process of having that error corrected by them).

In tandem with the State of Maryland’s advancement into Stage 2 of Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, the Maryland State Department of Education is moving forward as outlined in “Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care.” As additional family and center-based child care programs reopen, the state will transition away from unlicensed return to only authorizing licensed child care and making payments in the Child Care Scholarship program based on attendance rather than enrollment. To date, more than 5,300 licensed child providers across the state have reopened.

“We are incredibly grateful to our educators, parents and community partners for all of their outstanding efforts to provide essential persons and other parents and guardians with access to child care in these unprecedented extraordinary times,” said Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. “As we move forward, we will be upholding our rigorous licensing standards to ensure the health and safety of children. State and local education leaders are preparing their instructional plans for the fall, and this must include provisions for students when they are not in school facilities. The Division of Early Childhood’s Office of Child Care stands ready to assist, but planning must begin now.”

Updates for this phase of Stage 2 of recovery addresses the Essential Persons School Age (EPSA) sites, Family and Friend Care, Child Care Scholarships, room size limits and ratios, and reopening of child care programs.

Essential Persons School Age (EPSA): Effective July 20, 2020, any remaining EPSA approved sites will no longer be permitted to operate. The state will return to allowing only licensed child care programs to serve families. Sites that want to continue to provide child care services should contact the regional licensing office. Information on licensing can be found here: https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/…/licensing.

Family and Friend Care: Effective July 20, 2020, unlicensed Family and Friend Care will no longer be allowed. A family child care home is not required to be registered if the provider: (a) is a relative of each child; (b) is a friend of each child’s parent or legal guardian and the care is provided on a non-regular basis of less than 20 hours a month (COMAR 13A.15.02). Family and friend providers wishing to continue to provide child care services should contact their regional licensing office to become a licensed family child care provider. Information on licensing can be found here: https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/…/licensing

Child Care Scholarships: Effective July 20, 2020, the MSDE will make payments for Child Care Scholarship invoices to all child care providers serving families in the Child Care Scholarship program based on attendance, rather than enrollment. Parents will be required to pay their mandatory co-pays, unless the parent has requested the suspension of their child care services or the provider has chosen not to reopen. The Child Care Scholarship program provides financial assistance with child care costs to eligible working families in Maryland. Parents who earn up to 65% of State Median Income are eligible (e.g., a family of four can have an income of up to $71,525 per year and qualify for a scholarship). To find out more about eligibility and how to apply for the Child Care Scholarship program, go to www.money4childcare.com.

Family Child Care Start-up Grants Increased to $1,000: The One-time Family Child Care Provider Direct grants for new providers starting their small business have been doubled from $500 to $1000 as part of Maryland’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Age Five award and are to help registered family child care providers offset some of the costs of opening their child care programs. Eligibility is based upon certain income levels and family size. More information can be found here: https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/fccpdgfp.

Room size limits and ratios: Group size in child care centers is expanded to a maximum of 15 individuals at a time per classroom with a ratio of no more than 1 teacher for 14 children ages three and above and the teacher must be qualified. Family child care and large family child care programs are limited to the number of children for which they are licensed at one time and no more than 15 persons total including residents. All child care programs must continue to adhere to the allowable group size by age in licensing regulations.

Reopening of child care programs: Licensed child care programs interested in reopening may contact their licensing specialist and complete a Child Care Verification of Reopening form.

Accessing Child Care: Parents and guardians in need of child care may contact LOCATE: Child Care at https://www.marylandfamilynetwork.org/for…/locate-child-care or talk to a specialist by calling (877) 261-0060 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For additional information and guidance on child care in Maryland and resources and guidance regarding COVID-19, please visit the Division of Early Childhood website at https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/.

With the daily number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to climb, Gov. Justice joined West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) Executive Director Bernie Dolan during his briefing on Friday to discuss current plans for high school and middle school sports, cheerleading, and marching band activities for the fall season.

“No one wants sports and activities to be going on more than Bernie and I do,” Gov. Justice said. “We absolutely want our kids back in school. But we want to do it in a way that we know is as safe as we can possibly make it for our students, as well as those who are working with our students like our teachers and service personnel.

“Bernie and I surely recognize the importance of sports,” Gov. Justice continued. “They give us so much. They teach us so many life lessons. They’re important to our communities, they bring us together. But, at the same time, we need to be safe.”

In accordance with the Governor’s announcement Wednesday that the beginning of the school year would be adjusted to Sept. 8, 2020, Dolan announced Friday that the fall sports and activities calendar would also be adjusted.

“We are pushing back our practice dates,” Dolan said. “Instead of starting on August 3rd – the date most fall sports practices would’ve started except volleyball – we’re moving the start of all of our practice activities to August 17th.”

Dolan announced that, under the current plan, golf would be the first sport to resume competition because its participants are adequately able to socially distance from one another during matches. There is also less practice time required to resume competition for golf. As a result, golf is currently scheduled to tee off its season on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.

Competitions for volleyball, cheerleading, cross-country, and soccer are currently scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.

Football games would be able to start as early as Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, under the WVSSAC’s current plan.

Dolan added that competition attendees will have to follow additional safety guidelines, which will vary based on the type of sport and the facility in which it is being played but will likely include social distancing and the wearing of masks, to keep all participants and visitors as safe as possible.

Any additional WVSSAC guidelines will be provided on online as soon as they become available.

 Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) will celebrate more than 300 spring and summer 2020 graduates with a virtual commencement ceremony in light of in-person commencement ceremonies being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring and summer graduates will also be invited to participate in the next in-person commencement ceremony.

The virtual ceremony will be livestreamed on ACM’s Facebook page @alleganycollegeofmaryland at 6 p.m. on August 7. A Facebook account is not needed to view the event.

Dr. Cynthia Bambara, ACM’s president, will open the program with a welcome to the candidates for graduation and their guests. ACM Board of Trustees Chair Kim Leonard will offer greetings followed by remarks provided by a student commencement speaker. ACM Instructional and Student Affairs Senior Vice President Dr. Kurt Hoffman will virtually present the candidates for graduation, assisted in his duties by commencement Grand Marshal Stacey Rohrbaugh and Assistant Grand Marshal Dr. Donna Brunelli, both ACM professors. Faculty will announce the names of the graduates as their individual recognition slides are shown.

Students will receive an email communication to their ACM student email account that outlines the details of the virtual commencement. Starting on Monday, July 13, local graduates may pick up their graduation invitations, tassel, cap, and gown at the Advising Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday prior to the virtual ceremony. Students are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing while on campus. Graduates from outside of the area should contact Marianne Shedlock at mshedlock@allegany.edu or Anne Haynal at ahaynal@allegany.edu to request to have their invitations and regalia mailed.

Graduates may submit photographs of themselves, preferably in their cap with tassel and gown but not required, by emailing gradsubmissions@allegany.edu by 4 p.m. on August 5. They may be professionally photographed free of charge on the Cumberland Campus on one of the following days and times:

  • July 16 from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • July 17 from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • July 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • July 27 from 12 to 2 p.m.
  • July 28 from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • July 30 from 3 to 6 p.m.
  • August 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. and
  • August 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Students who elect to be photographed should report to the Student Lounge located in College Center. They will be required to sign-in and follow the college’s health and safety guidelines during their visit to campus to be photographed, including the wearing of a face mask and practicing of social distancing measures. Graduates may remove their masks for taking of the actual photographs whichwill be held outdoors, weather permitting.

On the day of commencement, graduates are encouraged to take photos and videos celebrating their graduation and share them on social media using #ACM2020grad. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas by mail later. All graduates will be mailed a copy of the Commencement program in late-August.

“Graduation is an unforgettable event, and one of our most cherished traditions at the college. Our entire college community is sorry for our graduates’ loss of the many special experiences associated with their final semester of study. These graduates demonstrate persistence and achievements that should be commemorated,” said Bambara. “We’re proud of each and every one of them, and grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate their successes.”

Students must have applied for graduation and been officially cleared for inclusion in the virtual ceremony. For more information regarding ACM’s virtual ceremony, visit allegany.edu/graduation. Additional questions may be directed to Nicole Frost by calling 301-784-5288 or emailing rfrost@allegany.edu

July 10th

Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. No appointment or doctor’s order needed. Please bring ID.

The Garrett County Health Department received notification of one additional positive COVID-19 case which brings the county’s total positive cases for Garrett County residents to 19.

The new positive is a male in his teens who does not have symptoms and is isolating at home. He did have contact with a previously reported case.

The next community COVID-19 testing opportunity in Garrett County is scheduled for Friday, July 17, from 7:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parkinglot between the Health Department and the Mountain Laurel Medical Center at 1025 Memorial Drive in Oakland.

Testing will be free and without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION. This event is intended for persons who do not have symptoms. Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who want antibody testing should contact their health care provider.


Grant County Total Positive cases: 18: (Total 17 positives, 1 probable). A probable is a household contact WITH symptoms but not laboratory tested. All positive cases have recovered. 15 positive cases and 1 probable case have recovered, the 2 new cases are active.
We are in the process of identifying contacts. A contact is defined as someone that was within 6 ft of the positive case for 10 minutes or more and not wearing a face covering or mask.

Allegany Transit bus routes, Red, Blue, Green, Gold, Silver, Purple, and Yellow will resume regular route schedules beginning Monday, July 13, 2020.

JARC Transportation for North Branch Industrial Park employees on second and third shift will continue.

Transit is taking safety precautions to protect passengers and drivers.

· Transit disinfects all vehicles daily.

· Employees will be scanned for temperature daily before their shift.

· Passengers and Drivers are required to wear a mask. Homemade masks are acceptable.

If you are sick, have a fever, or a cough, please do not ride the bus.

For more information on Bus Routes, Alltrans or JARC transportation to the North Branch Industrial Park, please call

Transit Line –————- 301-722-6360

Alltrans & JARC Line—-301-724-1255

Email ——– transit@alleganygov.org extensions_to_open”:”doc:m3u”},”enhanced_bookmarks_enabled”:3,”extensions”:{“alerts”:{“initialized”:true},”autoupdate”:{“last_check”:”13238854664676101″,”next_check”:”13238872131014131″},”blacklistupdate”:{“lastpingday”:”13028889600516956″,”version”:”0.0.0.149″},”chrome_url_overrides”:{“bookmarks”:[{“active”:true,”entry”:”chrome-extension://ed

July 8th

The Allegany County Health Department will offer free testing for COVID-19 at a drive-thru clinic at the Allegany County Fairgrounds tomorrow, July 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again on Sunday, July 12 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Individuals are asked to bring ID if they have it, and the clinic is open to everyone regardless of residency. No appointment or doctor’s order is needed.The health department reported that two additional community members have tested positive for COVID-19 since Monday, bringing the county’s total case count to 212.

The Garrett County Health Department received notification of three additional positive COVID-19 cases which brings the county’s total positive cases for Garrett County residents to 18.

These new cases include two persons in their 20s, a female with symptoms and a male without symptoms, who have not required hospitalization and are isolating at home. The third person is a female resident at Dennett Road Nursing home who is in her 80s. She does not have any symptoms and has been isolated at the facility.

None of these new cases were tested at the community event on July 3rd. Not all of the results have been received from that event, but all that have been received have been negative.

“As the positive numbers in the county increase, personnel from state and local public health are working to trace the positive cases and will be in touch with any individuals with potential exposure,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “Please make sure you answer the call when you see either Garrett County Health Department or MD COVID on your caller ID. Calls from contact tracers could show up as either one.”

The Garrett County Health Department, in conjunction with other state and local partners, has scheduled a testing opportunity for 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. Testing will be free and without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION.

This event is designed for persons who do not have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their doctor to be tested at the hospital outpatient laboratory or other clinical laboratory. Persons that are interested in an antibody test for COVID-19 should also contact their health care provider.

There are currently 61 cases of COVID-19 in Mineral County with 6 active 52 recovered and 3 deaths.

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 45. We currently have five patients in quarantine at home, following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community. We have no patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. 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 40 individuals fully recovered, included in the total confirmed case count of 45.

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.

SCHOOL REOPENING DATE MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 8

With the daily number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in recent days, Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that he and State education leaders are now targeting Sept. 8, 2020, as the date to resume student instruction in school buildings in all 55 counties across West Virginia.

“No one wants us to go back to school more than I do,” Gov. Justice said. “But, at the end of the day, I’m going to do what I think is the best thing and safest thing for our kids. And I am not going to move forward with going back to school until I am absolutely as sure as I can be that our kids, teachers, service personnel, and parents are going to be safe.

“Everyone has got to realize that this situation is a moving target like you can’t imagine,” Gov. Justice continued. “The more information we have and the longer that we can push this out, the better off we’ll all be. With our cases exploding to the upside, if we were to rush this and go back to school in two or three weeks, in my opinion it’s the wrong decision because we just don’t know what’s going to happen. We have to buy some time.”

The Governor added that officials with the West Virginia Department of Education, including Superintendent Clayton Burch, have conceptualized a condensed student instruction calendar, starting Sept. 8, that would provide 180 days of instruction while still allowing the school year to conclude by the end of May.

Gov. Justice also said that he has been in discussions with leaders from the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission about plans to potentially push back the fall sports calendar. Additional information will be provided at a later date.

SMALL BUSINESS GRANT FUNDING UPDATE

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that plans are in the works to expand the Governor’s recently announced initiative to provide $150 million of the state’s federal CARES Act funding to small businesses across West Virginia.

Previously, the Governor announced that only businesses with 5-35 employees would be able to apply for this funding. But Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that he intends to expand the scope of his initiative to allow all businesses with 1-35 employees to be able to apply.

“What we’re going to do is start with being able to send out up to $5,000 to all of those that qualify,” Gov. Justice said. “And then, the dollars that are leftover from the $150 million – as well as any other dollars that we might possibly be able to add – we’re going to go back and distribute those dollars equally across the board.”

The Governor said that additional details, including more information on the process for applying, will be provided soon.

INDOOR FACE COVERING REQUIREMENTS REVISITED

Once again Wednesday, Gov. Justice discussed his recent executive order establishing a statewide indoor face covering requirement across West Virginia.

The order requires all West Virginians age 9 and older to wear a face covering at all indoor public places where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

“We absolutely have got to be as strong as we possibly can about wearing our masks or our face coverings in any public building,” Gov. Justice said. “We have got to have you do that right now.

“I trust West Virginians can handle that on an honor system,” Gov. Justice continued. “We do not want this terrible killer right in our backdoor. It is something we should be concerned about as we move forward.”

Gov. Justice again pointed out that data from the COVID-19 dashboard shows case numbers that are as high as West Virginia has seen since the start of the pandemic.

“Look at the way we’re moving. It’s why we’ve got to wear our masks,” Gov. Justice said. “I don’t like them. They’re inconvenient. But unless we’re going to move toward shutting down our restaurants, bars, and different things around our state again, we’ve got to do this.”

The face covering requirement does not apply to anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is otherwise unable to remove their own face covering without assistance. Click here to read more about the executive order.

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $32 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED

Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $32 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

MYRTLE BEACH CASES

Once again on Wednesday, Gov. Justice discussed the recent surge in COVID-19 cases being seen at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, again cautioning residents who are considering traveling to the popular vacation destination that there are now cases in 30 West Virginia counties, with at least 140 cases that are tied to residents traveling to the Myrtle Beach area.

UPCOMING FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: MARSHALL, MERCER, MONONGALIA, PRESTON, UPSHUR, AND WAYNE COUNTIES

Additionally during his briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the next round of free community COVID-19 testing will be provided later this week – Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 – in Marshall, Mercer, Monongalia, Preston, Upshur, and Wayne 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:

Marshall County

Friday, July 10

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

McMechen City Hall: 325 Logan Street, McMechen, WV 26040

Saturday, July 11

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Marshall County Health Department: 513 6th Street, Moundsville, WV 26041

Mercer County

Saturday, July 11

9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Mercer County Health Department: 978 Blue Prince Road, Bluefield, WV 24701

Monongalia County

Friday, July 10

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Morgantown Farmer’s Market (Downtown): 400 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV 26505

Saturday, July 11

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Mountainview Elementary School: 661 Green Bag Road, Morgantown, WV 26508

Preston County

Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 11

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Kingwood Elementary School: 207 South Price Street, Kingwood, WV 26537

Upshur County

Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 11

10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Buckhannon-Upshur High School: 270 B-U Drive, Buckhannon, WV 26201

Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 11

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

78 Queens Alley, Rock Cave, WV 26234

Wayne County

Friday, July 10

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dunlow Community Center: 1475 Left Fork Dunlow Bypass Road, Dunlow, WV 25511

Saturday, July 11

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Wayne Elementary School: 80 McGinnis Drive, Wayne, WV 25570

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP

Also, 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 available

More than 690 free-feeding locations have now 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.

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

Unfortunately, due to COVID and social distancing issues, the decision has been made to cancel Heritage Days for 2020. Stay tune for Heritage Days 2021 dates and information.

With 118 days until the November general election, and given the State Board of Elections’ (SBE) failure to provide a recommendation on how to conduct the election, Governor Larry Hogan today directed the Board to follow existing state law and conduct the election with enhanced voting options in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Every early voting center should be open and every polling location should be open on Election Day to accommodate anyone who wishes to cast their ballot safely and in person.

To ensure that every Marylander who wants to vote by mail can vote by mail, SBE should promptly send out an absentee ballot request application to every eligible Maryland voter.

Every effort should be made to promote early voting, absentee voting by mail, and voting at off-peak times as safe and efficient options.

“The fundamental responsibility of the State Board of Elections is to conduct free and fair elections in a manner that facilitates maximum voter participation,” wrote Governor Hogan. “This approach—which is already fully authorized by existing state law—will maximize participation in the November election by offering voters more options while minimizing confusion and risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read the governor’s letter to SBE here https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Letter-to-SBE_November-Election.pdf

In addition, the governor informed SBE that the state will encourage state employees to help supplement election staffing needs, and provide any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). Polling places should follow CDC guidelines and public health protocols, and stress the importance of proper sanitization, physical distancing, and face coverings.

The governor urged the Board to avoid a politicized process as it moves forward.

“While I know you have been inundated with suggestions from political leaders in both parties and special interest groups to change the electoral process, this discussion should not be subject to undue partisanship or political influence,” wrote Governor Hogan. “Providing citizens with accessible, accountable, and transparent ways to cast their ballot is an essential component of our democratic republic and your primary responsibility.”

The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold a public conference over the course of two days to gauge the impact that COVID-19 has had on Maryland utility operations, consumer protections, service reliability and financial health. On March 16, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order prohibiting the termination of residential utility services and the imposition of late fees during the COVID-19 state of emergency. This prohibition is currently set to expire on August 1, 2020.

At the conference to be held August 27 and 28, 2020 beginning at 10:00 am each day, the Commission will hear from electric and gas utilities in the state on their responses to a series of questions posed by the Commission in its hearing notice. The questions seek to probe the impacts that stay-at-home orders and the prohibition on shutoffs have had on energy usage, utility operations, reliability, and revenue. Of particular interest to the Commission are the policies and procedures the utilities have developed to handle increasing numbers of customers who are unable to pay utility bills and who may face disconnection of service when the moratorium is lifted.

Also to be examined are impacts on utility energy efficiency programs, pilot programs and other initiatives that provide benefits to customers. The Commission will also seek input on regulatory actions it should consider to mitigate and continue monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on Maryland utilities and ratepayers.

The Commission previously authorized Maryland utilities to track incremental costs, related to COVID-19, to serve customers during this period. The utilities were also directed to include any assistance or benefit received in connection with COVID-19 that may offset extra costs. In a future proceeding, the Commission will consider whether utilities can recover those additional costs.

The Commission has directed Maryland electric and gas utilities to file responses to its questions by August 11, 2020. Based on the utilities’ responses, interested parties may file comments by August 21, 2020.

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced the launch of MD Mind Health, a new text-based mental health initiative to fight isolation and encourage mental wellness. The new program was developed by the MDH Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) in partnership with Maryland 211, the state’s crisis hotline.

“Staying connected with family, friends and other support systems is more challenging, and more important than ever,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “In difficult times, it can make a difference to know you’re not alone.”

Maryland’s crisis hotline saw a significant increase in volume in recent months, especially in text messages. From March 2019 to March 2020, text messages increased by 842 percent; “chats” increased almost 84 percent; and calls increased almost 25 percent. Between February 2020 (1,619 calls) and March 2020 (2,345 calls), calls to Maryland 211 increased by 45 percent.

The MD Mind Health program is an extension of mental outreach provided by BHA during the pandemic. Texts sent through the program will not only provide supportive mental health messages, but also will remind recipients that immediate access to mental health services is available. If in distress, individuals can call 211, chat through the 211 website, or text 898-211. All actions will link the individual to a call specialist available 24/7.

More than half of Americans — 56 percent — surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation in late April, reported that the coronavirus outbreak has caused them to experience at least one negative effect on their mental health, such as problems with sleeping or eating, increased alcohol use, or worsening chronic conditions. Even before COVID-19, anxiety ranked as one of the most common mental health disorders globally.

Text 898-211 to sign up for MD Mind Health to receive encouragement, reminders and resources for staying connected. Messages include tips about self-compassion and self-care, concrete suggested actions, recommended podcasts and apps, inspirational quotes and information on how to find community resources and get help if needed.

“Physical distancing has left many feeling more alone and isolated, and these feelings can fuel sadness, depression, cravings for substances and relapse, negative coping skills, thoughts of suicide and other mental health problems,” said Dr. Aliya Jones, Deputy Secretary for BHA. “We must find healthy ways to respond. Even though we may not be seeing as much of each other, we don’t have to feel alone. This texting initiative is another way to combat that.”

Text messaging is a low-cost intervention that can reach individuals across the state, especially in rural areas with limited access to some services. Texting may be the best way to connect with teens and young adults, as surveys have indicated it is a preferred way to communicate.

MD Mind Health uses the Prevention Pays Platform which is based on Caring Contacts, an evidenced-based suicide prevention program. Caring Contacts supplements standard care by promoting human connectedness through caring messages.

MD Mind Health is the latest in a growing list of new and established resources BHA is providing and promoting to support behavioral health in the time of COVID-19. Resources developed for the public also include: a Recovery and Wellness Resource guide, a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communication guide, PSAs on anxiety and depression, and an extensive list of webinars, support groups, and info guides for clinicians and the general public.

People in crisis can get immediate help by calling Maryland’s crisis hotline (211, press 1), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK), or SAMHSA’s national emergency number (1-800-273-8255). Maryland veterans can also enroll in Operation Roll Call (1-877-770-4801) — a program that offers regular check-in calls and a chance to talk to someone who can offer support.

Information and resources regarding COVID-19 are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

July 6th The Allegany County Health Department reports that four more community members have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the county’s total case count to 210. The latest cases include a male in his teens and a male in his 20s, a female in her 30s, and a female in her 80s that has required hospitalization.The health department also reports that a Sterling Care Frostburg Village resident who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 has died. This is the twenty-first fatality in Allegany County.

The Garrett County Health Department received notification of another positive COVID-19 case which brings the county’s total positive cases to 15.This positive case is female Garrett County resident in her 60s who presented with symptoms at a local health care facility. She did not need to be hospitalized and is isolating at home.The Garrett County Health Department, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Health and other state and local partners, operated a drive-thru testing event at Deep Creek Lake on Friday, July 3.The event was held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. A total of 267 tests were conducted from 8 am to 12 noon while persons were sitting in their cars. Of those tested, 75% were Maryland residents, and 64% were Garrett County residents. All results from this event are still pending. Persons with positive results will be called directly, while negative results will be sent to the person’s mailing address.

An additional testing opportunity is scheduled for 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. Testing will be free and without the need for an appointment or a doctor’s order. THIS IS NOT AN ANTIBODY TEST THAT MAY IDENTIFY A PREVIOUS INFECTION.

These events are designed for persons who do not have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their doctor to be tested at the hospital outpatient laboratory or other clinical laboratory. Persons that are interested in an antibody test for COVID-19 should also contact their health care provider.

Partners for these events include Maryland Department of Health, Garrett County Public Schools, Mountain Laurel Medical Center, Garrett Regional Medical Center, County Government, and Maryland State Highway Administration.

There are 57 cases in Mineral County 4 active and 50 recovered.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
STATEWIDE INDOOR FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT
After West Virginia experienced its highest daily total of new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, Gov. Justice announced Monday that he has issued an executive order that will establish a statewide indoor face covering requirement.

The order requires all West Virginians age 9 and older to wear a face covering at all indoor public places where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

The requirement does not apply to anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is otherwise unable to remove their own face covering without assistance.

“I have told you all along we were going to watch our numbers,” Gov. Justice said. “In the last few days, our positive case numbers have now moved to a level to where if we don’t make a move right now, we’re going to be in a world of hurt.

“I know it’s an inconvenience, but it’s not going to be much of an inconvenience,” Gov. Justice continued. “If you don’t decide to wear the face covering for yourself, if you don’t decide to wear it for one of your loved ones or your friends, do it for the 95 West Virginians that have died, do it for the 95 people that we’ve lost.”

The Governor clarified that the requirement to wear face coverings does not apply inside residents’ homes or vehicles. Also, the requirement does not apply when consuming food or beverages inside a restaurant.

The requirement does not apply anywhere outside. However, state health leaders still strongly suggest that residents wear a face covering when outside in circumstances where proper social distance is difficult to maintain.

For children ages 2 years old through 8 years old, face coverings are not required. However, it is recommended that parents or guardians use their best judgment as to when to assist their children, ages 2 through 8, with wearing a face covering.

Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance should not wear face coverings and are exempt from the face covering requirement.

Face shields are an acceptable substitute for those with physical conditions that may cause them to be unable to properly wear a face covering.

The indoor face covering requirement will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7.

Guidance documents that are a part of the Governor’s reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – will be revised to reflect the new requirement.

View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

CLARIFICATIONS ON FACE COVERING, CONCEALED CARRY LAWS
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice’s General Counsel Brain Abraham added that, while there is a law in West Virginia that prohibits the use of face coverings in public, there is an exemption to that law for emergency situations such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Abraham went on to explain that the new face covering requirement does not restrict the right of West Virginians to carry concealed weapons.

“As far as West Virginia goes, there will be no prohibition on the wearing of a mask and the concealed carrying of a firearm at the same time,” Abraham said. “We would urge all West Virginians to check with other states before you would travel out-of-state and do the same thing, as each state’s laws might not be the same as West Virginia’s.”

ZERO ACTIVE CASES AMONG WEST VIRGINIA INMATES
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 zero active COVID-19 cases among all inmates and residents across West Virginia.

There remains one active COVID-19 case among corrections employees and contract staff.

More than 10,000 inmates and 4,000 employees were tested in total as part of the Governor’s initiative.

GOV. JUSTICE THANKS GUARD FOR SERVICE TO STATE
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his address to praise the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard.

More than 60 service members, including pilots, maintainers, flight medics, and support staff recently left the state in preparation to deploy to the Middle East.

Also recently, the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston welcomed home more than 70 airmen and women who had served more than four months overseas.

“These National Guard men and women, we should always keep them in our prayers,” Gov. Justice said. “We should celebrate the ones who have returned home and we should continue to pray for the safety of those just now being deployed. We should be so appreciative and thankful that they have given us everything we have.”

MYRTLE BEACH CASES
Once again on Monday, Gov. Justice discussed the recent surge in COVID-19 cases being seen at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, again cautioning residents who are considering traveling to the popular vacation destination that there are now cases in 23 West Virginia counties, with at least 115 cases that are tied to residents traveling to the Myrtle Beach area.
UPCOMING FREE COMMUNITY TESTING: MARSHALL, MERCER, MONONGALIA, PRESTON, AND WAYNE COUNTIES
Additionally during his briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the next round of free community COVID-19 testing will be provided later this week – Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 – in Marshall, Mercer, Monongalia, Preston, Upshur, and Wayne 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:

Marshall County
Friday, July 10
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
McMechen City Hall: 325 Logan Street, McMechen, WV 26040
Saturday, July 11
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Marshall County Health Department: 513 6th Street, Moundsville, WV 26041

Mercer County
Saturday, July 11
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mercer County Health Department: 978 Blue Prince Road, Bluefield, WV 24701

Monongalia County
Friday, July 10
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Morgantown Farmer’s Market (Downtown): 400 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
Saturday, July 11
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mountainview Elementary School: 661 Green Bag Road, Morgantown, WV 26508

Preston County
Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 11
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kingwood Elementary School: 207 South Price Street, Kingwood, WV 26537

Upshur County
Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 11
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur High School: 270 B-U Drive, Buckhannon, WV 26201 
Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 11
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
78 Queens Alley, Rock Cave, WV 26234

Wayne County
Friday, July 10
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dunlow Community Center: 1475 Left Fork Dunlow Bypass Road, Dunlow, WV 25511
Saturday, July 11
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wayne Elementary School: 80 McGinnis Drive, Wayne, WV 25570

CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: $29.6 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $29.6 million has now been awarded all across the state.

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.

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’s Office.

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG SUMMER FOOD ASSISTANCE MAP
Also, 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 available online.

More than 690 free-feeding locations have now 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.

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.

 In response to Governor Jim Justice’s announcement that it is now mandatory to wear a mask at any indoor facility, with the exception of a private home, the Mineral County Office of Emergency Management will be making a limited quantity of cloth face coverings available to Mineral County residents free of charge.
These masks can be picked up at the Mineral County Office of Emergency Services located at 392 Pine Swamp Rd in Keyser, W.Va. Masks can be picked up Tuesday July 7, Wednesday July 8, or Thursday July 9 between the times of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary please just stop in, ring the doorbell, and someone will bring a mask to you.
If you have any questions regarding these masks, please contact the Office of Emergency Services at 304-788-1821

Maryland’s key COVID-19 health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, with the statewide positivity rate dropping to a new low of 4.51%, and total current hospitalizations falling to 403. The state reported three new confirmed deaths, the lowest number since March 31.

“As we continue to see encouraging trends in all of our key health metrics, widespread testing across each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions remains a critical component of our long-term recovery,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to congratulate Baltimore County on becoming the 11th jurisdiction to meet the statewide goal of testing 10% of their population. We are pleased to see more county leaders in Maryland doing their part by expanding testing efforts at the local level.”

More than 724,000 COVID-19 Tests, 4.51% Positivity Rate. Maryland has now conducted 724,463 COVID-19 tests, including 10,937 tests over the last 24 hours. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped to 4.51%—down more than 83% from its peak level on April 17—and the daily positivity rate is 3.36%.

Hospitalizations Fall to 403. Current total COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped to 403, with 142 ICU beds in use.

Lowest Number of New Cases Since March 22. The state is reporting 272 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, the lowest number since March 22. 

Positivity Rate 58% Higher For Marylanders Under 35. In keeping with trends states are seeing across the country, the positivity rate among Marylanders under 35 (6.06%) is 58% higher than the positivity rate for Marylanders age 35 and older (3.83%).

Baltimore County Hits 10% Testing Goal. Baltimore County became the 11th jurisdiction to meet the statewide goal of testing 10% of the population in all 24 jurisdictions. Here is how the state’s most populous jurisdictions rank:

  • Baltimore City: 11.6% of population tested
  • Prince George’s: 10.2%
  • Baltimore Co.: 10.0%
  • Montgomery: 9.6%
  • Howard: 9.2%
  • Anne Arundel: 7.9%

220+ COVID Testing Sites Statewide. Maryland now has more than 220 testing sites available statewide. To further increase convenience and accessibility at COVID-19 testing sites, the Maryland Department of Health and local partners are now providing patients with the ability to schedule their own appointments online at more sites.

  • Patients can schedule their own appointments at the Columbia VEIP, Pimlico Race Course, and Baltimore Convention Center testing sites by visiting coronavirus.maryland.gov and clicking on the “Testing” tab.
     
  • Although an appointment is strongly encouraged, the Pimlico Race Course and Baltimore Convention Center testing sites will continue to accommodate walk-up patients. No doctor’s order is required at these sites.
     
  • Both the Glen Burnie VEIP and Six Flags America theme park now offer no-appointment, drive-thru testing. Both sites operate on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more information about testing sites in Maryland, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov and click on the “Testing” tab.

July 5th The Garrett County Health Department was notified today of one additional positive COVID-19 test result at a long-term care facility in Garrett County. Saturday  the Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home in Oakland received confirmation of a positive result for a male staff member in his 20s. He is a Garrett County resident and is isolating at home. This new positive result has increased Garrett County’s total positive cases for COVID-19 to 14.

Grant County Total cases remain stable since mid-June: 16 (Total 15 positives, 1 probable).
A probable is a household contact WITH symptoms but not laboratory tested. All positive cases have recovered.
he West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reports as of 5:00 p.m., on July 5, 2020, there have been 186,418 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 3,335 total cases and 95 deaths.

DHHR has confirmed the death of an 84-year old female from Greenbrier County. “Each death reported is a solemn reminder of the seriousness of this disease. We send our sympathy to this family and urge all West Virginians to follow the guidelines to protect each other from the spread,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary.

In alignment with updated definitions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dashboard includes probable cases which are individuals that have symptoms and either serologic (antibody) or epidemiologic (e.g., a link to a confirmed case) evidence of disease, but no confirmatory test. 

CASES PER COUNTY (Case confirmed by lab test/Probable case): Barbour (16/0), Berkeley (464/18), Boone (23/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (9/1), Cabell (150/5), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (11/0), Fayette (69/0), Gilmer (13/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (64/0), Hampshire (42/0), Hancock (25/3), Hardy (44/1), Harrison (76/0), Jackson (144/0), Jefferson (238/5), Kanawha (341/9), Lewis (19/1), Lincoln (8/0), Logan (26/0), Marion (79/3), Marshall (43/1), Mason (22/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (50/0), Mineral (56/2), Mingo (20/3), Monongalia (256/14), Monroe (15/1), Morgan (19/1), Nicholas (14/1), Ohio (109/1), Pendleton (13/1), Pleasants (4/1), Pocahontas (30/1), Preston (72/16), Putnam (65/1), Raleigh (61/1), Randolph (169/2), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (11/0), Summers (2/0), Taylor (16/1), Tucker (6/0), Tyler (5/0), Upshur (20/1), Wayne (116/1), Wetzel (16/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (120/8), Wyoming (7/0).

As case surveillance continues at the local health department level, it may reveal that those tested in a certain county may not be a resident of that county, or even the state as an individual in question may have crossed the state border to be tested. Such is the case of Brooke and Cabell counties in this report.

Because of the increasing numbers. Governor Justice reported that he is considering mandating masks for everyone that cannot maintain social distancing (at least 6 ft. apart) in any building. Masks will not be required outside. The Governor said that he will announce the decision on Monday, July 6 based upon trends of positive cases reported to him at that time and as advised by the Health team.

Health Officials are urging everyone to be safe this Holiday Weekend. If you attend events, remember to social distance.
If you are planning out of state trips to areas that have had a spike in cases to rethink plans. If you do travel to other areas, always wear a mask and maintain social distance. Self-quarantine for 14 days upon return, that is, stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with others. If you must go out, social distance by maintaining 6 ft distance from everyone, and wear a mask at all times when around others for the full 14 days, even if you are tested negative. If possible, work at home.
If any symptoms such as unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, muscle aches or sudden loss of taste or smell please occur, be tested. If you choose to be tested without symptoms, do not test before 5 days after your return. Testing too early can lead to a negative test and provide a false sense of security.

Justice will hold a press conference on at 12:30pm

The Allegany County Public School System will follow the Reopening Maryland Schools K-12 Decision Matrix.

During step one of this matrix, the Governor’s Office, in coordination with members of the coronavirus recovery team and experts at the Maryland Department of Health, are monitoring key health metrics and identifying the appropriate stage within Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery. The State Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with the State Board of Education, subsequently determines the operational status of the schools during each stage.

ACPS is currently reviewing our recovery options for each stage in preparation for the opening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year, which is scheduled for August 26, 2020, for students. Staff will develop plans with input from multiple stakeholders, and these plans will be shared during the August 11, 2020, meeting of the Board of Education. School system’s plans must be submitted to the Maryland State Department of Education by August 14, 2020, for review and final approval.

The Garrett County Public School system has been working together in conjunction with a number of stakeholder groups to refine plans for the upcoming school year. This work includes analyzing the data from the most recent community survey, meeting with various stakeholder groups, consulting with local health officials, and monitoring the most recent key health metrics.Our most preferred model is returning to face-to-face instruction every day for every student in our brick and mortar buildings. The results of the community survey also indicate this is the overwhelming choice of parents and families. Please rest assured that if the public health data supports a return to campus for all students, this is exactly what we will do. However, because there are so many unknowns, we must have contingency plans in place if we are unable to do so.

The return to every day, full time face-to-face instruction model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring of student and staff health. These mitigation efforts will not only impact classrooms, but will extend to school buses, food service & cafeterias, athletic programs & extra curricular activities, and all other programs. If GCPS is not able to return to full-time instruction in our schools, we must be prepared to modify the plans to support a partial reopening or to allow for scaling back at a future date if the public health data changes. It should be noted that at this time, no decision has been made regarding the final contingency plan. Our planning teams and stakeholder focus groups are still asking for feedback, analyzing data, and refining recommendations for a safe return. The stakeholder groups include parents, students, and staff. In addition, the planning teams are also seeking input from each of these groups. Information that has been shared recently on social media has been included to ensure that all communities are represented and have had an opportunity to provide feedback before any plans are finalized.

Please be advised that all school systems in Maryland are required to submit plans for three different phases. The Governor’s Office works collaboratively with health officials to determine the appropriate stage of Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery. The State Superintendent of Schools works with the Maryland State Department of Education to determine the operational status of schools within each stage. GCPS will follow the “Reopening Maryland Schools K-12 Decision Matrix” that includes a green, yellow, and red phase for the opening of school. In its most basic form, the color-coded phases are:

  • Green: In-person activities may fully resume, and schools can begin normal operations consistent with additional safety measures. Again, this is our preferred option.
  • Yellow: Some in-person school activities may commence, in accordance with the Governor’s gathering and social distancing measures.
  • Red: All school activities are to be conducted online and through distance learning platforms.

Regardless of the phase in which students will return to school in the fall, GCPS will provide an online, remote learning option to meet the needs of individual students and families. A learning management system will be implemented that will provide a very robust educational experience. This remote learning option will be explained in greater detail, but instruction will look very different than it did during the emergency closure this past spring.

The GCPS community survey and many subsequent news articles throughout the state have focused on alternatives for the Yellow Phase that include A/B days or A/B weeks. The survey indicated that if an alternate to every day is required, an A/B day model is preferred. Detailed information will also be provided on the logistics of this. Briefly, however, any schedule that includes A/B, means that students are divided and not all students come to the school building every day. We fully understand that this will be very difficult for families. As stated earlier, we are required to have a contingency plan in case students cannot attend every day in-person. Over the next 4-6 weeks, the plans will be revised and we will continue to seek input from parents, students, and teachers. Our tentative plan for the make-up of the A/B days will be announced no later than Wednesday, July 8 so that parents may also begin to plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

It cannot be stated enough that no decisions have been made. We appreciate your understanding that we must follow guidance from both the Governor’s Office and the Maryland State Department of Education. We will continue to seek feedback in order to best follow the guidance and do what is best for the families and employees of the Garrett County Public School System.

As a result of Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order of June 10 allowing for a partial re-opening of the State of Maryland, the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County will be re-opening the County Office Building at 701 Kelly Road to the public on Monday July 6. Office Hours will be from 8AM to 4PM To keep the Allegany County Workforce, as well as visitors safe, all visitors will be required to wear a face mask for the duration of their visit.  A maximum of four visitors at a time will be permitted at the Tax & Utility office, to allow for social distancing. County Receptionists will track visitors to other offices, ensuring only one visitor per office is permitted at any given time. City of Cumberland Reopening City Hall on July 6, 2020 City Hall will be reopening to the general public beginning Monday, July 6, 2020. The public will be allowed into City Hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the purpose of making payments, but will be required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines while inside the building. No more than four visitors are permitted in the lobby at any one time. Admittance to other offices will be accommodated by appointment only, with individuals contacting the appropriate staff member or department, in advance, by phone or email to arrange a mutually agreeable time. Upon arriving at City Hall for a scheduled appointment, individuals must check in with the staff member in the lobby. The City is making every effort to keep employees and citizens safer during this health crisis, and therefore continues to encourage the use of phone calls and emails to conduct business, whenever possible. The optimal choice for payment of utility bills and any other financial obligations continues to be online. Visit http://www.ci.cumberland.md.us/131/Online-Payments for more details and instructions to pay online. Payments may also be made in the following ways: · Mailed to 57 N. Liberty Street, Cumberland, MD 21502 · Paid by phone (credit card payment only) by calling 301-759-6409 · Drop box outside City Hall, 1st floor · Drive-by drop box at Chamber of Commerce Bell Tower in City Hall plaza ·At the First United Bank locations on Harrison St.

July 3rd In Allegany County resident working at Dennett Road Manor nursing home in Oakland, Maryland has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Allegany County to 206. That individual has not required hospitalization.

As of Thursday, 7,438 Allegany County residents had been tested for COVID-19, with 7,232 testing negative and 206 positive.

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

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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.

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 NameOrganization 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.”

image

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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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.