Response to Coronavirus in MD and WV and PA

The Maryland Department of Aging is providing a free senior call check. Call 1-866-50-CHECK or register online at agining.maryland.gov and a daily call will be made to those 65 and older to verify your well-being at a time scheduled at your convenience. Register today or tell a loved one about the program.

The Allegany County Health Department reports that an Allegany County resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is a male in his 60s with underlying medical conditions who is currently hospitalized. The patient recently traveled to a neighboring state.Upon notification of a positive case, the Allegany County Health Department begins a contact investigation. During the contact investigation, the Health Department conducts interviews to determine where the patient has been and who he has been in contact with. The Health Department then notifies all individuals who came in contact with the patient while he was infectious. Individuals who came in contact with the patient must self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days.Health officials stress that community members should stay home and only go out for essentials. Continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay away from others if you are not feeling well. If you are seeking medical care, call ahead so your healthcare provider can offer guidance over the phone and take the necessary precautions if you must come into the office.

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today announced an extension until June 15 of the special enrollment period that began in mid-March to help uninsured Marylanders during the State of Emergency for Coronavirus (COVID-19) declared by Gov. Larry Hogan. Uninsured Marylanders may enroll through the state’s health insurance marketplace, MarylandHealthConnection.gov. Individuals also can download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 1-855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.”The enrollment period began Monday, March 16, and will now run through Monday, June 15.“We are in a unique situation, and a lot of people across the state are worried about their health and the health of their community. The decision to extend the enrollment deadline was made to ensure as many people as possible get the coverage they need,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which administers Maryland Health Connection.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 will offer help enrolling over the phone. You can find locations and contact information atMarylandHealthConnection.gov or the mobile app.For additional details about Maryland’s response to the ongoing pandemic, visit governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus. Health resource information is at health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

From Allegany County Transit: All transit bus routes are temporarily cancelled. For essential service Medical, groceries, or work. Call 301-724-1255

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced today that five deaths were reported as a result of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in Maryland to 15: a Carroll County man in his 90s with underlying medical conditions; a Howard County man in his 70s with underlying medical conditions; a Prince George’s County man in his 30s with underlying medical conditions; a Prince George’s County woman is her 50s with underlying medical conditions; and a Prince George’s County man is his 70s with underlying medical conditions.State officials tonight, in coordination with the Carroll County Health Department, announced an outbreak of COVID-19 at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy, where a total of 66 residents have tested positive, with 11 currently hospitalized.

Number f Confirmed Cases: 1239
Number of negative test results: 12,354
Hospitalizations: 277 ever hospitalized
Released From Isolation: 39

Cases by Age Range and Gender:
0-9 4
10-19 21
20-29 165
30-39 203
40-49 241
50-59 243
60-69 191
70-79 117
80+ 54
Female: 634, Male: 605

Information and resources regarding COVID-19 are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Through the Marion County Health Department and United Hospital Center, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed an 88-year old female from Marion County has died as a result of COVID-19.To protect the patient’s privacy, no additional details will be released.“We extend our sincere condolences to this family,” said Bill J. Crouch, Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital is an official testing site for patients that are suspected of having COVID-19. Patients presenting for testing are required to be pre-screened and have a valid physician’s order before testing can be performed. Patients without a valid order for testing should contact their primary care office to determine if they need a screening test. They can also contact the WVU Medicine Nurse Navigator line at 304-598-6000 Option 4. Patients presenting at the hospital for testing will notice a triage tent sitting outside the Emergency Department entrance. All patients must call the phone number posted on the signage and a nurse within the hospital will walk them through the next steps that need to be completed. All testing processes comply with the current CDC recommendations. Testing itself is supported by outside laboratories, which will process the specimens collected by WVU Medicine.  Potomac Valley Hospital has not implemented a drive up testing center, but is considering implementing this option shortly.

Senator Manchin released the following statement after President Trump signed the COVID-19 emergency funding package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, into law. The Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act was also signed into law as part of the larger emergency funding package.“I am relieved the House of Representatives passed this bill today and President Trump quickly signed it into law. After days of tough negotiations, this emergency funding package has more than $150 billion for hospitals, $31 billion for our schools and $150 billion for state and local governments. We also fought to ensure four weeks of unemployment insurance as opposed to three. Now comes the hard work of ensuring every West Virginian gets these resources we have allocated. I will continue to work around the clock to help West Virginians navigate this process,” Senator Manchin said. “Today’s package also included the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act meaning we have taken an another important step in changing the way our medical system treats patients with substance use disorder to protect patients from preventable accidents that lead to their addiction.”

US Senator Manchin fought for a week to include additional funding for West Virginia’s most vulnerable populations.
· The original Mitch McConnell bill included $75 billion for hospitals. Senator Manchin fought to double that and the final bill included $150 billion for hospitals.
· The original Mitch McConnell bill included $20 billion for our schools. Senator Manchin fought to include an additional $10 billion bringing the total to $31 billion for our schools.
· The original Mitch McConnell bill included no funding for state and local governments. Senator Manchin fought to include $150 billion for states and local governments.

Stopping the Spread
· Helping Hospitals and Healthcare Providers – We cannot begin to heal our economy until we can stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result of negotiations over the weekend, the amount of funding for hospitals and medical facilities increased from $75 billion to $150 billion to cover unreimbursed healthcare related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the public health emergency resulting from the coronavirus. This includes $50 billion in increased Medicare payments to providers.
· Protecting Healthcare Workers – We cannot do enough to arm our healthcare professionals with the equipment they need to protect themselves. The CARES Act includes various provisions to increase our domestic supply of masks, gloves, gowns, and other essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile, $4.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and $1 billion to increase production under the Defense Production Act.

Immediate Assistance to Unemployed Workers
· Expanded Unemployment Insurance – We must take care of those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. This relief package includes a dramatic expansion and reform of the existing unemployment insurance program. It expands eligibility to include part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers; it provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits; and it increases individual benefits by $600 per week to ensure that no one is penalized for practicing responsible social distancing.

· Direct Payments – To address additional, unforeseen financial challenges, the bill authorizes direct payments of $1,200 ($2,400 for couples) to all Americans making less than $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). Above that threshold, benefits will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income and phased out entirely for those making $99,000 or more ($198,000 for couples). Families are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. Working class Americans that file their taxes will receive a direct payment. Those who are on Social Security or otherwise do not file income taxes will receive their payment in the form of check. We are pushing the Treasury Department to issue these checks as quickly as possible.
Supporting Small Businesses
· Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – The CARES Act includes nearly $350 billion for a Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration (SBA) that will provide small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. Up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. Principal and interest will be deferred for up to a year and all borrower fees are waived.

· Emergency Economic Injury Grants – To address immediate cash flow concerns, the CARES Act includes $10 billion for advances of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDLs are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75 percent for companies and up to 2.75 percent for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to 4 years. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses.
Funding for State and Local Governments
· Coronavirus Relief Fund – Funding for state and local governments was a major source of debate around this bill. Thankfully, the final package includes what previous versions lacked – $150 billion to support state and local governments on the front lines of the response effort, including no less than $1.25 billion for West Virginia. It also authorizes an additional $454 billion to leverage more than $4.5 trillion in lending for distressed states, municipalities, and businesses.
· Resources for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement – The CARES Act also includes $850 million for the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG) to help state and local police departments and jails meet their needs, including the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other needed medical items and to support overtime for officers on the front lines. Includes over $6 million in dedicated funding for West Virginia.
· Additional Funding for Schools – The final version of the CARES Act includes more than $10 billion more than initially proposed for elementary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. In total, the bill provides $31 billion in grants to educational institutions so they can continue to serve their students. This includes $13.5 billion for elementary and secondary education and another $14.25 billion for higher education.

To view the full bill text, please click here
https://www.manchin.senate.gov/…/d…/FINAL%20Bill%20Text.pdf…

The State of Maryland now has 774 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an increase of 425 cases over the last three days. There are now more than 1,500 confirmed cases in the National Capital Region—in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia—4.5 times more than there were just one week ago.

Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement: 
 
“Over the last three days, the number of COVID-19 cases in Maryland has more than doubled. Cases in the National Capital Region have more than quadrupled over the last week alone. There is no timetable and no model that can tell us exactly how long this will last or how bad this is going to get.
 
“The federal administration’s swift approval of our request for a Major Disaster Declaration will drive more resources to our coordinated response. As chairman of the National Governors Association, I will continue to press for additional federal resources, including a Title 32 designation for Maryland and all the states to fund National Guard missions.
 
“Later today, I will convene conference calls with my full Cabinet and our Coronavirus Response Team of Maryland’s top doctors and public health experts to continue to address this crisis. I cannot stress this enough: Marylanders need to stay in place at home to help slow the spread of this deadly virus. 
 
“Our state has already faced and overcome daunting challenges before, and we will do so again.”

From UPMC Western MD: CUMBERLAND, Md., March 26, 2020 – In order to ensure the safest environment possible for care during the COVID-19 pandemic, as of noon on Thursday, March 26, all access to UPMC Western Maryland will be restricted to the Medical Arts Center (MAC) entrance. This entrance is located at the rear of the hospital adjacent to the parking garage. Additionally, all employees, providers, special-approved visitors, essential vendors, non-UPMC providers and outpatients will be screened in order to gain access to the facility and visitors will be required to wear a mask. These new procedures, combined with the restricted visitation implemented on March 25, will remain in place until further notice. For full details on the restricted visitation policy, please visitwww.UPMCWesternMaryland.com and click on the orange coronavirus banner at the top of the screen.

From MD Governor: MD Governor Larry Hogan announced tonight that the State of Maryland has received a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today, Maryland reported 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an increase of 157 new cases, which is by far the largest one-day increase to date. The number of confirmed cases in the National Capital Region has quadrupled over the past week.

The announcement comes just hours after Governor Hogan pushed for disaster declarations for the states during a teleconference with the White House. As chairman of the National Governors Association, he also continued to press for further action on the five requests he submitted to the president and vice president last week.

“We are pleased that our federal partners answered our calls for action and swiftly granted Maryland’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration,” said Governor Hogan. “This declaration will help provide much-needed funding for state and local governments and nonprofits, and it will be another important step in Maryland’s aggressive and coordinated response to COVID-19.”

Tonight’s announcement means Maryand will be eligible for reimbursement for the Emergency Protective Measures taken by state and local government agencies and certain non-profit groups under its Public Assistance program under the Robert T. Stafford Act.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on our entire state and country unlike anything we have seen before,” said Russell Strickland, Executive Director for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “We have been working alongside Governor Hogan and our local partners to ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of all Marylanders. This declaration is an important and necessary step to continue on our path of resilience.”

Information and resources regarding COVID-19 in Maryland are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

From WV Governor:To assist those affected by economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus, the West Virginia Department of Commerce launched a directory on Thursday with information about state and federal resources available to businesses.

The directory, which is available online at www.westvirginia.gov/covid19, includes topics such as Small Business Administration loans, Department of Labor standards, unemployment benefits and tax deadlines.

“A lot of small business owners, entrepreneurs and employers in West Virginia are hurting right now and we want each of them to know that we are all in this together,” said West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch. “With the launch of this resource directory, we hope to connect people to the resources that will provide real economic relief that will hopefully help our businesses weather this storm.”

The directory will be updated as new state and federal resources are made available, so business owners and members of the public are encouraged to sign up for email updates from the West Virginia Department of Commerce to stay up to date on new developments related to COVID-19 economic relief.

For public health recommendations, businesses should review the websites for the Department of Health and Human Resources and Gov. Jim Justice.

From AC DES: County fire and EMS agencies have been educated by local and state medical direction on a new protocol used to self-quarantine patients at home with symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus, according to emergency services officials.

“The Viral Syndrome Pandemic Triage protocol will be used in situations where the patient wants to be evaluated by EMS; meets certain criteria to stay at home, in self-quarantine and will be contacted by an Allegany County EMS Operation staff member the following day,” Allegany County Department of Emergency Services Chief Christopher Biggs said. “The intent of this protocol is to allow mild to moderately sick patients with no life-threatening conditions to stay at home, in self-quarantine to rest and recover.

The Maryland State Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems has implemented similar protocols Garrett County.

“We want to emphasize that if you want to be transported to the hospital, the EMS unit dispatched will still do that,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “Implementation of this protocol will allow pre-hospital clinicians to screen the patients and assist them in making an informed decision whether to be transported or stay at home to rest and recover. These patients should follow-up with their primary healthcare provider.”

Pyles and Biggs said that this is just one of several changes that have occurred since this pandemic began. Dispatch questioning, unit staffing, first responder dispatching, and crews self-monitoring are just a few other policy and procedure changes for county fire and EMS personnel.

“We continue to work with MIEMSS and MEMA on a daily basis for the latest updates,” Pyles said. “We make changes as directed by these agencies and local medical direction.”
Pyles continued that the Allegany County Health Department has been releasing testing results on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the public via their website and social media.
“When there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 the public will be notified,” Pyles said. “We have fortunately been spared for the time being. Our resources are mobilized and ready to respond.”

From WV Governor:Gov. Jim Justice joined State health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Gov. Justice continued to urge all West Virginians on Thursday to “stay the course” on practicing social distancing and good hygiene and praised the population for helping to limit exposure to the disease.

“Now is not the time to panic, we need to remain cautious, smart and strong,” Gov. Justice said. “The curve is not spiking and we are making headway, but this is a long way from being over. Every one of us needs to clearly understand that.”

He also made it clear that while many across the country may be looking to West Virginia as a potential “safe haven” from the pandemic, that people coming from out-of-state, especially from Hot Zones like New York, “should self-quarantine for 14 days.”

“It’s my job to protect our citizens and I’m very serious about that,” Gov. Justice said. “We welcome you and will embrace you after those 14 days, but these guidelines and recommendations have got to be followed.”
DR. CLAY MARSH, VICE PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DEAN FOR HEALTH SCIENCES AT WVU, APPOINTED AS STATE COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS CZAR

“I have solicited WVU and they have agreed to loan us the services and expertise of Dr. Clay Marsh, so today I am appointing him as our COVID-19/Coronavirus Czar,” Gov. Justice said. “Dr. Marsh has done an incredible job, as have all the members of our team, to guide us through this challenging time and him coming on board full time adds one more layer of experience and knowledge.”

Calling the appointment a “big job,” Dr. Marsh said the “tremendous team that has been assembled has worked tirelessly” addressing the pandemic and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead.

“We have great medical schools, a great hospital system, and great public and community health groups in this state,” Dr. Marsh said. “And we’ve got to make sure those people on the front line are safe and we need to protect them so they can feel safe and protect us and do the great jobs they do.”

Dr. Marsh also noted that while the number of positive test results has stayed stable at 5 percent over the last few days, the state has ”bought ourselves more time” to try and flatten the curve of the spreading virus.

“West Virginians have done a good job of doing the right things, staying home, washing their hands…but we can’t get complacent,” Dr. Marsh added. “We’ve just got to stay together and focus on what we are doing and if we do I sincerely believe we can become a model for the nation.”
DHHR UNVEILS NEW TEST REPORTING PLAN, PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR UNINSURED, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, HOMELESS, CHILDREN, AND OTHERS IN NEED

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch and State Public Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp issued the following information during the briefing:

Beginning Monday, with the assistance of the National Guard, thecoronavirus.wv.gov website will have daily postings of unofficial test numbers at 9 a.m., 12 noon and 4 p.m. Official numbers will then be provided when the DHHR issues its daily COVID-19 report in the evening.

For the uninsured, DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) is allowing all COVID-19 testing and subsequent treatment for COVID-19 diagnosis, as needed, without prior approval from our Utilization Management (UM) vendor.

Testing and treatment for all uninsured individuals will be covered by WV Medicaid during the national state of emergency.

For those seeking behavioral health support, citizens can call or text 844-HELP4WV (844-435-7498). HELP4WV offers a 24/7 call, chat and text line that provides immediate help for any West Virginian struggling with an addiction or mental health issue. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available by calling 800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

The National Disaster Distress Helpline is accessible by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.

West Virginia 211 is available by calling 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211. Every day hundreds of people across West Virginia turn to 211 for information and support—whether financial, domestic, health or disaster.

West Virginia’s comprehensive behavioral health centers are open and offer an array of services for children and adults. 
“ALL HANDS ON DECK” AT DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO ASSIST WITH UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS, BUSINESS NEEDS

Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce Ed Gaunch joined the panel today and provided this update:

Under the Governor’s directive, all West Virginia Department of Commerce agencies are operating in an “all hands on deck” manner to assist our fellow West Virginians at this time.

WorkForceWV has processed more than 41,500 initial claims for benefits since the Governor’s Executive Order issued on March 19, 2020. In addition, they have processed more than 10,000 low earnings claims.

Please keep in mind, if you file late in the week, it is possible the initial benefit may not be delivered the following week due to processing time. However, the benefit you are due will be provided the following week with your second week’s benefit.

The West Virginia Development Office is working with federal and state agencies to help navigate the clearest path to connecting resources with our businesses impacted by this situation.

The Development Office is also launching a COVID-19 Business Relief Directory at the West Virginia Development Office’s website. To access this resource, go to westvirginia.gov/COVID19.

The site will be updated as additional resources and information are released.
GOVERNOR JUSTICE SPOKE DIRECTLY WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP TODAY ABOUT MEDICAL SUPPLIES, FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

“I spoke directly to President Trump earlier today on a teleconference and I just told him simply this ‘We have to have the additional supplies for our front line workers’” Gov. Justice said. “In short, I trust that we will receive our fair share of those supplies.

“We’ve got to keep our hospitals operational and our doctors, nurses, and others healthy and safe so they can help those who need it.”

Gov. Justice also talked with President Trump about making sure the businesses closed or scaled back, and those forced into unemployment by the pandemic, are made whole.

“We don’t have all the specifics yet but there is an incredible amount of money coming to help make people and businesses whole. I can’t promise it will make everyone whole but the goal is to get the funds so people can survive.”
NATIONAL GUARD CONTINUING TO ASSIST MULTIPLE AGENCIES WITH TESTING, ACQUISITION, AND DISTRIBUTION OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES, FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, delivered the following update during today’s briefing:

The WV National Guard currently has more than 160 members on duty and we have increased our LNOs to 19 personnel assisting agencies across the state including local health departments, DHHR, Dept. of Education, Bureau of Senior Services, VOAD and Threat Preparedness.

We are reaching out to Health Departments across the state to anticipate needs for drive-thru testing and have personnel identified to assist in testing.

We have additional training opportunities coming up for area first responders on proper PPE use in Cabell and Putnam counties.

Over the last 24 hours, WVNG members assisted in the preparation of 1,073 30-day family of 4 meals in Gassaway and 1,800 meals and delivery in Greenbrier County.

We continue our work with Clayton Burch, State Superintendent of Schools and the West Virginia Tourism Office on feeding plans to ensure no child or family is without a need in the state.

Within the last 24 hours, we brought on Fire Marshals in the state to assist in supply chain delivery of critical PPE; they were able to deliver 30 PAPRs to WVU and 30 additional PAPRs were delivered to CAMC for distribution among the 4 hospitals in their system.

Today we are picking up an addition 100 PAPRs and filters from Maryland for any surge capacity needs in the state and we are utilizing our force’s expertise to ensure proper handling of cargo and are working with the Retailers Association to provide training and assistance that will minimize any potential spread of contaminants while these essential workers are providing critical functions for West Virginia.
GOV. JUSTICE EXTENDS FREE FISHING DAYS

Governor Jim Justice today announced today that West Virginia residents can enjoy a month of free fishing. Beginning today through Friday, April 24th, the requirement to possess a fishing license to fish in state-regulated waters has been waived for state residents. Anglers must practice safe social distancing.

DNR Law Enforcement will continue to patrol all state waterways. Officers may require proof of West Virginia residency, a valid driver’s license, or a state-issued ID. Existing license and stamp requirements for non-residents will remain in place. All fishing regulations remain in effect both for residents and nonresidents; these include bag limits, slot limits, catch-and-release areas, and fly-fishing-only areas.

This waiver of the license requirement applies only to fishing licenses. It also includes a waiver for trout and conservation stamps. All requirements for hunting licenses remain in effect.

The DNR announced earlier this week all regular trout stockings will continue in frequency as set forth in the 2020 Fishing Regulations, but the DNR will no longer provide updates to its trout stocking hotline or online trout stocking report. Gold Rush stockings, originally scheduled to begin March 27, have been postponed. To make sure no crowds interfere with trout stocking personnel and that anglers maintain a safe distance from hatchery staff, a DNR Law Enforcement officer will join each stocking run.

To learn more about fishing in West Virginia, visit wvdnr.gov.

WEST VIRGINIA TAX DEPT. RELEASES ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE REGARDING ANNUAL INCOME TAX RETURNS

The West Virginia State Tax Department today released Administrative Notice 2020-16, Extension of April 15, 2020, Due Date for Filing 2019 Annual Income Tax Returns Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak.

It is available on the Tax Department website here.

The Administrative Order officially extends the deadline to file 2019 annual income tax returns for individuals, trusts or estates, and corporations from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

The Order also covers estimated tax payments, relief limited to income tax, “no filing of extension request needed,” payment deadline, and penalties and interest.

This follows Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement yesterday that he asked West Virginia Tax Commissioner Dale Steager to extend the West Virginia income tax filing and payment deadline until Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to correspond with the federal government’s recent tax filing extension to the same date.

In conjunction with the Administrative Notice, Gov. Justice also signed an Executive Order today which suspends certain statutory provisions regulating the dates by which taxes must be paid and filed.

From GC Health Dept:As one of the responses to the COVID-19 situation, the Garrett County Health Officer, with the support of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners, has ordered all transient rentals in Garrett County to be closed effective March 27, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. This closing does not include hotels or motels.

Garrett County is unique because it is populated with many properties that are used as residential “Transient Vacation Rental Properties” (TVRUs). Generally, these properties are not being offered as traditional “lodging” but rather for rental on multi-day, week, monthly or seasonal basis.

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners supports the declaration made by the health department.

“Because of COVID-19, the rental of these TVRU properties has placed, and has the likely potential to place, a significant burden on the health resources of Garrett County, and may unduly lead to the spread of COVID-19,” said Health Officer Bob Stephens.

“I have determined that it is imperative, and in the interest of public health and safety, that all TVRUs be closed, and not further rented,” Stephens said. “This means all existing bookings be canceled. This decision applies to all Transient Vacation Rental Unit properties until or unless the Governor’s Orders are further modified or the Interpretive Guidance of the Office of Legal Counsel directs otherwise.”

This means all existing bookings must be canceled until the Governor’s “Prohibiting Large Gatherings” order is lifted.

The TVRU category includes individually rented properties such as Airbnb and vacation rental by owner, whether individual managed or coordinated through a management agency. Because of this, they are being used as a business being conducted by the owners and are not considered an essential business, and they are not included under the Governor’s Orders and the Guidance that permits certain “Lodging” to remain open.

Are you seeking unemployment insurance? visit labor.maryland.gov for info on how to apply. Businesses affected by COVID-19govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business

Maryland Public Schools will be closed until April 24th according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon. According to ACPS officials Allegany County Public Schools will be adhering to this directive. ACPS has been working on a plan for the continuity of learning, and once the Maryland State Department of Education provides a timeline for the implementation of the continuity of learning plans, it will be communicated to the ACPS staff, parents, and students.

From Sheetz: Today Sheetz, a major restaurant and convenience chain across the Mid-Atlantic, announced extra compensation for its employees. From March 13th to April 23rd, Sheetz will pay its store employees an additional $3 per hour in an effort to continue to support its frontline employees who are working tirelessly through the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our employees are the heart and soul of Sheetz and their commitment to serve our customers and communities as an essential business during this critical time has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Travis Sheetz, President & COO of Sheetz, Inc. “This special compensation is just one way to express our gratitude during this difficult time.”

Sheetz is also actively hiring store employees as the company focuses on its response to increased consumer demand. Full-time and part-time positions are currently available in both daytime and evening shifts.

The health and well-being of its team members, customers and the communities remains a top priority as the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve. In response to COVID-19, Sheetz has instituted several changes including suspending self-serve coffee, self-serve fountain beverages, fresh brewed tea, frozen drinks and F’Real milkshakes as well as self-serve bakery items. Sheetz has also implemented enhanced routine daily cleaning procedures with a focus on high touch surface areas such as gas pumps, order points, counter tops, checkout lines and door handles as well as reinforcing and re-training all employees on proper hand washing and hygiene. Additionally, to follow social distancing recommendations, Sheetz’s full menu is available to order and pay on the Sheetz website and through its app 24/7.

Sheetz is deeply committed to continuing to deliver on its mission to provide total customer focus across all the communities it serves with the safety of all who walk through its doors as the top priority.

Interested job applicants can apply at https://jobs.sheetz.com/.

Allegany County Government released resources.inallegany.org an online community resource guide for the COVID-19 state of emergency. The online tool offers a variety of features to better connect the community with resources being organized by the government, local businesses, and charities.

“This is an incredible testament to the strength of the community here in Allegany County in bringing this tool together,” said Jake Shade, President of the Board of County Commissioners. “We believe it will support thousands during this crisis in connecting to
volunteer and job opportunities, businesses who can help, and special programs to support in these uncertain times.”

The tool provides a very easy to use singular news and update portal that connects to federal, state and local government news updates, but also affords the ability for community stakeholders to submit their own information into intuitive categories. There is
also a community generated online resource directory that as individuals and organizations submit their information as a resource partner, will populate the director in a categorized and geographically sorted way to help the community search for services and goods that they need.

“We have been inundated with individuals looking to help and for ways to volunteer,” said Shade. “We’re populating that information into a volunteer board that will allow folks to both post opportunities and digitally connect with opportunities posted.”

The county has announced it is also working on a donation portal that will allow for people to use the tool to donate money or volunteer goods digitally to be distributed to local charities and support initiatives.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response website can be found atwww.resources.inallegany.org and was developed in partnership with Zest Social Media Solutions of Towson, Maryland.

From WV DE: Due to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice announced today that all public and private schools will remain closed with plans to reopen on Monday, April 20, 2020. During this closure period, pre-k-12 public and private school facilities will not provide traditional, in-person instructional opportunities.

To align with Governor Jim Justice’s top priority, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will continue to work closely with counties to ensure children are fed. The WVDE Office of Child Nutrition has worked tirelessly with counties, the West Virginia Division of Tourism, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia National Guard to meet children’s nutritional needs.

During this unparalleled time, we must avoid assuming that continuity of education outside of typical school buildings only can occur through online means. Counties will continue to provide student engagement opportunities using learning materials, phone contact, email, technology-based virtual instruction or a combination of all of the above to meet student needs. Forthcoming guidance regarding student engagement will be grounded in compassion, communication and common sense rather than traditional compliance measures that most are accustomed to in our education community.

“Our schools are the backbone of communities,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “It is important that our families are supported during this time in our state. We appreciate the Governor’s guidance and support of West Virginia children,” said Superintendent Burch. “We have all had to pull together and find ways to address unforeseen challenges, and I know our hard working educators and school personnel will do what is needed to support our children.”

From WV DHHR: The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed 12 new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported to the state, making the total positive case count at 51. New cases were identified in Jackson, Kanawha, Logan, Marion, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Putnam and Raleigh counties. A new case previously identified as a Hancock county resident is instead a resident of Jefferson County, Ohio.

The state breakdown of cases by county are two individuals from Berkeley County, three from Harrison County, three from Jefferson County, four from Jackson County, five from Kanawha County, one from Logan County, one from Marion County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, 18 from Monongalia County, two from Ohio County, two from Preston County, two from Putnam County, one from Raleigh County, two from Tucker County, and one from Wood County.

As of March 25, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., 1,082 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 51 positive, 1,031 negative and 19 tests pending (at state lab).

Since COVID-19 is a new disease, it is newly reportable to West Virginia’s public health system. Medical providers are required to report test results to their local health departments, which provide them to DHHR. Commercial (private) labs are also required to report test results to DHHR. However, the reporting of negative and pending tests to DHHR has been inconsistent. Only DHHR’s state lab has consistently reported all its negative results and pending tests. DHHR is working with its public and private partners to ensure all required information is properly reported.

For the most up to date information, please visit www.coronavirus.wv.govor http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

From WV DOH: Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, West Virginia Division of Highways implemented a plan which will allow continued public service for essential roadwork and emergency situations while reducing the number of workers present at one time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transportation workers have been divided into two groups and two-week time periods have been established. For each two-week time period, one group will telework from home, completing a rigorous training course. The other group will continue roadwork and emergency response, while taking precautions to avoid COVID-19 exposure. At the end of two weeks, the groups will switch.

“There is no way we could maintain our supply chains across the country without the Division of Highways on the ground,” Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation Jimmy Wriston, P.E. said. “They make sure that accidents get cleaned up, guard rails get repaired, and issues on the highway are taken care of. To do that, you have to have a good, sound, qualified workforce. We’re going to follow every one of the Governor’s orders; we’re going to create space, wash our hands, make sure we’re not congregating in places, and take care of the highways by separating our workforce.

“I’m extremely proud of the Division of Highways. At every level of this organization today, we are rising to the occasion. We’re all leaders, and we care very much about the people we serve. We’re going to continue to serve them.”

In addition to transportation workers, many WVDOT office employees are also teleworking from home. Meetings are being held by teleconference and large trainings and conferences have been put on hold. Bridge inspection crews will continue to inspect bridges on the pre-determined schedule, but specialized crews that travel all over the state will be temporarily shut down to avoid increased exposure. Secretary Byrd White, Deputy Secretary Jimmy Wriston, and key personnel deemed essential for in-office work continue to report to their regular working locations each day.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation asks you to please use caution when driving in work zones — Just. Slow. Down. It’s everybody’s responsibility. Drivers should download the WV 511 app for regular traffic and road work updates or go to the website at www.WV511.org. For information about the project, visit Drive Forward WV or the WVDOT Facebook​​​.

From PA Governor: PA Governor Tom Wolf announced that new funding is available to help small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, through a new program under the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority’s (PIDA) Small Business First Fund, the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA).

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) recently authorized the transfer of $40 million to the Small Business First Fund for CWCA. PIDA authorized making $60 million available to provide loans of $100,000 or less to for-profit businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. Funds are expected to become available this week.

As of 12:00 AM, March 25, there are 276 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,127 in 44 counties. The Department of Health also reported four new deaths, bringing the statewide death total to 11. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

Gov. Wolf has enacted stay-at-home orders for 10 counties: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. The newest order, for Lehigh and Northampton counties, takes effect at 8:00 PM today, Wednesday, March 25. All orders will continue until April 6, 2020.

“My top priority is to save Pennsylvania lives, then save their livelihoods. I am utilizing every resource available to assist Pennsylvania’s business during this incredibly difficult time, and this small business funding availability is a step in the right direction. It will help provide a little peace of mind to hundreds of small business owners and their employees,” Wolf said. “I will continue to develop ways to assist Pennsylvania’s business community, as well as our workforce. I also need every Pennsylvanian to step up and do their part. The best way we can preserve our economic future is by minimizing the spread of COVID-19.”

“In the wake of the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that state government is trying to respond to all manner of its impacts, and that includes providing support to our small business community,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. “The CFA took necessary and swift action to provide low interest loans to small businesses to help keep them afloat during these difficult times. I commend the leadership of Governor Wolf and the other caucuses of the General Assembly for working together so quickly to come up with a viable plan to provide this assistance.”

For the purposes of this program a retail or service enterprise is defined as a for-profit business entity that is involved in the business-to-business service, business-to-public service, mercantile, commercial, or point of sale retail sectors. An agricultural producer is defined as a business involved in the management and use of a normal agricultural operation for the production of a farm commodity. A “farm commodity” is any Pennsylvania-grown agricultural, horticultural, aquacultural, vegetable, fruit, and floricultural product of the soil, livestock and meats, wools, hides, furs, poultry, eggs, dairy products, nuts, mushrooms, honey products and forest products.

“There’s been major disruption to small businesses and their employees,” said House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “This is a bipartisan down payment to get some working capital out quickly. Much more help is needed and we’ll keep working on that.”

Eligible costs include working capital, which for purposes of this program is considered capital used by a small business for operations, excluding fixed assets and production machinery and equipment.

Any eligible working capital cost, as defined above, incurred by the eligible business enterprise three months prior to submission of the loan application will count as an eligible cost toward either the loan amount or, if applicable, the matching investment requirement. Retail / service enterprises are able to incur eligible working capital costs up to six months prior to submission of the loan application.

All loan applications must be submitted through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). For the list of CEDO’s operating within Pennsylvania, please refer to dced.pa.gov/p…/covid-19-working-capital-access-program-cwca/.

Businesses seeking guidance from DCED can also contact its customer service resource account at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should followwww.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.

From PDE: The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. When it’s determined that students can return to school, administrators, teachers and other staff will be given two days to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return on the third day.

Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera said his decision to close all schools for the additional period aligns with the governor’s stay-at-home directive announced today for seven counties – Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery and Philadelphia.

“Protecting the health and safety of students, families, teachers and all employees who work in our schools is paramount during this national health crisis and we must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus,” he said. “The number of positive cases increases daily and we’re seeing it spread to more counties. We must adhere to the social distancing guidelines. Extending the closure will help every community in its efforts to mitigate the spread.”

Today’s additional school closure will be for 14 days, beginning Tuesday, March 24.

To assist schools during the extended closure, Secretary Rivera said the state’s 29 intermediate units are ready to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students.

“We know students are eager to engage with their teachers and return to learning,” he said. “Beginning tomorrow, all schools will be able to work with their local intermediate unit to develop instructional plans for all students, including those with disabilities and English language learners.”

Also today, Secretary Rivera cancelled standardized testing for students in career and technical education (CTE) programs for the 2019-20 school year. These include exams from the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) and National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

Last Thursday the department cancelled all PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year, as well as the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA). The U.S. Department of Education approved Pennsylvania’s waiver request the following day, and further waived accountability and reporting requirements for the 2019-20 school year.

The department has been providing ongoing guidance to school communities in the form of FAQs. The guidance information is available ateducation.pa.gov/COVID19.

From ACPS: AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR EARLY COLLEGE STUDENTS:On Monday, March 30, 2020, ACPS early college students will begin or resume completion of their Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) spring semester college course(s) via an online platform. ACM is requiring this action as a result of the recent closure of ACM and ACPS due to the coronavirus pandemic. Early college students must finish their coursework through the online platform and must obtain a passing grade to earncollege credit(s) from ACM. This also includes P-TECH students who are taking a college course(s) through ACM for the spring semester.

ACPS early college teacher(s) has/have been instructed to contact their students regarding each early college course that he/she is taking during the spring semester. Students are encouraged to please check their ACM email accounts and Brightspace for information from their teacher. If a student does not hear from an early college teacher by Monday, please contact the appropriate ACPS content supervisor listed below:

Dr. George Brown- Social Studies/Psychology- George.brown@acpsmd.org
Katie Buskirk- English/Lit/Speech- Kathryn.buskirk@acpsmd.org
Dr. Steve Thompson- Mathematics/Statistics- Stephen.thompson@acpsmd.org
Eric VanSlyke- Science- Eric.vanslyke@acpsmd.org
Melissa Kaye- P-TECH Cybersecurity- Melissa.kaye@acpsmd.org
Joe Brewer- Computer Science (non P-TECH students)-Joseph.Brewer@acpsmd.org

Students needing assistance regarding course content or anything related to this information should email their early college teacher or contact the content supervisor listed above.

Students without Internet access or a device to complete coursework should contact their early college teacher or the content supervisor listed above.

From ACPS: IMPORTANT REMINDER TO PARENTS/STUDENTS/COMMUNITY MEMBERS: With the closure of schools due to COVID-19, all areas managed by Allegany County Public Schools are off limits to individuals. This includes school tracks, tennis courts, playgrounds, Greenway Avenue Stadium, football, soccer, baseball and softball fields, gymnasiums, weight rooms, and all other indoor and outdoor areas managed by the school system. Please refrain from utilizing these locations throughout the duration of the mandated closure.

The State of Maryland now has 580 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an increase of 157 new cases, which is by far the largest one-day increase to date. There are more than 1,200 confirmed cases in the National Capital Region—in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. The number of cases

Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement:

“We are only at the beginning of this crisis, in our state, in the National Capital Region, and in America. As I have repeatedly stressed, we should continue to expect the number of cases to dramatically and rapidly rise.

“Today, we are also seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of Marylanders filing for unemployment. We are going to do everything we can to help people and small businesses get back on their feet.

“This battle is going to be much harder, take much longer, and be much worse than almost anyone comprehends. We have never faced anything like this ever before, and I continue to urge the people of our state to stay in place at home and stay safe.

“I want Marylanders to know that if we continue to lead and work together—if we rely on and help each other—together we will get through this crisis.”

A 90-day extension on many driver and vehicle transactions has been granted through the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles due to the closure of all Regional Offices, in keeping with the most recent guidelines and best practices recommended by both the CDC and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources regarding COVID-19.

DMV is extending the expiration date of any of the following documents with an expiration date in March or April of 2020 for three months from the date of expiration on the face of the document:

  • Any Driver’s License including Commercial Driver’s License
  • Instructional Permits, including Commercial Permits
  • Vehicle registration, including temporary vehicle registrations or plates

In addition, any CDL holder whose medical certification expires in March or April will have an additional three months to provide a new medical certification to avoid the downgrading of the CDL.

Also, many of DMV’s most requested transactions can be done online or mailed in and do not require a trip to a regional office. Online services include:

  • Driver’s license renewal (if no changes, and every other cycle)
  • Duplicate driver’s license request
  • Vehicle registration renewals
  • Duplicate vehicle registration decals and cards
  • Print your driving record
  • Check your driver’s license status

A full list of online services may be found by going to dmv.wv.gov.

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is taking this extraordinary action in response to the National and State states of emergency due to the COVID-19 virus.

For more information, you may contact the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-642-9066.

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.

Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz says she knows there are a lot of questions including what businesses should stay open and why and the best place to get some of those questions answered ishttps://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business. Folks can find out about which businesses qualify as essential and why under the new executive order.If you have questions or concerns surrounding the essential designation, please email psector@maryland.gov, which is monitored by the Maryland Emergency Management team https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/maryland-commerce-secretary-kelly-schulz-for-pht

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced the state’s fourth death as a result of COVID-19: a Prince George’s County resident in his 60s who suffered from underlying medical conditions. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.Information and resources regarding COVID-19 are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

 The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed 19 new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at 39. New cases were identified in Berkeley, Harrison, Jackson, Monongalia, Preston and Wood counties.The state breakdown of cases by county are two individuals from Berkeley County, three from Harrison County, three from Jefferson County, two from Jackson County, four individuals from Kanawha County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, 16 from Monongalia County, one from Preston County, one from Putnam County, two from Tucker County, and one from Wood.As of March 24, 2020, at 8:00 p.m., 798 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 39 positive, 759 negative and six tests pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, commercial labs and hospitals.For the most up to date information, please visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

From UPMC Western MD: Visitation Restrictions Effective 3/25/20 at 6:00 a.m. Beginning Wednesday, March 25, inpatient and outpatient visitation guidelines will shift from limited to restricted, outlined below. Rare exceptions will be made in end-of-life and special circumstances. Any exceptions must be approved by James Karstetter, Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer. Any non-patient with new shortness of breath, fever, cough, or contact with someone who is under investigation for COVID-19 should not enter UPMC Western Maryland. A triage line is available for those patients who suspect they have acquired the virus (240)-964-1000.

Inpatients being tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19
• No inpatient visitors

Non-COVID-19 inpatients (all hospital departments, excluding obstetrics and L&D) AND outpatients (of all physician practices, rehab, cancer centers, imaging, and all outpatient locations)
• Inpatients: No visitors.
• Inpatient surgery patients: One visitor for post-surgery discussion and accompany to inpatient room, then immediately leave.
• Outpatient surgery patients: One visitor for post-surgery discussion and assistance for discharge.
• Emergency Department patients: One visitor is permitted to stay with the patient during clinical assessment.
o Patient is discharged: Visitor may stay with the patient, staff may encourage waiting in the vehicle if 
appropriate.
o Patient is admitted: Visitor may accompany patient to inpatient room, then immediately leave.

All other outpatients (in hospital and outpatient settings): Allowed one companion only if patient requires assistance; otherwise, companion will be requested to wait in the car.

No children visitors will be permitted in any care setting, must be 18 years of age or older

Obstetrics, labor and delivery inpatients:
• Any visitors must be screened prior to entry, via symptom/travel screen questionnaire not body 
temperature scan at this time.
• No visitors who are ill, sick, frail, elderly, or at-risk (i.e. immune compromised or serious chronic illness)
• No children will be permitted, must be 18 years of age or older.
• Obstetrics and L&D: Visitors will be limited to the same 1 support person per patient for the entire stay (i.e. partner, doula)
• Peds and NICU: Visitors will be limited to the same 2 support persons per patient for the entire stay (i.e. parent, guardian)

Behavioral health services (all inpatient behavioral health settings):
• No visitors on inpatient units are permitted. ​

Elective Surgery/Non-Emergent Procedures and Appointments
Effective 3/24/20 at 5:00 p.m.
During his press conference on Monday, March 23, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced all hospitals in Maryland will cancel elective procedures. Governor Hogan applied the order broadly as our hospitals respond to this public health emergency.
• All non-emergent procedures and appointments will be cancelled, postponed, performed remotely through telephone or video transmission.
• Such decisions will be between the physician/advanced practice professional and the patient.

Urgent Care Centers
Effective 3/23/20
All locations are open for patients with urgent needs that do not require an emergency room visit. These locations are requesting all patients to return to their vehicles and call in to enter the facility. This will allow staff to screen the patients for COVID-19 symptoms before entering and providing necessary direction.

According to Mineral County Public Schools Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft they are suspending the current meal program which was intended to supply meals to as many as possible, regardless of need and the school system did not suspend their plans to keep providing meals. According to Ravenscroft “as things changed rapidly both nationwide and statewide in response to the coronavirus, we knew:

1.       It would not be in be in the best interest of our communities to have so many of our people working in such close proximity—it takes a lot of help at each location to prep, package and deliver thousands of meals;

2.       We would not be able to sustain the volume of meals we had hoped to provide as new orders were issued.We will develop a safer alternative to help our most needy without too much personal interaction.  I let my staff know plans Sunday evening so we could plan accordingly Monday and send as much food as possible.  We delivered yesterday, most bags included 3-5 days of meals–this will buy us a bit of time to develop a new plan to reach those who need us the most.I’m confident we’ll be able to have new plans to share soon.”

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed four new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at 20. New cases were identified in Kanawha and Monongalia counties.

The state breakdown of cases by county are three individuals from Jefferson County, one individual from Jackson County, four individuals from Kanawha County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, five from Monongalia County, one from Putnam County and two individuals from Tucker County.

As of March 23, 2020, at 8:00 p.m., 630 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 20 positive, 610 negative and no tests pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, commercial labs and hospitals.

For the most up to date information, please visitwww.coronavirus.wv.gov orhttp://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

The Allegany County Health Department in partnership with Allegany County Government report the following data on local COVID-19 testing to date:

Allegany County residents tested positive for COVID-190
Allegany County residents tested negative for COVID-19141
Allegany County residents with COVID-19 results pending23
Total Allegany County residents tested for COVID-19164

“At this time, there are no lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County. However, this doesn’t mean that the virus isn’tpresent in our community,” said Jenelle Mayer, Health Officer.  “Community members should take precautions and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of disease.”  

Health officials continue to ask community members to stay home as much as possible and only go out for essentials; wash your hands often; disinfect high-touch surfaces; if you are not feeling well, avoid contact with others; and if you are seeking medical care, call ahead so your healthcare provider can offer guidance over the phone and take the necessary precautions if you must come into the office. 

Laboratories are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 tests.  Testing is prioritized for hospitalized patients, symptomatic healthcare workers and emergency responders, symptomatic patients who are medically fragile and live in congregate housing such as nursing homes, and symptomatic high-risk unstable patients whose care would be altered by a diagnosis of COVID-19. 

“Testing today for COVID-19 is not as simple as it sounds,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, the Allegany and Garrett County Deputy Health Officer. “Testing supplies are in short supply, and

labs are unable to keep up with the nationwide demand. As a community, we need to prioritize testing for our sickest and most at risk.  Speak to your health care provider over the phone to determine if your case requires COVID-19 testing.”

From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan today ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state and announced a $175 million relief package to assist employees, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The governor again urged Marylanders to help their neighbors by staying home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are telling all Marylanders to follow all of the directives and to follow the state law against crowds of more than ten people,” said Governor Hogan. “And we are telling you, unless you have an essential reason to leave your house, stay in your home. Today’s actions of closing non-essential businesses are absolutely necessary to protect the health of Marylanders and to save lives.

“To my fellow Marylanders, let me say that I know how difficult this is on each and every one of you,” continued the governor. “There is a great deal of fear and anxiety, and the truth is, none of us really know how bad this is going to get or how long it’s going to last. But I can promise you that there are a great many dedicated people doing tremendous things, working around the clock, and doing their very best to help keep Marylanders safe.”
Below is a list of the comprehensive actions Governor Hogan announced today:
• CLOSURE OF ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Governor Hogan has enacted an emergency order to close all non-essential businesses across the state, effective ‪at 5 pm today‬.
◦ In addition to what is already closed by prior orders, this order requires the closure of anything that is not included in the new federal guidelines for critical infrastructure sectors. Interpretive Guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel.
◦ While this is not a shelter-in-place order, all Marylanders are urged to remain home and adhere to the governor’s guidance for social distancing. The governor announced that beginning today, further enforcement actions will be taken to disperse any gatherings in violation of the governor’s orders.
• ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE: Governor Hogan announced more than $175 million to assist small businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information and resources about these programs is available at businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
◦ The Maryland Department of Commerce will offer up to $125 million in loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofits through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. A $75 million loan fund and a $50 million grant fund, with $1 million in grants dedicated to non-profits, will provide working capital to be used for payroll, rent, fixed-debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs. Businesses and nonprofits with under 50 full- and part-time employees will be eligible, and loans will range up to $50,000 and grants up to $10,000. Additional eligibility requirements can be found here.
◦ Maryland Commerce is also working on creating a $5 million fund to incentivize businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to satisfy the increasing needs of the healthcare industry.
◦ The Department also has a number of existing financing programs, like Advantage Maryland, which provides conditional loans for new businesses or business expansions; the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority and Fund (MIDFA), which provides loan guarantees; the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), which provides financial assistance to economically disadvantaged businesses; and the Non-Profit Interest-Free Micro-Bridge Loan Program, which provides loans to nonprofits to support ongoing operating costs while waiting on a future government grant or contract. A total of about $40 million is available through these existing programs.
◦ Governor Hogan has allocated $5 million and the Maryland Department of Labor has allocated $2 million to collaboratively launch the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. A total of $7 million in funds will be available to provide flexible rapid response services to proactively support businesses and workers undergoing economic stresses due to COVID-19. Funding can help Maryland’s workforce adhere to social distancing policies by purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, providing on-site cleaning and sanitation services at businesses that have workers delivering essential services, and implementing other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures in the business community.
AN ORDER TO PROHIBIT PRICE GOUGING: Governor Hogan has signed an emergency order to protect families from price gouging on everyday household items and essentials. Retailers who attempt to exploit this crisis for profit or personal gain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Read the emergency order.
FIELD HOSPITAL AT BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER: As part of the state’s hospital surge plan, Governor Hogan has ordered the establishment of an Alternate Care site at Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Hotel. This will be a joint partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Johns Hopkins. The governor has asked FEMA to deliver 250 beds and 50 bed packages to support the initiative.
REOPENING OF LAUREL HOSPITAL: As part of the state’s hospital surge plan, UMMS has agreed to reopen Laurel Hospital, which will make another 135 beds available.
PILOT ASSESSMENT LOCATION AT FEDEX FIELD: Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland National Guard and the Maryland Department of Health to collaborate with Prince George’s County and UMMS on a pilot assessment location at FedEx Field in Landover.
FAST-TRACK PROCESS FOR TESTS: The governor has enacted an emergency order to authorize a fast-track process to bring more testing capacity online without FDA approval—dramatically shortening a process that would ordinarily take several months. Read the governor’s order.
NEW HEALTH TESTING ORDERS: The Maryland Department of Health is issuing an order requiring health care providers to prioritize tests for hospitalized and chronic care patients, symptomatic first responders, and symptomatic nursing home patients; and requiring all health care facilities to cease elective or non-urgent medical procedures ‪at 5 p.m. tomorrow‬. Read the Health Department’s order.
State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

 Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland has allocated more than $175 million to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. Up to $130 million in new funding, through the Maryland Department of Commerce, will help support new loan and grant programs as well as manufacturers, and $7 million in funding through the Maryland Department of Labor is designed to help small businesses retain their workforce.

“We know that the steps we have taken to protect the health and well-being of all Marylanders have made a significant impact on our business community. Today, in addition to funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration, we are making new financial assistance programs available to help our businesses continue to operate during this unprecedented crisis,” said Governor Hogan. “These programs will offer the kind of much-needed support our businesses need right now, and help them to pay bills and retain their workforce as much as possible.”

·   The Maryland Department of Commerce will offer up to $125 million in loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofits through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. A $75 million loan fund and a $50 million grant fund, with $1 million in grants dedicated to non-profits, will provide working capital to be used for payroll, rent, fixed-debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs. Businesses and nonprofits with under 50 full- and part-time employees will be eligible, and loans will range up to $50,000 and grants up to $10,000. Additional eligibility requirements can be found here.

·   Maryland Commerce is also working on creating a $5 million fund to incentivize businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to satisfy the increasing needs of the healthcare industry. 

·   The Department also has a number of existing financing programs, like Advantage Maryland, which provides conditional loans for new businesses or business expansions; the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority and Fund (MIDFA), which provides loan guarantees; the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), which provides financial assistance to economically disadvantaged businesses; and the Non-Profit Interest-Free Micro-Bridge Loan Program, which provides loans to nonprofits to support ongoing operating costs while waiting on a future government grant or contract. A total of about $40 million is available through these existing programs.

“It is our top priority to support our business community as much as we can during this difficult time,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We have heard from hundreds of businesses about their greatest need right now which is working capital, and designed these programs to have the most significant impact possible.”

·   Governor Hogan has allocated $5 million and the Maryland Department of Labor has allocated $2 million to collaboratively launch the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. A total of $7 million in funds will be available to provide flexible rapid response services to proactively support businesses and workers undergoing economic stresses due to COVID-19. Funding can help Maryland’s workforce adhere to social distancing policies by purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, providing on-site cleaning and sanitation services at businesses who have workers delivering essential services, and implementing other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures in the business community.

·   The Department’s Division of Unemployment Insurance is fully operational and remains dedicated to helping both employers and employees who have been affected by COVID-19. Marylanders that have been laid off can immediately file a claim by phone, email, or submit an application online. Maryland does not have a waiting period like many other states do. No matter when or how they file, Marylanders become eligible for benefits starting after the day after they separated from employment.

·  During this state of emergency, the department will allow workers who have not been terminated to collect unemployment insurance if their employer has been closed due to COVID-19, if they have been quarantined, or if they are caring for a family member who is quarantined. Labor has temporarily waived work search requirements for all current and new unemployment insurance benefit recipients. For more information about eligibility for benefits during COVID-19, visit the frequently asked questions page.

·  Due to an unprecedented volume of inquiries, Labor has also extended call center hours and added network servers to allow more users to simultaneously file a claim online. Bulk Claims Services are now available for any employers with 25 or more employees who will be impacted by a coronavirus-related layoff or shutdown. For more information, visit mdunemployment.com

“As state and federal governments take unprecedented actions to save the lives of Marylanders during the coronavirus outbreak, the Maryland Department of Labor is here to support and protect our state’s businesses and workforce,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson. “Through the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, we look forward to implementing creative strategies to keep Marylanders working and to help businesses continue operations.”

This assistance comes in addition to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), for which Maryland received the designation last week. The program provides low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus and will help alleviate financial strain and allow businesses to pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years. Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply directly to the SBA for financial assistance at this link.

For additional business resources available during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

From AC DES: During Governor Larry Hogan’s Monday morning press conference, he has enacted an emergency order to close all non-essential businesses across the state effective at 5 p.m. today to aid in the slowing the spread of COVID-19. Allegany County remains one of four counties in Maryland with no confirmed cases, according to local health officials.

“Public health and public safety have been working together around the clock to ensure that citizens of Allegany County are protected and safe,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said.

Pyles said his team at the Department of Emergency Services and allied agencies including the Allegany County Health Department, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, UPMC-Western Maryland and county law enforcement spend hours daily receiving updates on the best practices and procedures for citizens and healthcare providers.

“We have an incredibly experienced, talented and passionate team working for you,” Pyles added.

After Governor Hogan’s morning announcement, essential personnel are limited to the following categories: Healthcare; Public health; Law Enforcement; Public Safety and First Responders; Food and Agriculture, including grocery stores, pharmacies, farms and food delivery services; Energy, including electricity, petroleum, nature and propane gas workers; Water and Wastewater; Transportation and Logistics; Public Works; Communication and Information Technology; Community-Based Government operations with essential functions; Critical Manufacturing; Hazardous Materials management; Financial Services; Chemical Industry; and Defense Industrial Base.

This emergency order is not a shelter-in-place order, however, Pyles echoed Governor Hogan’s comments and urged Marylanders to remain home, adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“I want to thank the amazing residents of Allegany county for staying home and helping us maintain and control this pandemic. At this time there are 20 counties to include Baltimore City that have positive, confirmed cases of COVID-19,” Pyles said. “Allegany County remains one of four counties with no positive cases.”

Pyles reminded citizens that testing for COVID-19 is not as simple it may seem. However, UPMC-Western Maryland and other healthcare providers are testing citizens at same rate as other counties in Maryland. Some patients may experience extended wait times for results as labs are overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the nationwide demand.

“County health officials report that test kits and materials are in short supply,” Pyles said. “As a community, we need to prioritize the testing for the sickest citizens.”

The Allegany County Health Department reports that not everyone needs a COVID-19 specimen collection. The sicker you are, the more likely you should be tested for COVID-19. Get immediate medical attention if you start to experience difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion, difficulty staying alert or bluish color in your lips or face. We are all in this tougher. Speak to your healthcare provider by phone to determine if your case requires a COVID-19.

“Public safety and public health want to remind citizens to do their part to conserve resources in this critical time,” Pyles said. “You as Allegany County Residents remain vigilant and passionate on bringing our community together as one.”

A third local case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Garrett County, according to the Garrett County Health Department and Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC).

The patient is a man over 60 from Garrett County who had no history of international travel, and no known contact with a COVID-19 case. He did, however, travel within the U.S. to an area known to have COVID-19 cases. All three of the confirmed positive cases in Garrett County traveled together. The patient has underlying health issues that made him more susceptible to the effects of the virus.

“This patient was admitted to GRMC, and given his symptoms, as well as his health and travel history, we identified him as a potential case upon admission,” said Mark Boucot, the hospital’s President & CEO. “Our staff treated him using precautions and approaches outlined by the CDC as we awaited test results. He was then transferred to WVU Medicine where his treatment is continuing.”

The two original positive cases reported on Sunday, March 22, continue to self-isolate at home and have not needed hospitalization.

“The Health Department is coordinating our response efforts and will continue to work to reduce the spread of infection and protect the health of all people in Garrett County,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens.

“In response to the positive test outcomes, the Garrett County Health Department is following protocol and gathering information from the tested individuals,” Stephens said. “The Health Department staff is reaching out to all individuals who had contact with those who have tested positive. If you do not receive a phone call from the Health Department you should not be concerned that you have been exposed to these individuals.”

Because of privacy laws, no additional information about the positive cases will be released.

Following the announcement of positive cases in Garrett County, the Board of Garrett County Commissioners issued a Declaration of Emergency effective Sunday, March 22, 2020, at 5:00 PM local time. This declaration on the local level provides additional powers and resources to our County Departments to deal with the COVID-19 situation. The Garrett County Health Department is the lead agency in this emergency and is supported by all county departments under the coordination of the Department of Emergency Services.

Health leaders are asking people to take the illness seriously and to limit unnecessary social exposure by staying home, washing your hands, remaining home if you are mildly sick, and following the CDC’s guidance.

Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Call your provider if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently been in high exposure areas.

Information and updates about COVID-19 in Garrett County and around the world are available at garretthealth.org. Residents can also call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.

Please call 911 only for medical emergencies, not for coronavirus information or questions.

From Washington County Government: The Washington County Joint Information Center (JIC) announces the second confirmed case of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington County. The case is a male in his 30’s who is in good condition with mild symptoms and is recovering at home. The Washington County Health Department is investigating this case with the help of the Maryland Department of Health. Communicable Disease nurses will identify contacts and advise them of any necessary actions to take. Information will be released as soon as possible if any risk to the public is identified.

The JIC announced the first coronavirus (COVID-19) case at a press conference held Saturday, March 21, 2020. A woman in her 50’s who is in good condition with mild symptoms and is recovering at home.

The health risk from COVID-19 to the general public in Washington County, MD remains low at this time, but everyone is strongly urged to engage in practices that reduce the risk of spread.

It is likely there will be more cases reported in Washington County, MD in the coming days and weeks. Moving forward, a COVID-19 case count for Washington County, MD will be included in the daily briefing.

STAY INFORMED
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If symptoms develop, please contact your health care provider and describe the situation.

To lower the risk of transmission, the Health Department recommends the following:
Avoid non-essential travel and public gatherings, especially if you are an individual who is at increased risk for severe illness, including pregnant women, older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.
Avoid travel to all areas where there are outbreaks of COVID-19.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home except to get medical care.
Those with high risk factors and who have fever or new or worsening cough, should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick. Call ahead to let them know of your symptoms.

This is not a time to fear but to be aware, prepared, and informed. Please do not accept or share information unless it is from a credible source. Please follow https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/ for updates related to COVID-19 in Washington County, Maryland.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed four new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at 16. New cases were identified in Jefferson, Kanawha and Monongalia counties.

The state breakdown of cases by county are three individuals from Jefferson County, one individual from Jackson County, three individuals from Kanawha County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, two from Monongalia County, one from Putnam County and two individuals from Tucker County. All cases are travel related.

As of March 22, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., 460 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 16 positive, 444 negative and 4 tests pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, commercial labs and hospitals.

For the most up to date information, please visitwww.coronavirus.wv.gov orhttp://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

The first two local cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Garrett County, according to the Garrett County Health Department and Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC).

Both persons who tested positive are women over 60 who traveled within the U.S. to areas known to have COVID-19 cases. The two women have had contact with each other. The patients began self-isolating at home as soon as they were tested and have not needed hospitalization.

Both cases were tested at GRMC and when they were notified of the positive test result, GRMC immediately contacted the Garrett County Health Department, as per state reporting protocol.

“Garrett County has been preparing for the possibility of a case of COVID-19 since it was first reported in the United States,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “The Health Department is coordinating our response efforts and will continue to work to reduce the spread of infection and protect the health of all people in Garrett County.”

Dr. Jennifer Corder, Garrett County’s Deputy Health Officer, agreed. “This news confirms that rural Garrett County is indeed part of the wider world, and COVID-19 will impact us to some degree. The most important thing the public can do is to follow the CDC guidance, which includes the standard hygiene practices we recommend to prevent the spread of flu and other viruses. In addition, it is critical to minimize potential spread by maintaining social distance between people. Most importantly, we must protect our precious healthcare providers including hospital-based workers from unnecessary potential exposure. Stay at home, especially if you are mildly ill, and speak to your provider by telephone.”

“GRMC will continue to work toward keeping our community healthy and safe as this health crisis evolves,” said Mark Boucot, GRMC’s President & CEO. “We are coordinating efforts with the Health Department and the County’s Emergency Management team, and we will continue to update the community as things develop. We want the public to remember that most COVID-19 patients can self-quarantine and recover at home with the help of their physician. If you are exhibiting symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with the virus, contact your doctor. Your physician will know what steps to take and will advise accordingly.”

While there are only two confirmed cases of the virus locally, we know more cases will follow. Health leaders are asking people to take the illness seriously and to limit unnecessary social exposure by staying home, washing your hands, remaining home if you are mildly sick, and following the CDC’s guidance.

In response to the positive test outcome, the Garrett County Health Department is gathering information on the tested individuals’ contacts in order to encourage home quarantine/isolation for those who may have been exposed.

Residents should continue to stay at home as much as possible and practice every day, preventative actions such as:• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.• If you are sick, stay home and call your provider for medical guidance.

For those at higher risk, it is especially important to take actions to reduce risk of exposure. According to the CDC, higher risk people are older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like lung, heart, or kidney disease. These groups are advised to take additional precautions:• It is especially important to stay at home as much as possible.• Encourage others to go out for you if you need something such as medication or groceries.• Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies.

Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Call your provider if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently been in high exposure areas.

Information and updates about COVID-19 in Garrett County and around the world are available at garretthealth.org. Residents can also call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.

Please call 911 only for medical emergencies, not for coronavirus information or questions.

By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department



Testing today for COVID-19 is not as simple as it sounds. Test kits and materials are in short supply. Labs are unable to keep up with the nationwide demand. Test results can take a week or longer, even for hospitalized patients. As a community we need to prioritize testing for our sickest members and also for the healthcare workers on the front lines taking care of the ill. Not everyone needs a COVID-19 specimen collection. The sicker you are the more likely you should be tested. Get immediate medical attention if you start to experience difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, difficulty staying alert or bluish color in the lips or face. We are all in this together. Speak to your health care provider over the phone to determine if your case requires COVID-19 testing. Please do your part to conserve resources. You can also assess your symptoms using the CDC’s coronavirus self-checker at coronavirus.gov 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed four new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at twelve. New cases were identified in Putnam, Marshall, and Mercer counties.

The state breakdown of cases by county are two individuals from Jefferson County, one individual from Jackson County, one individual from Kanawha County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, one from Monongalia County, one from Putnam County and two individuals from Tucker County. All cases are travel related.

As of March 21, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., 397 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 12 positive, 385 negative and 1 test pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, commercial labs and hospitals.

For the most up to date information, please visitwww.coronavirus.wv.gov orhttp://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

From AC DES: One patient has been transported to an area hospital after requesting an ambulance for flu-like symptoms, according to emergency service officials.

“Fire and EMS units from Corriganville were dispatched to the intersection of Rockcut Road and Mount Savage Road to meet an Amtrak Train for a sick person,” Lt. Todd Bowman, public information officer for the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services said. “Additional resources were required on the scene to assist in moving the patient from the train due to a pre-existing condition.”

Bowman confirmed three people were in the train passenger car, two were asymptomatic and did not require emergency medical care, the third person was transported to UPMC-Western Maryland for evaluation by a Corriganville Volunteer Fire Department ambulance.

“With the current health crisis in the United States, all EMS units in Maryland under direction by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and local medical direction will continue to use universal precaution on incidents where COVID-19 and/or other respiratory illness is suspected…until proven otherwise,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “First responders in Allegany County will uphold these precautions on incidents to ensure their protection.”

An Allegany County Department of Emergency Services EMS Division Lieutenant also responded to the 7:32 p.m.incident.

In a Saturday morning release, the Allegany County Health Department continues to report no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been documented in Allegany County. 

From US Senator Joe Manchin: Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is calling for West Virginians to support our medical professionals by making medical supplies they need desperately during the coronavirus outbreak.

“West Virginians have always supported those on the front lines. Right now, our medical professionals are on the front lines. It’s more important now than ever to support them as they fight this virus. Today I’m calling on West Virginians and our companies to be creative and do what they can to supply the crucial gear our medical professionals need. I’ll be keeping you informed on how to do this in the coming days. If you’re in the Charleston area, here’s how you can help now,” said Senator Manchin.

From the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC):

Calling those who sew! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). CAMC is asking volunteers who have the ability to sew to make masks.

Starting Monday, March 23, CAMC will have designated bins for the community to drop off masks and donate supplies. The bins will be available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations.

CAMC Human Resources – 419 Brooks St, Charleston, WV 25301

CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital (Physician offices side) – 830 Pennsylvania Ave, Charleston, WV 25302

CAMC Breast Center – 3415 MacCorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304

CAMC Teays Valley Human Resources – First Floor, Putnam Plaza, Hurricane, WV 25526

Christ Church United Methodist – 1221 Quarrier St, Charleston, WV 25301

Elizabeth Memorial United Methodist Church – 108 Oakwood Rd, Charleston, WV 25314

Bible Center Church – 100 Bible Center Dr, Charleston, WV 25309

If you would like to use your own fabric, please note that the pattern requires 100% cotton material. If you need materials, CAMC Volunteer Services will make arrangements to provide it to you.

Visit this link for the instructions and materials needed to make the masks: https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/.

For any questions, please call the CAMC Volunteer services office at (304) 388-7426 or email Kelly Anderson, Volunteer Services Director at kelly.anderson@camc.org. Thank you for supporting your hospital and health care workers!

From Garrett County Government: Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order released Thursday concerning Social Gatherings has given Marylanders a clear directive that any social grouping of more than 10 people is banned. The order is the latest in a series of changes being made to increase social distancing in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Social Distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease.

A section of the Governor’s order specifically states, “Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events (“large gatherings and events”) of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.”

Thus, the Executive Order requires that rentals be cancelled for all rental properties that sleep 10 or more persons.

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners encourages that all vacation rentals be cancelled, whether through rental companies, Air BnB, Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO), or private individuals.

Locally, Garrett County Health Department and The Board of Garrett County Commissioners have been working with the vacation rental businesses to minimize the potential impact of the COVID-19 virus on their employees and on our community.

Safety for everyone living and/or working in Garrett County is of the utmost importance.

The strategies that are being employed by the rental industry to minimize impact of this pandemic are as follows:

• ​not accepting new reservations for the upcoming weeks
• ​working diligently to move existing reservations to alternate dates
• ​proactively enhancing policies and procedures to protect their staff.

“We want to thank the rental agencies for what they have already done to protect their employees and customers against the spread of the deadly Coronavirus,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “We are aware that you have been taking precautions, and we are very pleased with your proactive measures to date to protect not only your employees and customers but also the general public.”

Information and updates about COVID-19 in Garrett County and around the world are available at https://www.garrettcounty.org/commissioners/coronavirus. Residents can also call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change on a minute-by-minute basis, the Garrett County Health Department and the Board of Garrett County Commissioners are urging citizens to stay home, be responsible and avoid crowds.

State of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also reminded Marylanders that the dramatic actions being taken across the country are to save lives.

“To further protect our residents, visitors and hospitality employees we request that visitors postpone trips to the mountains, Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area beginning immediately,” commented Chairman Paul Edwards. “This action is necessary to ensure compliance with social distancing and flatten the curve of this dangerous coronavirus. At this point, the only weapon we have to combat this potentially fatal virus is to take drastic measures. All of us have to work together to outlast and shorten the cycle of this pandemic.”

Maryland has continued to take extreme actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Hogan announced several new statewide restrictions including limiting travel, closing shopping malls and enclosed entertainment venues and urging all Marylanders to stay home. Also, with the first COVID-19 death in Maryland, events and gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited.

“We are urging citizens to stay home, be responsible and avoid large crowds. We will continue to monitor this changing situation and will not hesitate to take additional actions necessary to protect our community” said Garrett County Health Officer Robert Stephens.

Information and updates about COVID-19 in Garrett County and around the world are available at https://www.garrettcounty.org/commissioners/coronavirus. Residents can also call the Health Department COVID-19 Hotline at 301-334-7698.


From ACPS: Allegany County Public Schools would like to gather information on the availability of online access at our students’ homes. Visit the school system’s website or crisis management website to find the link to complete a very brief survey that will help us ensure online access for continuity of instruction during the mandatory school closure. https://www.acpsmd.org/site/default.aspx?DomainID=4

From WV DHHR: The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed four new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at twelve. New cases were identified in Kanawha, Marshall, and Mercer counties.

The state breakdown of cases by county are two individuals from Jefferson County, one individual from Jackson County, two individuals from Kanawha County, two from Marshall County, two from Mercer County, one from Monongalia County, and two individuals from Tucker County. All cases are travel related.

As of March 21, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., 397 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 12 positive, 385 negative and 1 test pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, commercial labs and hospitals.

For the most up to date information, please visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

From Cumberland City: With the increased use in disinfectant products, wipes and paper towels, the City of Cumberland Utilities Division would like to inform the community to NOT flush disinfectant wipes or wipes of any kind down the toilet.

Items, including wipes labeled by manufactures as “flushable” should never be flushed down the toilet. They do no break up in the sanitary system like toilet paper and can cause sewer back-ups in homes, apartments, and businesses, as well as in the sewer system. These back-ups can require costly plumbing repairs and create an environmental hazard.

The following items are considered trash and should be placed in the trash can (do not flush):

Wipes (baby, disinfecting, personal, etc)
Personal hygiene products​
Paper towels and other disposable cleaning clothes
Facial tissue, Q-tips, Dental floss, etc…

Please only flush toilet paper. Toilet paper is made to break apart after it is flushed.

From FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk: Following guidance from the University System of Maryland, the state of Maryland and the federal government, Frostburg State University classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester will be presented online – no face-to-face class meetings.

As a result, we are in the process of developing several additional policies and making additional operational decisions.

  1. ACADEMICS: The academic leadership team and faculty are developing processes and procedures to assist with the extended online learning protocol. They are also developing policies with regard to courses that cannot be completed online. Watch for emails from Provost Dr. Elizabeth Throop no later than Monday, March 23, on this information.
  2. ADVISING AND REGISTRATION: Course advising and scheduling for both summer and fall semesters will be online. Watch for emails about registration from the Office of the Registrar no later than Tuesday, March 24.
  3. STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS: Residence halls will NOT reopen this weekend. (They had been scheduled to reopen for some students on Sunday, March 22.) No exceptions will be granted without the express approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Artie Lee Travis, requested via email to studentaffairs@frostburg.edu. Access cards will not work for those not pre-approved, and students who are home should stay there. Students who stayed on campus during spring break may remain, but if they want to return home, they should do so. Any students who need to live in the residence halls for whatever reason must get advance permission from the VP for student affairs
    Residence Life will follow the guidance of USM and the State of Maryland on its plan for on-campus students to retrieve their personal items. DO NOT come to campus to pick up your items from the residence halls until you have been contacted by Residence Life.
    The halls affected are Allen, Annapolis, Cumberland, Diehl, Frederick, Frost, Gray, Simpson, Sowers, Westminster. If you live in one of these residence halls, you will receive an email from the Residence Life Office no later than Friday, March 20, outlining the plan.
    Students residing in Edgewood Commons should contact Susan Kramer at 301-689-1370 for instructions.
  4. ROOM AND BOARD REFUNDS: A pro-rated refund plan for on-campus rooms and meal plans for students not approved to return to campus is being developed. Watch for emails from University Billing no later than Wednesday, March 25, with updates on this information.
  5. STUDENTS, PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU CAN: For those students who do not need campus services (e.g., housing, internet access), please remain at home to complete your studies. Students who need to be on campus should contact Student Affairs at StudentAffairs@frostburg.edu for accommodations.
  6. COMMENCEMENT: Commencement will be postponed. Students approved for graduation will be contacted by email no later than Tuesday, March 24, for their input about alternatives.
  7. CAMPUS COMMUNICATIONS: In addition to our campus emails and web postings, the every-Monday StateLines publication will provide updated information and helpful tips. The Office of Student Affairs will continue to send regular campus updates to the family contacts for whom we have email addresses.
https://www.frostburg.edu/brady-health/Coronavirus-resources.php

From ACM: Allegany College of Maryland has made the difficult decision to continue classes online until the end of the semester.

Effective at close of business today, Friday, March 20, 2020, no faculty, staff, or student should come to any campus location (Cumberland Campus, Bedford County Campus, Gateway Center, Bedford County Technical Center, Garrett County Nursing Site, and Somerset Education Site). This will remain in effect through at least Sunday, April 12, 2020. There will be no face-to-face classes or on-site student services. A decision about the status of campus operations will be announced on or before Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Willowbrook Woods will remain open to student residents.

Additional information regarding clinical and laboratory programs will be provided to students at a later date. Students are encouraged to check in with their faculty members if they have questions about online coursework or concerns about online access.

Non-credit classes and training through the ACM Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development are suspended until further notice.

ACM staff is available to answer questions, advise students on courses, connect them with accommodations and disability resources, address billing questions, and discuss financial aid and scholarship options, etc. through email and online platforms.

Plans for commencement exercises and other future college events and activities will be decided by Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Information about registration for summer and fall classes will be forthcoming.

Students are encouraged to utilize remote counseling services if they are experiencing mental health concerns. More information is available through the coronavirus response page on the college’s website.

“Our hope is to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our students’ academic pursuits while remaining in compliance with current State and Federal guidance,” said ACM President Dr. Cynthia Bambara. “It’s changing how we operate, but we’re already finding new and innovative ways to engage with our students and one another.”

Questions may be directed to the ACM Information Center at info@allegany.edu.

From Cumberland City: In response to the temporary closure of Cumberland City Hall to public traffic in order to help control the spread of Coronavirus disease, the Mayor and City Council’s regular meetings are going to be livestreamed to a special Facebook page. The page is being created by city staff in the spirit of transparent government to keep interested city residents and stakeholders informed about public actions of the council. The page will also allow the City to live-stream bid openings, board and commission meetings, and other public business as the need arises. The official city website at http://www.cumberlandmd.gov/ will also feature a link to the live-stream page.

Citizens who wish to follow the page can access it at fb.me/CityHallLiveStream and click “Like.” Messages about page content can be sent to m.me/CityHallLiveStream

The Mayor and City Council encourage everyone to comply with the Governor’s directives and remain vigilant and educated on news pertaining to the virus. The local informational clearinghouse is the Allegany County Health Department. The Health Department’s website has additional information that may be accessed at: https://health.maryland.gov/allegany/Pages/Home.aspx


From MD Park Service: Maryland State Parks Are Open, With Some Restrictions

The safety and well-being of our staff and visitors to Maryland State Parks is our top priority and we take that responsibility very seriously. With that in mind, Maryland State Parks will remain open at this time; however, staff will be taking extra safety precautions to mitigate the risk of contact with the COVID-19 virus. This includes the implementation of enhanced cleaning protocols at all of the parks’ restrooms. All other State Park buildings are closed to the public. All planned events and gatherings of groups larger than 10 people are cancelled through the end of April. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust operations as events warrant. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.

What we are doing to keep you safe:

Essential park staff remains on duty to assist visitors, protect facilities, and ensure safe
conditions.

We have closed most park buildings to minimize congregating in enclosed spaces. Some restrooms remain open to support acceptable sanitary conditions, and provide access to hand washing/sanitation. Those restrooms are supplemented with portable toilets in some cases.

Shelters, full-service cabins and playgrounds have been closed to prevent gatherings. All those with full-service cabin and other lodging reservations for dates prior to May 11 are being notified of the Governor’s Executive Order restricting planned gatherings to no more than 10 people, and their reservation cancelled. Change of date/refunds will be granted for all cancellations.

Campground opening dates have been delayed until May 11, in order to allow the Maryland Park Service and our visitors to monitor the rapidly developing situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Enhanced cleaning procedures have been implemented for those buildings that remain open.

The Duty Ranger cell phone number will be posted on closed buildings, so that visitors can contact park staff. All planned special events are canceled through the end of April, and special events in May are tentative. All park interpretive programs are canceled through the end of April, and May programs are tentative. All those with shelter reservations for dates prior to May 11 are being notified of the Governor’s Executive Order restricting planned gatherings to no more than 10 people, and their reservation cancelled. Change of date/refunds will be granted for all cancellations.

What you can do to help us keep you safe:

• Do not visit State Parks if you are sick, or have
been sick within the past two weeks.

• Do not enter/remain in any park areas where
people typically congregate. Avoid popular areas
such as playgrounds, buildings, parking lots,
scenic overlooks, heavily used trails, etc.

• Practice social distancing, maintaining a distance
of at least six feet from other visitors.

• Practice good hygiene, including hand washing
or hand sanitizing prior to, during (if possible)
and after your visit.

From WV Governor: Gov. Jim Justice joined State health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
CLOSURE OF STATE PARK LODGES, HATFIELD MCCOY TRAIL
During his remarks, the Governor announced that he has issued an Executive Order, mandating the statewide closure of all West Virginia state park lodges as well as the closure of the Hatfield McCoy Trail to the general public.

This order will officially go into effect tonight at midnight.

This closure only pertains to lodges and the Hatfield McCoy Trail specifically. It does not mandate the closure of entire state parks, campsites, or cabins.

“We want you to enjoy the parks. We want you to get outside. We want you to bike and hike and fish. But you just need to stay away from people,” Gov. Justice said. “Taking in the wonderful, pristine air from our parks can be very calming.

“Absolutely go to our parks and enjoy the parks. We’ve just got to close down our lodges.”

Gov. Justice also announced that trout stockings around the state will continue as planned. Gov. Justice urges West Virginians to participate by casting a line at their favorite West Virginia state park.

SUSPENSION OF SEVERAL STATUTORY RULES
Also during the briefing, Gov. Justice announced that he has also issued an Executive Order, mandating the suspension of several statutory regulations. These include:
Suspending the requirement that any medical provider “hold an active, unexpired license” issued by the Board of Medicine, with the exception of those with pending complaints, investigations, consent orders, board orders, or pending disciplinary proceedings.
Suspending the requirement for telemedicine providers to be licensed in West Virginia, provided that such provider possesses a license within their own state.
Suspending the requirement that medical licenses are only valid for two years.
Suspending the requirement that an educational permit is only valid for one year.
Suspending the requirements for Physician Assistants licensure, reinstatement of licenses, written authorizations from the boards, collaboration limits, and collaborative agreements.
Suspending the requirements that boards of examination or registration conduct investigations and adjudication of complaints of professional and occupational misconduct in specific timeframes.
Suspending the requirement that any person to practice or offer to practice medicine or surgery as an osteopathic physician or surgeon “hold an active, unexpired license” issued by the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, with the exception of those with pending complaints, investigations, consent orders, board orders, or pending disciplinary proceedings.
Suspending the requirement for post-graduate training that will no longer be available after July 1, 2020 and the requirement that individuals graduating from ACGME programs have to complete 40 hours of Continuing Medical Education prior to licensure.
Suspending the requirement that physicians biennially furnish proof of completion of 32 hours of continuing medical education prior to renewal.
Suspending the requirement that the first educational permit issued be valid for a period of 15 months and subsequent educational permits issued to the same person may be valid for not more than 12 months.
Suspending the requirement that telemedicine be performed by video only.
Suspending the procedures for applications for licensure by out-of-state medical practitioners under the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
Suspending vehicle size and weight limitations.
Suspending the deadlines for annual vehicle inspections.
Suspending the deadlines for renewal and payment of annual fees for video lottery machines.
Suspending the deadline to renew permits from Alcohol Beverage Control Administration.
Suspending any other statute or rule that prescribes time limits or deadlines by which state agencies or political subdivisions or agencies thereunder must hold hearings, and allowing abeyance of such hearings or for such hearings to be conducted by telephonic means, at the sole discretion of the applicable state agency or political subdivision or agencies thereunder.

GOV. JUSTICE ENCOURAGING BLOOD DONATIONS
The Governor also announced today that The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the COVID-19 outbreak. As the COVID-19 pandemic has grown in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

The Red Cross has implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of donors and staff. The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation. Donating blood does not impact or weaken the immune system.

If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Drives are being updated constantly so you can find a blood drive.

TOURISM OFFICE UNVEILS MAP OF OPEN RESTAURANTS
Today, the Governor also announced that the West Virginia Tourism Office has launched an interactive map of open restaurants that shows the locations of all eateries in the state that are continuing to operate drive thru, carryout, and delivery services at this time.

DHHR REQUESTS SUSPENSION OF DRUG TESTS FOR TANF APPLICANTS
Today, at the direction of the Governor, the Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Children and Families requested the immediate suspension of the rule requiring applicants of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to participate in drug screening, which often requires close contact between multiple individuals.

HIGHER-ED SYSTEMS PROVIDING FINANCIAL AID FLEXIBILITY
Also today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Council for Community and Technical College Education voted to provide students with greater flexibilities in accessing and renewing state financial aid programs. This move comes as higher education institutions across the state continue adjusting methods for course delivery this semester in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia, with many transitioning to online or other non-face-to-face methods for their classes.

A summary of ongoing changes being made across West Virginia’s college campuses to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can be found at wvhepc.edu/coronavirus.
MORE INFORMATION ON PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Following Gov. Justice’s announcement yesterday that the state has purchased 100,000 N95 surgical masks and 275 sets of highly protective Tyvek suits, state leaders said today that the priority recipients of these pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) are and will remain healthcare workers and local health department staff, as these individuals are on the front lines of treating COVID-19. Ensuring their health and safety is vital to protecting all West Virginians.

The Department of Health and Human Resources will maintain its prioritization as further quantities become available, with additional consideration to EMS, clinics, physicians, and other community partners.

There are no plans to release any PPE to any other individuals or organizations at this time. The Justice Administration continues its efforts to identify other sources of PPE
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Gov. Justice is continuing to encourage West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented Monday by President Donald J. Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

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

From WV DHHR: The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed three new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at eight. New cases were identified in Jackson, Jefferson, and Kanawha counties.

The state breakdown of cases by county are two individuals from Jefferson County, one individual from Jackson County, one individual from Kanawha County, one from Mercer County, one from Monongalia County, and two individuals from Tucker County. All cases are travel related.

As of March 20, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., 338 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 8 positive, 330 negative and 2 tests pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, commercial labs and hospitals.

For the most up to date information, please visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan has issued the following statement regarding Maryland’s second COVID-19 death, a Baltimore County resident in his 60s who suffered from underlying medical conditions:

“A second Marylander has lost his life as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. On behalf of our entire state, we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and to all those who loved him.

“As the number of positive cases in Maryland continues to dramatically rise, we need everyone to take this seriously. This is a public health crisis like nothing we have ever faced before—we are all in this together, and we will get through this together.”

 UPDATED: Businesses who paid their Maryland Sales & Use Taxes for March early may request a refund of their payment by emailing taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov or by calling 410-260-4020. To assist businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, Comptroller Peter Franchot wants to remind business owners that he has extended business-related tax filing deadlines. Sales and Use Tax payments that typically would be due today do not have to be paid until June 1.

The extension applies to certain business returns with due dates during the months of March, April and May 2020 for businesses filing sales and use tax, withholding tax, and admissions & amusement tax, as well as alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel excise taxes, tire recycling fee and bay restoration fee returns.

Business taxpayers who file and pay by the extended due date will receive a waiver of interest and penalties.

“Our state’s top priority is safeguarding public health for Marylanders, but we must also protect the financial health of our economy,” said Comptroller Franchot. “This extension will provide much-needed relief to our business owners as they adjust to changes in consumer behavior, tourism trends and employee workforce output.”

The Maryland Comptroller’s Office also will offer a 90-day extension of income tax filings & payments from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Comptroller Franchot said both Maryland individual and corporate income taxpayers will be afforded the same relief for state income tax payments. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020.

Fiscal and calendar year filers with tax years ending January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 are also eligible for the July 15, 2020 payment extension. The due date for March quarterly estimated payments is extended to July 15, 2020.

The agency has set up a dedicated email address — taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov — to assist businesses with extension-related questions. Business owners can also call the Comptroller’s Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.

As part of the Maryland’s overall response to the coronavirus, and in an effort to prioritize health and safety, Maryland Health Connection opened a new special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders. The coronavirus emergency special enrollment period began Monday, March 16, and end Wednesday, April 15. Coverage will begin April 1, 2020, regardless of when a health plan is selected during that time period.https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/coronavirus-sep/


PA Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. March 19, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.

From MD Governor: MD Governor Larry Hogan today signed HB1663/SB1080, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act of 2020, which supports the governor’s ongoing actions to combat COVID-19 and protects Marylanders from certain economic hardships that may result from this pandemic. The governor was joined by House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson.
Under Public Safety Article Section 14-107 of Maryland law, the governor has broad powers during a state of emergency to take actions that will help keep Marylanders safe. The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act of 2020 specifies additional measures that the governor may take to address the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including facilitating access and delivery of health care.
The bill establishes a series of protections for individuals directly affected by COVID-19 or more broadly impacted by the state of emergency, including empowering the governor to:
• Prohibit cost-sharing by an insurance carriers for COVID-19 testing and associated costs
• Establish or waive telehealth protocols
• Require carriers and Medicaid to cover a COVID-19 immunization (should one be developed) and any associated costs, without cost-sharing, for certain patients
• Work with Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the Maryland Insurance Commissioner, and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to minimize disruption in enrollment in health insurance and Medicaid
• Allow MDH to offer more flexibility in staffing during the state of emergency
• Prohibit employers from terminating an employee solely on the basis that the employee has been required to be isolated or quarantined or if the individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection COVID–19 or to care for a family member due to COVID-19
• Provides flexibility to the Secretary of Labor to allow workers who have not been terminated to collect unemployment insurance if their employer has been closed due to COVID-19, if they have been quarantined, or if they are caring for a family member who is quarantined
It also prohibits retailers from unfair price gouging for essential goods like food, fuel, medicine, medical supplies, and cleaning products, and affirms that such action is subject to the enforcement by the attorney general.
A list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus

From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland has received official designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the SBA, the loans will help alleviate financial strain and allow businesses to pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years. Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply directly to the SBA for financial assistance here.

“Our first and foremost priority is protecting the health and safety of Marylanders, but we are also deeply concerned about the economic impact of this pandemic, which is why we worked quickly with our federal partners to apply for this designation,” said Governor Hogan. “This program will offer immediate relief to our small business community and help them to remain afloat during this difficult time.”

In order to receive designation, the state was required to provide at least five examples of companies that have suffered a significant economic injury due to COVID-19. With the recent executive order closing restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and theaters, along with the prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 people, several businesses across the state have reported substantial impacts and are in need of immediate financial assistance.

“Maryland’s small businesses are critically important to our economy and we recognize the impact this crisis is having on them,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “This loan program, combined with other state and federal assistance, will give businesses the support and resources they need to continue to operate.”

“This assistance is available to those businesses who have suffered economic hardship as a result of COVID-19,” said Russell Strickland, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). “MEMA worked closely with local emergency management agencies to expedite the request for assistance from the SBA. These loans will help those hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19.”

For additional business resources available during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

From WV Governor: Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order on Thursday, directing WorkForce West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Commerce to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 and administer them to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.

Gov. Justice’s executive order allows WorkForce to:
Waive the one-week waiting period for eligible West Virginians to receive unemployment benefits
Waive the able and available work requirement
Waive the work search requirement
Unemployment benefits will be available to eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed.

WorkForce’s plan to process influx of claims
Since Gov. Justice declared a state of emergency on March 16, WorkForce has processed more than 4,000 new claims for unemployment benefits. To manage and process the influx of claims, WorkForce has implemented the following measures:
Extend phone hours to 7 p.m.
Permit staff to work overtime and on weekends
Train additional staff
Train and utilize Department of Commerce staff
Utilize temporary employees
Those seeking to file an initial claim for unemployment benefits should do so online at www.workforcewv.org.

“As we face these uncertain times, we want to reassure every person who has recently lost their job that financial assistance is available to them,” said Scott Adkins, acting commissioner for WorkForce West Virginia. “But there’s no time to waste. As soon as employment ends, you should file for benefits because each day you wait is a day you have to wait for that much-needed help.”

Where to file
The fastest way to file for benefits is online at www.workforcewv.org. A step-by-step guide to filing an initial claim may be found by going to Unemployment section of WorkForce’s website and then clicking the Claimants tab. Those who do not have internet access, have a disability requiring assistive technology or need further assistance should call 1-800-252-JOBS.

When to file
It is important to file a new claim immediately after employment ends.

How to file
To file an initial claim, applications need to register as a job seeker at www.workforcewv.org.

After filing an initial claim, a WorkForce West Virginia staff member will contact the applicant by email or by phone. To learn more about WorkForce West Virginia services and programs, visit www.workforcewv.org

From WV Governor: Gov. Jim Justice joined State health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston Thursday for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
CLOSURE OF BARBERSHOPS AND SALONS
During his remarks, the Governor announced that he has issued an Executive Order, mandating the statewide closure of all barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons.

This order will officially go into effect tonight at midnight.

“We’re trying in every way we possibly can to be the state that leads that way,” Gov. Justice said. “The state that was proactive and absolutely had a preparedness, the state that is reacting in a way that great West Virginians do and that is helping one another.”
STATE PURCHASES 100,000 SURGICAL MASKS
Also during the briefing, Gov. Justice announced that, through the Governor’s Contingency Fund, the state has purchased 100,000 N95 surgical masks from a private West Virginia business.

The West Virginia National Guard today also bought 275 sets of highly protective Tyvek suits with special filtering masks which will also be used by healthcare providers and first responders.
GOV. JUSTICE TESTED FOR COVID-19
Gov. Justice also announced during the press conference that on February 15 he came into contact with an individual who has since tested positive for COVID-19. Because of this contact, the Governor was administered a test for COVID-19 today and the results came back negative.
SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN UPDATE
Gov. Justice also announced today that the United States Small Business Administration officially declared West Virginia as an Economic Injury Disaster zone. This declaration will allow small businesses across West Virginia with great need to apply for low-interest loans.
COUNTY STAFFING EXECUTIVE ORDER
Gov. Justice also issued an Executive Order today, giving counties the authority and flexibility to evaluate courthouse services and staffing and to make decisions that are in the best interest of each respective county, as determined by officials from each county.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR THOSE AFFECTED
Earlier today, the Governor filed an Executive Order directing the West Virginia Department of Commerce and WorkForce West Virginia to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 to the maximum extent permitted under federal law.

Individuals who are separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to either a documented medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures related to COVID-19 are eligible for these benefits, according to the Governor’s order.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Gov. Justice is continuing to encourage West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented Monday by President Donald J. Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

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.


From WV DHHR: The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) confirmed three new cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, making the total positive case count at five. All three new positive cases are travel related.
Two individuals are from Tucker County and one is from Monongalia County. All three are being treated at home. No additional details will be released at this time. Earlier this week two positive tests were confirmed in Jefferson and Mercer counties.
As of March 19, 2020, at 9:30 p.m., 224 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 5 positive, 219 negative and 13 tests pending (at state lab). These numbers include positive and negative tests from the state’s public health lab, Labcorp, Quest, and West Virginia University Medicine.
For the most up to date information, please visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.


MD Governor Larry Hogan today signed HB1663/SB1080, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act of 2020, which supports the governor’s ongoing actions to combat COVID-19 and protects Marylanders from certain economic hardships that may result from this pandemic. The governor was joined by House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson.

Under Public Safety Article Section 14-107 of Maryland law, the governor has broad powers during a state of emergency to take actions that will help keep Marylanders safe. The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act of 2020 specifies additional measures that the governor may take to address the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including facilitating access and delivery of health care.

The bill establishes a series of protections for individuals directly affected by COVID-19 or more broadly impacted by the state of emergency, including empowering the governor to: 

• Prohibit cost-sharing by an insurance carriers for COVID-19 testing and associated costs

• Establish or waive telehealth protocols

• Require carriers and Medicaid to cover a COVID-19 immunization (should one be developed) and any associated costs, without cost-sharing, for certain patients

• Work with Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the Maryland Insurance Commissioner, and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to minimize disruption in enrollment in health insurance and Medicaid

• Allow MDH to offer more flexibility in staffing during the state of emergency

• Prohibit employers from terminating an employee solely on the basis that the employee has been required to be isolated or quarantined or if the individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection COVID–19 or to care for a family member due to COVID-19

• Provides flexibility to the Secretary of Labor to allow workers who have not been terminated to collect unemployment insurance if their employer has been closed due to COVID-19, if they have been quarantined, or if they are caring for a family member who is quarantined

It also prohibits retailers from unfair price gouging for essential goods like food, fuel, medicine, medical supplies, and cleaning products, and affirms that such action is subject to the enforcement by the attorney general.

A list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus

Due to the overwhelming response Allegany County will be suspending recycling earlier than anticipated- at 8:00 am on Friday March 20,2020.

The County is taking precautions to prevent littering at the sites, encourage social distancing, and for the safety of our workers handling recyclables.

As of March 17 there are no changes to the operations of the County Mulch and Yard Trim Site and Residential Trash Site Operations in Frostburg, Oldtown, Little Orleans and Flintstone.

Residents are encouraged to save their clean recyclables for the duration of the suspension.

In response to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, effective Friday, March 20 at 8:30 A.M. public access to the Mineral County Courthouse will be limited, with offices operating on an appointment-only basis. The public is encouraged to utilize online resources or call the needed office to schedule an appointment. Phone numbers to County Offices are:

County Commission: 304-788-5921

County Clerk: 304-788-3924

Circuit Clerk: 304-788-1562

Sheriff’s Office: 304-788-0341

Prosecuting Office: 304-788-0300

Assessor’s Office: 304-788-3753

Emergency Management: 304-788-182

The coronavirus has everyone looking for ways to be safe. We need our children to be safe too! Remember in Allegany County, each school is providing meals for students Monday-Friday between the hours of 11am-1pm. Be alert and watch for children walking and biking. Please exercise caution in and around schools due to the increased traffic during these times. Slow Down, Stay Alert, Keep your head up and Put your phone away! This message brought to you by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. Funding provided by the Maryland Center for School Safety. 

The Salvation Army is responding to COVID-19  

Cumberland, MD — When the unexpected happens The Salvation Army prepares for the greater need for emotional and spiritual care.  As the global virus panic spreads across Cumberland The Salvation Army is ready to serve in whatever capacity we are needed.  Today, our food pantry is stocked, and our volunteers are preparing food boxes that will be distributed to senior citizens and families with children.  The Salvation Army is providing home delivery of pantry and toiletry items where needed.  If you or someone you know is in need please contact Karen at 301.777.7600.   

“Food insecurity is a real problem in our community,” says Captain Ronnette Smith.  “There are many people whose children are home from school, who are out of work, or who are on fixed incomes. The Salvation Army is their safety net providing many of the necessities they need to stay safe in their homes,” says Captain Smith. 

You can donate to The Salvation Army by visiting give.salvationarmymwv.org/give/277321

About The Salvation Army of Cumberland, MD 

Serving Allegany & Garrett Counties in MD & Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton & Tucker Counties in WV. 

About The Salvation Army  

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

From ACPS: The Allegany County Public Schools’ Food Service Department will be offering three meals per day for students, which will include breakfast, lunch, and a snack, beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020. All meals will continue to be available at all 21 school locations from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. All three meals may be picked up at the same time. As has been the policy this week, meals may be picked up by parents/students at any of the schools (even if they are not enrolled in that school) during the scheduled pick-up times.

From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of new actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland, including limiting gatherings to 10 people, ordering the closure of shopping malls, restricting access to the BWI Marshall Airport terminal, and urging the use of transit for essential travel only.

“Despite all of our repeated warnings for weeks, and in spite of the rapid escalation of this crisis across our state, the nation, and the world, some people are treating this like a vacation or a spring break with parties, cookouts, and large gatherings,” said Governor Hogan. “Let me be very clear—if you are engaged in this, you are in violation of state law and you are endangering the lives of your fellow Marylanders.”

Today’s daily count shows that Maryland has 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19—an 88 percent increase over 48 hours. Last night, Governor Hogan announced the state’s first death as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and today the state reported its first case of a child contracting the virus.

“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced,” said Governor Hogan. “But sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in people. Marylanders are a shining example of that, and we have seen so many examples of compassion and generosity in recent days. We are all in this together, and if we all do our part to rise to this challenge and to meet this moment, we will get through this together.”

The governor also announced that later today, as chairman of the National Governors Association, he will submit five requests to the president, vice president, and leaders in both houses of Congress on behalf of the nation’s governors:

(1) Dedicate at least 50 percent of supplemental funding to the states, including direct funding, and act quickly on waiver requests
(2) Increase access to PPE, masks, test kits, extraction kits, and accelerating the production of life-saving equipment, such as ventilators
(3) Support Title 32 authorization to give governors maximum flexibility for use of the National Guard
(4) Provide guidance on implementation of Defense Production Act to include what health and medical resources Secretary of Health and Human Services Azar is prioritizing under his new authority
(5) Allow more time and flexibility for completion of both the Census and the transition to REAL ID

Below is a comprehensive list of actions the governor is taking today:

LIMITING GATHERINGS AND ORDERING CLOSURE OF SHOPPING MALLS: Governor Hogan has amended a previous executive order to reduce the size of social, cultural, and community gatherings to 10 people, and require the closure of all enclosed shopping malls, as well as bowling alleys and pool halls. Read the emergency order.

RESTRICTED ACCESS TO BWI MARSHALL AIRPORT TERMINAL: Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Transportation to restrict access to the BWI Marshall Terminal to ticketed passengers and employees only. Exceptions will be made for visitors assisting disabled passengers. Maryland Transportation Authority Police will strictly enforce this policy.

TRANSIT FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY: The state is urging citizens to utilize transit for essential travel only, including emergency personnel, front-line health care workers, and anyone whose job is critical to the supply chain.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SPRING SEMESTER: Governor Hogan has asked the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to keep all students off campus and finish the spring semester online.

HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN: Governor Hogan announced that, as part of phase one of the hospital surge plan, 900 beds will be made available immediately. By early April, another 1,400 beds are expected to come online. The multi-phase plan calls for adding capacity of up to 6,000 beds.

FLEXIBILITY FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL: Governor Hogan issued an emergency order to allow greater flexibility for emergency medical services personnel to augment other health care providers. This action will help bolster the state’s hospital surge plan. Read the emergency order.

RELAUNCH OF MARYLAND UNITES: Governor Hogan announced the relaunch of the Maryland Unites initiative to connect Marylanders with resources and highlight stories of generosity and compassion amid the crisis. To learn more, visit governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites.

DELIVERY AND CARRY-OUT OF ALCOHOL: Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that allows for delivery and carry-out sales of alcohol by restaurants, bars, distilleries, and wineries, subject to liquor laws and other conditions imposed by local alcoholic beverage authorities. Read the emergency order.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS AT STATE HOUSE: The Department of General Services has instituted temperature checks and health screenings at the State House with the assistance of National Guard medical personnel.

LIFTING RESTRICTIONS ON DELIVERY TRUCKS: To help facilitate the movement of essential supplies, Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to lift restrictions on the capacity of delivery trucks. Motor vehicles transporting equipment or supplies directly related to the COVID-19 state of emergency are allowed to exceed legal weight limits by up to 15%. The State Highway Administrator may also temporarily waive or modify hauling permit restrictions and conditions deemed safe and appropriate. Read the emergency order.

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. Members of the business community are encouraged to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

From WV Governor: Gov. Jim Justice today issued an Executive Order, directing the West Virginia Department of Commerce and WorkForce West Virginia to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 to the maximum extent permitted under federal law.
Individuals who are separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to either a documented medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures related to COVID-19 are eligible for these benefits, according to the Governor’s order.
The changes outlined in this order will remain in place throughout the duration of the Governor’s recent State of Emergency declaration related to COVID-19.
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




President Donald J. Trump is signing a legislative package that provides extensive assistance to Americans impacted by the coronavirus.

  • Today, President Trump is signing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, ensuring that American families and businesses impacted by the virus receive the strong support they need.
  • This legislation provides strong economic assistance to American businesses, workers, and families, alleviating financial burdens experienced by those affected by the virus.
  • The act provides free coronavirus diagnostic testing for the American people, regardless of their economic circumstances or health coverage.
  • The President and his Administration have worked tirelessly with Congress to secure this legislative package.
    • The Administration’s negotiation efforts were highly effective and resulted in substantial improvements from the initial bill brought by House Democrats.

SUPPORTING BUSINESSES, WORKERS, AND FAMILIES: This package delivers on President Trump’s commitment to provide strong economic support to Americans harmed by the virus.

  • This legislation builds on the Administration’s longstanding commitment to take every step necessary to provide economic relief and support for Americans affected by the virus.
  • The act establishes tax credits to provide paid sick and family leave for coronavirus-related employment interruptions.
    • Eligible workers who are sick with the virus, quarantined, taking care of someone affected or caring for a child whose school has closed, will continue to be paid.
    • Employees will receive pay directly from their employers, rather than from a less-efficient government-run program.
  • Though every dollar of required paid leave will be offset by tax credits for eligible employers, the act protects small businesses by offering an exemption in the rare event that paid leave requirements would jeopardize their business.
  • The legislation incentivizes states to ease access to unemployment benefits, assisting Americans who may be unemployed due to the impact of the virus.
  • To support families and the most vulnerable, the bill also provides funding and flexibility for emergency nutritional aid for senior citizens, women, children, and low-income families.

TESTING FOR ALL AMERICANS: This legislation helps to realize President Trump’s primary goal of ensuring coronavirus testing is accessible to every American.

  • The President is committed to ensuring that every American who needs to be tested for the coronavirus is able to do so, regardless of their circumstances.
  • To that end, this legislation offers free coronavirus testing – including free testing through commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Indian Health Service, and TRI-CARE.
  • President Trump continues to work tirelessly with the Federal government and the private sector to protect expand Americans’ access to coronavirus testing.
    • As a result of the President’s efforts, testing is now available in all 50 states and we are testing faster than ever.

Garrett County Public Schools is now offering home delivery of meals. If you have a difficult time reaching one of the food service sites in the county during the period of extended closure, please complete the Google form located at:garrettcountyschools.org/meals.

The Food Services and Nutrition Office will make every effort to deliver meals to your home. In order to receive the delivery, someone must be present at the home when the food arrives. If you have any difficulty completing the form, please call 1-888-285-7248 and leave a message including your name, phone number, email, number of children under 18, and your address. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Meals and delivery are provided at no cost to the family for all of the children 18 and under *9u3$

In recognition of Governor Larry Hogan’s executive orders and in the interest of protecting the staff and public doing business with Allegany County Government, the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County announced today that the office building located at 701 Kelly Road in Cumberland is closed to the public. Should anyone need to utilize in-person tax or utility payment, please contact 301-777-2526 or 301-777-5965.  

Again, the public is strongly encouraged to visit the county’s website at alleganygov.org for information and on-line payment options.


Garrett County Public Schools is expanding free meals to include a hot supper at all 16 sites beginning Friday, March 20th. The time for each location is listed below. Meals are not to be eaten onsite and should instead be taken home to enjoy. As a reminder, meals are free to anyone 18 years of age and younger. In order to receive the meal, please drive up to the site and one bag of food for each child will be handed to the driver. Meals will be distributed at the following locations throughout the duration of the statewide school closure: *NEW* Deer Park Town Hall – 100 Church Street, Deer Park, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (10:30-10:50); Supper (4:30-4:50) *NEW* Swanton Otterbein United Methodist Church – 3443 Swanton Road, Swanton, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20); Supper (5:00-5:20) *NEW* Bittinger Fire Hall – 176 Brenneman Road, Bittinger, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (11:45-12:05); Supper (5:45-6:05) *NEW* Eastern Garrett Fire Hall – 401 Finzel Rd, Frostburg, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (12:35-12:55); Supper (6:35-6:55) Dennett Road School – 770 Dennett Road, Oakland, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (11:30-12:00); Supper (4:30-5:00)
Liberty Mews – 451 Liberty Street Oakland, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20); Supper (4:30-4:50)
Crellin – 57 Crellin Street Crellin, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (11:35–11:55); Supper (5:05-5:25)
Oakland Town Parking Lot – 103 Town Park Lane, Oakland, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (12:10-12:30); Supper (5:40-6:00) Deer Park – 198 Frank Custer Drive Deer Park, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (12:45-1:05); Supper (6:15-6:35) Garrett County Chamber of Commerce – 15 Visitors Center Dr. McHenry, MD 21541Monday through Friday: Lunch (10:40-11:00); Supper (4:30-4:50)
Hickory Environmental Center (Northern Middle’s bus loop) – 604 Pride Parkway Accident, MD 21520Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:20-11:40); Supper (5:10-5:30)
Friendsville Elementary School – 841 First Avenue, Friendsville, MD 21531Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:00-12:20); Supper (5:50-6:10)
Grantsville Elementary School – 120 Grant Street, Grantsville, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (12:40-1:00); Supper (6:30-6:50)
Loch Lynn – 319 Roanoke Avenue, Loch Lynn MD (pavilion)Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20); Supper (4:30-4:50)
Kitzmiller Community Park – 290 W. Main Street, Kitzmiller, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (11:45-12:05); Supper (5:15–5:35) Bloomington Park – 334 North Branch Avenue, Bloomington, MDMonday through Friday: Lunch (12:30-12:50); Supper (6:00-6:20) Questions should be directed to the Food and Nutrition Services Office at 301-334-7652 or 888-262-2792.


From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan tonight announced the first COVID-19 death in Maryland, a Prince George’s County resident in his 60s who suffered from an underlying medical condition:

“It is with profound sadness that I announce the first death in Maryland as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. I ask all Marylanders to join me in praying for his family and loved ones during this difficult time. As we pray for his loved ones, I ask that we continue to pray for each other, for our state, and for our nation as we face this crisis together. We must use every possible resource at every level of government to save lives and keep people safe.”

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) today confirmed the second case of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state. Both positive cases are travel related.

The individual is from Mercer County and is being treated at home. To protect the patient’s privacy, no additional details will be released at this time.

As of March 18, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., West Virginia, through its public health lab, has tested 148 residents for COVID-19, with 143 results coming back negative and 3 tests pending.

Now that COVID-19 testing is expanded and available through commercial laboratories and some hospitals, DHHR is only reporting those tests that have been processed through its state public health lab. All positive results obtained by commercial laboratories are reportable to DHHR and are included in the positive case counts.

An information hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 has been established. Operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.

For the most up to date information, please visitwww.coronavirus.wv.gov


From Mineral County DES: Mar. 18, 2020 the Mineral County Commission signed an emergency proclamation declaring a local state of emergency. Although, there are still no cases of Covid-19 in Mineral County, the Commission has declared this emergency in order to be able to request state resources for things such as personal protective equipment.
In response to this outbreak Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and Law agencies have already made provisions to ensure that they are keeping responders safe. Mineral County 911 has implemented the recommended questioning by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials to gather information on whether or not the patient is possibly positive for a viral illness.
This proclamation only impacts Mineral County first responders and Mineral County Office of Emergency Services. All other county government entities will continue normal operations. Any changes to business closures, road closures, etc. will come from the West Virginia State Governor’s Office, and not from the Mineral County Commission.

Director of Emergency Services Luke McKenzie says, “we are doing everything we can to ensure the county is prepared. We are working very closely with the Local Health Department and doing what we can to stay in touch with local healthcare providers to ensure sufficient resources moving forward.” Information on Covid-19 can be found at dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19 or by contacting the W.Va. Covid-19 hotline at 1-800-887-4304. Questions pertaining specifically to Mineral County should be directed to the Mineral County Health Department.


The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles will close to the public beginning Thursday, March 19. Out of an abundance of caution, and in accordance with the most recent guidelines and best practices recommended by both the CDC and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources regarding COVID-19, this action will reduce exposure to both customers and employees.

Many of the most requested DMV transactions can be performed online or mailed in and do not require a trip to a regional office. DMV Headquarters in Charleston will remain in operation with a smaller staff to continue all online and mail-in business transactions while maintaining social distance internally for employee safety.

Online services include:

  • Driver’s license renewal (if no changes, and every other cycle)
  • Duplicate driver’s license request
  • Vehicle registration renewals
  • Duplicate vehicle registration decals and cards
  • Print your driving record
  • Check your driver’s license status

A full list of online services may be found by going to dmv.wv.gov.

The DMV is also extending the expiration date of any driver’s license, instructional permit, or vehicle registration with an expiration date in March or April of 2020 for three months from the date of expiration on the face of the document. However, DMV will continue to renew any of these items online or through the U.S. Mail as they come in.

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is taking this extraordinary action in response to the National and State states of emergency due to the COVID-19 virus.

For more information, you may contact the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-642-9066.

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.


From WV Governor: Gov. Jim Justice joined State health leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today for a press briefing to once again update the public on the many precautionary measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

CLOSURE OF GYMS, REC FACILITIES, AND MORE
During his remarks, the Governor announced that he has issued an Executive Order, mandating the statewide closure of all fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, and similar businesses or places where the public tends to congregate for recreation, sport, or other similar leisure activities.

This order will officially go into effect tonight at midnight.

“In the last 24 hours there have been a lot of things that have changed. We’ve asked that for two weeks we close all the restaurants, bars, and casinos,” Gov. Justice said. “Today we’re going to ask for two weeks that all the gyms, health clubs, and recreation facilities close.”

RULE PROHIBITING SALE OF BEER AND WINE TO-GO SUSPENDED
Today, the Governor also temporarily suspended the regulatory rule prohibiting bars and restaurants to provide beer and wine for off-premises consumption to the citizens of the State of West Virginia throughout the recently announced State of Emergency.

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the sale of sealed bottles of wine and unopened beer products to customers who have purchased food is legal.

The temporary rule suspension does not authorize wine or beer deliveries. The sale of to-go liquor products continues to be prohibited.

STATE PERSONNEL POLICY
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that he has ordered all cabinet secretaries in his administration to determine non-essential employee positions and allow those employees to begin working from home. The Governor has tasked his cabinet secretaries with determining which positions will be considered “essential” in their respective departments.
ALL WV BUSINESSES URGED TO SEND NON-ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES HOME
The Governor is also asking all businesses across West Virginia to look for ways to allow as many employees as possible to work from home while still keeping our essential businesses operating.

“We as West Virginians have got to step up in every way and I urge you beyond belief to have confidence that we’ve got this,” Gov. Justice said.

CAPITOL CLOSED FOR NON-BUSINESS VISITS
The West Virginia Capitol Complex remains open for official business. Tours and other non-business visits are halted until further notice. As always, citizens are encouraged to access government services by phone or online at wv.gov.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Gov. Justice is continuing to encourage West Virginians to follow the guidelines presented Monday by President Trump to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

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

Cumberland, MD – In the ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 around the state, the Allegany County Health Departmenthas temporarily stopped providing in-person services. (Non-emergency medical transportation services are still available NEMT services are still available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.)  Staff are continuing to work hard to protect the public’s health,but at this time we are not allowing patients and clients to stop in.  Call us and we can provide information and services over the phone.  Staff are available to answer your questions and address your concerns. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)301-759-5000
Behavioral Health 301-759-5280
Dental Services301-759-5030
WIC 301-759-5020
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)301-759-5123
All Other Services301-759-5000

UPMC Western Maryland President, Barry Ronan says as the largest health care provider in the region they are ready to serve the community. He says having the backing of the UPMC system is an incredible asset for the region. Ronan says because COVID-19 is so contagious they have implemented visitation restrictions at the hospital. He says they have a tent set up outside of the ER for screening to take samples from those who have been referred by a physician and meet the CDC required guidelines for testing. To hear the interview click here https://soundcloud.com/amanda-mangan/upmc-western-maryland-president-barry-ronan-covid19

From WV Governor: WV Gov. Jim Justice issued an Executive Order today, which is now in effect, formally directing all restaurants and bars in West Virginia to limit service to carry out, drive-thru, and delivery operations only. The Executive Order also mandates the closure of all casinos in West Virginia.
This order comes as the latest in a number of precautionary measures that are being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Click here to view the Executive Order on the Governor’s website
Restaurants with carry out, drive-thru, and delivery options will still be able to operate those services, even as their dining rooms are temporarily closed.
The order officially went into effect early this morning, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 12 a.m. (midnight).
Gov. Justice announced that he would be issuing this Executive Order during a statewide address at the Capitol in Charleston Tuesday evening. In his address, the Governor also announced the state’s first positive case of COVID-19.

Cumberland City Hall will be closing to the general public beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, adding to the effort to keep employees and citizens safer during this unprecedented time. Operations within City Hall may be modified, but will be staffed to support the needs of the City of Cumberland. Any business or transaction that requires a visit to City Hall must be conducted by appointment only, and the appropriate individual or department should be contacted by phone or email in advance to arrange a mutually agreeable time.
The City of Cumberland encourages the utilization of online payment methods for utility bills and any other financial obligations, such as parking violations, citations, real property tax, personal property tax and corporate tax. 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 and ACH payment) 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
If a citizen has no means other than cash by which to pay their bill, they may request personal service by calling 301-759-6409 to make arrangements.
Any questions regarding the closure of City Hall and the handling of business or transactions should be directed to 301-722-2000.


Garrett County Public Schools is adding four additional sites where we will be offering free meals for any child 18 and under beginning on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Meals will be in a bag and children must be present to receive a meal. Meals will consist of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (yogurt or cheese sandwich available for children who cannot eat peanuts), fruit cup, fresh fruit, fresh vegetable and milk. Meals can be taken home to be eaten. Cars will drive up and bags of food will be handed to the driver. Meals will be distributed at the following locations while schools are closed:

*NEW* Deer Park Town Hall- 100 Church Street, Deer Park, MD

Monday – FridayLunch – 10:30 – 10:50

*NEW* Swanton Otterbein United Methodist Church – 3443 Swanton Road, Swanton, MD

Monday – FridayLunch – 11:00 – 11:20

*NEW* Bittinger Fire Hall- 176 Brenneman Road, Bittinger, MD

Monday – Friday: Lunch 11:45 – 12:05

*NEW* Easter Garrett Fire Hall – 401 Finzel Rd, Frostburg, MD

Monday – Friday12:35- 12:55

These sites are open Wednesday March 18, 2020:

Dennett Road School – 70 Dennett Road, Oakland, MD

Monday – FridayLunch – 11:30 – 12:00 

Liberty Mews – 451 Liberty Street Oakland, MD

Monday – Friday: Lunch 11:00 – 11:20

Crellin – 57 Crellin Street Crellin, MD

Monday – Friday: Lunch 11:35– 11:55


Oakland Town Parking Lot – 103 Town Park Lane, Oakland, MD 21550

Monday – Friday: Lunch 12:10 – 12:30

Deer Park – 198 Frank Custer Drive Deer Park, MD

Monday – Friday: Lunch 12:45 – 1:05

Garrett County Chamber of Commerce –15 Visitors Center Dr. McHenry, MD 21541

Monday – Friday: Lunch 10:40 – 11:00


Hickory Environmental Center (Northern Middle’s bus loop) 604 Pride Parkway Accident, MD 21520

Monday – Friday: Lunch 11:20 – 11:40


Friendsville Elementary School 841 First Avenue, Friendsville, MD 21531

Monday – Friday: Lunch 12:00 – 12:20

Grantsville Elementary School 120 Grant Street, Grantsville, MD

Monday – Friday: Lunch 12:40 – 1:00

Loch Lynn – 319 Roanoke Ave. Loch Lynn MD (pavilion)

Monday – Friday: Lunch 11:00 – 11:20

Kitzmiller Community Park 290 W. Main Street, Kitzmiller, MD

Monday – FridayLunch- 11:45 – 12:05

Bloomington Park – 334 North Branch Ave., Bloomington, MD

Monday – Friday: Lunch 12:30 – 12:50

If you have any questions please contact the Food & Nutrition Services Office at 301-334-7652 or 888-262-2792

If you have a business and have questions about state resources log on tohttps://businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus. You can also contact locally Angella Moon Regional Business Solutions Consultant, Western Maryland Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning Maryland Department of Labor at Angella.moon@maryland.gov

From MD Comptroller: Following the press conference from the White House where it was announced there would be a 90-day extension of the April 15th deadline for federal income tax payments, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced that Maryland business and individual income taxpayers will be afforded the same relief. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020.

“Right now, Maryland taxpayers and businesses must stay focused on their health and keeping their lights on, both in their homes and businesses,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Extending the due date for Maryland state individual and business income tax payments helps us keep cash flowing in our economy and into employees’ bank accounts.”

Taxpayers who take advantage of the federal extension to file their return, which is separate from the relief granted today to pay their taxes, will continue to be automatically granted an extension on their Maryland tax filings. No additional extension forms are required. Fiscal year filers with tax years ending January 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020, are also eligible for the July 15, 2020 extension.


WV – Gov. Jim Justice conducted a statewide address at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today to update West Virginians on the precautionary measures that are being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

“We knew it was coming and we were prepared for this. We should try to live our lives as best we can and we should not panic,” Gov. Justice said. “We should not be afraid, we should be smart at this time.”

During Tuesday evening’s address, Gov. Justice announced the state’s first positive case of COVID-19.

Latest DHHR COVID-19 testing numbers available here

The Governor also announced that he has ordered the closure of all restaurants, bars, and casinos beginning tonight, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. More details will be released as they become available.

“This is a once-in-our-lifetime event happening here – a pandemic. This is real and it’s really concerning,” Gov. Justice said. “Our power to combat this disease is being apart from one another. We have to take seriously all the hygiene recommendations, we have to take seriously the ability to stay six feet apart from one another.

“The last days and the last weeks have been tough. They’ve been lonely and tough for Cathy and I, and our family, and all of you. This is a serious problem,” Gov. Justice said. “I’ll be with you, through thick or thin, in every way and we’re gonna win, we’re going to beat this bad, bad disease.”

This comes after President Donald J. Trump issued a set of new guidelines Monday for all Americans for the next 15 days to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes avoiding all social gatherings of more than 10 people.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-877-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

As part of another series of major actions to limit the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and maintain essential services, Governor Larry Hogan today issued a proclamation to officially postpone the April 28 primary election until June 2, and to move forward with the 7th Congressional District special general election as scheduled by implementing a vote-by-mail system.

“I have two main priorities—keeping Marylanders safe and protecting their constitutional right to vote,” said Governor Hogan. “I am directing the State Board of Elections to develop a comprehensive plan by April 3 to conduct the primary election in a way that protects public health and preserves the integrity of the democratic process in our state. While there are many valid reasons for unease and uncertainty right now, ensuring that the voices of Maryland citizens are heard shouldn’t be one of them.”

The governor also announced that the state is in active discussions regarding postponement of the Preakness Stakes.


 

In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is implementing the following operational changes – effective immediately – at branch offices and Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations statewide:

Adjusted Hours

All branches statewide will close at 4:30 p.m. Thursdays and will be closed all day Saturdays until further notice. MDOT MVA will reach out to customers with appointments already scheduled for Thursday evening and Saturday to reschedule their appointment.

Driver Skills Tests

All non-commercial driver skills tests are canceled until further notice. Commercial driving tests will still be conducted and will be scheduled by appointment only. MDOT MVA will reach out to customers with already scheduled non-commercial driving skills tests to reschedule their appointments.

Appointment-Only Operations

To reduce the number of customers in the branch offices at any time, MDOT MVA is handling customer transactions on an appointment only basis. Customers can schedule an appointment online through the Central Scheduling System atmvascheduling.mva.maryland.gov or by calling the Customer Service Center at 410-768-7000.

Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP)

All VEIP stations are closing until further notice. Customers with a VEIP date in March will receive correspondence with a new VEIP date.

Expiration Date Extensions

Governor Larry Hogan has ordered an extension of all driver’s and business licenses, identification cards, permits and registrations that expire or are eligible for renewal during the state of emergency. As a result, they will not expire until the 30th day after the state of emergency has been lifted.

“Under the guidance of Governor Larry Hogan, we are taking the necessary precautions to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our employees and customers,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “The goal is to keep the number of individuals in the branch offices to a minimum and provide Marylanders as many convenient options as possible for taking care of – or postponing – their MDOT MVA business during this time.”

Online services and 24-hour self-service kiosks are still available. Customers may complete a number of transactions online at http://www.mva.maryland.gov/, including:

  • Duplicate/Additional Registration Cards,
  • Vehicle Registration Renewals,
  • Insurance Compliance Payments,
  • Identification Card Renewals,
  • Title Replacements,
  • Change of Address,
  • Driving Records,
  • License Plate Purchase/Replacements,
  • Temporary Registrations,
  • Information on Administrative Flag Fees,
  • VEIP Test Date Extensions,
  • Driver’s License Renewals, and
  • Substitute Stickers.

MDOT MVA is asking customers exhibiting flu-like symptoms or those who have recently been exposed to someone with symptoms to reschedule their appointment for a later time. Customers with questions are encouraged to contact the MDOT MVA Customer Service Center at mvacs@mdot.state.md.us or by phone at 410-786-7000. Additionally, customers can follow and reach out to MDOT MVA at facebook.com/MarylandMVA/ and twitter.com/MD_MVA.

From the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type.

The Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give.

Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need

The Red Cross expects the number of cancellations to continue to increase, which is causing heightened concern for blood collection organizations and hospitals across the country. This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.

“I am looking at the refrigerator that contains only one day’s supply of blood for the hospital,” said Dr. Robertson Davenport, director of transfusion medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. “The hospital is full. There are patients who need blood and cannot wait.”

“In our experience, the American public comes together to support those in need during times of shortage and that support is needed now more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Unfortunately, when people stop donating blood, it forces doctors to make hard choices about patient care, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life.”

The Red Cross is committed to blood drive safety

“We know that people want to help, but they may be hesitant to visit a blood drive during this time. We want to assure the public that blood donation is a safe process, and we have put additional precautions in place at our blood drives and donation centers to protect all who come out,” said Hrouda.

The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff, including:

· Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.

· Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.

· Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors.

· Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.

At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees already follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection, including:

· Wearing gloves and changing gloves with each donor.

· Routinely wiping down donor-touched areas.

· Using sterile collection sets for every donation.

· Preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.

There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide.

“Volunteer donors are the unsung heroes for patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give, please schedule an appointment to give now,” added Hrouda.

Blood donation process

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

From ACPS: In an effort to keep parents, students, and the public informed about the coronavirus, ACPS has activated a crisis management website as a central location to find important information and updates from the school system. The calendar located on this subsite will also only be populated with updates on how the virus is changing dates for school system events, etc. The address is:https://www.acpsmd.org/Page/3146, but it can be easily accessed from our website,www.acpsmd.org, and selecting the “Schools” drop down menu at the top right of the page and then selecting ACPS Crisis Management.ACPS continues to be in regular contact with and receive guidance from the Allegany County Health Department (ACHD) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). As the situation concerning COVID-19 continues to evolve, ACPS will continue to consult wit….

From GC Government: In light of the evolving situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Garrett County Government is implementing measures to provide a safe and secure environment for employees and customers.
At this time, Garrett County Government will maintain normal operations but will coordinate with the State of Maryland. The County Government will follow the state’s direction concerning the potential closure for County operations.

Garrett County Government COVID-19 Resources:
https://garrettcounty.org/commissioners/coronavirus

Garrett County Health Department COVID-19 Resources:
Phone: 301-334-7698
https://garretthealth.org/coronavirus
Access to all Garrett County Government offices will be limited and appointments must be scheduled for the following services. If you do not have an appointment, access may not be granted.

General Information​​​301-334-8970
​​​​​info@garrettcounty.org
​​​​​www.garrettcounty.org/news

Citizen Connect​​​www.garrettcounty.org/public_users/login

Emergency Management ​​301-334-7609
​​​​​emergencymanagement@garrettcounty.org
​​​​​www.garrettcounty.org/emergency-services

Building Permits​​​301-334-7470
​​​​​permitsandinspections@garrettcouty.org

Water/Sewer Permits​​​301-334-6983
​​​​​publicutilities@garrettcounty.org

Solid Waste​​​​301-387-0322
​​​​​solidwaste@garrettcounty.org

Liquor Control​​​301-334-1925
​​​​​liquorcontrolboard@garrettcounty.org
This protocol is an effort for the continuation of services while limiting contact and best serving the public. Some departments may not be able to maintain full staffing.
Remember to maintain appropriate distance with those who you are interacting with and wash your hands frequently.
The Garrett County Government will be maintaining the most current information at https://www.garrettcounty.org/commissioners/coronavirus.





WV Gov. Jim Justice joined State health, education, and emergency response leaders at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today, holding his latest press conference to continue updating West Virginians on the precautionary measures that are being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the potential spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia. However, it’s anticipated that the disease will come to West Virginia soon. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is providing daily updates on the number of COVID-19 tests and any potential future cases. That information, along with additional alerts and updates, is available online at Coronavirus.wv.gov​​.

“In our state today, we have been really blessed and sheltered, but – without alarming everyone – we all need to know the seriousness of this continues to be real,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re still trying to do every single thing we can do to be proactive in a state that doesn’t have one positive confirmed person yet. We’re trying to be ready in every way we can possibly be.”
Near the end of Monday’s press conference, President Donald J. Trump issued a set of new guidelines for all Americans for the next 15 days to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes avoiding all social gatherings of more than 10 people. Gov. Justice fully supports all of President Trump’s guidelines and urges all West Virginians to follow them completely to ensure everyone is doing their part to help stop the potential spread of the disease.

Before Monday’s press conference, Gov. Justice and several of his cabinet officials took part in a video conference with President Trump, the governors of every state and territory in the country, and other national leaders to discuss preventative measures that are being taken to slow the spread of coronavirus, while also ensuring the public has what they need to live their day-to-day lives.
“I am urging all West Virginians, to stay calm, be smart, use great hygiene, take care of the elderly who you can help – for crying out loud – go to the grocery store for them and just try to look after them.

“The President assured us today that he has been meeting with the leaders of grocery stores across the country,” Gov. Justice continued. “Everyone needs to know that there’s gonna be plenty of food and groceries. You don’t need to make a mad rush on the grocery store.”

President Trump also told Gov. Justice and all video conference participants that Congress will likely pass legislation to make any potential COVID-19 testing free for all Americans.

During the Governor’s press conference Monday, he announced that due to the emerging health threat posed by COVID-19 and in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency, he has declared a State of Emergency for all 55 counties in West Virginia.

Click here to view the proclamation on the Governor’s website

“Declaring a State of Emergency will open up every resource we’ve got as a State that we can use to fight the spread of this disease,” Gov. Justice said. “This is yet another example of us being as proactive as we possibly can be, even though we don’t have a positive case yet. We are doing everything we can to be prepared so we can help protect all West Virginians.”
STATE OF EMERGENCY DETAILS:
The State of Emergency orders the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia Division of Homeland Security, and Emergency Management and the West Virginia National Guard to mobilize appropriate personnel and resources to respond to the emergency. It also orders all other state agencies to assist as may be requested and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected areas and people in the state.

The State of Emergency also delegates administrative powers to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the Director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the West Virginia National Guard, as necessary, to facilitate the provision of essential emergency services to alleviate the potential impacts to the people, property, and infrastructure of West Virginia that may be caused by this outbreak.

The State of Emergency also orders that it is unlawful for any person, business, or other entity to sell any food items, essential consumer items, and emergency supplies in a manner that violates the West Virginia 


PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that mitigation efforts put into effect over the past few days in Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Allegheny counties will now be in effect statewide, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 17.

“Earlier today, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut imposed similar restrictions, and I thank the residents of these states for joining Pennsylvania in working together to halt the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “I know the next few weeks will be challenging. There is no reason to be fearful, or to panic, but we need to take this disease seriously. Please, stay home. Make as few in-person contacts as you can.”

Guidance previously announced for Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Allegheny counties will now expand statewide as of 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 17, continuing for 14 days. This guidance applies to all 67 counties in the commonwealth. 

Gov. Wolf is permitted under law to enforce closures; however, the governor’s approach is to reinforce that it is incumbent on all of us to help mitigate the spread, knowing that compliance can help to protect customers, employees, and the community. The administration supports local law enforcement, permitting entities, and local officials to enforce if needed. The governor does not want to expend valuable resources from the state police and PA National Guard because irresponsible people choose not to do the right thing.

Statewide Mitigation Efforts beginning at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 17include:

  • All restaurants and bars close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.
  • A no-visitor policy for correctional facilities and nursing homes has been implemented and will be evaluated for other facilities.
  • Freedom of travel will remain, but all Pennsylvanians are asked to refrain from non-essential travel.
  • All child care centers licensed by the commonwealth close as of Tuesday, March 17 and will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 14-day statewide closures. Philadelphia County families should check with their child care facilities to determine status of business operations.
  • Adult day care centers, adult training facilities, Provocations facilities, LIFE centers and Senior Community Centers close beginning Tuesday, March 17and will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 14-day statewide closures.
  • Essential State, County, and Municipal services will be open: police, fire, emergency medical services, sanitation, and essential services for vulnerable populations.
  • Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations will remain open. The administration issued guidance for non-essential businesses, such as gyms, movie theaters and shopping malls during county-specific mitigation periods to protect employees, customers, and suppliers and limit the spread of the virus through personal contact and surfaces. Additional statewide business guidance is forthcoming.
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced on March 13 that all K-12 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on March 13 that all K-12 Pennsylvaniaschools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16. 
  • The Wolf Administration strongly encourages the suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of more than 10 people, and per White House guidelines, ask that individuals and groups cancel any gatherings planned over the next eight weeks.
  • The Wolf Administration encourages religious leaders to exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness.
  • Restricted visitors in state centers to ensure health and safety for individuals with an intellectual disability.
  • Restricted visitors in assisted living and personal care homes to minimize exposure to our seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Commonwealth Employees

  • The Office of Administration will provide a message to all commonwealth employees regarding telework.
  • Individuals will be instructed to work from home if feasible.
  • The commonwealth is authorizing a 10 workday paid absence for individuals who don’t have telework capabilities.
  • Commonwealth facilities that provide essential services will remain open.
  • County-administered facilities will follow the same procedures as those of the state.

COVID-19 Case Information Update

The Department of Health stressed the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics

For the daily COVID-19 Report, visit here.

For all press releases regarding coronavirus, please visit here.

Find the latest information on the coronavirus here.

Photos of the state’s lab in Exton are available for download and use here.

Coronavirus and preparedness graphics are available here near the bottom of the page: On.pa.gov/coronavirus


To reduce the spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia implements the following guidance for all judicial offices:If you have COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to a known case of the disease, DO NOT COME TO COURT. Please contact judicial staff by telephone for guidance. For matters in circuit court, please contact the office of the presiding judge. For matters in magistrate court, please contact the Magistrate Clerk’s Office. For matters in family court, please contact the office of the presiding judge. For all other questions, please contact the Circuit Clerk’s Office. For matters before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, please contact the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office.Court officials may order a person with suspected COVID-19 symptoms to leave the court facility.Parties and attorneys infected by or exposed to COVID-19, or those substantially affected by public health containment efforts, are encouraged to timely seek extensions in-time, continuances, modified schedules, or accommodations if circumstances warrant.Individuals that fraudulently use public health efforts to impact court proceedings for personal gain or to avoid a legal obligation may be subject to civil or criminal contempt proceedings and penalties and/or sanctions. Attorneys violating the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct may be subject to referral to the West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel.Individuals with questions about COVID-19 should consult their health care provider, or call the State’s 24/7 COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-887-4304. General information is also available from the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources at www.coronavirus.wv.gov

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone today announced $10.2 million in federal funding for Maryland’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This funding represents our collective commitment to responding with strength and unity to this public health emergency. The decisions that we all make today will have enormous consequences for lives and livelihoods throughout Maryland,” said the lawmakers. “Team Maryland will continue to work closely with Governor Hogan and Maryland state and local officials as these resources are put to work in communities throughout the state.”  

These resources are made available through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act passed with the strong support of the Maryland Congressional Delegation. That legislation directed resources be made available to states, localities, and territories for planning and operational readiness, the development of tools and strategies, technical assistance and program support, and communication and coordination among public health agencies and partners. This funding follows the initial $500,000 announced by the delegation on March 5. 

Per the CDC, funds made available today may be used for many of the following activities, including, but not limited:

·   Epidemiology

·   Surveillance

·   Laboratory

·   Case identification

·   Public health management and risk assessment of travelers and other persons with potential COVID-19 exposures and confirmed diagnoses

·   Travelers health

·   Data management

·   Equipment, supplies, and shipping

·   Infection control

·   Surge staffing

·   Distribution and use of medical material

·   Emergency operations and coordination

·   Risk communications

Earlier today, the Wolf Administration strongly urged non-essential businesses across the state to close for at least 14 days to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The governor’s request protects employees, customers, and suppliers and limits the spread of the virus through personal contact and surfaces. Previously the governor designated Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County as mitigation counties with Allegheny County launching its own mitigation efforts. These efforts will now be expanded commonwealth-wide beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.  

“We strongly urge non-essential businesses across the commonwealth to do their part by temporarily closing as we work to flatten the curve and protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “We understand that businesses are an economic driver throughout Pennsylvania, and a temporary closure will be a financial and community disruptor. DCED is committed to working with the business community to provide helpful resources for financial assistance.” 

Non-essential businesses include public-facing industries such as entertainment, hospitality, and recreation facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations. 

Further, the Governor has ordered that all restaurants and bars close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited. These businesses offering carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration’s guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. 

Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.  

Although these businesses may remain open, the Wolf Administration continues to encourage them to employ social distancing practices, and encourages Pennsylvanians to be thoughtful in their visits. 

Other businesses, including but not limited to legal services, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services are encouraged to have employees work remotely or telecommute. If that is not possible, they should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration’s guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.  

Philadelphia has separately provided guidance for businesses. Businesses in Philadelphia County should follow the city’s guidance. 

DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to http://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. The U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to local funding partners, may also be a source of assistance for affected businesses. 

The Wolf Administration is relying on businesses to act now before the governor or the Secretary of Health finds it necessary to compel closures under the law for the interest of public health, including section 7301 of the Emergency Management Services Code. 

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Maryland state courts will require onlyessential employees to report to courthouse locations and court offices. Court locations and offices will be minimally staffed to hear emergency court matters and to answer calls between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All other employees able to work from home will do so at the direction of their supervisor.

Emergency matters include, but are not limited to, domestic violence petitions, family law emergencies, extreme risk protective orders, bail reviews, juvenile detention hearings, and search warrants. These matters will continue to be processed by the courts and its reduced workforce until Friday, April 3, 2020, or further notice.

All other non-emergency matters scheduled for a court hearing or proceeding will be postponed, and courthouses across the state will remain closed to members of the general public until April 3, 2020, or further notice. 

The new administrative order issued today, Monday, March 16, 2020, allows administrative judges, court administrators, clerks of court, administrative clerks, and administrative heads, to identify “essential personnel.”

“In response to COVID-19, the Maryland Judiciary is taking further action to protect court visitors and Judiciary personnel,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “The health and well-being of all Marylanders continue to be a top priority as we ensure that essential court operations continue during this public health emergency.”

The Maryland Judiciary’s electronic filing system, referred to as MDEC, remains available and is required to be used in all MDEC counties. In non-MDEC counties or for self-represented litigants, filings can be mailed to your local clerk’s office or can be dropped off in a drop box.

Monday’s order replaces the administrative order issued Friday, March 13, 2020. You can read the new Administrative Order on Statewide Judiciary Restricted Operations Due to the COVID-19 Emergency issued March 16, 2020, here:https://mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/admin-orders/20200316restrictedoperationsduetocovid19.pdf.

The Maryland Judiciary’s online portal CaseSearch will be updated as clerk’s offices across the state process filings during this public health emergency. 


From AC DES: Nationally there are more than 4,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and with the death toll nearing 100 citizens, the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services and the Allegany County Health Department along with state agencies continue to monitor the situation, prepare, train and educate staff and the public.

“As we see the number grow nationally, in the tri-state area and in Washington D.C, Maryland and Virginia, we have to take immediate precautions to protect our staff and citizens in Allegany County,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “We have made some changes in our emergency call taking procedures and response precautions.”

We want citizens that are calling 911 to know that it is vital they answer the questions asked by the emergency communication specialist, Pyles said.

“It may seem like care is being delayed by the few additional questions that have been added…it has not. Our second dispatcher is monitoring the call and can dispatch an ambulance or fire department as soon as enough information is provided,” Deputy Director Roger Bennett said. “State agencies requested that we add additional questions specifically related to travel, fever, cough and trouble breathing to our emergency medical dispatch protocols.”

Bennett continued that this information is relayed to responding units so they can take appropriate precautions when they arrive on the scene.

“When emergency units arrive on the scene, gloves have always been part of universal precautions to protect against bloodborne pathogens. Please, don’t be alarmed when pre-hospital clinicians arrive and they are using gloves, a surgical mask or face shield and gowns,” Pyles said. “These precautions are to protect the emergency responders.”

As we receive daily updates from other agencies involved, direction is provided to command staff, joint communications, emergency management and EMS operations, Bennett said.

“Our daily supervisors, both at the joint communications center and EMS operational lieutenants will monitor personnel for cough, flu-like symptoms. We encourage any employee that is sick, to stay home,” Bennett said. “It is a priority that we keep our communications specialist and EMS operation staff healthy and available to the public.”

Pyles continued that not all cases where COVID-19 is suspected will be confirmed cases.

“The virus cannot be confirmed without testing performed by a healthcare facility,” Pyles said. “Our personnel will use the highest level of protection in every suspected case to ensure that the patient, pre-hospital clinicians, bystanders and other healthcare providers are safeguarded against the spread of the virus.”

“We have had several individuals in Allegany County tested for COVID-19 with no confirmed cases,” Pyles said. “If and when a confirmed case develops in Allegany County, the public will be immediately notified.”

Health officials report that citizens can reduce their risk of infection by cleaning their hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water; cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow; and avoid close contact, approximately three feet with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Pyles said that health officials recommend patients that are symptomatic to contact their primary physicians or local urgent cares before just arriving. This allows the medical offices to provide the best direction to the patient, while maintaining the safety and protection of other patients and staff.

“We have taken the recommendation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, local medical direction and the county health department and cancelled all meetings and gathering with greater than 10 participants,” Pyles said. “We are aggressively working with the agencies mentioned above to help contain and minimize the spread of the virus.”


From ACHD: The Allegany County Health Department has activated their call center to respond to questions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The call center will be open and staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached by calling the main health department phone number, 301-759-5000.

“We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in our communities right now concerning COVID-19,” stated Jenelle Mayer, Health Officer for Allegany County. “In addition to our web site, social media, and area news outlets, the call center is another way we can provide accurate and timely information to the public.”

The health department continues to stress that individuals who think they may have coronavirus disease should stay home and call their healthcare provider to inquire about testing to avoid exposing others. If testing criteria are met, healthcare providers can determine the safest location for testing to minimize the risk to others.

It is estimated that 80% of those who contract COVID-19 will experience only mild to moderate illness. However, for the elderly and those with underlying health issues (heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, for example) there is a much higher risk for serious complications or death.

For additional information on COVID-19 visit the Allegany County Health Department’s website at health.maryland.gov/allegany.

As a result of the mandatory telework order for State offices during efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Allegany County Health Department is limiting the services it provides in person.

Until further notice, the following services will no longer be available in person at the Health Department:

Service
What should I do?
Birth certificates
Apply online, by mail, or by phone
https://health.maryland.gov/vsa/Pages/certs.aspx
Death certificates
Apply online, by mail, or by phone
https://health.maryland.gov/vsa/Pages/certs.aspx
Mental health walk-ins
Call and make an appointment
301-759-5280
Substance abuse walk-ins
Call and make an appointment
301-759-5280
STI testing
If you are experiencing symptoms, call us at 301-759-5000.
Vaccines
Contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist
Dental cleanings
The dental clinic is providing emergency and urgent care only. Call 301-759-5030.
Burning permits
Burning permits are not being issued at this time. County residents who choose to burn brush should follow all applicable rules and regulations.
Temporary food service permits
No new temporary food service permits will be issued.

Individuals with questions regarding these or other health department services should call 301-759-5000. For services not impacted by these changes, remember to always call ahead and don’t come in if you aren’t feeling well.


MD Governor Larry Hogan is shutting down all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms effective 5pm today and prohibiting any gatherings of more than 50 people anywhere in MD.  Drive through and carry out and food delivery services will be allowed to continue. He says these emergency orders carry the full force of the law. Essential services such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and banks will remain open. Utility shut offs and evictions will be prohibited. Three meals and a snack will be distributed to school children in need across the state. Hogan says the state and federal leaders are working on addressing the impacts on residents financially.

Governor Larry Hogan today ordered the closure of bars and restaurants, and expanded the prohibition on gatherings to those of more than 50 people—the latest in a series of unprecedented actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor also announced a public health surge to combat this crisis and ensure that Maryland has the capacity and the infrastructure to treat patients.

“We have never faced anything like this ever before,” said Governor Hogan. “This is going to be much harder, take much longer, and be much worse than almost anyone is currently understanding. And unfortunately, far too many people have chosen to continue crowding bars and restaurants, willingly putting the health and safety of others in grave danger. Decision makers at the federal, state, and local level are going to have to take drastic actions right now that may seem scary and may sound extreme. They will be terribly disruptive, but they are also absolutely necessary to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

Below is a comprehensive list of actions the governor announced during his press conference at Government House:

Social Distancing

CLOSURE OF BARS, RESTAURANTS, FITNESS CENTERS, AND THEATERS: Governor Hogan has issued an amended executive order to close all bars and restaurants in the state, as well as fitness centers, spas, and theaters, effective at 5:00 p.m. today. Read the emergency order. 

The order allows for restaurants to continue carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery services, and allows for eateries in health care facilities to remain open.

PROHIBITION ON GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE: Effective immediately, gatherings of more than 50 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues. Read the emergency order.

Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded.

Public Health Surge

“At my direction, we are marshaling every tool in the arsenal of public health to combat this crisis and slow the spread of this pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “It is impossible to know how long this threat will continue. What I do know is that we cannot afford to wait to take action. While these measures may seem extreme, if we don’t take them now, it could be too late.”

Governor Hogan has issued an omnibus health care order that puts into place the following:

STANDING UP AN ADDITIONAL 6,000 BEDS: Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to work with providers to reopen closed hospital facilities across the state and take other measures necessary to immediately increase our capacity by an additional 6,000 beds.

ACTIVATION OF MARYLAND RESPONDS MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS: At the governor’s direction, the Secretary of Health has activated the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, a trained and dedicated force of 5,000 volunteers from across the state. 

RESOURCE CONTROL: The Secretary of Health is ordered to establish and implement appropriate policies and procedures for receiving, stockpiling, rationing, and distributing all assets received by the State of Maryland from the Strategic National Stockpile and all assets needed for COVID-19 testing.

INTERSTATE RECIPROCITY FOR HEALTH CARE LICENSES: Under the order, any person who holds a valid, unexpired license as a health care practitioner that is issued by another state may, at a health care facility in Maryland, engage in the activities authorized under that license.

INACTIVE PRACTITIONERS: Any inactive practitioner may, at a health care facility in Maryland, engage in activities that would have been authorized under his/her inactive license without first reinstating his/her inactive license.

ELECTIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURES: The Secretary of Health is authorized and ordered to take actions to control, restrict, and regulate the use of health care facilities for the performance of elective medical procedures, as necessary to respond to the catastrophic health emergency.

Relief for Residents and Families

PROHIBITION ON UTILITY SHUTOFFS: Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer’s service, or charging any residential late fees. Read the governor’s emergency order.

PROHIBITION ON EVICTIONS: Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of COVID-19—for example, because of lost or reduced unemployment, or needing to care for a school-aged child—or because they are diagnosed with, or under investigation for, COVID-19. Read the governor’s emergency order.

EXPANSION OF AVAILABLE SCHOOL MEALS: State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) applied for a federal waiver and beginning today, has the capability to provide three meals a day, and a snack, to students impacted by the statewide closure of schools. MSDE has 138 meal distribution centers across the state, which can be found at mdsummerschools.org.

Activation of Additional Personnel

NATIONAL GUARD: After issuing an executive order last week directing the National Guard to move to a higher state of readiness, the governor announced the activation of two Area Support Medical Companies in order to carry out any necessary emergency functions and critical areas of need in the coming weeks. At the direction of Major General Timothy Gowen, as of Monday, 1,000 Maryland National Guard soldiers and airmen are fully activated and another 1,200 guardsmen are currently in a state of enhanced readiness.

MOBILE FIELD FORCE: At the direction of Colonel Jerry Jones, the Maryland State Police has activated its Mobile Field Force, which is composed of 250 Maryland State Troopers who are ready to be deployed across the state.

Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. Members of the business community are encouraged to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.

State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.


To the extent possible, teachers were asked to provide students with assignments or resources that could enhance past and/or current learning during the next two weeks. Content supervisors have also provided information about online resources, which can be found on the school system’s website under the Parents and Students tabs here: https://www.acpsmd.org/domain/18. Please note that the recommendation for giving students classroom resources was directed by Dr. Karen Salmon, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. Students will not be penalized for completion or non-completion of any work sent home during the two-week period. This is supplemental to help students stay connected to their learning. ACPS will continue to keep parents updated. 

In recognition of Governor Larry Hogan’s executive orders and in the interest of protecting the staff and public doing business with Allegany County Government, the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County announced today that access to the Allegany County Government building located at 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland will be limited by appointment only. This includes permitting issues handled by the Department of Planning and Growth. The public will still be permitted to make tax and utility payments in person; however, the public is strongly encouraged to pay the same online on the county’s website (alleganygov.org).

For more information regarding resources provided by County government, please visitalleganygov.org or call 301-777-2526.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey called upon consumers to be smart and vigilant as they conduct business during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Attorney General discussed a broad range of consumer issues directly affected by the pandemic, including the adequacy of supply and the office’s outreach to retail stores. Other topics involved efforts to fight price gouging, alert consumers to coronavirus scams and help for those dealing with prepaid travel and events.

Any consumer wishing to ask such questions or file a complaint should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

“The coronavirus pandemic presents a challenge like none other,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “COVID-19 has seemingly affected every aspect of life from the average trip to buy groceries, dine out and attend concerts or sporting events to one’s dream vacation planned months, if not years, in advance.

“Furthermore, the impact is still evolving, yet the need for consumers to be vigilant and take common-sense steps to protect their financial wellbeing is constant.”

Supply Chain: Empty store shelves are no doubt a concern and inconvenience; however, consumers should realize this is only temporary. Most shelves should be replenished within a day or so. This means there is no need for hoarding as our nation has an adequate food supply to see us through the pandemic.

Our office is in contact with executives for major retailers to stay abreast of supply issues and proactively enforce the state’s price gouging law.

Price Gouging: The state’s price gouging law took effect March 4 with the Governor’s state of preparedness declaration. The law makes it unlawful for any person, business or contractor to inflate the price of food items, essential consumer items and emergency supplies by more than 10 percent of what the items sold for 10 days prior to the declaration.

Any consumer who believes he or she may have been charged prices that increased dramatically after the March 4 declaration should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Those with a receipt should attach a copy to their complaint.

Travel/Event Cancellations: Many airlines, vacation entities and entertainment providers are loosening cancellation policies due to the pandemic. While our office applauds those efforts, our attorneys stand ready to assist consumers when the refusal of a refund or other appropriate accommodation violates the state’s consumer protection laws.

Consumers should contact their travel or event provider and inquire about its cancellation/refund policy in times of crisis, after which the consumer should ask for a refund and, if accommodations are denied, promptly file a written complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.

Coronavirus Scams: Consumers should be wary of criminals who set up websites to sell bogus products. Such ploys often use fake emails, texts and social media posts, or may even promote awareness or fake information about cases in a local neighborhood and may seek donations for a sham charity or offer advice on unproven treatments.

All of these are a ruse to steal the consumer’s money and/or personal, identifiable information. This means be cautious with any unsolicited email, phone call or other forms of communication and never share such data or agree to send cash, wire money or provide numbers associated with a credit/debit card, gift card or bank account without verifying the legitimacy of the recipient.


MD Governor Larry Hogan is shutting down all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms effective 5pm today and prohibiting any gatherings of more than 50 people anywhere in MD. Drive through and carry out and food delivery services will be allowed to continue. He says these emergency orders carry the full force of the law. Essential services such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and banks will remain open. Utility shut offs and evictions will be prohibited. Three meals and a snack will be distributed to school children in need across the state. Hogan says the state and federal leaders are working on addressing the impacts on residents financially

Following Governor Larry Hogan’s emergency actions to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services is temporarily halting spring trout stocking effective immediately until further notice.

From MD Health Connection: In an effort to prioritize health and safety and in response to Coronavirus, Maryland Health Connection opened an emergency special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders.You can enroll in a health plan starting Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Coverage will begin April 1, 2020, regardless of when a health plan is selected during that time period.Medicaid enrollment is available all year.Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. When enrolling, consumers should request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.”The online application is available daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Deaf and hard of hearing may use Relay.While free, in-person assistance is still available in some areas of the state, we strongly encourage you to apply using the website, mobile app or by phone.Is Coronavirus testing covered under a Maryland Health Connection plan or Medicaid?Yes. Health insurance companies are required to waive cost-sharing, including lab fees, co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for any visit to test for coronavirus at a doctor’s office, urgent care center, or emergency room.Can I qualify for the Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period even if I’m not sick?Yes. All eligible, uninsured Marylanders may qualify for this emergency special enrollment period.What do I need to apply?Have these items ready when you apply.We encourage all residents to closely follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) for all health-related coronavirus questions.More information about Coronavirus and your coverage can be found on our blog and on Twitter and Facebook

From Dawne Lindsey Allegany County Clerk of Court: Pursuant to Chief Judge Barbera’s Order of March 13, 2020, the Allegany County Circuit Court, Courthouse, 30 Washington Street, Cumberland, MD is closed to the public on an emergency basis provided, however, that Judiciary operations shall continue to the extent practicable. As identified in Chief Judge Barbera’s Order, seventeen (17) matters which the Court schedules and hears on an urgent basis, consistent with statutory requests, will continue to be addressed by the Court on a priority basis.
Cases that are scheduled for trials, motions or hearings on March 16, 2020 shall be heard, provided the parties, counsel and witnesses are available and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness on a self-reporting basis. Only the parties, attorneys, testifying witnesses are permitted to attend those trials, motions or hearings, unless permission is expressly granted by the presiding judge.
While Chief Judge Barbera’s March 13, 2020 Order remains in effect, the Circuit Court is available to hear and consider non-jury cases which have been previously scheduled for hearing or trial. Counsel should consult with opposing counsel, if represented, to determine that the parties, counsel and witnesses are available and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness on a self- reporting basis. If the parties are willing to proceed with the hearing or trial recognizing that members of the public will be excluded, they are asked to contact the Chambers of the assigned judge and advise of the parties’ intent to go forward on the assigned date and time.
All criminal cases scheduled for Status hearings on March 17, 24 or 31, 2020 shall proceed as scheduled to make a MD Rule 4-271 (Hicks) determination. All other matters scheduled to be heard between March 16, 2020 through April 3, 2020 are postponed pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

From WV Dept of Ed: Making sure the nutritional needs of school children are met during the statewide school closure is one of WV Department of Education’s top priorities. You can find your local feeding site by visiting https://wvde.us/covid19/feeding-site-information/

In light of the serious public health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order to close all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities to the general public indefinitely.“This situation continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically,” said Governor Hogan. “These are unprecedented actions in an extraordinary situation, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe.”
The following properties are affected by the governor’s emergency order, which takes effect at midnight on Monday, March 16, 2020and will remain in effect until the state of emergency has been terminated or until superseded by other orders:
MGM National Harbor
Live! Casino & Hotel
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
Hollywood Casino Perryville
Ocean Downs Casino
Rocky Gap Casino Resort

Laurel Park
Pimlico Race Course
Timonium Race Course
Fair Hill Races
Rosecroft Raceway
Ocean Downs
All simulcast betting facilities in the state
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will work with casinos to facilitate an orderly shutdown of operations. This order does not apply to hotels adjacent to casinos. Read the governor’s emergency order.
Additionally, Governor Hogan reiterated that failure to follow his order prohibiting large gatherings is a crime, and will be enforced if businesses fail to comply.
“It is critical to public health and safety that bars, restaurants, and other businesses across the state comply with the l aw,” said Governor Hogan. “Anyone who hosts or is part of the crowds in bars this weekend is jeopardizing the health of others and must avoid any contact with family members or friends over the age of 60 or those with underlying health conditions.”
Resources for Businesses. The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. We encourage members of the business community to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.
State of Emergency. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visitcoronavirus.maryland.gov.

From the Archdiocese of Baltimore:After receiving an update from State officials late today on the current impact of the COVID-19 virus and acting on the advice of medical professionals, Archbishop William E Lori has determined that to safeguard the well-being the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and to prevent further community spread of the virus, all public Masses are canceled until further notice.
Archbishop Lori will celebrate a private Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen at 11 a.m. Sunday. A livestream of the Mass, along with other spiritual resources, will be available through www.archbalt.org. The faithful are encouraged to remain connected to their parishes and invited to participate in the Mass via broadcast and livestream.“My highest priority is the safety and welfare of the people of God of this Archdiocese,” Archbishop Lori said. “I take this step with great sadness, but also with wholehearted determination that we continue to provide for the spiritual well-being of the faithful at a time when their faith is most needed.”

WV Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Education announced today that they have updated the statewide school closure plan,originally announced Friday, March 13, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.OVERVIEW:All schools will remain closed to students through at least Friday, March 27.Essential staff, as determined by each county board of education, will report Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18 to develop continuity plans for students.All teachers, staff, and school service personnel will report Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20.
County boards of education will determine staff requirements for Monday, March 23 and beyond.
“At the heart of everything we are doing right now is the protection of our children, making sure our schools are safe for our teachers and staff, and making every effort to protect all of the people of West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “I have been and will remain in constant contact with Superintendent Burch, and we both have heard the concerns of our teachers and school service personnel. We want to make sure all their concerns are taken into consideration as we develop our plans.”All schools will remain closed to students through at least March 27, 2020. No return date for students has been set at this time. Gov. Justice, State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch, and other education leaders will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments throughout this two-week period, with the goal of getting students back to class as soon as safely possible.Only essential staff will report on Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18, and county superintendents will determine who these employees are in their counties. During this time, the county superintendents will work with local boards of education, leadership teams, and essential staff to devise a continuity plan that outlines how to best meet the needs of students and the community during this extended closure.

All child nutrition programs will be minimally affected by this statewide school closure. Essential personnel including transportation staff, custodial staff, and food service staff are necessary during this time to ensure child nutrition efforts are implemented effectively for the over 200,000 students who rely on school meals for their daily nutrition. County boards of education may use school buses to transport meals to students throughout the duration of the closure.“I want to commend all our school service personnel and school leadership for their commitment to our students and for making sure school meals are available to kids who truly need them,” Gov. Justice said. “At the end of the day, these are tough decisions being made as the result of a tough situation. But I truly believe, in my heart, that these are the things we need to do to keep all West Virginians as safe as possible.”All remaining teachers and staff will return to work on Thursday, March 19and Friday, March 20 to make sure plans are properly implemented so student needs, educator well-being, and the continuity of instruction are properly addressed.County boards of education will determine staff requirements for Monday, March 23 and beyond. The county leadership team may choose to establish flexible work options including adjusted schedules and remote work.“Every effort will be made so that the final school day will be the original date scheduled by the county, so there will be minimal disruption to summer vacations for our students and their families,” Gov. Justice said. “As we work through these troubled times we will do everything we can to not disrupt our lives any more than necessary. That also means that our kids will still be learning through a multitude of ways such as online classes or any and every concept our educators can come up with during this closure.”Beyond online instruction, county leadership teams have an array of options to ensure the delivery of instruction including distance learning, telecommunication, electronic communication, traditional instructional packets, and more.“Governor Justice, with his experience as a teacher and a coach, has an incredible grasp on this situation and he is showing incredible leadership for our students, teachers, staff, and really all people across West Virginia,” Superintendent Burch said. “It’s amazing to watch his calm, intellectual approach to this tremendous problem.“Educators have always risen to the occasion to meet the needs of our students and I am fully confident they will step up in a big way to help us solve this challenge as well,” Superintendent Burch continued. “At the same time, we understand the need for educators to have flexibility so that they can best meet the needs of our students while also addressing the health and well-being of their own families. Even though this is uncharted territory, we will also be flexible in putting measures in place to support our children, families, educators, and staff.”More information on the Department of Education’s plans to supplement student learning and nutrition will be available at wvde.us/COVID19.The West Virginia National Guard and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture are also prepared to step in and support counties in offering adequate student support.For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, you can call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-877-4304 or visitCoronavirus.wv.gov.

US Congressman Trone: Congressman David Trone (MD-06) released a 17-page community resource guide containing information for federal, state, and local guidance related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Trone will continue to update the guide as more information and resources become available.
Trone released the guide a day after the House of Representatives passed the Families First Act, a bill that would provide free coronavirus testing for everyone, paid sick leave, expanded unemployment insurance, and funding for food security targeted toward seniors, students, and other vulnerable populations. This legislation follows the $8.3 billion supplemental the House passed previously and the President signed into law. “The coronavirus outbreak is on the forefront of all of our minds as the virus continues to spread globally and within our community, and this resource guide will help direct everyone in Maryland’s Sixth District to the best place to find information,” said Congressman David Trone. “During this unprecedented health emergency, it’s important that everyone know the resources to turn to if they have questions or concerns in order to keep our families and communities safe.”
https://trone.house.gov/sites/trone.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/COVID-19%20Community%20Resource%20Guide.pdf
MD Governor Larry Hogan today enacted an emergency order to expand child care access to child care for critical personnel during the state of emergency. This will help ensure that child care services are available for providers of health care, emergency medical services, and law enforcement personnel while schools are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.“Our state has taken major and unprecedented actions to protect the health, the safety, and the welfare of the people of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “As we continue to operate under a state of emergency, we are committed to doing everything in our power to maintain our essential services, including child care, especially for those who are on the front lines helping us combat this public health threat.”
As part of the directive she issued on Thursday, State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that plans would be developed to ensure that the children of emergency services personnel have access to childcare throughout during a prolonged period of school closure. This order gives the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) the flexibility to work with regional and local officials to quickly and effectively make child care services available that adhere to public health guidelines.
Read the governor’s emergency order.
Enhanced Guidelines for Child Care Programs
Additionally, Superintendent Salmon has issued enhanced guidelines for child care programs and day care facilities to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Every child care and day care provider in our state is essential to our mission of maintaining essential services in this time of crisis,” said Dr. Salmon. “We are providing these guidelines to make sure that child care programs can continue to operate while helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Child care programs must take extraordinary precautions beyond what is normally recommended to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including: Mandating social distancing and keeping children in small groups (no more than 10 children clustered in an activity): absolutely no large group activities.
Instructing staff to monitor for symptoms, and stay home if they are sick.
Instructing parents/guardians to keep children home if they or any member of the household exhibits symptoms.
Mandating frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing one’s nose. Teachers should help young children do the same. If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands.
Providing children with soap and water to wash hands; adults may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, but this is very toxic to children.
Advising persons to avoid touching their face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands).
Increasing the early childhood program’s cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, while being careful with children in the near vicinity. Emphasizing cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surface

Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and cleaning hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).
Providing adequate supplies for good hygiene, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol‐based hand sanitizer.
Restricting field trips.
Restricting outside visitors and volunteers
Special processes beyond routine cleaning are not necessary nor recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Programs should follow standard procedures for cleaning as recommended below by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands‐on learning items, faucet handles, phones and toys.
The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced today the closing of all pre-k – 12 schools in the state. This comes after several measures were taken this week, including the canceling of all out-of-state travel and the suspension of all afterschool and school extracurricular activities. Though at this time there are no positive cases of COVID-19, this step was taken out of an abundance of caution. Child nutrition programs will continue throughout the school closure.While schools are closed to students, faculty and staff are expected to report to work. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has been working with county superintendents for several weeks to update emergency preparedness plans, which will now be implemented. Each county has worked with its local health department to meet the specific needs of children, families and communities.“I support the Governor’s decision to cancel school as a preemptive measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, W. Clayton Burch. “The health and safety of our children is our foremost concern. We will work closely with our community partners, including the West Virginia National Guard, state agencies, organizations, school employees and families to meet the needs of our students whether it be food distribution or other important supports.”The WVDE has been actively working with the federal government to ensure that students relying on school breakfast and lunch programs will continue to receive those meals. Additionally, the WVDE will support counties in addressing any other flexibilities that need to be implemented to assist children and families while schools are closed. Superintendent Burch will continue to work closely with Governor Justice, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and other state agencies to monitor the situation and provide updates to counties as developments occur.For more information and updates on the coronavirus situation in West Virginia, please visit coronavirus.wv.gov or wvde.us/COVID-19.

With the heightened measures announced by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan yesterday, the City of Cumberland is monitoring this very dynamic and quickly evolving situation.  With no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our region, the risk to our area is still low; however, in an abundance of caution, preparations are being made, should our area be directly affected.
➢ The City has ceased business travel to out-of-state locations, unless specially authorized by the City Administrator.
➢ All departments within the City are reviewing plans and identifying essential personnel to ensure the continuity of operations in an emergency situation.
➢ The City is coordinating efforts with other government agencies to facilitate mutual aid for emergency situations.
➢ The City is exploring the possibility of live streaming public meetings so citizens can continue observation without extra risk. To further accommodate social distancing measures and prevent the spread of illness, the City would like to remind citizens about and encourage the use of online billing and payment for Utility bills.  A one-time registration on the myCity utility billing portal will enable utility bills to be sent electronically every month, lessening the possibility of a bill getting lost.  Users of the portal can log in each month and make a payment by credit card or electronic check payment (ACH), with no additional fees, no postage and no worry that the payment is delayed in the mail.  To begin online billing and payment, visit  https://cumberlandmd.authoritypay.com/.  Residents may also make a Utility payment via credit card by calling City Hall at 301-759-6409, Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4 pm

Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) will further extend Spring Break through Sunday, March 22. This includes current online courses. All credit courses will be offered online from Monday, March 23 until at least Sunday, April 5.Non-credit classes and training through the ACM Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development will suspend instruction beginning Monday, March 16 and continuing through Sunday, April 5. This includes ACM workforce trainings offered through the Bedford County Technical Center.ACM will be open for students who wish to complete their online coursework at the College or utilize Student Services during normal business hours. Students are not required to be on campus while credit courses are offered online. Students enrolled in clinical experiences or field classes are asked to contact their Program Director for additional information. ACM’s Culinaire Café in Downtown Cumberland will be closed until at least Monday, April 6 and will tentatively reopen on Tuesday, April 7. The cafeteria on the Cumberland campus will offer limited service hours. The Pantry, which provides food and personal care products to current ACM students in need, will be open by appointment. ACM’s Early College classes taught in public high schools will follow the status of their local school districts.Student group tours and the Spring Transfer Fair scheduled for March 26 are canceled. All non-essential College events, gatherings, and activities involving 25 or more people are strongly discouraged. Student athletes are asked to contact Athletic Director Tommie Reams for updates regarding practices and scheduled games.Students are asked to monitor ACM’s website and their student email account for continued updates. ACM’s COVID-19 webpage at www.allegany.edu/coronaviruswill have the most current information.Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who exhibit coronavirus 2019 disease symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) are asked to refrain from visiting ACM’s six locations. “We appreciate the patience of our students and their families as we strive to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire college community during this ever-evolving public health crisis. Like other colleges across the nation, we can’t anticipate the impact that the novel coronavirus disease 2019 may have on our institution this semester,” said ACM President Dr. Cynthia Bambara.There are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at ACM or in Western Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced aggressive, ongoing measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on March 12 following Maryland’s first case of community transmission.Questions may be directed to the ACM Information Center at 301-784-5005.

The ACPS Food Service Department will provide “brown-bag” to-go lunches for students beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. This service will run Monday-Friday, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at each school until further notice. The brown bags will be distributed in the school lobby. Students and non-essential staff are not permitted in any other area of the building. Brown bags may be picked up by parents/students at any of the schools (even if they are not enrolled in that school) during the scheduled pick-up times.

In response to Governor Hogan’s executive order announced today, March 12, 2020, detailing a state-wide emergency action plan in response to the spread of COVID-19, the Mayor and City Council of Cumberland announce that, in order to deter an overly large gathering of people expected this weekend for the Hooley Pub Crawl, they will be meeting in special session tomorrow to rescind their approval to lift the open container provisions of the City Code in the downtown. Local bars and businesses in the downtown will be opened as planned.The Mayor and City Council encourage everyone to comply with the Governor’s directive and remain vigilant and educated on the news pertaining to the virus. The local informational clearinghouse is the Allegany County Health Department. The Health Department’s website has additional information that may be accessed at: https://health.maryland.gov/allegany/Pages/Home.aspx

MD Governor Larry Hogan today announced a series of major actions to protect public health and safety and limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland. Earlier today, the state reported its first case of community transmission. 
“This problem continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically,” said Governor Hogan. “For Marylanders, the actions I have announced here today will be disruptive to your everyday lives. They may seem extreme, and they may sound frightening. But they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe.
“It is impossible at this time to know how long this threat will continue,” the governor continued. “What I do know is that my first and highest priority is protecting the health, the safety, and the welfare of the people of Maryland. We are all in this together, and we cannot stop the spread of this virus without each and every one of you doing your part. But I want you all to know that we will get through this together. Our state has already fa ced and overcome daunting challenges before, and we will do so again.”Below is a comprehensive list of the actions announced today:RAISING MEMA ACTIVATION LEVEL TO FULL: Governor Hogan raised the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) activation level to full, meaning that the State Emergency Operations Center is now operating at its highest level and that there will be full coordination of state response activities and resources.ACTIVATION OF NATIONAL GUARD: The governor directed the National Guard to move to a higher state of readiness in order to carry out any necessary emergency functions, such as food distribution or other critical areas of need. Read the executive order.PROHIBITION ON MASS GATHERINGS AND CLOSURE OF SENIOR CENTERS: Effective immediately, gatherings of more than 250 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues. Read the executive order. • Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded. • All senior citizen activities centers shall be closed beginning on Friday, March 13, 2020 until after termination of the state of emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded. CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS: Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) State Superintendent Karen Salmon is directing that beginning on Monday, March 16, all schools throughout Maryland will close through Friday, March 27, 2020Read the MSDE press release.  • During the time of school closure, all school buildings and school buses should be cleaned and disinfected to prevent spread of the virus upon the return of students and staff to school. MSDE is additionally recommending that days previously scheduled for school closure during spring break be used as days off during this identified timeframe. • Administrators, faculty, staff, and parents/guardians should begin to immediately prepare for and implement measures for the continuity of educational services during a prolonged period of school closure. • Plans regarding childcare services are being developed by MSDE at this time to ensure that the children of emergency services personnel have access to childcare throughout a prolonged period of school closure. CLOSURE OF C RUISE TERMINAL AT PORT OF BALTIMORE: No passenger or crew member will be allowed to disembark at any terminal at the Port of Baltimore from any passenger vessel that has made a call at port outside of the United States since January 31, 2020. Read the executive order. • The only exceptions to this order are the Carnival Pride and the RCL Grandeur of the Seas, which are due to return to port in the coming days, provided that no person on board such vessel has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or is under investigation for COVID-19. •   • Except as necessary to perform a duty required by law, no person shall board any covered passenger vessel at any terminal or port facility in the ports and harbors of the state. • Each owner of a terminal or port facility in the state that receives cargo vessels shall develop and implement procedures for screening and controlling the movement of crew members who desire to disembark from cargo vessels that have, since January 31, 2020, made a call at any port outside the United States.EXTENSION OF PERMITTING DEADLINES: Because renew ing expiring permits or licenses often requires the public to enter public buildings and interact with state employees; all licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations issued by the state, its agencies or any political subdivision that would expire during the current state of emergency will be extended until the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted. Read the executive order.GUIDANCE TO HOSPITALS FOR VISITATION POLICIES: The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is advising hospitals to adopt new procedures to limit visitation, including: • No one under the age of 18 is permitted to visit, including in all waiting areas and common spaces. • Only one adult visitor per patient in all areas of the hospital.  • Visitors should be screened for flu-like symptoms. • Visitors who have traveled internationally may not visit for 14 days after arrival into the United States.SUSPENSION OF VISITS TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES: The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is suspending all visits to its correctional facilities effective immediately. The department will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates. • There have been no cases of coronavirus in our correctional facilities. 
  • At this time, facility programming will continue on a case-by-case basis. 
  • DPSCS will re-evaluate the situation often in an effort to restore normal visits as soon as possible.  MANDATORY TELEWORK FOR NON-ESSENTIAL STATE EMPLOYEES: Governor Hogan is directing the Department of Budget and Management to implement a period of mandatory telework, beginning Friday, March 13, across state agencies for all non-essential state employees. Read the executive order here.Read the Department of Budget and Management’s guidance here.DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF STATE GOVERNMENT: As he continues to manage the crisis, Governor Hogan is delegating the day-to-day operations of state government to Lt. Governor Rutherford.STATE OF EMERGENCY: This week, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

 Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, the Maryland state courts will be closed to the public for three weeks due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera announced today.

“All courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, and the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts shall be closed to the public on an emergency basis, effective March 16, 2020; however, Judiciary operations shall continue to the extent practicable,” the Administrative Order on Statewide Judiciary Closing of the Courts to the Public Due to the COVID-19 Emergencystates in part. “All other matters scheduled to be heard between March 16, 2020through April 3, 2020, are postponed pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.”

“We will continue to provide access to justice while balancing that mission with the health and safety needs of Marylanders and Judiciary personnel during this emergency,” said Chief Judge Barbera. 

Court personnel are to report to work as usual. The courts will be staffed to handle emergency matters including, but not limited to, domestic violence petitions, bail reviews, juvenile detention and shelter hearings, and search warrants. Judges are authorized to use remote electronic means of conducting legal proceedings when possible.

Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health, the Judiciary is taking these steps to reduce the number of people in its courthouses to mitigate the potential for spreading the virus.

The Statewide Judiciary Closing of the Courts to the Public Due to the COVID-19 Emergency (Link: https://mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/admin-orders/20200313statewideclosingofcourts.pdf) will be extended or modified as needed in the future.

Per Executive Order by Governor Larry Hogan, the State of Maryland government is now operating at Elevated Level II, which mandates nonessential employee telework for state employees and closure of state office buildings to the public. As of tomorrow, Friday, March 13, all branch offices of the Office of the Maryland Comptroller will be closed to the public.

Beginning Monday, March 16, the Comptroller’s Office will have a limited number of essential, mission critical personnel available to answer taxpayer calls, process tax returns, issue refunds, process unclaimed property claims, and process state employee payroll and vendor payments.

Taxpayers are urged to email questions totaxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov; if that option isn’t possible, call 1-800-MD-TAXES. Maryland taxpayers may experience longer call wait times, responses to tax questions and tax return processing times.

Updates to this announcement will be shared with the media and taxpayers.

In order to protect employees, inmates, and detainees and their families, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is suspending all visits to its correctional facilities effective today, March 12.

The Department will provide free phone calls and video visitation for inmates.

“We recognize the tremendous importance of visits and family contact,” said Secretary Robert L. Green. “But it is critical for the health and well-being of our employees and those in our custody that we protect them. This is a human event, and we need to do everything possible to ensure that families can communicate.” 

DPSCS internet technology and custody staff are working now on telephone and video visiting enhancements.

All programming and volunteer activities will be suspended for two weeks, at which time, we will re-evaluate. 

DPSCS will continue to re-evaluate the situation in an effort to restore normal visits as soon as possible.  

There have been no cases of coronavirus in our correctional facilities.  DPSCS continues to work closely with the MD Dept. of Health and the MD Emergency Management Agency, and will be closely monitoring its employees and those in our custody for signs of illness.  The Department remains focused on educating staff, inmates, and detainees on proper procedures for limiting the spread of all communicable diseases.  


Effective immediately, patient visitation at Garrett Regional Medical Center will be limited to one person per patient. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit patients. Anyone exhibiting any signs of illness will be asked to leave the premises. In addition, only one person will be allowed to accompany patients reporting for surgical or other procedures/treatments. This is in accordance with the state of emergency declared by Governor Larry Hogan. GRMC will issue updates as the situation warrants.

 STATEMENT FROM ALLEGANY COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS

The dedicated professionals at our county’s health department are leading the community’s response and will continue to do so. The staff is meeting with their counterparts in various state and local level agencies to ensure that our message is accurate and up to date. We are making efforts to ensure that both our young people and aging populations know the facts about this virus and how to best combat it. Allegany County Government is taking the following steps in light of the spread of this virus:

(1) We are revoking all authorizations of any county financed travel to out-of-state locations, as the health of our staff remains a priority.

(2) We strongly encourage the payment of tax and utility bills online. A link to online bill payment is placed on our county’s website. There are no additional fees for this service and bills can also be paid by check or money order.

(3) We are working with vendors and event organizers who have events scheduled at the county fairgrounds, and will work with them should they desire to cancel upcoming events at the fair. 

(4) We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and will make adjustments to staffing as needed.

It is in moments like these that our community can and must come together to work to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Gov. Jim Justice today announced the state high school basketball tournaments are being shut down and a travel ban is being imposed on state employees.

“We just have got to get away from the big crowds,” Justice said during a press conference with state health and emergency response officials.

http://wvmetronews.com/2020/03/12/updates-west-virginia-prepares-for-coronavirus-concerns/

The Governor of MD announced a special enrollment period due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic. If you are a Maryland resident and you do not have insurance and you are concerned about the epidemic, you can apply for health insurance. Please call 888-202-0212 to make an appointment.

From ACHD: The Allegany County Health Department is closely monitoring all aspects of COVID-19, the new coronavirus, and working with partners at the federal, state, and local levels to actively prepare. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Allegany County or Western Maryland.

“There are several things that individuals can do to protect themselves and those around them,” stated Dr. Jennifer Corder, Medical Deputy Health Officer for Allegany and Garrett Counties. “These are the same kinds of preventive measures you would take to prevent the flu and many other illnesses.”
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Stay home from school or work if you are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched items in your home and workspace.
• Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• If you aren’t feeling well, do not visit others and risk exposing them to illness.
• Follow all public health guidance regarding visitation at nursing homes, senior living facilities, and other locations with vulnerable populations.
• Reconsider attending events with large crowds, especially if you are elderly or have chronic medical conditions.
• Avoid nonessential travel to areas with COVID-19 spread.
While many individuals with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, elderly individuals and persons with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at higher risk for serious complications.

If you have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), call your healthcare provider to inquire about testing. Always call ahead to your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and travel history. Calling ahead allows healthcare providers to plan for safe testing with minimal exposure to others.
“We are working closely with health care providers, emergency personnel, and local agencies to prepare for COVID-19,” explained Jenelle Mayer, Health Officer for Allegany County. “Agencies and organizations are all putting systems in place to limit the spread of disease in our community. Everyone can play a role – wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, don’t visit others if you aren’t feeling well.”

For up-to-date information and resources, visit coronavirus.gov.


From MD Governor: Governor Larry Hogan today announced the first case of community transmission of COVID-19 in Maryland. The patient, whose case was first announced last night, is a Prince George’s County resident who had no known exposure to coronavirus through travel or an infected individual.

Governor Hogan will speak at 4:00 p.m. at the State House to announce major actions that the state is taking to protect public health.

“The first case of COV-19 community transmission in Maryland means we are entering a new phase of working to mitigate and limit the spread of this pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “What we are seeing now is what we have been anticipating and preparing for over the last several weeks. Later today, I will be announcing to Marylanders major actions we are taking to protect public health and safety.”

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive approach to keep Marylanders safe. To date, there are 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

From US Senator Joe Manchin: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement urging West Virginians to exercise caution in the coming weeks as the coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.

“I am urging West Virginians to take deliberate precautions to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, otherwise known as the coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, I have decided against holding any public events next week. After a Senate staffer from a different office tested positive for the virus and following the recommendation of Dr. Brian Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, I have encouraged my Washington staff to telework until further notice, and have directed my West Virginia staff to be prepared to telework if necessary. Public health experts have made it clear that we must take action to mitigate the spread of this virus from now until April 1st, or else risk severe consequences like we are seeing in Italy and China,” Senator Manchin said. “We all share the responsibility to prevent the spread of this virus and exercise responsible choices, including social distancing, frequently washing your hands with soap and water, wiping down surfaces with products that contain at least 60 percent alcohol, avoiding crowded places, canceling nonessential domestic and international travel and staying home if you are feeling under the weather. I will continue to monitor the outbreak and provide as much information as possible to West Virginians as the situation develops.”

Last week, Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus outbreak and how to protect themselves and their families

https://www.manchin.senate.gov/coronavirus

MD Governor Larry Hogan has announced in response to the growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus long term care facilities and veterans facilities across the state will be restricting visits to essential visits only, the Motor Vehicle Administration will be moving to an appointment only system for all transactions, the MD Health Benefits Exchange is offering a special enrollment period through the Maryland Health Connection and more video visitation opportunities will be offered at state correctional institutions. Hogan says all Marylanders need to take the pandemic seriously. He urges residents to stay calm and stay informed. You can get the latest updates by calling 211 or log on to health.maryland.gov

Tonight, Governor Larry Hogan announced three additional confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Maryland:

  • A Montgomery County resident in his 20s who recently traveled to Spain, and is not hospitalized.
     
  • A Baltimore County resident in his 60s who worked at the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC, and is not hospitalized.
     
  • A Prince George’s County resident in his 60s whose travel history is under investigation, and is currently hospitalized.

The State of Maryland now has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has notified local officials regarding these cases and begun investigating potential exposure risk to the community.

**Governor Hogan is postponing his National Governors Association (NGA) State of the States Address, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Washington, DC in order to continue managing the crisis from Annapolis.

Additional State Actions to Keep Marylanders Safe

Earlier today at the CHART State Operations Command Center in Hanover, Governor Larry Hogan provided additional updates on the State of Maryland’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

regarding these cases and begun investigating potential exposure risk to the community.

**Governor Hogan is postponing his National Governors Association (NGA) State of the States Address, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Washington, DC in order to continue managing the crisis from Annapolis.

Additional State Actions to Keep Marylanders Safe

Earlier today at the CHART State Operations Command Center in Hanover, Governor Larry Hogan provided additional updates on the State of Maryland’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

“Marylanders should be taking this pandemic very seriously,” said Governor Hogan. “All Marylanders need to understand that there may be significant disruption to your everyday lives for a period of time. We will continue tracking this and will be receiving and providing Marylanders with almost constant, up-to-the-minute information. I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus, because our highest priority is keeping our residents safe.” 

Earlier today, the governor announced that a Montana resident visiting Anne Arundel County has tested positive for COVID-19. While this will be classified as a Montana case, the Maryland and Anne Arundel County Health Departments are taking the lead on the investigation.

The governor also announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is requesting that Marylanders onboard the “Grand Princess” who are not showing symptoms return to the State of Maryland. The U.S. citizens on that ship are in the process of being transported to military bases for examination and to be quarantined. The state has informed HHS that they must test all 12 of these passengers for COVID-19. All who are cleared will be safely transported back to Maryland. 

The administration has also been informed that a volunteer first responder in Montgomery County, a Virginia resident, has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is tied to the rector of Christ Church in Washington, DC, so the State of Maryland is coordinating this investigation with the Virginia and Washington, DC health departments. Maryland’s chief epidemiologist has cleared the firehouse where the first responder works and has no major concerns regarding potential exposure risk to the community.

New Actions from State Agencies 

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is discontinuing visits for individuals currently in infirmaries, reducing programs and movement within facilities, providing more video visitation opportunities, and requiring staff who exhibit flu-like symptoms to remain home.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration will immediately begin moving toward an all-appointments system for all transactions in order to eliminate walk-ins, reduce foot traffic, and keep crowds to a minimum.

The Maryland Health Benefits Exchange is working to establish a special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connection specifically for the coronavirus.

All Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, including the Charlotte’s Hall Veterans Home, have been directed to adhere to the same guidance Governor Hogan announced yesterday for long-term care facilities, including prohibiting staff from international travel. 

Today, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

U.S. Congressman David Trone announced the state of Maryland would receive $10,759,226.90 in federal funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to support the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In total, the CDC announced they would reward over $560 million to state and local jurisdictions across the country.

This money is a part of the $8.3 billion Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, which passed the House and was signed by the President last week.

“The federal government must fully fund the resources needed to combat the spread of COVID-19, and this $10 million will go directly to support Maryland’s efforts,” said Congressman David Trone (MD-06). “I just got off the phone with the hospital and public health leaders of the five counties in our district, and the message was loud and clear: we need consistent and predictable long-term public health funding. I will continue to work to provide the necessary funding to address all health and economic concerns caused by this pandemic.”

The $8.3 billion supplemental included:
More than $3 billion to the development of treatments and a coronavirus vaccine and includes an additional $300 million to ensure Americans will have access to the vaccine regardless of their ability to pay.
Protects against price-gouging of medicines developed with taxpayer dollars by ensuring that the federal government will only pay a fair and reasonable price for coronavirus vaccines and drugs and providing HHS the authority to ensure that they are affordable in the commercial market.
Provides $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness and response, including nearly a billion dollars specifically to alleviate the immense financial strain on state, local, tribal and territorial hospitals and health systems.
Protects public health by allowing Medicare providers to extend telemedicine services to seniors regardless of where they live, at an estimated cost of $500 million.
Supports small businesses impacted by this epidemic, allowing for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest SBA loans to those affected.
Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. This week, Trone held a call with all public health officials in all five counties to hear about what is happening on the ground and what resources they need in order to address the coronavirus. On Tuesday, he met with the Maryland Department of Health in order to coordinate support for Maryland’s efforts to rapidly respond to COVID-19. Trone’s website features best practices and information on how to find the best resources for COVID-19.

In keeping with public health guidance regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) will extend spring break through Tuesday, March 17. Classes will resume on campus on Wednesday, March 18.  Non-credit classes through the ACM Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development will continue as scheduled at this time. College and community events are proceeding as scheduled.  Students are asked to monitor ACM’s website and their student email account for continued updates. ACM’s COVID-19 webpage at www.allegany.edu/coronavirus will have the most current information. Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who exhibit coronavirus 2019 disease symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) are asked to refrain from visiting ACM’s six locations.  Questions may be directed to the ACM Information Center at 301-784-5005.

According to FSU officials the Frostburg State University campus will remain open as usual this week.After spring break, ALL CLASSES, where possible, will shift to online instruction — no face to face classes — until at least April 6. The Provost has strongly advised faculty to adjust their syllabi for this period in response to this extreme situation and to share those revisions with students by March 20. The campus will remain open following spring break, and students may return to campus on Sunday, March 22, at the regularly scheduled time. However, if students wish to remain at home during this period, they may do so.Guidelines for students doing course work off campus, such as in internships or clinical rotations, are being developed. More information will be shared with mentor faculty. The emergency absence procedure for students is also being developed. Those guidelines will be issued this week.https://www.frostburg.edu/brady-h…/Coronavirus-resources.php

Meanwhile the WVU System including WVU Potomac State College will temporarily suspend face-to-face classes from March 23-27 while transitioning to online and alternative class instruction, which will begin March 30 and will continue until further notice. This is a precautionary measure to protect the campus and community.

ACPS continues to be in regular contact with and receive guidance from the Allegany County Health Department (ACHD) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). As the situation concerning COVID-19 continues to evolve, ACPS will continue to consult with the Health Department and MSDE. There are no cases reported in Western Maryland at this time.

From MSDE
Due to recent events regarding the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), in consultation with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), is advising that all scheduled out-of-state and international field trips sanctioned by local school systems for students and staff be canceled indefinitely.

IMPORTANT: The newest updates and preparations in ACPS effective immediately:

School District Status
The school district will remain open pending further notice from the Allegany County Health Department. Elementary and middle after-school programs will continue to operate pending further notice.

Travel
All work-related travel outside of the state by faculty or staff is canceled pending further notification. Exceptions to this must be approved by the superintendent.

All field trips outside of Allegany County are canceled pending further notice.
All school competitions, such as FBLA and Mock Trial, will continue to be permitted, in-state, pending further notification from the Health Department or MSDE. A parent/guardian may choose to prohibit his/her child from participating without any consequence to the student.

The spring sports season does not begin until March 20, 2020. Athletics will continue pending further notification from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA). A parent/guardian may choose to prohibit his/her child from participating without any consequence to the student.

General
Please beware of mixed messages in the media or on social media. Official ACPS communications are the only authoritative source of information regarding ACPS operations.

Due to recent events regarding the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), in consultation with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), is advising that all scheduled out-of-state and international field trips sanctioned by local school systems for students and staff be cancelled indefinitely. Therefore, until further notice, Garrett County Public Schools will be cancelling out of state travel for all students and staff.   At this time, the MSDE is not advising that local school systems cancel in-state field trips or athletic contests. Therefore, all in-state trips will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis until further notice. We will continue to conference daily (or more frequently as needed) with the Garrett County Health Department. Those daily briefings will guide decisions on travel and the possible closing of schools or the entire district.   The health and safety of our school communities are paramount. We will continue to provide consistent communication and updates as we receive relevant information. At the current time, there are no confirmed cases in Garrett County or the surrounding areas. While the risk remains low for most populations, you can find more information at www.coronavirus.gov .   Please know that we continue to plan for any possible closures. In addition, custodians in each school are deep cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas and classrooms every day. Our school nurses are working with Mrs. Becky Aiken, Nurse Manager, to closely monitor student health.   Follow the advice from the CDC to use the following universal precautions to protect yourself: Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, especially if someone is sick. Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children home from school if they are ill with a fever.

As for the state of West Virginia at the direction of Gov. Jim Justice, key members of his administration and other government officials gathered at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today, holding a press conference to update members of the media and the public on the State’s ongoing efforts to monitor novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to prepare for its potential future spread.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia. As of March 11, 2020, West Virginia has tested eight residents for COVID-19, with seven results coming back negative and one test still pending.

Among those in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting were: Bill Crouch, Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; Dr. Cathy Slemp, West Virginia State Health Officer and Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health; Clayton Burch, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools; and Jeff Sandy, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. Sarah Tucker, Interim Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System joined via videoconferencing technology.

“Our monitoring of coronavirus remains the absolute top priority for myself and my entire administration,” Gov. Justice said in a statement. “While we are fortunate to still have no confirmed cases in West Virginia, it is absolutely critical that we stay in front of this emerging health threat and work to keep the public informed about the ways we are preparing as a State and continuing to use every precaution at our disposal to keep the public as safe as possible.”
Statement from WVDHHR Secretary Bill Crouch
“The DHHR continues to closely monitor this outbreak and maintains communication and outreach with federal, state and local public health partners. Governor Justice and I recently met and participated in a national briefing phone call with Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Trump Administration. The state’s public health lab under DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health is now able to test for this disease which will ensure a quicker turnaround. An information hotline to address concerns regarding COVID-19 has been established, and operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19. Information is also available at www.coronavirus.wv.gov.”

Statement from WV DMAPS Secretary Jeff Sandy
“Working with Gov. Justice and the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety is carrying out its core mission: to provide for a safe and secure West Virginia. Our State Emergency Operations Center is standing by on enhanced watch. The State Police are in close contact with all levels of law enforcement statewide. Our Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is doing the same with other first responders as well as county and local counterparts. At our correctional facilities we have halted all non-attorney visitation, with phone and video visitation still available and unaffected. These and similar actions ensure an effective response to this evolving situation. As Gov. Justice says, the health and safety of our fellow West Virginians is the highest priority.”

Statement from Major General James Hoyer, West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General
“The West Virginia National Guard continues to stand ready to support the State of West Virginia and our partner agencies to strengthen detection and response to COVID-19. We have contingency plans in place, are reviewing them daily, and are taking steps to educate and safeguard our military and civilian personnel, family members and installation communities to prevent any public health threat. The Guard is also engaged in training and educating local emergency room departments, liaising with DHHR and DHSEM and providing expertise through outreach to communities in the state. We remain prepared to assist the citizens of West Virginia in any response capacity throughout the duration of this situation.”

Statement from Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Ph.D, Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission, Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System
“At the statewide level, I’ve been working under Governor Justice’s direction to ensure the proper planning is in place across our higher education system. Each campus has individual needs with different student populations, so we are seeing varying proactive measures being taken at the institutional level – with particular focus on spring break and mitigating any potential threats related to students returning to the state after traveling. Our preeminent goal is to maintain the health and safety of all of those within and around our campus communities, and we will continue coordinating and communicating among our campuses to that end.”

Statement from West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch
“The West Virginia Department of Education is maintaining open and ongoing communications with the Governor’s Office and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to provide consistent and coordinated information to the education community. While no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported, county school systems have updated or are in the process of updating their emergency plans. I will outline guidance that counties may consider when planning school-sponsored student travel in the coming weeks. Decisions about field trips and similar activities are made at the local level, however, the WVDE will offer planning recommendations for counties to consider. I will maintain contact with the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) regarding sporting events and public safety. At this time, all state basketball tournament play will continue as planned. I also am in contact with the U.S. Department of Education and will work with Deputy Secretary Mitchell Zais if flexibility is needed during the upcoming academic testing window, and to meet the provisions of federal grants.”