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Protecting the Public



Worcester County Health Department is dedicated to the health and safety of our residents and visitors.  We have certified inspectors and field staff working with the community to help protect the public in a number of areas.



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Worcester County, MD Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information 2020

This website provides up-to-date information about the Worcester County Health Department's response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. For more information on Coronavirus in Maryland, call 2-1-1.

Maryland COVID-19 Case Map

Last updated on this site April 8, 2020 10:45 am. Note this data is retroactive to the day before. 

 The data below was last updated April 8, 2020 at 10:45 am based on the latest available data from coronavirus.jhu.edu & coronavirus.maryland.gov. 

For questions regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), callers can reach the center between 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, by dialing 410-632-1100 option #8. General information on COVID-19 is available 24/7 through Worcester Health’s Public Information Line (410-632-4321) and WorcesterHealth.org.

Update 3/30/20:

STAY-AT-HOME DIRECTIVE: Governor Hogan enacted an executive order which institutes a Stay-at-home directive. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes. In addition, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland, and those businesses must make every effort to scale down their operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit interactions with customers, and to institute telework for as much of the workforce as is practical.

Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the executive directive is in criminal violation of the Governor's order. For more information and to get a complete list of Governor Hogan's directives, please visit: https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus. This is a virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. COVID-19 is spread just like colds or flu through coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, or touching an object or surface with the virus on it. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • In more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)

Individual risk is dependent on exposure. Current risk assessment:

  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • If you are sick, call your provider to discuss your symptoms before you walk-in to a doctor's office.

For people who are ill with diagnosed COVID-19 or seasonal influenza, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

What You Can Do to Protect from Infectious Disease?

It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. Preventing viral respiratory infections. Protect yourself from getting sick.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19? 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

How do I get tested for Coronavirus?

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested. If you do not have a primary care provider or symptoms worsen contact your local emergency room.

High-Risk Conditions

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 65 years and older.
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
  • People who have heart disease with complications.
  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment.
  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk.
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk.

Where can I go for more information?

The Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) has a call center operating Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm with staff available to answer questions. To reach the center call 410-632-1100 option #8. WCHD also operates an automated public information line 24/7 with messaging about COVID-19 (410-632-4321). Visit WorcesterHealth.org for up-to-date facts and information on COVID-19 locally. Follow @WorcesterHealth on Facebook and other social media for emerging updates.

COVID-19 Public Health Activities

What Businesses and Governments Can do to Prepare

Ways to cope with stress

Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information 2020

Preparedness activities for emerging infectious diseases such as the new Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For more information on Coronavirus in Maryland, call 2-1-1

View the up-to-date case count of Coronavirus in the State of Maryland by clicking HERE

Update 3/30/20:

STAY-AT-HOME DIRECTIVE: Governor Hogan enacted an executive order which institutes a Stay-at-home directive. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes. In addition, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland, and those businesses must make every effort to scale down their operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit interactions with customers, and to institute telework for as much of the workforce as is practical.

Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the executive directive is in criminal violation of the Governor's order.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease and Risk

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This is a new virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. COVID-19 is spread just like colds or flu through:

  • coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • In more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)
  • Individual risk is dependent on exposure. Current risk assessment:
  • For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure. (List is updated regularly at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html)
  • If you are sick, call your provider to discuss your symptoms before you walk-in to a doctor's office.

 

What You Can Do to Protect from Infectious Disease

While the immediate risk of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to most of the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:


It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
Preventing viral respiratory infections. Protect yourself from getting sick.

  • wash your hands often with soap and 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.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • stay home while you are sick
  • avoid close contact with others
  • cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • If you are a healthcare provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from affected countries (list is updated regularly at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) and have fever and respiratory symptoms. Follow guidance provided to you by the health department. This guidance will be updated as needed.If you are a healthcare provider caring for a COVID-19 patient or a public health responder, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
  • If you have been in affected countries*or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider, and tell them about your symptoms and your travel or exposure to a COVID-19 patient.
  • For people who are ill with diagnosed COVID-19 or seasonal influenza, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
  • There are currently no recommendations for the general population to wear face masks.

 

Public Health Activities

  • WCHD has surveillance in place for all reportable diseases including new infections or suspected cases of COVID-19. Medical facilities know what to report, how to report and how to reach us. We have provided current guidance documents from the state health department related to COVID-19 to these facilities.
  • WCHD has an on-call service available for 24/7 response to public health needs.
  • Systems are in place for rapid testing for any potential cases.
  • Isolation and quarantine plans are in place if necessary.
  • We have planning experience with pandemic flu preparation including the robust public health response to H1N1.
  • Public health has access to additional resources that can include items needed for response such as medical masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health care needs if a health emergency is declared and if the Strategic National Stockpile is requested.

 

What Businesses and Governments Can do to Prepare

  • We encourage businesses and governments to look at past pandemic flu planning and procedures to assure the plans are current, relevant and staff are aware. These plans can assist in the response to COVID-19 as the transmission is similar to the flu.
  • Assure continuity of operations/government plans are up to date to keep critical services in place.

Additional resources for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

More Information on Coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control
(Source) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

More information on Coronavirus through the Maryland Department of Health
(Source) https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx

Current Number of Cases in the US
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Should Know A Message from Your Health Officer

The COVID-19 situation globally, nationally, and locally is constantly changing and evolving every day. The Worcester County Health Department will provide consistent updates as new information becomes available to keep residents safe and informed. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers we’ve seen in our community.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus. This is a virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. COVID-19 is spread just like colds or flu through coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, or touching an object or surface with the virus on it. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and in more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs).

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and 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. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home while you are sick. 
  • Avoid close contact with others. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

How do I get tested for Coronavirus?

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested. If you do not have a primary care provider or symptoms worsen contact your local emergency room. 

What are the rules regarding crowds, businesses and events during the COVID-19 State of Emergency?

Effective immediately and until further notice, all bars, restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters across the State will close beginning 5 pm 3/16/20. Carryout, drive-through and food delivery will remain open. Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, gas stations and other essential services would remain open. Utilities – including electric, gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and Internet companies – are prohibited from shutting off residential customers or charging late fees. No social, community, religious, recreational or sports gatherings of more than 10 people in close proximity anywhere in the State. This announcement comes directly from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Law enforcement is tasked with enforcing the executive order as it is a criminal offense to violate the Governor’s declaration

An up-to-date list of all of Governor Hogan’s declarations can be found at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/

Where can I go for more information?

The Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) has a call center operating Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm with staff available to answer questions. To reach the center call 410-632-1100 option #8. WCHD also operates an automated public information line 24/7 with messaging about COVID-19 (410-632-4321). Visit WorcesterHealth.org for up-to-date facts and information on COVID-19 locally. Follow @WorcesterHealth on Facebook and other social media for emerging updates. You can dial 2-1-1 any time for information on COVID-19 in the State of Maryland. Practice safe prevention habits and social distancing, check on friends, family and vulnerable neighbors (by phone). We understand that this can be a difficult and uncertain time for the residents and guests, but by using common sense prevention measures, maintaining social distance, and working together we will come out of this event a stronger community.

Thank you and please remember your health department is always working behind the scenes to protect the health of our residents.

Rebecca Jones, RN, BSN, MSN
Health Officer

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 10 PEOPLE: Effective immediately, gatherings of more than 10 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

 

Update 3/19/20:

Below is a comprehensive list of announcements Governor Hogan made today:

PROCLAMATION TO POSTPONE APRIL 28 PRIMARY, IMPLEMENT VOTE-BY-MAIL SYSTEM FOR 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT: In order to protect public health and preserve the integrity of the democratic process, Governor Hogan has issued a proclamation postponing the April 28 primary to June 2. The State Board of Elections is directed to develop a comprehensive plan by April 3 for conducting the primary election in a way that maintains public confidence and trust while preserving public health and safety.

In addition, to ensure that Maryland has full representation in Congress during this crisis, the special general election for the 7th Congressional District will still occur on April 28, but the State Board of Elections is directed to implement a vote-by-mail system. Read the governor’s proclamation.

DISCUSSIONS TO POSTPONE THE PREAKNESS STAKES: Governor Hogan announced that the state is in active discussions to postpone the Preakness Stakes. This follows the announcement earlier today that the Kentucky Derby will not be held in May for the first time in 75 years.

REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF FEDERAL REAL ID DEADLINE: Governor Hogan sent a letter to the Trump administration today on behalf of the nation’s governors to request an extension of the federal REAL ID deadline. Read the REAL ID letter.

CONVERSION OF VEHICLE EMISSIONS INSPECTION CENTERS: Governor Hogan announced that all Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) centers will be shut down, and steps will be taken to turn them into drive-thru testing centers across the state.

BWI AIRPORT TERMINAL: The state is encouraging residents to avoid unnecessary travel, and access to the BWI Marshall Airport terminal will be monitored and strongly discouraged except for passengers who are traveling and employees reporting to their job sites.

MTA SERVICE CHANGES: Consistent with steps taken by Metro, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will reduce service on MARC and Commuter Bus, while still running transit services with a focus on making sure emergency and health care personnel can get to their jobs. For Mobility customers, service will be continued with a focus on medical appointments, dialysis, pharmacies, and grocery stores only. Read the MTA’s update.

CASHLESS TOLLING: The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will move to all-cashless tolling statewide to limit interaction between the public and toll collectors. Read the MDTA’s announcement.

MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION CHANGES: The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is implementing a series of operational changes at branch offices and Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations statewide. All non-commercial driver skills tests are canceled until further notice. Read the MVA’s announcement.

New Interpretive Guidance. Governor Hogan’s Office of Legal Counsel has issued interpretive guidance regarding the governor’s order prohibiting large gatherings and ordering the closure of senior centers, bars, restaurants, gyms, and other facilities. Read the interpretive guidance.  [UPDATE MARCH 20: NEW INTERPRETIVE GUIDANCE FOR GROCERY STORES, PHARMACIES, AND HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS IN MALLS.]

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

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 Update 3/23/20

 

  • STAY-AT-HOME DIRECTIVE: Governor Hogan enacted an executive order which institutes a Stay-at-home directive. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes. In addition, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland, and those businesses must make every effort to scale down their operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit interactions with customers, and to institute telework for as much of the workforce as is practical.

     

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Update 3/25/20

High-Risk Conditions

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have heart disease with complications
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

Temporary Event Food Program

 

     Contact:
Environmental Health Program
Isle of Wight Center
 
 Phone: 410-352-3234
 
Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm

 

Licensing and Inspections of Food Service Facilities

     Contact:
 Environmental Health Program
 Isle of Wight Center
 
 Phone: 410-352-3234
 
 Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm

alt

The Environmental Health Program licenses and inspects all permanent and temporary food facilities in Worcester County.  For forms or questions related to operating or opening a food service facility, please contact our Office.

Permitting and Inspections of Swimming Pools

    Contact:
Environmental Health Program
Isle of Wight Center
Phone: 410-352-3234
Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm

altThe Environmental Health Program permits and inspects public and semi-public swimming pools and spas in Worcester County.  For forms or questions related to operating or constructing a pool, please contact our Office.

Bed Bug Investigations

     Contact:
 Environmental Health Program
 Isle of Wight Center
 
 Phone: 410-352-3234
 
 Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm

altThe Environmental Health Program investigates bed bug infestations in hotels and in commercial properties,  private residences are excluded. 

Smoke-Free Indoor Air Complaint Investigations

     Contact:
 Environmental Health Program
 Isle of Wight Center
 
 Phone: 410-352-3234
 
 Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm

altPeople in Maryland should now have clean, smoke-free air while working, dining, shopping, or relaxing throughout the state. Please call Environmental Health to file a complaint.

Tanning Beds and Safety

     Contact:
 Environmental Health Program
 Isle of Wight Center
 
 Phone: 410-352-3234
 
 Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm

Implementation of regulations and education regarding the risks associated with tanning bed overuse and safety, aimed at our youth population.  Tanning Bed Safety questions and concerns can be addressed by our Prevention Program at 410-632-1100 ext. 4.

Alcohol Management Training (TIPS)

     Contact:
 Snow Hill Health Center 
 Prevention Program
 
 Phone: 410-632-0056
 
 Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) is an alcohol management program approved by the state of Maryland. The state of Maryland requires that an alcohol licensee have someone associated with the license, i.e., owner, manager, bartender, have training in an acceptable alcohol management program. The purpose of the TIPS program is to teach servers of alcohol acceptable, and helpful, standards for responsible alcohol service. TIPS has a fee, based on "on premise" or "off premise" status.

This service is provided by the Prevention Program.

Information