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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.

To view Maryland's COVID-19 Case Count visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/.

The data below was last updated on March 5, 2021, at 12:00 pm based on the latest available data from coronavirus.jhu.edu & coronavirus.maryland.govNote this data is retroactive to the day before. Vaccine numbers are preliminary and subject to change. 

How do I register for a vaccine if I'm in an eligible Phase group? 

Due to limited vaccine supply, we do not expect to post Worcester County Health Department clinics onto MarylandVax.org for the next several weeks. To schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine at a Worcester County Health Department clinic, please call 667-253-2140. If you are in an eligible Phase, you will be put on a waiting list. You will be contacted for an appointment based on availability of vaccine and where you fall in the Phases (1A, B, C) with priority given to the elderly. You will be called when we have an appointment time open for you based on your eligibility. Please provide a phone number where you can be reached during the hours of 8 am and 5pm. The number that will show up when the Worcester County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center calls you back, will come up as 410-632-1100 or 410-632-1016.
You will need to provide the Worcester County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center with the following information:
First Name
Last Name
Email Address
Phone Number
Age
First Dose or Second Dose
Phase 1C Eligibility- Check all that apply
Underlying Health Conditions- Yes or No
County
State

Visit here to find out if you're eligible for this phase of vaccines. 

Click the link below for registration.

Where can I find COVID-19 testing in and around Worcester County? 

Click the image below for testing locations and contact information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Updated 1/26/21) Most Frequent Community Questions

How to Register for COVID-19 Vaccine

Register for Vaccination by visiting www.marylandvax.org and searching for “Worcester” in the box marked “Search by Name of Location.” If you’re unable to navigate this system or do not have family friends that can help, we encourage you to call 667-253-2140 for help scheduling an appointment. Participants that receive the first dose of the vaccine will receive a confirmation email that they received their first dose. 

How do I Get my Second Dose?

Individuals who participate in COVID-19 vaccination through a Worcester County Health Department Clinic will be scheduled for an appointment for the second dose of the vaccine, 4 weeks from the date of the first dose. The appointment will be at the same time and location as the first dose appointment. The individual will receive a confirmation email with the details for the appointment for the second dose within a few days after the first appointment. Please bring CDC vaccination record to the appointment for the second dose.

UPDATE FROM CDC: The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled for administration up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. There are currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window. If the second dose is administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series.

When will new Worcester County Health Department Clinics Open Each Week on Marylandvax.org?

We plan to open up registration for clinics on Thursday mornings to register for appts the following week (Tuesday, Th/Fri/Sat), pending vaccine availability. If you are having difficulty navigating the website, please ask a friend or family member for help. If you still need assistance you can call our helpline during business hours Monday through Friday at 667-253-2140.

Click the button to be put on the waiting list if no appts are available. We receive notice of vaccine allocation Friday late, sometimes Saturday and if we get more vaccine in than appointments made, we will pull people from the waiting list.  

How does the waiting list work? 

  • If you see a clinic on www.MarylandVax.org and there is a blue button under the post, that either appointments and/or the waiting list is open and you can register. 
  • Once all appointments are full, the waiting list will remain open until it hits the cap for that clinic. 
  • The number of spots on each waiting list will vary by clinic location and date. Everything depends on the amount of vaccine we receive for that week. 
  • Once you are on the waiting list for a clinic, you will be notified by email if a spot opens up for you. That email will contain a link with the time of your appointment. 
  • Each waiting list is for a specific clinic. If all of the COVID-19 vaccine doses for that clinic are used before getting to your spot on the waiting list, the list will be closed. You will receive email notification and will need to register for another clinic through the normal process. 
  • We plan to post new clinic registration every Thursday morning. If you were not able to receive a vaccination, please keep an eye on www.MarylandVax.org for availability. We know that it’s frustrating to want a vaccine and not be able to get one. Doses are limited but we are working hard with State and Local partners to get as many shots into arms as possible, as soon as possible.  

The basics: Registration is done on www.MarylandVax.org, keep an eye on your email after registering for a clinic or waitlist, and all spots are determined by weekly vaccine availability. 

Who is eligible for the vaccine and when? 

Vaccine supply is dependent on the federal government’s allocation to Maryland and is subject to change. Please note that population groups are non-exhaustive and all numbers are approximate.

PHASE 1A

WHO: All licensed, registered, and certified healthcare providers; nursing home residents and staff; law enforcement,

and firefighters, EMS, and other first responders; correctional healthcare staff and officers; and front line judiciary staff.

WHEN: Phase 1A began in mid-late December.

PHASE 1B

WHO: Maryland residents who are 75 years and older; Marylanders in assisted living, independent living,

developmental disabilities/behavioral health group homes, and other congregate facilities; high-risk incarcerated

individuals; continuity of government vaccinations; and education, including K-12 teachers, support staff, and child

care providers. 

WHEN: The state plans to officially enter Phase 1B on January 18.

PHASE 1C

WHO: Adults age 65-74; public health and safety workers not covered in Phase 1A; and essential workers in lab

services, food/agriculture production, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores.

WHEN: The state plans to officially enter Phase 1C on January 25.

NOTE: The state currently estimates needing 3 million doses of two-dose vaccines to complete Phase 1.

PHASE 2

WHO: Adults 16-64 at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness due to comorbidities; essential workers in critical

utilities, transportation, logistics, infrastructure, food service, etc; and incarcerated adults. Approximately 1.1 million individuals.

WHEN: Phase 2 may begin after the majority of Phase 1 has been vaccinated, or the federal government’s allocation of vaccines increases.

PHASE 3

WHO: General population, including healthy adults ages 16-64. Approximately 4 million individuals.

WHEN: Phase 3 will begin once the majority of Phase 2 has been vaccinated and/or the federal government’s allocation of vaccines increases.

STAY INFORMED

More information on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as Maryland’s phased distribution plan, is available on covidlink.maryland.gov. Marylanders can also receive updates from Maryland’s 211 text alert system by texting “MdReady” to 898-211. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center

MDH and the Maryland Department of Aging (MDOA) are working together to promote access to vaccines. The departments have begun contacting seniors directly to invite them to use the new COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center at 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829). The COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Marylanders can call the center to get information on COVID-19 vaccines and identify providers closest to their homes. The center is specifically designed to assist residents without internet access.

The center can also help callers schedule vaccination appointments at the state’s mass vaccination sites, including Six Flags America in Prince George’s County.

An updated overview of Maryland’s phased distribution plan is available here.

NEW PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY TO LIMIT GATHERINGS TO 10 OR LESS. The Maryland Department of Health issued a public health advisory warning Marylanders against all non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside one’s immediate household. Under this advisory, all Marylanders should refrain from attending public and private gatherings of more than 10 people in one location and should practice physical distancing to the maximum extent possible. Read the advisory.

EXPANDED TESTING AND QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVEL. The governor issued an emergency order requiring Marylanders to limit all travel to essential purposes only. All Marylanders who do travel outside of Maryland or any individuals who do travel to Maryland must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC.  Read the governor’s order and the companion health directives.

TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF IN-PERSON CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATIONS, CONTINUATION OF MANDATORY TELEWORK FOR STATE EMPLOYEES. Governor Hogan has directed state agencies to suspend in-person customer service operations for two weeks, beginning Monday, December 21. Telework continues to be mandatory for state employees who are able to telework, and all businesses are strongly encouraged to institute telework over the holidays.

Indoor dining. The governor issued an emergency order reducing indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75% to 50%, effective November 11 at 5 p.m. bars and restaurants are permitted to be open for seated and distanced service only, with strict capacity restrictions. Effective November 20 at 5 p.m. bars, restaurants, and venues serving food and alcohol must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for carryout and delivery. 


Indoor gatherings. With contact tracing data showing an uptick in cases resulting from family gatherings and house parties, state health officials have issued a public health advisory strongly discouraging indoor gatherings of 25 people or more. The capacity for retail and religious facilities will be reduced by 50%, in line with indoor dining, personal services, and indoor recreation. 


Travel advisory. Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results. This applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity and/or case rates decline.


Telework. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to immediately execute a period of mandatory telework across state agencies, except for essential direct public-facing services and other essential personnel. State officials strongly encourage all businesses to take immediate steps to expand telework.
Hospital surge capacity. State health officials have issued an emergency order expanding hospital surge capacity that provides state EMS officials with the flexibility to shift patients to alternate care sites and to add capacity at those sites if the need arises.


Nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Indoor visitation at nursing homes will be significantly limited. Visitors must have proof of a negative test within 72 hours. Staff should minimize their contact with large gatherings and communicate early and often about infection control issues at their facilities. Indoor visitation is not permitted if the facility is currently conducting outbreak testing and in accordance with federal guidance on this subject.

Up-to-date information about the Hogan administration’s ongoing response to COVID-19 is available at 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 or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • 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 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.

July 29, 2020 - Marylanders are strongly advised to postpone or cancel travel to states with positivity rates greater than 10%, which now include Florida, Texas, Georgia, Lousiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho.

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.

 

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.

How long do I have to quarantine if I am a contact of a positive and I have no symptoms?

CDC recently updated their guidance for the length of quarantine for persons who are contacts of a COVID-19 positive case. Below is a summary of the new guidance (updated 12/2/2020).

For most situations, quarantine of persons who DO NOT have any symptoms can end either after 7 days or 10 days following the last exposure to a COVID case, depending on whether a COVID test is performed, as follows:

  • The person may be released from quarantine after Day 7 if they have a COVID-19 test (when diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available) and test negative and they did not have any symptoms during the daily monitoring.  
    • Note: The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7. Therefore, the specimen must be collected on or after Day 5.
  • If the person had no symptoms during daily monitoring and did not have a COVID-19 test, they may be released from quarantine after Day 10.

When people meet these criteria and end quarantine early, these individuals must continue self-monitoring of symptoms  and consistent mask use through day 14. They should also continue to follow prevention guidelines including maintaining a minimum of 6 foot physical distance from others and washing their hands.

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.

 

Recovery and Wellness Support Resources for the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) continues to develop coordinated prevention and response plans for COVID-19. BHA will provide COVID19 updates as they become available and accurate information for behavioral health providers, partners, and the greater community. 

For the latest COVID-19 information and resources, visit the BHA website or coronavirus.maryland.gov. For additional questions or concerns, contact
your Local Behavioral Health Authority.

 

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

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

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