This is a rapidly evolving situation and the Washington County Health Department will provide updates as they become available.
For COVID-19 testing and confirmed case counts:
For a count of confirmed cases, death, tests administered and test results received in Washington County please visit: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/
- For case data related to nursing homes and other congregate living facilities visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/hcf-resources
Messages from Health Officer, Earl Stoner
Local Press Briefings
Washington County agencies have formed a Joint Information Center (JIC) in order to better share information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide the public with timely, accurate and consistent briefings on what is happening in Washington County. Daily briefings will be posted every Thursday. Briefings can be found on the Washington County Government website at https://www.washco-md.net/jic/
What to Do If You’re Sick?
If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your regular primary care provider first. Do not go to your doctor’s office without calling.
If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are mild, you need to follow the same guidelines – stay home when sick, avoid contact with other people and practice social distancing, cover your cough/sneeze, monitor your symptoms and stay in contact with your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19
- Shortness of breath
- Chills or repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- In more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)
The vast majority of people recover from this infection. Most people will have mild or moderate symptoms. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, immune suppression or heart or lung disease have a greater risk for more serious illness.
What can I do to protect myself and others?
Take everyday preventive steps that are always recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu:
- Get Vaccinated
- Wear a mask
- 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 coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you are sick, stay home, except when seeking medical care
The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) strongly recommends, but does not require, that all individuals who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear face coverings in all indoor settings outside of their home and in outdoor settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- All Marylanders should be aware that the federal order that face masks be worn by all people while on public
transportation conveyances, including public and private school buses, and at transportation hubs, is still in
- • Each childcare facility, youth camp, local school system and authority may set their own policies regarding
masks and face coverings.
- All correctional and detention facilities should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
(CDC) guidance on face masks.
- Staff and residents in shared or congregate housing should follow the CDC’s guidance on face masks.
- Employers should refer to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for healthcare below to determine whether and how your workplace is covered:
• Subpart U—COVID-19 Healthcare ETS (osha.gov) (OSHA 4122)
• And Is your workplace covered by the COVID 19 Healthcare ETS? (osha.gov) (OSHA 4125)
- All licensed healthcare providers and healthcare facilities should follow the CDC’s Healthcare Infection
Prevention and Control Recommendations.
As recommended by the CDC, face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 2 years and anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
Caution should be used when individuals are wearing face coverings outdoors during hot days or when individuals are engaged in vigorous activity due to the increased risk of heat-related illness. See CDC guidance for additional safety considerations related to the use of face coverings.
The face coverings do not have to be hospital-grade but need to cover the nose and mouth. For example, bandanas, fabric masks, and neck gaiters are acceptable. Fabric covers and bandanas can be washed and used again. For examples of how to make your own, click here.
Make sure the covering is comfortable – you don’t want to have to keep adjusting the mask, which means touching your face. Always wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, before AND after touching your face or face coverings.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Social distancing can take many forms, depending on your lifestyle and your family and work situation. Social distancing can include the following habits and steps:
- Maintain 6 feet from others
- Avoid handshaking, hugging and other intimate types of greeting
- Avoid non-essential travel (your health care provider may have specific guidance for your situation)
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
- Work from home if possible for your work situation
- Avoid unnecessary errands — consider ways to have essential items, like food and other household supplies, brought to your house through online delivery services or through family or social networks
About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. This is a new virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of human infections, causing illness and in some cases death. Cases have spread to countries throughout the world, with more cases reported daily.
How does COVID-19 spread?
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 and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes.
COVID-19 & Food Service Establishments
Below are COVID-19 resources, documents and executive orders for food services establishments.
- Maryland Department of Health Food Safety and COVID-19
- MEMA One-Pager Restaurants-v1
- 20.20.06.10.01 – MDH Order – Food Service Establishments
Washington County Community Partners Efforts
Washington County government, health, school, first responders and law enforcement agency partners, along with the city of Hagerstown, are working together to plan, respond and communicate on COVID-19 by:
- The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to work with Meritus Health to assure capacity needs are being addressed in the event that Meritus Health experiences a surge of patients as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
- The EOC is working aggressively to obtain more supplies and preserve our current resources, such as COVID-19 test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Communicating with CDC and MDH for international, national and local situational awareness updates.
- Washington County agencies have formed a Joint Information Center (JIC) To ensure coordination of public information during the COVID-19 crisis to support the gathering, verification, coordination, and dissemination of accurate, accessible, and timely information to the public.
- Conducting site visits and providing CDC guidance to local organizations and businesses to assist them in planning and preparing for COVID-19.
CDC Guides on How to Prepare and Take Action for COVID-19
- At Home
- At Childcare and K-12 Schools
- At Colleges and Universities
- At Work
- Community and Faith-Based Organizations
- Large Community Events/Mass Gatherings
- Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Website
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Website
- World Health Organization Coronavirus Website
- Corornavirus Updates for the Deaf and hard of hearing
For General Information on Coronavirus please call MD 2-1-1 or 301-790-9170
or email: COVID-19@MeritusHealth.com