May 29, 2020

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Contact Tracing Efforts Ramping Up in MD

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Maryland’s statewide contact tracing operation across all 24 of the state’s jurisdictions will be fully operational next week.

To launch this operation, Maryland has more than quintupled its disease investigation capacity, and will have more than 1,400 case investigators statewide, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced Thursday.

“To support our local health officials, the state has built a robust contact tracing operation and massively expanded Maryland’s disease investigation capacity,” Gov. Hogan said in a news release. “This will be a partnership across all 24 jurisdictions, and an all-hands-on deck effort to ensure health officials on the ground can trace and isolate the virus.”

“This is a way everyone can contribute to keeping each other safe and healthy, while helping us find and fight the virus,” said Fran Phillips, deputy secretary for public health at the Maryland Department of Health. “Participating with the state’s contact tracing program helps keep you, your family, your neighbors, co-workers, and community safe from this disease. Please answer the phone if you see ‘MD COVID’ on the screen; working with our COVID-19 case investigators truly can help save lives.”

Local health officials, with support from the state, will have the capacity to track 1,000 cases and 10,000 contacts on a daily basis. After an individual tests positive, case investigators will then reach out to those individuals by phone within 24 hours to begin a trace investigation. Based on information collected about the COVID-19 positive individual’s symptoms and contact history, case investigators will call other people with whom the individual has had contact and provide necessary guidance about monitoring symptoms and isolating at home.

Here is what Marylanders can expect. When the phone rings, the caller ID will read “MD COVID.” Depending on whether the contact investigator is calling directly from the National Opinion Research Center or a local health department, there will also be a list of phone numbers provided to verify the caller’s identity. They will ask about one’s health, any potential symptoms, and the duration of those symptoms. They may ask about an individual’s whereabouts and interactions for a specific period of time. Guidance will be provided regarding self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms. They will ask for verification of date of birth and additional contact information, and if an individual has already tested positive for COVID-19, they may request details regarding that test.

St. Mary’s County has a community hotline set up at 301-475-4911.

 

Updated Statistics Tuesday, May 26

The Maryland Department of Health website, as of 11:45 am Tuesday, May 26, reports the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland is at 47,687.

All data provided by the state health department is preliminary and is subject to change based on additional reporting. Information for cases by ZIP code and cases and deaths by race represent data that is available to MDH. Data for ZIP codes with 7 or fewer cases is suppressed. MDH is continuously evaluating its data and reporting systems and will make updates as more data becomes available. Click here.

Reported cases in Southern Maryland: 396 in St. Mary’s County, 308 in Calvert County, and 1,001 in Charles County.

The St. Mary’s County Health Department offered this information as of 11:45 am Tuesday, May 26:

Confirmed Cases in St. Mary’s County Residents: 396
Deaths: 15
Negative Test Results: 3159*
Hospitalizations: 60**
Recovered and Released From Isolation: 165

Male: 230
Female: 165
Data unavailable/not identified: 1

Case Breakdown by Race/Ethnicity:
African-American/Black: 133
Caucasian/White: 150
Hispanic/Latino: 29
Other or Not Identified: 84

Case Breakdown in Long-term Care Facilities***

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home
Residents: 122
Staff: 50

Chesapeake Shores
Residents: 2
Staff: 6

St. Mary’s Nursing Center
Residents: 0
Staff: 0

Please note: Due to a technical issue, local zip code mapping will be delayed until further notice.

*Laboratories reporting results electronically through the National Electronic Data Surveillance System – Data from January 1, 2020 – present.

**Number of St. Mary’s County residents who have been hospitalized at any hospital in Maryland due to COVID-19. Data is not reflective of current patient status. Emergency Department visits removed from total count.

***For additional information on cases in congregate facility settings, visit the Maryland Health Care Facilities Resource Page.

St. Mary’s data will be updated at least daily by noon at the county health department’s website linked to above.

 

The Maryland Department of Health offered this statewide information as of 11:45 am Tuesday, May 26:

Confirmed Cases in Maryland: 47,687
Negative Test Results: 206,800
Number of Deaths: 2,217
Number of Probable Deaths: 116
Current Hospitalized: 1,315
Acute Care: 795
Intensive Care: 520
Ever Hospitalized: 8,179
Released from Isolation: 3,334
Male: 22,871
Female: 24,816

Maryland residents can now see the number of cases by ZIP code. Click on the state’s website linked to above.

 

No School Distribution Meals on Memorial Day, May 25

St. Mary’s County Public Schools will provide a drive-up lunch service Monday-Friday through May 29, 2020, at the locations listed below from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm daily. Please note there will be no school site meal distribution on the Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.

Meals will be offered to all children 18 and younger free of charge. Parents and children can drive up to these locations and receive meals that they can take home.

Leonardtown Elementary School, 22885 Duke St., Leonardtown

Greenview Knolls Elementary School, 45711 Military Lane, Great Mills

Margaret Brent Middle School, 29675 Point Lookout Road, Mechanicsville

Lexington Park Elementary School, 46763 Shangri-La Drive, Lexington Park

For questions regarding the lunch service program, email foodservice@smcps.org.

 

Food Programs for People With Disabilities

The Maryland Department of Human Services, Maryland Department of Disabilities, the Salvation Army, 2-1-1 Maryland, and other partners are collaborating to supplement existing programs for people with disabilities who may be experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To connect with these feeding opportunities, constituents should call 2-1-1.  The  2-1-1 call specialist will connect the caller to  a variety of statewide  program options.

There are specific feeding opportunities currently available and are intended for people who are unable to access food due to COVID-19 related situations. These people include individuals:

  • who require home delivered meals or groceries
  • with mobility disabilities
  • with cognitive or developmental disabilities
  • who are blind, deaf-blind or low-vision
  • who are experiencing a lack of transportation options due to COVID-19 conditions
  • with difficulty accessing food distribution locations

Programs may provide home-delivered groceries and prepared meals, including food that adheres to medically prescribed diets (low fat /low salt).

Call 2-1-1 to access food programs.  People older than 60, should call Maryland Access Point, 1-844-627-5465 or go to www.marylandaccesspoint.info.

 

STS Adds Additional Bus Route

St. Mary’s Transit System has added Bus Route 3 and is running this service every other hour along Route 5 from Lexington Park to Leonardtown from 6 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

STS will continue to operate the following schedules:

Monday through Friday

Rt. 7 Southern Route – Every hour, 6 am to 6:45 pm

Rt. 11 Great Mills/California Route – Every hour, 6 am to 7 pm

Rt. 12 Leonardtown Route NB/SB – Every hour, 6 am to 7 pm

Saturday

Rt. 11 Great Mills/California Route – Every hour, 6 am to 7 pm

Rt. 12 Leonardtown Route NB/SB – Every hour, 6 am to 7 pm

Sunday

Rt. 11 Great Mills/California Route – 6 am to 7 pm

Rt. 12 Leonardtown – 6 am to 7 pm

COVID-19 precautions on all buses include the following:

Riders should restrict trips to essential travel only. Essential travel means taking trips to work, hospitals, health care providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, schools, to provide care for family members, and other similar destinations.

To minimize operator contact, passenger must place fare or ticket in the fare box or show their monthly pass or daily pass while boarding the bus.

No more than 9 passengers are allowed on the bus at a time. Additional riders must wait until the following hour to ride the bus. First responders and medical service workers will be given priority boarding.

All passengers are required to wear a face cover before boarding the bus.

Mobility – ADA and SSTAP paratransit service will continue to book and provide medical trips such as dialysis, chemotherapy, hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, as well as trips to pharmacies and grocery stores.

Rider safety is our paramount concern and St. Mary’s County Transit System performs daily wipe-down of buses and paratransit vehicles; as well as disinfecting areas of high passenger touchpoints.

Riders needing assistance with trip planning, lost and found, or other transportation related questions can contact the STS Transit Information Contact Center from 6 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday at 301-475-4200, ext. 1120 or 1121. Residents are also welcome to visit the bus system’s webpage.

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