April 6, 2020

Stock Ticker

March 19 St. Mary’s Coronavirus Updates

The following are updated news releases and announcements related to the coronavirus pandemic. While at this time, there are no identified cases of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County, residents are encouraged to continue social distancing measures by avoiding crowded areas and restricting travel and localized movement.

Gov. Larry Hogan last night 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,” reads the governor’s announcement.

At a news conference this morning, Gov. Hogan said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland has gone up to 107, an 88% increase over the past 48 hours. Among those testing positive is a 5-year-old girl in Howard County, the first report of a child contracting the virus in Maryland.

There are two reported cases in Charles County and one in Calvert County.

Go to the Maryland Department of Health at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/.

 

St. Mary’s County Homelessness Prevention Board reported these updates and status regarding COVID-19 as it relates to homeless services.

The homeless service agencies in St. Mary’s County are taking several steps to address the situation:

The Department of Social Services is not taking walk-in business. People seeking services should call 240-895-7000.

Three Oaks Center is open with limited on-site staff for shelter services. All other staff are working from home and addressing Rapid Re-housing, Medical Respite, Permanent Supportive Housing and Veteran programs.

St. Mary’s Housing Authority is closed to walk-in traffic. They are working and appointments can be made by calling 301-866-6590. Property inspections have been suspended until further notice.

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen is providing bag/boxed meals for pick-up. There is currently no dining.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools (Greenview Knolls, Leonardtown Elementary, Lexington Park Elementary, Margaret Brent Middle) is providing breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper for pick-up from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Food pantries are open on a limited basis.

  • First Saints closed until March 28
  • St. Cecelia’s closed until further notice
  • Trinity Lutheran open Tuesdays 6-7:30 pm
  • Lexington Park Baptist open Wednesday 1-3:30 pm until further notice
  • Church of the Ascension Outdoor Food Pantry is open Monday- Thursday from 9 am-noon and also from 3-6pm
  • St. Mary’s County libraries at Lexington Park and Charlotte Hall “Little Pantries” are fully stocked and available to anyone in need.

Emergency Management, Three Oaks Center, DSS, and the St. Mary’s County Health Department are working on plans to house homeless individuals who may become infected in a quarantined recovery unit.

 

Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County Restrictions on Accessing Courthouse

The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals has issued an order suspending non-essential judicial activities in Maryland’s courts, and March 16 restricted courts to emergency operations.

The following may not enter the Circuit Court premises, without prior permission of the administrative judge:

  • Persons who have been to any of the following locations within the last 14 days: state of Washington; New Rochelle, New York; China; South Korea; Japan; Italy; Iran; Egypt; Europe; or any other region or country for which the CDC has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice.
  • Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has been in one of the countries listed above within the last 14 days.
  • Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine or self-isolate by any doctor, hospital, or health agency.
  • Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Persons who are experiencing any acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), flu-like symptoms, have a fever, or are coughing or sneezing.

Those scheduled or required to appear in the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County, who are unable to appear because of the restrictions in the order, you are directed to proceed as follows:

If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney.

If you are an attorney or are unrepresented and you are scheduled to appear in court before a judge, contact the Circuit Court Case Management Office at 301-475-7844, ext. 74101.

 

From Historic Sotterley

Historic Sotterley’s grounds remain open for those “practicing social distancing while getting fresh air” — 10 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday and noon-4 pm Sunday.

However, the indoor exhibits and restrooms are closed. The March 21 Potato Planting Day and the Fly-In Farmers Market events have been canceled.

 

MedStar Health Rescheduling All Elective Procedures Starting March 19

MedStar Health is committed to delivering the highest quality and safe care for its patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

“As we all experience this together, we are also committed to the safety of our physicians, nurses, and associates. The community spread of COVID-19 requires that we take unprecedented measures to ensure these goals. With these important priorities in mind, starting Thursday, March 19, we are postponing all elective procedures and surgeries across MedStar Health,” reads a MedStar news release. “This decision was made after thoughtful consideration and planning, balancing how we best use our resources to meet the needs of our patients while mitigating risk to our patients, associates and families. Our department leaders and our physicians will make case-by-case decisions using the specific clinical circumstances of each of our patients. We will be reaching out to our patients in the event their care will be affected.”

Click here for more information.

 

From The Newtowne Players

The Newtowne Players will cancel its spring production “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani. Due to the tight schedule of shows between now and the end of its 2019-2020 season, the show will not be rescheduled.

“We are heartbroken that we cannot share the work of our actors, production team, and volunteers with the public but must first be good stewards of the resources we have, namely our people. At this time we do not know how this closure will affect our upcoming production of ‘A Night On Broadway,’ but will share additional information with our members and patrons as it becomes available,” reads a notice on the group’s website.

“We are relaxing our exchange and refund policy until further notice. All patrons who have already purchased tickets to “Almost, Maine” will be contacted by a member of our front of house staff and will be allowed to transfer their tickets to one of the remaining shows in the season or receive a full refund of the ticket price. Please be patient as we have a lot of calls to make. We anticipate that this process will be complete by Sunday, March 22,” the statement continues.

 

From The Cove/DFZ

Status report from The Cove/DFZ adolescent clubhouse program.  (Please note that all Walden inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for adults are continuing to operate with recommended precautions.)

Like other community-based adolescent clubhouses throughout the state, The Cove team understands that safe places for youth are limited. As a result, it is taking the following measures for safety:

  • The Cove/DFZ has been limiting services to youth already enrolled only. It is temporarily not taking new youth referrals. Inactive youth are receiving tele-outreach.
  • The Cove/DFZ is screening youth daily who want to use the program for risk factors and signs/symptoms of being sick.
  • Daily youth participants are limited to restrict the number of people grouped together to 10 or less (staff and youth). Youth will receive services in The Cove and as a back up at Beacon of Hope facility (if needed).
  • Youth are being included and educated in safety and cleaning practices to pass on to homes.
  • The Cove/DFZ is serving meals on site to enrolled youth with safety precautions of self-food service. The team is also reaching out to provide to youth attending, or youth not attending via delivery/drop off, needed food and toiletries to youth and families.

Special Enrollment Period for Marylanders Without Health Insurance

The Maryland Health Connection has opened up a special enrollment period for anyone who does not have health insurance to get it until April 15 as a result of the coronavirus. Click here for the details.

 

Pax Commissary and NEX Remain Open

The operating environment inside the COVID-19 response continues to evolve, but the Pax Commissary and Navy Exchange remain open and committed to serving their customers at Pax River.

The Pax River Navy Exchange will maintain normal business hours until further notice. Food operators are open, but for take out only.
Two food operators are temporarily modifying their hours. The new hours are:

Seawings Café (Building 2272) Cafeteria 7 am to 1 pm

Starbucks 7 am to 10:30 am

Subway Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm; Saturday-Sunday 10 am to 3 pm

Pax Commissary Update:

Effective March 18, Pax River Commissary will begin 100% ID card checks at the entrance of the store and the visitor policy will be revoked.

Effective March 19, “early bird” shopping hours will be removed.

Commissary hours: Monday closed. Tuesday-Friday 9 am to 7 pm. Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. Sunday 10 am to 6 pm

Customers with questions or concerns about the Pax River Navy Exchange can call 301-342-0606; those with questions or concerns about the Pax River Commissary can call 301-342-3789/3630.

 

MARCH 18 UPDATES

Update on Meals Program; New Locations for Pickup Added

St. Mary’s County Public Schools will be offering breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack at four locations. Community members will drive up and receive all meals for the day conveniently packed in one grab and go bag for children 18 younger.

Acceptance and participation requirements for the program are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. There will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows:

Until March 27, 2020, Monday-Friday, a drive-up lunch service will be provided at the locations listed below from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

  • Leonardtown Elementary School, 22885 Duke Street, 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
Email questions to foodservices@smcps.org.

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen

Meals will be handed out, one per person, between 10:30 am and 1 pm Monday-Saturday at the St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen at 20850 Langley Road in Lexington Park. People will be required to leave the property immediately upon receiving their food and will not be allowed to congregate on the grounds for personal safety reasons. The soup kitchen will alternate between hot meals and cold sandwiches.

The soup kitchen needs bottled water, fruit cups, puddings, granola bars, chips, to-go containers with lids for soup, individual condiment packets, and individual desserts. Drop-off times are 8:30 am to 1:30 pm Monday-Saturday.

If there are other agencies or citizens that are providing feeding service, contact the Kelsey Bush at 301-475-4200, ext. 71848 or kelsey.bush@stmarysmd.com.

 

Testing Available at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and the St. Mary’s County Health Department are working together to provide necessary testing to residents with symptoms of the coronavirus.

Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (including cough, fever, and shortness of breath) should:

  • Contact their primary care provider and make an appointment to be screened. Your primary care provider will evaluate you and determine if you should be tested. If you meet the criteria for testing, your provider will write a prescription for testing.
  • If you do not have a primary care provider and are experiencing symptoms, call the hotline at 301-475-4911. The health department will have nurses available to discuss concerns and assist in coordinating testing if you need it.
  • If you have trouble breathing or are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or call ahead to the emergency department to be evaluated in person.

People who do not have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or fever should not be tested for COVID-19 — the test will not work and may give false security.

Please only consider testing if you have symptoms and think you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you have a prescription for testing and a valid photo ID:

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is offering drive-thru testing outside the Outpatient Pavilion entrance at the rear of the hospital. Testing will be offered between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please call 301-475-6142 for more information or current wait times. Residents should remain in their vehicle and a staff member will come out to administer the test. 

To be tested for coronavirus, you must present a prescription from a medical provider or the health department. If you have a high fever and cough, you may come to the Emergency Department where you will be screened to determine if you meet the criteria for testing.

Please note: Test results are not immediate; results may take up to four days to become available. You will receive a follow-up call from your primary care provider or the health department.

 

Operational Changes at Health Department

Effective immediately, the St. Mary’s County Health Department buildings, including the main office and harm reduction satellite office, will be closed to public access until further notice.

“This action allows us to promote social distancing measures and to redirect our public health workforce to focus on COVID-19 emergency preparedness and response,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County health officer. “Essential services needed for the immediate protection of public health will continue, but walk-in services will no longer be available.”

The following services will continue to operate, though no walk-in service will be available:

  • Emergency Preparedness & Response
  • Infectious Disease Control
  • Environmental Health Services (e.g., perc tests, community health complaints, food safety inspections, septic, rabies, etc.)
  • Medicaid eligibility and enrollment
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutritional Program
  • Vital Records (online only)
  • Nurse Monitoring & Care Coordination for Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities
  • Behavioral Health Care Coordination & System Management
  • Epidemiology

The following programs will be suspended until further notice:

  • Harm Reduction Program
  • Health Clinic
  • Local Health Improvement Coalition, Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Program
  • Administrative Care Coordination Unit
  • Behavioral Health Prevention Programs
  • Primary Care Collaborative
  • Cancer Screening Programs
  • Asthma & Lead Programs
  • Tobacco Control Programs
  • School Wellness

For questions, call 301-475-4330 or visit its website. Environmental Health calls should be directed to 301-475-4321.

Community members, health care providers, and local business owners are encouraged to visit the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s website for local COVID-19 updates and information here.

 

St. Mary’s County Library Expands Access to Digital Materials and Online Resources

The St. Mary’s County Library offers an option for all citizens to sign up for a free Library Card through the St. Mary’s County Library website, www.stmalib.org.

Simply click on “Get a Library Card” under “Library Services” on the homepage. When you apply online, you will receive a temporary Library Card number that can be used to access the Library’s online resources and digital materials which include thousands of ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines, downloadable movies, TV shows, music, and more.

The library has extended all temporary cards to be valid for 90 days. Once the library is open again, you can come in to verify your address and receive your permanent physical library card.

Browse thousands of digital items available for free without ever leaving your home. Find easy to use instructions on accessing items on the library website “Read, Listen, Watch.”

 

MARCH 17 UPDATES

St. Mary’s County Government Operations
All St. Mary’s County government administrative offices are open for regular operations until further notice.
All St. Mary’s County government meeting spaces are closed through March 27.

Circuit Court for St. Mary’s is Open for Business March 17-April 3 on Restricted Operations subject to the following information:

Pursuant to Chief Judge Barbera’s order of March 16 restricting the operations of the Maryland Judiciary due to the COVID-19 emergency, the following information is provided.

In accord with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, and the further escalation of the emergency requiring more comprehensive measures to protect the health and safety of Maryland residents and judiciary personnel. This court will be operating on a restrictive basis pursuant to the order of March 16, seeking to limit the level, duration, and quality of contact among people who frequent the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County.

To that end, all persons who enter the Circuit Courthouse are encouraged to practice good hygiene, by frequently washing their hands, keeping an appropriate distance from others and — in the case of employees — keeping workstations, keyboards, and phones clean. Commonly used surfaces in the Circuit Courthouse, including the areas around doors and elevators, are cleaned by county crews.

The concept of “social distancing” in the Circuit Courthouse is encouraged, but normal human interaction is inevitable. Thus, all courthouse users should be prudent and exercise good judgment during those interactions.

As a result of the decision to restrict operations having occurred after business hours concluded March 16, Administrative Judge Stamm will be meeting with court officials in an effort to streamline procedures going forward. For now, however, please note the following:

Pursuant to the March 16 order, only those proceedings designated as urgent mandatory matter will be proceeding on and after March 17 until April 3, 2020, or further order of court. These matters shall be scheduled or heard in person or remotely pursuant to the Administrative Order on Remote Electronic Participation in Judicial Proceeding.

The following is a listing of said mandatory matters per said Order;

  • Bail reviews
  • Arraignments for detained defendants
  • Juvenile detention hearings
  • Emergency delinquency
  • Quarantine and isolation petitions
  • Extradition cases
  • Body attachments
  • Extreme risk protective order appeals

As for the above urgent mandatory matters, if not done remotely only the parties, attorneys, and testifying witnesses are permitted to attend those trials, motions or hearings, with no exceptions, unless permission is expressly granted by the administrative judge to do so.

For all other emergency matters including those listed below, the administrative judge or his or her designee shall review the petition, determine whether it must be heard in person, or can be heard with remote electronic participation, or can be scheduled after the emergency period has ended, or can be resolved without a hearing:

  • shelter care hearings and/or related adjudications
  • emergency delinquency hearings
  • emergency Habeas Corpus petitions
  • emergency issues in guardianship matters
  • domestic violence protective orders
  • appeals from peace orders
  • family law emergencies
  • temporary restraining orders
  • criminal competency matters
  • Motions regarding: extreme risk protective orders, domestic violence protective orders, peace orders
  • contempt hearings related to peace or protective orders
  • matters involving locally incarcerated defendants;

Requests for initial or temporary Domestic Violence Orders are to be filed and heard by the Court Commissioner located at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.

All remaining emergency non-mandatory matters, including both civil and criminal jury and civil trials, motions or hearings scheduled to commence on or after March 16, before any judge or magistrate, shall be re-scheduled. If you are currently scheduled for a matter not on the mandatory list your case is postponed this week and will be rescheduled to a later date. Case management will be contacting by phone litigants scheduled the week of March 16 and after this week by either MDEC or mailings of your new dates.

The March 16 order does not affect the courts’ consideration or resolution of matters that can be addressed without a proceeding that involves testimony or argument;

The clerks’ office will not be interacting with members of the public or attorneys, except by telephone. All court filings and land recordings shall be mailed or placed in the court’s after-hours drop box, located by the main entrance of the courthouse, with no exceptions.

Other than judges, designated essential employees of the courthouse, Register of Wills office, and State’s Attorney’s Office, the only persons who may access the Circuit Court are litigants, attorneys, or testifying witnesses in a case scheduled for hearing on a particular day; Public Defenders; probation agents; St. Mary’s County Office of Child Support; Pretrial Services employees; Department of Juvenile Justice employees; the St. Mary’s County Attorneys and Department of Health and Human Services employees. Any other user of the courthouse who frequently appears on behalf of a government agency who is not on the list above should contact the administrative judge.

The law library, Self-Help Center, Pro Bono/Self Help Clinic, notary services, any classes offered or attended in the Circuit Courthouse, and Lawyer Referral Service will continue to be closed to the public, except that attorneys or litigants who are in court for hearing or trial may use the library on the day of their hearing or trial.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools

St. Mary’s County Public Schools closed through March 27. Students will return to school March 30, 2020.

Department of Aging & Human Services

All Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler, and Northern) are closed. Senior Information & Assistance appointments will not be conducted in person. Individuals are encouraged to conduct business by phone or email, or to reschedule appointments for a time when the centers have reopened. All programs and activities are canceled. The Patrick Henry LIFE trip on March 20 and the Charles County Churches LIFE trip on March 26 are canceled.

Home-Delivered Meals will continue as regularly scheduled.

There will be no congregate meals at Senior Activity Centers, but meals will be provided to New Towne Village and Cedar Lane Senior Living Communities.

St. Mary’s Transit System will continue regular operations until further notice.

St. Mary’s County Regional Airport is open under normal operations.

Convenience Centers and Landfill

The six convenience centers and the St. Andrew’s Landfill will continue normal operations.

Museums

The St. Clement’s Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse and Museum are closed and Maryland Day 2020 events at the St. Clement’s Island are canceled.

Wicomico Shores Golf Course

Wicomico Shores Golf Course Pro Shop is open daily for golf from 8 am to 4 pm. The Riverview Restaurant is closed.

St. Mary’s County Libraries are closed through March 29, library programming and events are also canceled. Meeting rooms are closed. No fines will be levied during library closure period. The Friends of the Library Book Sale scheduled for March 26-29 is canceled.

College of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland campuses are closed to the public, except for employees and current students, until further notice. In addition, all spring sports are canceled for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester.

St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission

MetCom is open under normal operations.

Residents can call the hotline at 301-475-4911 Monday-Saturday between 8 am and 5 pm for information relating to COVID-19 or visit the following website for more information and updates www.smchd.org/coronavirus.

St. Mary’s County Government Boards, Committees, Commissions and Meetings Cancellations and Postponements

All St. Mary’s County government meeting spaces are closed through March 20. This includes, but is not limited to, the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Chesapeake Building and the Room 14 Conference Room in the Potomac Building.

The Airport Advisory Board Meeting scheduled for March 23 is canceled.

The YMCA Exploratory Committee meeting scheduled for March 19 is canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date.

The Census Complete Count Committee Meeting scheduled for March 19 is canceled.

The Commission on Aging Meeting scheduled for March 23 is canceled.

For more information, visit the St. Mary’s County government website.

Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership

All Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership in-person action team meetings have been canceled. Community members, health care providers, and local business owners are encouraged to visit the SMCHD website for COVID-19 information and updates at www.smchd.org/coronavirus.

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen

The St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen is committed to providing meals for the food-insecure individuals in the community during the COVID-19 containment period.

It’s dining room closed starting Monday, March 16. One take-and-go bagged meal per person will be distributed at the soup kitchen between 10:30 am and 1 pm each day. For your safety, no eating will be allowed on the property. Everyone will be required to exit the premises as soon as they receive their food.

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen is at 20850 Langley Road in Lexington Park, on the grounds of Good Samaritan Lutheran Church, directly across from Fair Lead Academy.

Historic St. Mary’s City 

All Historic St. Mary’s City events and programs also are canceled until further notice. Historic St. Mary’s City walking trails remain open.

St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission Partners with St. Mary’s County Health Department on Public Water Supply to Customers

The St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission and St. Mary’s County Health Department have partnered to ensure that public water supply is available to MetCom customers. Effective immediately, and until further notice, and unless there is a water main break or other related emergency, the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission will not be disconnecting water/sewer service to any customer who is delinquent in payment.

Statewide Restrictions Announced for Bars, Restaurants, Movie Theaters and Gyms Related to COVID-19

Gov. Larry Hogan announced at a news conference March 16 statewide restrictions on all bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms. These businesses are closed. Some drive-throughs can remain open and carry-out and food delivery service will still be available. Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

Local liquor stores, bars, and restaurants with questions relating to alcohol service should contact the Alcohol Beverage Board of St. Mary’s County at 301-475-4200, ext. 71600.

Leave A Comment