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/.
Effective Friday, September 4, 2020, the state of Maryland entered into Stage Three of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with additional safe and gradual reopenings.
As part of the state’s initial entry into Stage Three, Governor Hogan announced the following additional safe and gradual reopenings:
INDOOR THEATERS. Indoor theaters where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity or 100 people per auditorium—whichever is less—with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.
OUTDOOR VENUES. Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity or 250 people—whichever is less—with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.
RETAIL AND RELIGIOUS FACILITIES. Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50 to 75 percent.
On July 31, 2020 the statewide masking order was expanded to require face coverings in the public spaces of all businesses, and in outdoor public spaces of all businesses, and in outdoor public areas when it is impossible to maintain physical distancing.
On June 12, 2020 additional openings as part of Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ will go into effect at 5:00 pm. Restaurants can resume indoor operations at 50 percent capacity, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association. Outdoor amusements and rides, including miniature golf and go-kart tracks, may resume with appropriate health and safety protocols. Capacity restrictions at pools will be increased to 50 percent with strict safety guidelines still in place.
On June 19, 2020 indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities may begin to safely reopen at 50 percent capacity with strict health, distancing, and sanitization measures. Casinos, arcades, and malls may also begin to resume operations with strict safety protocols.
Marylanders, particularly older and more vulnerable Marylanders, are strongly advised to continue staying home as much as possible. Employers should continue to encourage telework for their employees when possible. Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so. Maryland citizens should continue wearing masks in indoor public areas, retail stores, and on public transportation. The updated order is available at https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Gatherings-NINTH-AMENDED-June-10.pdf.
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
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- 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.
How do I get tested for Coronavirus?
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, etc. and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home. Free testing sites are available at the Pocomoke Health Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 am-12:00 pm and at the West Ocean City Park and Ride on Wednesdays between 8:30 am-12:00 pm. By appointment only. Please call 410-632-1100 option 8 to schedule an appointment. If symptoms worsen contact your local emergency room.
If you received a COVID-19 test from the Worcester County Health Department you can get easy, online access to lab results you can understand. Simply text MAKO to 66349 or if you don't have a smartphone, go to https://mako.luminatehealth.com to set up your patient portal. Worcester County Health Department will continue to call with positive results and start the process of contact tracing.
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.
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.