By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team
Governor Larry Hogan and state health officials yesterday announced a series of actions intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season. Meanwhile, Garrett County’s total positive cases stands at 1,324, with a total of 30 deaths, an increase of 32 cases and 2 deaths since the last report on Wednesday, December 16th.
Garrett County is currently above the state average for COVID-19 statistics:
- 7-day positivity rate among Garrett County residents is 12.8% (Maryland rate is 7.8%)
- 7-day case rate per 100,000 among Garrett County residents is 73.4 (Maryland rate is 42.8)
During yesterday’s press conference, Governor Hogan again requested the help of all Marylander’s to control the spread of COVID-19.
“Our strongest defense against this virus continues to be the cooperation and the vigilance of the people of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “However, this holiday season could present perhaps our toughest challenge yet. Our message today is simple: you are safer at home for the holidays this year. Making difficult sacrifices during these next few weeks will absolutely help to keep your family, loved ones, and your fellow Marylanders safe.”
Governor Hogan announced new testing and quarantine requirements for travel, and a new public health advisory to limit gatherings, citing data from contact tracing that shows family and other social gatherings and out-of-state travel lead to the most cases and the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The new measures include:
- Expanded Testing and Quarantine Requirements for Travel: The Governor’s emergency order requires Marylanders to limit travel to essential purposes only and requires anyone who travels outside of Maryland, or anyone who travels into Maryland, to either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. (Except for the bordering state of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC).
- Public Health Advisory: Maryland Department of Health issued a public health advisory warning against non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside one’s immediate household, limiting gatherings of more than 10 people.
The next free COVID-19 testing in Garrett County will be held on Tuesday, December 22, from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park, located off Bumble Bee Road between Hart for Animals and the Garrett County Airport. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a test at this site, and appointments and doctors’ orders are not required. Be prepared for a possible wait. Preregistration is recommended. Visit garretthealth.org preregistration information. Testing hours are being extended on Tuesday to accommodate the increased demand around the holiday season.
Testing normally held on Thursdays is cancelled for December 24 due to the Maryland State Holiday.
Anyone with COVID-19 like symptoms and a doctor’s order may call Health Department 301-334-7697 to schedule a testing appointment at the Oakland office.
Additional COVID-19 resources:
- Visit garretthealth.org for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.
- To schedule an Influenza vaccination, call the Health Department at 301-334-7697.
- For all other COVID-19 related questions, or to report a COVID-19 compliance issue, call the local COVID-19 Hotline number at 301-334-7698
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