• 4/29/20 COVID-19 Update

  • COVID-19 Update Key Points for April 29
     In the past 24 hours, Maryland reported 736 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 20,849.
     The number of confirmed cases in Talbot County is holding steady at 37. Of the county’s COVID-19 patients, 13 were admitted to the hospital as a result of their illness and 20 have been released from quarantine.
     Hospitals in Easton, Chestertown, and Cambridge have received modular tents that hold 10 beds and can be used for triage or for patient overflow. These structures increase the region’s surge capacity by 30 beds.
     Several Eastern Shore counties have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks at poultry processing facilities and longterm care facilities.
     At their meeting on Tuesday evening, the Talbot County Council extended the local State of Emergency until May 30.
     Talbot County partnered with Talbot Family Network and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maryland Food Bank guaranteeing a $90,000 payment to ensure that the county’s food pantries are funded through the month of June.
    For Immediate Release April 29, 2020
    Talbot County to Receive CARES Act Funding Talbot County will receive more than $3.2 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to offset health-related expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the potential of an additional $3.2 million for non-health related expenditures, for a total of $6.4 million. The Talbot County Health Department has already received notification of its award for public and private health-related costs, but the County must submit its plan for the non-health related funds to Maryland Department of Budget and Management by May 1 for approval.
    County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley and Emergency Services Director Clay Stamp presented the plan they co-authored at the Talbot County Council meeting on April 28. According to Dr. Wadley, the money for health-related costs will allow the Health Department to focus on the benchmarks outlined in Gov. Larry Hogan’s recovery plan. Those include declining hospitalization and deaths, robust testing capacity, a four-fold increase in contact tracing capacity, and hospital surge capacity that includes adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health providers. 
    Specifically, Talbot County’s plan will concentrate on increasing COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Dr. Wadley plans to establish a drive-through test site at the Health Department offices on Hanson Street in Easton. She will purchase tests from a private lab if the State Health Department cannot meet the department’s testing needs over the next eight months. Additional staff members for expanded contact tracing already have been recruited and will start training April 30.
    Other funds will be used to assist individuals who have been quarantined, to help prevent potential outbreaks in long-term care facilities and group homes, and to purchase additional personal protective equipment. Talbot County also will partner with the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health System and other MidShore counties to establish an alternate care site if the need arises. “This funding will really give us the tools we need to stop the spread of this infectious disease,” says Dr. Wadley. “Increased testing is certainly a critical component, and aggressive contact tracing is a proven method used by health professionals the world over.” Three additional categories make up the plan for needs not related to healthcare.
    The plan includes a fund to assist individuals and families who lost their employment during the “stay at home” and recovery periods, as well as money to assist small businesses that have not received federal funds.
    Both County and Town governments will be able to recover some costs related to the pandemic. “These funds will allow us to provide much-needed support in our community wide efforts to combat this crisis,” says Stamp. “With our plan approved by the state, it will not only allow us to support our public health response, it will help in part to address the needs of our citizens and our businesses.” The County Council will appoint a team to monitor expenditures and make changes as events and needs change. The funds will only cover expenditures made between March 1 and December 31, 2020. “This funding allows us to move forward quickly and to provide some relief to the people who have been most injured by this pandemic,” says Talbot County Council President Corey Pack. “We look forward to implementing this plan and getting Talbot County up and running again.”
    Talbot County Public Schools
    TCPS meals and CarePacks will be distributed Friday, May 1 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at all school sites. Sodexo is now providing frozen food items that require refrigerated storage and reheating. If you are unable to pick up meals and need emergency delivery, please call Crystal Miller at 443-432-5091. The TCPS Instructional Technology Help Desk will be open on Friday, May 1 from noon - 3:00 p.m. at Easton High School and St. Michaels Elementary School. Please send an email to helpdesk@talbotschools.org for virtual support or to schedule a help desk appointment for iPads or laptops. TCPS encourages parents to wear masks/cloth face coverings during meal pickups or IT Help Desk visits to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Third Quarter progress reports are being emailed or mailed this week, and plans for grading for the Fourth Quarter have been shared with parents.
    We will begin distributing the Hot Spots purchased through the Talbot Family Network Grant this Friday, May 1 through the IT Helpdesk. Help us celebrate the Class of 2020! We are asking our Seniors and their families to share photos of themselves wearing gear and/or holding signs to celebrate their commitments to college, career, or the military to post on the TCPS Facebook page. Please email photos to dgardner@talbotschools.org. “We are grateful to all of the community partners who have supported our efforts to increase internet connectivity for our students,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent. “This includes the Talbot Family Network, as well as Easton Utilities, Atlantic Broadband, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, all of whom have made Wifi available in public locations. This is a tremendous help to our staff and families!”
    Windon Distilling For the last six weeks Windon Distilling in St. Michaels has devoted all operations at the distillery to the production and distribution of hand sanitizer. A joint collaboration between LYON RUM & Gray Wolf Spirits, this project was undertaken in response to the urgent needs of local county and state agencies, as well as essential personnel. In accordance with FDA guidelines, the distillery is producing the World Health Organization formulated 80% Alcohol Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer. One-gallon containers are now available for both business and individual purchase, contact Jaime Windon at hello@lyonrum.com or 443.333.9181. Although the tasting room remains closed, home delivery for spirits is now allowed (per governor’s order) across Maryland, as is curbside pickup at the distillery.
    Where to Find More Information o CDC COVID-2019 Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html o Talbot County COVID-19 Information www.talbotcovid19.org o Shore Regional Health COVID Information https://www.umms.org/shore/patientsvisitors/coronavirus o Maryland Department of Health Website: https://health.maryland.gov/pages/home.aspx o Talbot County Health Department Website: https://health.maryland.gov/talbotcounty/Pages/home.aspx o Maryland COVID-19 Website: https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus

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