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/.
The data below was last updated on January 15, 2021, at 1:10 pm based on the latest available data from coronavirus.jhu.edu & coronavirus.maryland.gov. Note this data is retroactive to the day before.
How do I register for a vaccine if I'm in an eligible Phase group?
Click the link below for registration.
Visit here to find out if you're eligible for this phase of vaccines.
Where can I find COVID-19 testing in and around Worcester County?
Click the image below for testing locations and contact information
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.
(Updated 1/14/21) VACCINE PHASE INFORMATION
On Monday, January 18, the State of Maryland will officially enter Phase 1B, which includes Maryland residents who are 75 years and older; Marylanders in assisted living, independent living, developmental disabilities or behavioral health group homes, and other congregate facilities; high-risk incarcerated individuals; continuity of government vaccinations; and education, including K-12 teachers, support staff, and childcare providers.
State health officials have activated Part B of the CVS and Walgreens federal pharmacy partnership to include assisted living and all other long-term care facilities.
For teachers and education staff, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Karen Salmon has submitted plans for how each jurisdiction will vaccinate its educators, and school systems will begin to implement those plans in the coming weeks.
On Monday, January 25, the state will enter Phase 1C, which includes Maryland residents ages 65 to 74; public health and safety workers not covered in Phase 1A; and essential workers in lab services, food and agriculture production, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores.
The state is directing all Maryland hospitals and county health departments to utilize their next allocations for clinics focused on elderly populations.
(Updated 12/18/20) NEW PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY TO LIMIT GATHERINGS TO 10 OR LESS. The Maryland Department of Health issued a public health advisory warning Marylanders against all non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside one’s immediate household. Under this advisory, all Marylanders should refrain from attending public and private gatherings of more than 10 people in one location and should practice physical distancing to the maximum extent possible. Read the advisory.
EXPANDED TESTING AND QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVEL. The governor issued an emergency order requiring Marylanders to limit all travel to essential purposes only. All Marylanders who do travel outside of Maryland or any individuals who do travel to Maryland must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. Read the governor’s order and the companion health directives.
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF IN-PERSON CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATIONS, CONTINUATION OF MANDATORY TELEWORK FOR STATE EMPLOYEES. Governor Hogan has directed state agencies to suspend in-person customer service operations for two weeks, beginning Monday, December 21. Telework continues to be mandatory for state employees who are able to telework, and all businesses are strongly encouraged to institute telework over the holidays.
Indoor dining. The governor issued an emergency order reducing indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75% to 50%, effective November 11 at 5 p.m. bars and restaurants are permitted to be open for seated and distanced service only, with strict capacity restrictions. Effective November 20 at 5 p.m. bars, restaurants, and venues serving food and alcohol must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for carryout and delivery.
Indoor gatherings. With contact tracing data showing an uptick in cases resulting from family gatherings and house parties, state health officials have issued a public health advisory strongly discouraging indoor gatherings of 25 people or more. The capacity for retail and religious facilities will be reduced by 50%, in line with indoor dining, personal services, and indoor recreation.
Travel advisory. Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results. This applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind. Marylanders are advised to postpone or cancel travel to these areas until their positivity and/or case rates decline.
Telework. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to immediately execute a period of mandatory telework across state agencies, except for essential direct public-facing services and other essential personnel. State officials strongly encourage all businesses to take immediate steps to expand telework.
Hospital surge capacity. State health officials have issued an emergency order expanding hospital surge capacity that provides state EMS officials with the flexibility to shift patients to alternate care sites and to add capacity at those sites if the need arises.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Indoor visitation at nursing homes will be significantly limited. Visitors must have proof of a negative test within 72 hours. Staff should minimize their contact with large gatherings and communicate early and often about infection control issues at their facilities. Indoor visitation is not permitted if the facility is currently conducting outbreak testing and in accordance with federal guidance on this subject.
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 my test results from MAKO Labs?
After your specimen has been collected it is shipped to the lab. To get your results, from your smartphone, simply text: MAKO to 66349. Or if you don’t have a smartphone, go to:
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.
How long do I have to quarantine if I am a contact of a positive and I have no symptoms?
CDC recently updated their guidance for the length of quarantine for persons who are contacts of a COVID-19 positive case. Below is a summary of the new guidance (updated 12/2/2020).
For most situations, quarantine of persons who DO NOT have any symptoms can end either after 7 days or 10 days following the last exposure to a COVID case, depending on whether a COVID test is performed, as follows:
- The person may be released from quarantine after Day 7 if they have a COVID-19 test (when diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available) and test negative and they did not have any symptoms during the daily monitoring.
- Note: The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7. Therefore, the specimen must be collected on or after Day 5.
- If the person had no symptoms during daily monitoring and did not have a COVID-19 test, they may be released from quarantine after Day 10.
When people meet these criteria and end quarantine early, these individuals must continue self-monitoring of symptoms and consistent mask use through day 14. They should also continue to follow prevention guidelines including maintaining a minimum of 6 foot physical distance from others and washing their hands.
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.