COVID-19


Where to Find Local Information

Talbot County COVID-19 Information www.talbotcovid19.org

CDC COVID-2019 Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Talbot County COVID-19 Information www.talbotdes.org/covid19.asp

For daily emailed updates the Town of St. Michaels with information for  residents and businesses from the Talbot COVID-19 Emergency Operations Team and additional information from the Town, join the St. Michaels email list HERE.

Maryland Department of Health Website: https://health.maryland.gov/pages/home.aspx
Talbot County Health Department Website: https://health.maryland.gov/talbotcounty/Pages/home.aspx
Talbot County Health Department Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TalbotHealthMaryland/
Talbot County Department of Emergency Services Website: http://www.talbotdes.org/default.asp
Talbot County Department of Emergency Services Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talbotdes

Recent Updates:

APRIL 7, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

APRIL 6, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

APRIL 5, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

APRIL 4, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

APRIL 3, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

APRIL 2, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

APRIL 1, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 31, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 30, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 29, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 28, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 27, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 26, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

Town residents, second home owners and visitors.

The Town is committed to adhering to the stringent guidelines necessary to help slow the spread of infection. There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 in nearly all Eastern Shore Counties. With the rapid spread and stealth transmission of COVID-19, we are asking Town residents and visitors to review the precautions the Town has taken to prevent the spread, which are outlined below, and ask that you continue to follow the Orders of President Trump and Maryland Governor Hogan.

Per the CDC recommendation and Maryland Governor Hogan’s mandate on March 25, 2020:
Anyone visiting or returning to Maryland, who has recently spent time in New York or who has visited the Tri-State area (NY, NJ and CT) “must” quarantine in place and limit all contact with others for 14 days. (14 days from your arrival date)

MARCH 25, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 24, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 23, 2020-Non-Essential Businesses Ordered to Close, Relief for Businesses on the Horizon

Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order closing all non-essential businesses effective at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23. At the same time, he announced a relief package designed to help businesses and expanded benefits for workers who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to a $50 million grant program that helps businesses with operating expenses, the Maryland Department of Commerce is also administering a $75 million emergency relief loan fund. An incentive fund for manufacturers willing to produce personal protective equipment was also announced.

Unlike many states, Maryland allows workers to apply for unemployment benefits immediately. The Maryland Department of Labor is also accepting applications for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund that provides funds to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.
Essential Business List CLICK HERE.

Message from the St. Michaels Town Office

Until we hear otherwise from the Governor’s office, beginning on Monday, March 23rd staffing at the Town Office will be reduced, but will allow for a continuance of service by calling 410-745-9535. The office will remain closed to the public. If the office is closed, office staff can be reached by calling 410-924-7618.

Police operations will continue as usual. If there is an emergency, please call 911. For non-emergencies, call the St. Michaels Police Department directly at 410-745-9500.

The Public Works Department will be working to maintain essential services in the town, including daily water quality monitoring, as usual. Trash pickup will also be as usual on Tuesday with brush pickup on Wednesday.

MARCH 22, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 21, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 20, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 19, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 18, 2020 – Attached please find Talbot County local agency updates. CLICK HERE.

MARCH 17, 2020 – Attached please find the Emergency Declaration for Talbot County in response to COVID-19 as adopted by the Talbot County Council at today’s emergency meeting.
CLICK HERE.

MARCH 16, 2020 – Closures in St. Michaels 
In a recent press conference this morning, Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the shutdown of all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms in Maryland, effective at 5 p.m., to slow the spread of the coronavirus. While closing restaurants, Hogan’s order would allow drive-thru, carryout and food delivery service to continue. Please check with local restaurants to see if carry-out is an option. We encourage support of local businesses whenever possible.

With Maryland under a state of emergency, Governor Hogan had previously prohibited large gatherings and events of more than 250 people. That was in keeping with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. But the CDC has since recommended that events with 50 or more people be canceled or postponed. Governor Hogan ordered Maryland to follow suit. The order limiting gatherings to 50 people applies to social, community, religious and recreational or sports activities.

Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, gas stations and other essential services can remain open.

Please feel free to contact us at 410-745-9535. For a list of staff email addresses, click HERE.

For Public Works concerns, call (410) 745-5147.
In case of emergency, contact St. Michaels Police Department at 410-745-5000 or call 911.

MARCH 13, 2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Easton, MD – Talbot County has convened an Operational Working Group made up of officials from the Talbot County Health Department, Talbot County Emergency Services, Talbot County Government, Talbot County’s towns, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and law enforcement agencies. This group is monitoring this evolving situation closely and will release information each week day to share any updates affecting the citizens of Talbot County.

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and a catastrophic health emergency to help control and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state of Maryland. On March 12, he issued an executive order banning all public gatherings of 250 people or more and recommended social distancing in smaller gatherings. He also activated the National Guard into a heightened state of active duty to carry out any necessary emergency functions.

“We are following the lead of Governor Hogan on this issue and are taking proactive and reasonable measures to protect our citizens,” says Talbot County Council President Corey Pack. “We know this is a difficult time for our community, but we must all do our part for the good of Talbot County and all of our people.”

The Operational Working Group for this emerging infectious disease is a modified group of the county’s Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) that typically convenes in emergency situations, says Clay Stamp, Talbot County’s Director of Emergency Services and Assistant County Manager. In addition, a private sector group has also been convened to address issues affecting the business community.

“Talbot County utilizes its close partnerships among agencies on a daily basis to make sure that residents are safe and aware of what is happening around us,” Stamp says. “The coordinated decisions we are making and strategies we are using moving forward are in the best interest of the community. A prepared community is a safe community.”

Though Maryland currently has 15 confirmed cases, there are no confirmed cases in Talbot County at this time. Officials are attempting to strike a balance between overreacting and underreacting, while also making sure that their actions are reasonable and prudent.

“Closures and cancellations are designed to slow the spread of this virus,” says Talbot County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley. “We are especially concerned about our senior citizens and those with compromised immune systems. We are taking the precautions necessary to protect all of our citizens.”

Following is a summary of the measures Talbot County has taken in response to this emerging situation.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Update
Enacted a Modified Visitor Policy, which was effective at 7 a.m. March 11, which states:
1. All visitors must check in at the designated entrance or front desk of any hospital or outpatient facility that they enter. For the three hospitals, the Emergency Departments are the designated entrance. All other entrances will be locked while the Modified Visitor Policy is in place.
2. No one under the age of 18 (except if the parent of a patient) is permitted to visit the hospital or any outpatient areas, including the waiting areas and common spaces.
3. Only 1 adult visitor is allowed per patient for all areas of the hospital and outpatient facilities.
4. Visitors may be screened for flu-like symptoms—runny nose, fever, cough—and are not permitted to visit the hospital if symptoms are present.
5. Visitors with international travel may not visit for 14 days after arrival into the U.S.
6. All support groups, meetings, classes and events scheduled in any hospital or outpatient facility have been cancelled until further notice.
7. All volunteers have been sent home until further notice.
8. All hospital gift shops located within the hospitals have been closed until further notice.
9. All employees are discouraged from traveling out of state until further notice.
10. All face-to-face meetings will be moved to be conducted via email or phone until further notice.
11. All work-related travel has been prohibited until further notice.
12. Non-essential staff are being given the tools to and are being encouraged to work from home until further notice.

Talbot County Department of Corrections
1. Essential court appearances will be conducted via video connection rather than physical transport.
2. All volunteer activities and programs provided by outside providers are cancelled until further notice.

Talbot County Department of Emergency Services
1. The Department of Emergency Services is currently inventorying equipment to ensure that staff is equipped with the proper personal protective equipment needed to work in a safe environment and respond to calls.
2. All 911 Dispatchers are following protocols to query calls to be sure that pertinent information is collected and relayed to the appropriate responding agency.
3. Emergency medical clinicians are taking steps to ensure that they and patients are protected and able to efficiently respond to calls.
4. Emergency Management is working to ensure our partners are engaged, communication lines are open, and we are able to receive resources needed in order to continue daily and essential operations.

Talbot County Free Library
1. The health and well-being of our community and staff is the Talbot County Free Library’s top priority.
2. Out of an abundance of caution, effective Saturday, March 14, the Talbot County Free Library will cancel all library public programming and outreach activities at both branches up to and including Friday, March 27.
3. In addition, the library is cancelling all story times at both branches through Wednesday, April 15.
4. Groups may still use our meeting rooms at this time and bookings for future reservations are still being taken.
5. Some computers will selectively be taken out of service to encourage social distancing.

Talbot County Health Department
Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley says, “People are asking why we doing all these closures and cancellations with only 15 cases in Maryland. These cautionary responses are intended to slow the spread of the virus so health care facilities don’t become overwhelmed.”
1. People with mild illness should stay at home and monitor their symptoms.
2. If you have symptoms and have concerns of exposure, call your primary care provider to discuss and receive instructions for care. If you have a known exposure and are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that requires medical attention, call the hospital prior to arriving or notify the emergency medical services of your exposure.
3. Testing is not available at the health department at this time. Call your primary care provider for availability of testing.
4. People 60 and over or people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems should avoid crowds, stay away from others who are sick, and stay home as much as possible.
5. If you have other questions or concerns, please call the Talbot County Health Department at 410-819-5600.

Talbot County Public Schools
Pursuant to the decision announced by State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon during Governor Hogan’s press conference, all Maryland public schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. At this time TCPS Staff is initiating the following:
1. Cleaning and disinfecting all buildings and buses.
2. Contacting parents to come into schools to pick up medications.
3. Working with Sodexo and CarePacks to set up meal distribution sites. CarePacks has also indicated they will utilize volunteers to deliver meals.
4. Ensuring that students in grades 6-12 take home laptops and chargers.
5. Assembling materials to be sent home with elementary students.
6. Forming strategies to provide work opportunities for staff who do not receive compensation when schools are closed.
“The decisions made concerning the handling of COVID-19 within TCPS will be consistent with our values – placing health and safety above all – and will represent our best judgement as we adapt to this rapidly changing situation,” said Dr. Kelly L. Griffith, Superintendent. “I appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we navigate this uncharted territory.”

Talbot County Senior Center
1. Talbot County Senior Centers are currently closed and will remain closed for all senior activities, as well as evening and weekend activities until further notice.
2. Meals on Wheels participants will continue to receive their scheduled delivery for the foreseeable future.
3. Those who are regular participants at daily lunch are also eligible to receive up to six meals per week until the Centers are reopened.
4. The Senior Center has limited capabilities to provide meals to anyone 60 years of age or older who does not fall into either of these categories. To determine your eligibility please contact Childlene R. Brooks, Manager of Brookletts Place at 410-822-2869, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
5. We will continue to monitor our Meals on Wheels clients and daily participants to determine their needs and health status.
6. If needed, our staff will provide home visits to any eligible senior who is not exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus.
Call the Talbot County Senior Center at (410) 822-2869 for more information. “ Our Public health officials tell us that senior citizens are more vulnerable to coronavirus, so we are taking this step to reduce their chances of infection and to keep them safe,” stated Gary Gunther, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging Inc.

Talbot County Department of Social Services
1. Currently providing services as usual.
2. Clients are encouraged to consider using the DHS online portal when possible. To access the myDHR website, go to https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
“In keeping with the Governor’s encouragement of social distancing to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we encourage customers to consider using the DHS online portal (MyDHR) when possible to apply for benefits and consider whether their questions can be answered by phone,” says Director Linda Webb.

YMCA of the Chesapeake
1. All locations currently remain open.
2. Seniors and those with compromised immune systems should take active measures to protect their health.

MARCH 13, 2020 – PRESS RELEASE

Public Notice to the citizens and businesses in the Town of St. Michaels

On behalf of the Commissioners of St. Michaels, the Town of St. Michaels will be following the executive order issued by the Governor of Maryland which prohibits gatherings of people of 250 people or more. The Executive Order states in part “Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events (“large gatherings and events”) of more than 250 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.”

  • All permits for special events in St. Michaels anticipating more than 250 people have been cancelled until the State of Emergency has been lifted by Governor Hogan.
  • At this point the Town Office will remain open, please do not come to the office if you are unwell.

William Boos, President of the Commissioners of St. Michaels, stated, “the Town of St. Michaels follows the lead of the State of Maryland and of the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services (DES) during times of emergency and will continue to do so for the duration of the current Coronavirus situation.” For more information, contact Jean Weisman, Town Manager, at 410-745-9535.

By Authority of the Commissioners of St. Michaels

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The Town of St. Michaels follows the lead of the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services (DES) during times of weather and other emergencies. Please read the information provided below regarding the current Coronavirus situation.

If you want to receive emergency information by text or email from the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services, register for the Talbot County Citizen Alert System online at:
https://member.everbridge.net/index/1332612387832213#/login

Talbot County Department of Emergency Services Prepares for COVID-19

Easton, Maryland (February 28, 2020) – A novel coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has since spread to 31 countries including the United States. As of February 27, 2020, there were 60 cases in the United States; all but one of those cases were related to international travel. Currently, the virus is not spreading in the community in the United States. There have been no cases in Maryland. The new coronavirus is named SARS-CoV-2 and produces a respiratory illness named COVID-19.

What You Need To Know
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in many different species. There are many strains of coronavirus which affect humans, some of which cause mild illness such as the “common cold” and others cause more severe illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that had not caused illness in humans before December 2019. The virus spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets (in coughs, sneezes, or regular breathing or talking), so close contact of six feet or less increases the risk of transmitting the infection. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Currently, individuals at risk of infection are people who:

  • Have recently traveled to ChinaHave close, personal contact with those recent travelers
  • Have close, personal contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
  • The severity of illness can range from mild to severe respiratory difficulty and even death; some individuals may experience no symptoms. Most people recover from the infections, with close to 80% of those infected experiencing mild or moderate symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Elderly individuals and people with chronic illnesses have greater risk for severe illness. Examples of such chronic illnesses include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and conditions impacting the immune system’s ability to fight germs.
  • Current treatment for the disease, when needed, is supportive care to relieve symptoms. A subset of cases may need to be hospitalized.
  • There is a push for rapid vaccine development but no vaccine is available at this time. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus by taking everyday preventive precautions.

What You Can Do

The same precautions against the flu work for the coronavirus:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowds when the virus is known to be spreading.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough into your bent arm. Soiled tissues can transmit the flu or this virus, so dispose of the tissues in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and objects in your home and at work.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

What is being done to be prepared at the federal and state level?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) are sending out updates daily and making preparations for controlling the spread of the virus.

  • All hospitals and healthcare providers are being educated about the disease and reminded of the precautions needed.
  • A test for the virus will hopefully be available to all state laboratories soon.
  • At this time the CDC is doing most of the testing.

What We Are Doing In Talbot County
Talbot County Department of Emergency Services and the Talbot County Health Department are being briefed and updated daily from state and federal partners as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are together reviewing our plans, staffing needs, and supplies on a regular basis, as well as planning for future supply and equipment needs. The Health Department is in constant contact with hospitals and local providers and Emergency Services has implemented protocols to assess 911 callers and patients we come in contact with. We are, as always, making sure our staff and community are practicing good hygiene and safe handling of sick patients.

Talbot County Health Officer, Dr. Fredia Wadley states, “While we should be concerned about a new virus spreading in the United States, we should also recognize that a lot of things are being planned to deal with any spread that may occur. There is no reason to panic and every reason to use common sense about how to protect yourself from any virus whether influenza or coronavirus. ”

“Talbot County utilizes its close partnerships amongst agencies on a daily basis to make sure that residents are safe and aware of what is happening around us. We will continue to collect information as it pertains to this virus and make sure our agencies and residents are informed and prepared. A prepared community is a safe community,” says Clay Stamp, Assistant County Manager and Director of Emergency Services.

Where to Find More Information
CDC COVID-2019 Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Maryland Department of Health Website: https://health.maryland.gov/pages/home.aspx
Talbot County Health Department Website: https://health.maryland.gov/talbotcounty/Pages/home.aspx
Talbot County Health Department Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TalbotHealthMaryland/
Talbot County Department of Emergency Services Website: http://www.talbotdes.org/default.asp
Talbot County Department of Emergency Services Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talbotdes

For questions, contact Liz Whitby at 410-819-5600 or Elizabeth.whitby@maryland.gov or Geneva Harrison at 410-770-8160 or gharrison@talbotcountymd.gov.

By Authority of The Commissioners of St. Michaels