Dorchester groups continue COVID responses

Submitted to Dorchester Banner/Gillnet
Local organizations, companies and individuals are reaching out to coordinate responses and help neighbors through the crisis.

CAMBRIDGE — As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to develop, local groups are reaching out to spread the word regarding changes to their events and schedules. It remains a good idea to call and check on the status of goods and services before leaving home.

The Banner has compiled a list of announcements, which follows:
National Guard
National Guard troops were seen in Cambridge Friday night. Around noon Saturday, Gov. Hogan released the following statement regarding the activation of the Guard:
“Each and every time we have called upon the elite soldiers and airmen of the Maryland National Guard, they have always answered the call. In the coming days and weeks, Marylanders may notice the National Guard at work in their communities, including supporting meal distribution at school sites, assisting local hospitals, and providing logistical support for a pilot assessment location at FedEx Field. Though this may be an unusual sight, Marylanders should feel confident that these brave soldiers and airmen are here to help keep residents safe and healthy.”

From UM Extension on Friday:
In response to the University of Maryland, Dorchester County Government and Governor Larry Hogan’s actions taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the University of Maryland Extension, Dorchester County Office is implementing policies to limit in-person transactions and safeguard the health of its employees, stakeholders and the general public.
University of Maryland Extension is currently functioning, however, the local office is closed. Employees are teleworking so appointments will be held via email and/or conference call between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
During this time, staff will continue to be available by email. If calling the office at (410-228-8800), leave a message, employees are checking their voice mail on a daily basis. They can be reached via email as follows:
· Robert Baldwin – Area Extension Director – rbs@umd.edu
· Missy Tucker – 4 – H Agent Associate – metucker@umd.edu
· Lisa McKenna – 4-H Program Assistant – lmckenn1@umd.edu
· Emily Zobel – Agriculture and Home Horticulture Agent Associate- ezobel@umd.edu
· Jose Prieto-Figueroa – Nutrient Management Program – jprietof@umd.edu
· Jen Dindinger – Sea Grant and Water Shed Restoration Specialist – jdinding@umd.edu
· Nathan Bratko – FSNE – nbratko@umd.edu
· Lisa Trice – Administration – ltrice@umd.edu
· Angela Preston – Administration – apresto2@umd.edu
Additionally, all in-person public meetings will be cancelled, postponed or held via teleconference.

From BNWR on Thursday:
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. This closure follows guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities. Updates will be posed to the refuge website. The Wildlife Drive and refuge trails remain open and free of charge.
4 Sisters Halal Meat and Groceries
A message to the public from 4 Sisters Halal Meat and Groceries last week said, “We as a community need to stay strong and get through this. If there is anyone in need of food, please stop by and grab a platter from at 600 Dover road Easton. We don’t need anyone to buy something or donate for us to do this. We are just doing this because at end of the day, money is not everything, humanity is something as well. This is something I learned from my mom. Please if anyone that sees my post and knows anyone in need please send them our way we would love to help.”

From Elks Lodge #1272 on Friday:
Its the end of the Lodge year and the beginning of the new Lodge year. We are asking all members to either send in dues for Lodge Year 2020-2021 by mail, or if you having difficulty in paying your dues please make payment arrangements with the Secretary as soon as possible. We want to make everything as comfortable as possible for our members, and not put any member in a financial hardship.
Now more than ever we will have to rely on our members’ dues to pay the bills of the Lodge while we are shut down. We hope that everyone is staying safe, and are healthy. We miss all of your smiling faces and hope to see you very soon.
Dorchester Chamber of Commerce on Friday:
In an effort to prioritize health and safety and in response to Coronavirus, Maryland Health Connection opened an emergency special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders.
You can enroll in a health plan starting March 16, through April 15. Must meet certain qualifications. Coverage will begin April 1, 2020, regardless of when a health plan is selected during that time period.
How to enroll:
Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. When enrolling, consumers should request or select the “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.”
Free consumer assistance is available by calling 855-642-8572 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Deaf and hard of hearing may use Relay.
While free, in-person assistance is still available in some areas of the state, we strongly encourage you to apply using the website, mobile app or by phone.
https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov

From Delmarva Community Services on Thursday:
We encourage everyone to take every precaution. If you are worried about your senior relative, call us 410-221-1930 or 1900. We are calling any seniors daily to offer reassurance and checking they are ok.
• Reminding all kids! Join the DCS Lemonade Project. Write notes to seniors who are stuck at home. You will be matched with a senior and your cards, letters or emails will be delivered to them with their home delivered meal.
To participate, email Mary Handley at maryh@dcsdct.org or call 410-221-1900 ext 138. Include your name and age. If you’d like a letter back, give your address. You can email your letter and I will put it in a card with their meal or you can send a card to Mary c/o DCS lemonade project, 3450 Cambridge Beltway, Cambridge MD 21613. When this is all over we’re having a party to meet each other! Let’s take a lemon of a situation and make lemonade!

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore
To help stop the spread of misinformation we would like to update everyone on resources available through United Way in regards to COVID-19:

  1. United Way World Wide is offering a national relief fund at this time called COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund that is working to help local United Ways and 2-1-1. To find out more information about this fund visit: www.unitedway.org.
  2. For local resources please follow United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore on Facebook as we will continue to share information on our page. If you are looking for local assistance or resources you can call 2-1-1 Maryland.
  3. If you are interested in donating you may do so at: www.uwles.org/donate-uwles.
    From CPD on Tuesday:
    In reference to the ever-growing COVID-19 situation the Cambridge Police Department would like to inform the public and its citizens of the precautions that the administration has put in place to help keep the officers and the citizens as safe as possible of any possible exposure and spread of the virus.
    As of March 16, anyone entering the lobby of the Cambridge Police Department will have to sign in. We encourage anyone with questions that can be answered over the phone to please call 410-228-3333 and an officer will make every attempt to assist you and get the answer you need. Officers will be handling certain calls that do not require police presence over the phone, however, the safety of our citizens is our number one priority and we will still be working around the clock to make sure that is being done.
    If you are in need of our assistance and are ill, please advise the dispatcher taking your phone call of those symptoms so that officers may take every precaution to limit any possible exposures. The administration at the Cambridge Police Department are in constant contact with our nearby agencies including the local Health Department officials and State officials to monitor the situation. Call Captain Todd at 410-901-8442 with questions. From the MEMA on Wednesday:
    The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is and has been fully activated in our State Emergency Operations Center and your local emergency management offices are activated too. As you know, we are working 24/7 with our federal, state, and local partners to get you the most updated and actionable information we can. This is an extremely fluid event and new guidelines are coming out daily.
    Many of you are doing your part to keep your fellow neighbors safe and are only going into public when you absolutely need to — thank you for doing that and taking this public health crisis seriously. This action of “Social Distancing” or deliberately increasing the physical space between yourself and others to avoid spreading illness by staying at least six feet away from people.
    By practicing this powerful action, you are helping your community lessen its chance of catching the Coronavirus. We ask you to continue to participate in this effort.
    Please, only go out into public areas and spaces when you absolutely have to. Continue to wash your hands more frequently than you normally would. Also, avoid touching your face, wash your hands every time you come home from a public space, and continue to keep frequently touched hard surfaces like your cell phones, computers, remotes, table and counter tops, cleaned and disinfected.
    Finally, social distancing does not mean disconnecting. You are encouraged to keep in touch with your family and friends through phone calls and social media. Give your older family and friends a call if you can and check-in on them. They need your encouragement and support too.
    Be taking these simple, but very effective steps, you are helping your family, friends, neighbors, and community stay healthy. We will get through this uncertain time, but we have to do it together. Please, continue to follow the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Aging, Governor Larry Hogan, and us for the latest information and resources for your use.
    health.maryland.gov/coronavirus
    https://aging.maryland.gov/
    https://governor.maryland.gov/
    Stay Safe and Stay Healthy – We will get through this together!
    From Hoopers Island General Store on Sunday:
    To protect our small community effective today we are asking you please don’t come in our store as families. Get your list together and send one person.
    As we are an essential business, I have to take a stand to protect my employees and the others around.
    We will continue to keep our store well stocked as best as possible. We also urge people ordering carry-out to either call ahead or if you order inside and you see several people shopping for groceries please wait in your vehicle.
    We will bring it to you. We also are offering delivery at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Please pass along to the elderly or compromised individuals that I will deliver groceries/carry-outs throughout the day. We have to work together to our lives back to normal.
    From Taylors Island VFC
    During this troubling and unprecedented time, the Taylors Island Fire Company is here to help our residents. If you are unable to leave your home, please let us know if you need to have a prescription refill picked up.
    Let us know if you need groceries or other supplies. We even have a small supply of toilet paper. Even if you just need a friendly phone call during this stressful time, we are here to help you. Please know you aren’t alone in this. We are all in this together!
    Please continue to follow the officials’ advice and practice social distancing, wash your hands often and check on your neighbors. Help is just a phone call away: Patti 443-521-3764 or Anna 443-477-3461. If you have an actual emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

Have a question about the coronavirus? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll ask the appropriate public officials.