MAC Updates & Coronavirus Information

MAC Updates

While many activities at MAC have been suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19, we are still available to help connect you to needed services. Contact MAC for referrals via your usual method of communication.

Updated June 19, 2020

The Richard A. Henson Wellness Center gym has now reopened. The fitness center is operating at 50% capacity in accordance with Gov Hogan’s Executive Order on the reopening of fitness centers in Maryland, and for the safety of its members.

Gym hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please note there are a few new guidelines in place, in keeping with the State of Maryland Phase 2 reopening restrictions:

Avoid shaking hands. Please minimize congregating in the halls, the entry way, around the front desks, and while you’re in the gym.

Practice social distancing.

Wear a mask. Masks are required while in the building: while entering the building, walking the halls, using the restroom, conversing with friends/staff. In addition, members are encouraged to wear a mask when exercising, if they are able to do so safely. If that's not possible, try to increase distance from others. Personal Trainers/Instructors will wear a mask during individual sessions and when physical distancing is not possible.

Enter the building through MAC’s main entrance. A staff member will greet you, take your temperature (touchless), and ask you a few COVID-19 screening questions.

Please be sure to give your name at the gym desk so we can generate your mandatory membership card! (No additional fee!)

The gym check-in system will be a no touch scanning system. The gym desk will assist you in generating/administering your membership card that you’ll use to scan/check in!

Membership payments to avoid congregating groups and waiting:

Checks, can be placed in the secure drop box if there is a wait or a group of people around our front desk, or if no one is at the gym desk.

Credit/debit card and exact cash payments can be made at the gym desk.

Personal Training clients should pay for sessions with a staff member at the gym desk.

Group classes

Check in at the gym when you arrive.

Bring your own equipment when possible, such as yoga mat, hand weights, towels, water bottles etc.

When the weather is cooperating we’ll try to have as many of our classes outside as possible. Please plan accordingly with water, sunscreen, bug spray and appropriate clothing. If it’s too hot, raining, or bad weather in general we’ll have the class in the Bradford Room.

Equipment usage

Wipe equipment down before and after use; use hand sanitizer, work hard, be courteous, and be clean. If you’d prefer a staff member to sanitize equipment, let a staff know.

Personal training

We can train outside or inside. Trainers will wear masks, wipe down equipment, maintain physical distance, and will take any additional precautions you wish.

 

When finished, please exit and sign out at the main entrance. (Signing out will help with contact tracing if needed)

 

Updated May 15, 2020

The Governor's stay-at-home order will change to a safer-at-home order today at 5 p.m.

However, Marylanders are asked to continue following these steps:

All Marylanders, particularly those older and more vulnerable populations, are advised to continue staying home as much as possible.

Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so.

Marylanders must continue to wear masks or cloth face coverings in retail stores and on public transportation.

At all times and everywhere, Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, staying six feet apart, and avoiding close gatherings of 10 people or more.

Everyone should keep washing their hands often and frequently sanitizing high-touch areas.

 

Updated May 6, 2020

The annual MAC Family Fun Day at Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City has been cancelled for 2020, The event was scheduled for July 18.
Hopefully we will see you at the 2021 Family Fun Day...
Thanks to all for your continued support of MAC and area seniors.

In addition, pre-COVID-19, MAC's Summer Institute classes were being scheduled to begin June 9 at MAC. At this time, those plans have been suspended.

Updated April 29, 2020
The Healthy Cooking on a Budget classes scheduled for May at MAC have been cancelled

Updated April 20, 2020

Stay fit with Wellness Center exercise videos

Like gyms throughout the country, the Richard. A. Henson Wellness Center gym is closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Until the MAC gym can re-open and welcome its members back, Wellness Center Coordinator Robby Chin wants to help you maintain your fitness progress!
Check out his Stretch and Balance class at 9 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday, shown live on the MAC and Wellness Center's Facebook pages.
In addition, check out the Wellness Center Video Library at macinc.org/wellvids


Updated Thursday, April 16, 2020

Do you have a loved in a nursing home? Questions you should ask.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may be concern about their safety amid the COVIC-19 pandemic.

AARP has consulted with leading nursing home experts to offer the following key questions to ask of nursing homes:

  1. Has anyone in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19?

This includes residents as well as staff or other vendors who may have been in the nursing home.

  1. What is the nursing home doing to prevent infections?

How are nursing home staff being screened for COVID-19, especially when they leave and re-enter the home?

What precautions are in place for residents who are not in private rooms?

  1. Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE)—like masks, face shields, gowns, gloves—that they need to stay safe, and keep their patients safe?

Have nursing home staff been given specific training on how to use this personal protective equipment?

If no, what is the plan to obtain personal protective equipment?

  1. What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?

Does the nursing home help residents call their loved ones by phone or video call?Will the nursing home set up a regular schedule for you to speak with your loved one?

  1. What is the plan for the nursing home to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?

Will the nursing home be contacting you by phone or email, and when?

  1. Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?What is the plan to make sure the needs of nursing home residents are met—like bathing, feeding, medication management, social engagement—if the nursing home has staffing shortages?

Note: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued an emergency order to protect residents and staff at Maryland nursing home facilities, and bolster the state’s mitigation and suppression efforts amid outbreaks of COVID-19. 

Effective immediately, new directives will require facilities to direct all staff who interact with residents to wear personal protective equipment, create separate observation and isolation areas for residents, and expedite all testing through the Maryland State Public Health Laboratory. 

If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a spouse, parent, or other loved one who lives in a nursing home, contact your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office online or call 1-800-332-6347; or call MAC, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging, at 410-742-0505, and ask for the Ombudsman.

Additional resources from AARP are available online at www.aarp.org/coronavirus

                                                                                                         Information provided by AARP

 

Updated Monday, April 6, 2020

Coronavirus-Related Medicare Scam Alert  

Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), this is an important time to also remind Medicare beneficiaries to be vigilant and take precautions to avoid falling victim to healthcare fraud during this pandemic.

Medicare beneficiaries beware: Scammers may try to use this pandemic to steal their Medicare number, banking information, or other personal data, according to Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

You must protect yourself by making sure you only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other trusted healthcare provider.

If someone calls you on the phone, saying they’re from Medicare, and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up.

A Medicare representatives will never:

  • Call beneficiaries to ask for or to “verify” Medicare numbers.
  • Call to sell you anything.
  • Promise you things if you give them a Medicare number.
  • Visit you at your home.
  • Call you to enroll you in a Medicare program over the phone, unless you called us

Social Security numbers were removed from all Medicare cards last year to reduce fraud and protect Medicare beneficiaries from identity theft. Even with this change, you should guard your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Be sure to check your Medicare claim summaries for errors and questionable bills.

If you suspect Medicare fraud, please report it by calling Medicare’s toll-free customer service center at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

 

 

Updated Friday, April 3, 2020

The Maryland Department of Health offers these tips for helping the older adults in your life safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Know what medications your older loved one is taking and contact them to ask if they need refills or an extended supply of medication
Check in with any older friends or family members regularly by email or phone to see if they need assistance, food, water or other supplies
If a loved one is living in a care facility, monitor the situation — ask the facility about its protocol if there is an outbreak and about the health of other residents

Updated Monday, March 30, 2020

The MAC building will remain closed to the public, tentatively re-opening after April 24.
Essential staff will be available to respond to inquiries from the community and
to offer assistance to the senior community, both via telephone. Call 410-742-0505 through April.

Staff will be available to respond to inquiries from the community and to offer assistance to the senior community, both via telephone. Call 410-742-0505.

This latest step is in compliance with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home order for Marylanders that goes into effect at 8 p.m. on March 30.

The Salisbury-Wicomico and Willards senior centers, and Life Bridges Day program remain closed indefinitely.

MAC’s home-delivered meals operation will continue as normal.

As throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MAC’s first priority remains the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and the senior community.

Updated Friday, March 27, 2020

Update for the week of March 30: The MAC building will remain closed to the public.
Staff will be available to respond to inquiries from the community and to offer assistance to the senior community, both via telephone. Call 410-742-0505.
The Salisbury-Wicomico and Willards senior centers, and Life Bridges continue to be closed indefinitely.
The home-delivered meals operation will continue as normal.
Staff can return on Monday, March 30, given they are no longer under self-quarantine.
As throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MAC’s first priority remains the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and the senior community.

 

Updated Thursday, March 26, 2020

Protect yourself from COVID-19 scams
It is important to protect your health and your wallet during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The AARP Fraud Network and the Federal Trade Commission offer the following information on COVID-19 related scams.

How it works:
• Scammers may set up websites to sell bogus “coronavirus products” from face masks to vaccines to cure-alls, and use fake emails, texts and social media posts to get you to share payment or sensitive personal information.
• You may come across emails or social posts claiming to promote awareness or give prevention tips, including fake information about cases in your neighborhood. Scammers may use this as a way to tout a new can’t-miss “investment opportunity” for example, in face masks or a cure.
• You may get donation requests claiming to raise money to help victims.

What you should know:
• There is currently no vaccine available for Coronavirus.
• Any investment opportunity that claims to ride the wave of economic activity due to the virus is probably an opportunity to lose money to a scam.
• Your best resources for information on the virus are the ones you know and trust – but first verify that the resource is who you think it is.

What you should do:
• Don’t click on email links from sources you don’t know. They could download malware on your device.
• Ignore any online offers for vaccinations or treatments If a vaccine or treatment is developed, you will hear about it in the news not from an online ad or sales pitch.
• If you receive a communication claiming to be from a government agency like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close the email and then visit the agency’s website directly at www.cdc.gov.
• Engage your inner skeptic when confronted with donation requests. Before giving check out charity watchdogs like give.org or charitynavigator.org.

 

Updated noon Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also encouraged older Marylanders to take advantage of the free Senior Call Check service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senior Call Check service helps provide peace of mind for Maryland seniors who are home alone, and their families.
This FREE service places an automated call daily to registered participants at a scheduled time. If the call is not picked up after three attempts, the service will call an alternate person on your behalf to check on you.
Maryland residents age 65 or older who have an active landline phone or cell phone qualify for the service.
Sign up online at aging.maryland.gov, or call 1-866-502-0560 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.).
Senior Call Check is a program of the Maryland Department of Aging.

Updated Wednesday, March 25, 2020

5K cancelled

St. Paddy's Day/Spring 5K Run/2-Mile Walk, planned for April 18,  has been cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 50/50 raffle will continue as planned, with the drawing to be held April 18. For details, call MAC at 410-742-0505.

Social Security scam

The Inspector General of Social Security is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not suspend or discontinue benefits because
their offices are closed.
The Social Security Office of the Inspector General has received reports that Social Security beneficiaries have received letters through the U.S. Mail stating their payments will be suspended or discontinued unless they call a phone number referenced in the letter. Scammers may then mislead
beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-19 office closures.

Read more at https://macinc.org/2020/03/24/beware-social-security-benefit-suspension-scam/

 

Updated Friday March 20. 2020

Beware of scams

Scams beginning to surface include:

Scammers going door-to-door, offering to pick up groceries for you, and asking for your credit card

A scammer may also appear at your door and offer to test you for COVID-19, for a fee

For more information on COVID-19 scams and tips on how to avoid them, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at  ftc.gov.

 

MAC building closed

MAC, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging, will be closed to the public Monday-Friday, March 23-27. The building is expected to reopen on Monday, March 30.

As throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MAC’s first priority remains the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and the senior community. The closing is for the purpose of disinfecting the building.

The home-delivered meals operation will continue as normal that week. In addition, staff will be available to respond to inquiries from the community and to offer assistance to the senior community, both via telephone.

Call MAC at 410-742-0505.

 

Updated 9 a.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020

Free call check for seniors home alone

Many people are following the advice of health officials and are staying home to reduce their risk of contracting the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Senior Call Check service helps provide peace of mind for Maryland seniors who are home alone, and their families.

This FREE service places an automated call daily to registered participants at a scheduled time. If the call is not picked up after three attempts, the service will call an alternate person on your behalf to check on you.

Maryland residents age 65 or older who have an active landline phone or cell phone qualify for the service.

Sign up online at aging.maryland.gov, or call 1-866-502-0560 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.).

Senior Call Check is a program of the Maryland Department of Aging.

 

Shopping hour for seniors

Walmart officials have again announced new hours. Effective today, stores will be open 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

In addition, beginning March 24, an hour long "senior shopping event" will be held at all locations on Tuesdays from 6 to 7 a.m., for those age 60 and older only. Pharmacies and vision centers also will be open at that time. The special senior shopping event will continue through April 28.

 

Updated 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020

April events cancelled

The following is an updated list of events scheduled at MAC during April that have been cancelled:

April 9 Cancer Survivors’ Healing Retreat

April 6, 13 and 20 Healthy Cooking on a Budget classes

April 14 Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Support Group

April 24 Paint Night

For more information, call 410-742-0505.

 

Health departments

While the physical buildings of Lower Shore health departments are closed to public access during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the public can still call to get information on available services.

Lower Shore health departments can be reached as follows:

  • Wicomico County Health Department: Call 410-749-1244.
    For questions related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), call the Coronavirus Cell Center at 410-341-4600, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Dorchester County Health Department: Call 410-228-3223
  • Somerset County Health Department: Call 442-523-1700
  • Worcester County Health Department: Call 410-632-1100

Updated 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dedicated shopping hours

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Dollar General and Target stores are offering dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens and other vulnerable populations. This applies to all stores in each of the chains, including sites throughout the Lower Shore. Details follow:

Dollar General is setting aside the first hour of the business day for senior citizens and at-risk populations to shop. All others are asked to plan their trips outside of that time frame. Stores are also closing an hour early to allow time for cleaning and restocking shelves.

Target sites nationwide are setting aside the first hour of the business day on Wednesdays for senior citizens and other vulnerable populations. In addition, all Target locations will close an hour earlier than normally scheduled for cleaning and restocking shelves.

In addition, the Salisbury Acme location is offering dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens, Monday-Friday, from 7-9 a.m.

 

Updated Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Who delivers groceries?

Venturing outside your home isn't the best idea for many folks during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, but it can be especially risky for vulnerable populations, such as senior citizens and those with underlying health issues.

For your information, the following grocery stores on the Lower Shore offer home delivery. Call for details.

Wicomico County

Salisbury Acme
410-742-1343
The Salisbury Acme location is also offering dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens, Monday-Friday from 7-9 a.m., to provide a less crowded store for those who are at a greater risk from the COVID-19

Fruitland Walmart
410-341-4803
Home delivery expected to begin March 28
New hours: 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Salisbury Walmart
410-860-5095
New hours: 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Westside Grocery, Bivalve
410-873-3082

Dorchester County

Hoopers Island General Store, Church Creek
410-397-3123
Store hours 5 a.m.-7 p.m.
Delivery hours, curbside pick-up, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Worcester County

Berlin Walmart Supercenter
410-629-0502
New hours: 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

 

Updated Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The public is encouraged to call for assistance instead of visiting the MAC building. The number is 410-742-0505.
If you do stop by without calling first, please expect to be asked COVID-19 screening questions.

Visitor access will only be permitted at MAC's main entrance, and the BACIL entrance.

 

Updated 4 p.m. Monday, March 16, 2020

The Richard A. Henson Wellness Center gym will be closed to all participants, effective 5 p.m. Monday, March 16. The gym will be closed indefinitely.

Please call MAC before coming to visit! We likely can provide the assistance you seek over the phone. The number is 410-742-0505.
If you do drop by without calling first, please expect to be asked COVID-19 screening questions.

All visitors to MAC should use the main entrance only.

 

Updated Monday, March 16, 2020

The following is an update on the status of MAC programs, and other scheduled activities, as related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Activities at the Salisbury-Wicomico Senior Services Center, housed at MAC in Salisbury, and the Willards Senior Center, are suspended indefinitely.

MAC’s Life Bridges Program activities are suspended indefinitely.

Home-delivered meals will continue normal operation.

Tax Preparation Assistance appointments scheduled for Tuesdays at MAC have been cancelled. People are encouraged to find other resources to get their taxes done.

Wellness/Fitness Center

The Richard A. Henson Wellness Center gym will be closed to all participants, effective 5 p.m. Monday, March 16. The gym will be closed indefinitely.

Cancellations (through March):
Group fitness classes at the Richard A. Henson Wellness Center gym
Diabetes Self-management Workshop scheduled at MAC
Stepping On Workshop scheduled at Gateway Village in Salisbury

 

Activities/Meetings

The following activities scheduled at MAC have been cancelled through March:
Informational Tuesday mini sessions
Association for Lifelong Learning, spring semester, second session
“More Than Pink” Paint Night on March 20
Healthy Cooking on a Budget class Monday, March 16
Life Bridges

 

Groups/Meetings

The MAC Board of Directors meeting will be held via teleconference. Email instructions will be sent out on how to join.

Groups and meetings scheduled at MAC have been cancelled through the end of March, including:

AARP Meeting and AARP Board Meeting
Azheimer’s Walk Committee meeting
Bridge Club
Cancer Support Group
Chess Club
Coastal Hospice Bereavement Group
Delmar Ostomates
Dulcimer Group
Esther’s Wings
Great Books Discussion
IRP, IRP Tour Group, and IRP Book Club
Life Bridges meetings
Lower Shore Parkinson Support Group
Mah Jong group
Pinochle group
PRMC Renal Support Group
RDAD training
Senior Singles group
Wicomico Biker Hens

 

Get updates

For updated information on MAC programs and services, call MAC at 410-742-0505

 

For health information related to the Coronavirus:
Call the Wicomico County Health Department Call Center at 410-341-4600.
The call center is open Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm

Call Wicomico Emergency Services at 1-800-422-0009

Visit the Centers for Disease Control Website at https://www.cdc.gov.

Call your primary care physician

 

Find services elsewhere on the Lower Shore

For more information on services for seniors in other counties on the Lower Eastern Shore, contact:

Dorchester County
Delmarva Community Services, Inc.: 410-221-1900

Somerset County
Somerset County Commission on Aging: 410-651-3400

Worcester County
Worcester County MAP Program: 410-632-9915

Coronavirus Information

Updated July 2, 2020
The following is a press release issued by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan:

“As state health officials continue to call for caution and vigilance in the fight against COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan today announced additional steps to further expand testing, including a new Maryland Department of Health (MDH) directive instructing physicians to order a test for any individual who requests it, as well as additional testing site options.

The governor also announced that state health officials are strongly encouraging anyone who works in close-contact settings, as well as individuals who have traveled or returned to Maryland from out-of-state travel, to get tested.

‘While other states are experiencing testing shortages, the State of Maryland will continue to have an abundant supply of testing available at no out-of-pocket cost to anyone in our state who wants to be tested,’ said Governor Hogan. ‘As more and more people are returning to the workplace, and as more Marylanders are beginning to interact with larger numbers of people, testing will become even more critical. We are making great strides in further expanding testing in Maryland, and strongly encourage anyone who is interested to get tested.’ [...]

COVID-19 testing has now expanded to more than 220 sites in Maryland, including new sites meant to address an increase in summer activity.

The Garrett County Health Department, along with MDH and local partners, is offering appointment-free, drive-thru testing at Deep Creek Lake. Testing will be held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds at 270 Mosser Road in McHenry from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, July 3.

The Worcester County Health Department and the town of Ocean City are now offering COVID-19 testing by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the West Ocean City Park and Ride. The site is located at 12940 Inlet Isle Lane in Ocean City, and appointments are available by calling 410-632-1100 x 1119.”

 

Updated May 15, 2020

A message from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan:

Please note: Older and vulnerable adults advised to continue staying at home
Wearing of face coverings still required in retail stores and on public transportation
Social distancing and avoiding gatherings of 10 or more still urged.

"Today at 5 p.m., the Stay at Home order will be replaced by a Safer at Home public health advisory. We are also providing for a flexible, community-based approach which empowers individual county leaders to make decisions regarding the timing of Stage One reopenings in their jurisdictions.

"While gradually moving into Stage One of our recovery is a positive step forward, it does not mean that we are safe or that this crisis is over. Low risk does not mean no risk. All Marylanders, particularly those older and more vulnerable populations, are advised to continue staying home as much as possible.

"Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so. Marylanders must continue to wear masks or cloth face coverings in retail stores and on public transportation. At all times and everywhere, Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, staying six feet apart, and avoiding close gatherings of 10 people or more. Everyone should keep washing their hands often and frequently sanitizing high-touch areas.

"Each and every one of us has an obligation to continue to exercise responsibility for ourselves, for our families, our coworkers, and our fellow Marylanders so that as a community, together, we can begin to safely get back to work and get back to our daily lives."

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Learn more about our ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ at governor.maryland.gov/recovery.

 

Updated Monday, May 4, 2020

Information on COVID-19 cases among staff and residents at Maryland nursing home facilities is available; visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/hcf-resourcescoronavirus.maryland.gov
Updated Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Maryland will begin reporting COVID-19 data for nursing homes

Maryland will begin reporting coronavirus data for individual nursing home facilities in the state, Governor Larry Hogan has announced. That's according to a report from WUSA9.

That move is the result of rising numbers of cases in nursing facilities in Maryland, and from requests from family members for increased transparency.

"As we plan our recovery, we are taking additional steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens, including older Marylanders,” Hogan said.

 

Updated Friday, April 24, 2020

in his press conference Friday, April 24, Gov. Larry Hogan said if Marylanders continue following stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing, the Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery COVID-19 recovery plan could begin in early May.
The primary benchmarks for determining when the recovery plan can begin is a 14-day plateauing of COVID hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths from the virus.
Read the governor's Roadmap to Recovery plan at governor.maryland.gov/recovery/

Updated 3:45 p.m., April 20, 2020

Maryland receives 5,000 test kits - capacity to perform 500,000 COVID-19 tests
Maryland has received 5,000 Coronavirus-19 test kits from LabGenomics in South Korea, which provides the capacity to perform 500,000 COVID-19 tests.
The tests will save Maryland $9 million and will "literally help save the lives of thousands of Marylanders," Gov. Hogan said in his live announcement this afternoon.
The lack of adequate testing has been one of the most serious obstacles to safely re-opening the state, Hogan said.

Updated April 20, 2020

A reminder that all Marylanders are now required to use face covers while in essential retail locations, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, or while on public transportation. This order applies to both employees and customers in these locations. All businesses must post signs indicating face coverings are required before entry and while inside.

Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth. Face coverings may include scarves and bandanas. The wearing of medical grade masks is discouraged as they are needed for medical and frontline teams.

These face coverings are designed to protect those around you should you have the virus but are asymptomatic.
Social distancing and frequent handwashing are also still needed to protect yourself and your family.

Updated Thursday, April 16, 2020

Do you have a loved in a nursing home? Questions you should ask.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may be concern about their safety amid the COVIC-19 pandemic.

AARP has consulted with leading nursing home experts to offer the following key questions to ask of nursing homes:

  1. Has anyone in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19?

This includes residents as well as staff or other vendors who may have been in the nursing home.

  1. What is the nursing home doing to prevent infections?

How are nursing home staff being screened for COVID-19, especially when they leave and re-enter the home?

What precautions are in place for residents who are not in private rooms?

  1. Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment (PPE)—like masks, face shields, gowns, gloves—that they need to stay safe, and keep their patients safe?

Have nursing home staff been given specific training on how to use this personal protective equipment?

If no, what is the plan to obtain personal protective equipment?

  1. What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?

Does the nursing home help residents call their loved ones by phone or video call?Will the nursing home set up a regular schedule for you to speak with your loved one?

  1. What is the plan for the nursing home to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?

Will the nursing home be contacting you by phone or email, and when?

  1. Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers? What is the plan to make sure the needs of nursing home residents are met—like bathing, feeding, medication management, social engagement—if the nursing home has staffing shortages?

Note: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued an emergency order to protect residents and staff at Maryland nursing home facilities, and bolster the state’s mitigation and suppression efforts amid outbreaks of COVID-19. 

Effective immediately, new directives will require facilities to direct all staff who interact with residents to wear personal protective equipment, create separate observation and isolation areas for residents, and expedite all testing through the Maryland State Public Health Laboratory. 

If you are concerned about the safety and well-being of a spouse, parent, or other loved one who lives in a nursing home, contact your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office online or call 1-800-332-6347; or call MAC, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging, at 410-742-0505, and ask for the Ombudsman.

Additional resources from AARP are available online at www.aarp.org/coronavirus

                                                                                                         Information provided by AARP

 

U

Updated Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Learn about resources to get help, and how to help your community.

The United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore offers lots of valuable information on where to get help, and how to help your community, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Visit the UWLES’s COVID-19 Resources and Live United Response Fund page at www.uwles.org/COVID19.

In addition, there is help for nonprofit organizations on the Eastern Shore during the COVID-19 outbreak To find out what's available, visit https://www.cfes.org/covid19, from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore

Updated 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2020

You can help stop the spread of misinformation on the COVID-19 outbreak.

It only takes 3 steps:
Don't believe the rumors
Don't pass along misinformation
Go to trusted sources for information

Get help in distinguishing between rumor and fact about Maryland's COVID-19 response by visiting  govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-rumor-control

 

Updated Tuesday, April 7, 2020

More on cloth face masks

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

Applying a face mask - step 1

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

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 coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?

Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

 

Updated Monday, April 6 2020

CDC recommends wearing of cloth face masks

CDC studies on the spread of COVID-19 show that many people with the coronavirus lack symptoms and can transmit the virus to others before showing any symptoms.

According to the CDC website, this means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies). This is especially true in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams shows how you can make a cloth face mask, without any sewing! Click on the following link to find out how: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

 - CDC website

pdated Monday, April 6, 2020

Coronavirus-Related Medicare Scam Alert  

Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), this is an important time to also remind Medicare beneficiaries to be vigilant and take precautions to avoid falling victim to healthcare fraud during this pandemic.

Medicare beneficiaries beware: Scammers may try to use this pandemic to steal their Medicare number, banking information, or other personal data, according to Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

You must protect yourself by making sure you only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other trusted healthcare provider.

If someone calls you on the phone, saying they’re from Medicare, and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up.

A Medicare representatives will never:

  • Call beneficiaries to ask for or to “verify” Medicare numbers.
  • Call to sell you anything.
  • Promise you things if you give them a Medicare number.
  • Visit you at your home.
  • Call you to enroll you in a Medicare program over the phone, unless you called us

Social Security numbers were removed from all Medicare cards last year to reduce fraud and protect Medicare beneficiaries from identity theft. Even with this change, you should guard your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Be sure to check your Medicare claim summaries for errors and questionable bills.

If you suspect Medicare fraud, please report it by calling Medicare’s toll-free customer service center at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Updated March 20, 2020

Visit The Maryland Department of Health website for up-to-date information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is effecting Maryland:
https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

 

Updated Friday, March 13, 2020

For health information related to the Coronavirus:
Call Wicomico Emergency Services at 1-800-422-0009
Call the Wicomico County Health Department Call Center at 410-341-4600. The call center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call your primary care physician
Visit the Centers for Disease Control Website at cdc.gov.

 

The National Council on Aging offers the following information from Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  

The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, and the National Council on Aging is taking proactive steps to share the best information we have to protect the public’s health, especially among older adults. Now is the time to stay informed and follow basic tips to protect yourself and those around you.

Older Adults at Higher Risk

The CDC has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. According to the CDC, early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.

This is likely because as people age, their immune systems change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection, and because many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. Age increases the risk that the respiratory system or lungs will shut down when an older person has COVID-19 disease.

That’s why the CDC is recommending that people at higher risk take the following actions:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications, food, and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Stay up to date on CDC Travel Health Notices.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that people with serious chronic conditions, especially the elderly, should think twice about traveling or going to crowded places. He advised that these individuals take the simple steps of “not putting yourself in a situation—whatever that might be—that might increase the risk given your situation.”

The CDC is urging individuals to stay calm and Share Facts, Not Fear. Among the CDC’s advice are these common-sense tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

How to Support Older Adults

People of all ages can support older adults during this time. Many older adults depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence. The CDC recommends that family members, neighbors, and caregivers:

  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

Beware of Scams

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the coronavirus. The Federal Trade Commission has identified several of them and is offering tips to protect yourself and others. These include watching for emails claiming to be from the CDC saying they have information about the virus and ignoring online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19 online or in stores.

If you receive an email asking you to donate to a nonprofit that is fighting the coronavirus, make sure to research the organization first through an independent charity rating service such as Charity Navigator.

Remember the Seasonal Flu, Too

It’s also important to remember that we are still in the middle of the seasonal flu season, which impacts older adults every year. According to the CDC, it’s estimated that 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people aged 65+.

While there is no vaccine for the coronavirus, it’s never too late for individuals to get their annual flu shot. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how you can protect yourself and those around you.

With COVID-19 and all health issues, when in doubt, the best course forward is always to consult with your doctor. Many physicians and health care providers are asking that people call or send their questions via email first before coming into the office.