EASTON — The Talbot County community is continuing to partner with local agencies and businesses to address the needs of individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 health crisis. The Governor is working diligently with all counties to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland. This specifically includes limiting gatherings to 10 people, ordering the closure of shopping malls, restricting access to the BWI Marshall Airport terminal, and urging the use of transit for essential travel only.

As we face the weekend, most of the questions coming from the public are about what to do if you or a loved one is sick. 

“Anyone with fever and flu-like symptoms should stay at home, isolate themselves, and call their doctor for further instructions," Talbot County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley said. "It doesn't matter if you think it is just a cold. If you have a fever and other symptoms – stay at home!"

To date, Wadley reports 149 cases in Maryland, mainly in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas, however, there has been an increase in testing in Talbot County, with only one confirmed case at this time. She added that as the number of tests increases, so will the numbers of confirmed cases.

Talbot County Emergency Services Director and Assistant County Manager Clay Stamp urges citizens to utilize the website that the county has set up to get information over the weekend and in the coming days.

“The talbotcovid19.org is comprehensive – listing updates on food distribution, disaster relief funds, donations being accepted, and volunteer opportunities," Stamp said. "If we all pull together, we can be a support to one another during this time.”

Corey Pack, President of the Talbot County Council, thanked the many citizens of this county as they work as a team to meet the needs during this crisis.

“We continue to work together to provide assistance and support to our local businesses, including our local watermen," Pack said. "The Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Emergency Operations Center are working closely together to explore all resources.”

On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland has received official designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration to participate in its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This allows small businesses in all Maryland jurisdictions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans. For more information about SBA assistance please visit www.talbotcovid19.org.

Talbot County Emergency Services Clay Stamp, Director, Asst. County Manager www.talbotdes.org

Talbot County Health Department Dr. Fredia Wadley, Health Officer https://health.maryland.gov/talbotcounty/

Delmarva Community Transit

Delmarva Community Transit, a division of Delmarva Community Services, Inc. announced Wednesday, they will continue public and specialized transit service in the four-county area, however, new safety precautions and route changes will take effect Monday, March 23rd. All changes continue to be subject to change at anytime.

“Transit is vital to enabling individuals to get to essential destinations,” DCT Operations Manager Jerome Stanley said. “We understand how important it is to support individuals and the economy, however, we are supporting the Governor’s request to reduce ridership and we are asking everyone’s cooperation to help us help them,” he explained.

Changes to the following Dorchester County routes:

  • Temporarily canceled - The South Route, route 9a and the 1st, 2nd, 4th,6th and 8th laps of the North route.
  • All other routes remain intact.

Changes to Kent County routes:

  • Temporarily canceled – The Chestertown Shuttle and lap 2 of Rt. 4.
  • Rock Hall Shuttle – Temporarily canceled.

Changes to the Talbot County routes:

  • Temporarily canceled – Rt. 12, however the 6:15 pm bus will be available.
  • Temporarily canceled – The 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th laps of Routes C & D. All other routes remain intact.

Changes to Caroline County routes:

  • Temporarily canceled the 2nd, 4th and 6th laps on Rt. 5. All other routes remain intact.

Riders needing trips at other times are encouraged to call their local dispatch offices and individual transport may be a possibility.

All riders will be asked four screening questions provided by the CDC before boarding any DCT vehicle. Anyone who answers yes to any of the questions will not be able to board.

Riders are asked to use hand sanitizer on their hands upon boarding and if they don’t have any the drivers can provide while supplies last.

DCT is strongly suggesting riders sit one person per two-person seat row.

Extra buses will be provided on routes where one bus is usually filled to capacity.

All buses are completely sanitized daily.

“These new actions will require patience," Stanley said. “We want to do everything we can to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 and still allow riders who must ride get to their destinations. Riding public transit must be an individual choice and we want to give everyone the information they need to make that decision.”

Transit operations are subject to change at anytime. Riders are encouraged to call their local dispatch for updates, questions, and concerns. For more information or questions about DCT public transit, call Operations Manager Jerome Stanley at 410-221-1910.

For All Seasons

With continued evolving public health concerns during this outbreak of COVID-19, For All Seasons is now offering telehealth service options for clients including teletherapy and telepsychiatry. Unless further notice is given by the State of Maryland, For All Seasons offices continue to remain open at all locations, with staff available for in-person services. The agency continues to hold urgent care and crisis appointments in-person. English and Spanish speaking services also continue to be offered. The Rape Crisis Center 24-HR response is actively serving clients through advocacy as well as hospital accompaniment as needed.

For the safety of those who attend in-person appointments, the agency has put into place strict screening measures for patients and staff.

All patients entering any For All Seasons facility will be directed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds upon entry.

All individuals should limit their movement within the facility to only those areas that are necessary for the purpose of their visit.

If someone has cold or flu-like symptoms such as a cough or fever, newly developed shortness of breath, or has recently traveled to an area inside OR outside the United States with known coronavirus (COVID-19) within the last 14 Days, or have been in contact with someone who has traveled or contracted the virus, he or she should call For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 to reschedule an appointment or to make arrangements for teletherapy or telepsychiatry.

According to Beth Anne Langrell, CEO of For All Seasons, “We are actively monitoring information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local officials regarding the COVID-19. The safety and well-being of our patients and staff is our highest priority. Our staff has begun offering telehealth options and in the event that the Governor changes the restrictions on small businesses we are prepared to adapt. For our in-person appointments, we are conducting an illness screening, and we have increased the frequency of sanitizing and cleaning our office spaces.”

For those who are not patients of For All Seasons and may have had a reason to visit an office, For All Seasons will be observing a more structured agency visitation procedure until further notice and the building will be closed to visitors. Visits to For All Seasons will be by appointment only. For further information, call 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org. For All Seasons English Hotline is 1-800-310-RAPE (7273) and Spanish Hotline is 410-829-6143.

Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism

On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland has received official designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration to participate in its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This allows small businesses in all Maryland jurisdictions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans.

Businesses can apply for a loan to pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years. Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply directly to the SBA.

Click here to download the SBA Loan Fact Sheet from Maryland’s Small Business Development Center: https://talbotworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Maryland-SBDC-SBA-Economic-Injury-Disaster-Loan-Update-3.19.20.pdf

Apply for SBA Assistance at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

Maryland Department of Commerce: www.businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus

Guidance for Businesses from the CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Talbot County Free Library

The Talbot County Free Library has created a recommended list of websites for children and families to explore and learn about new worlds of knowledge and reading while out of school.

Check out these family-friendly educational website resources that are chock-full of online reading and other fun learning activities:

  • Storyline Online - This resource contains celebrities reading picture books.
  • An online calendar of KidLit events - This resource includes schedules for creators reading from their own works.
  • Reading Connects Us - A newsletter about virtual learning that is full of links to lessons, information authors are sharing, and much more.
  • Picture Book Read Alouds - This is made up of authors reading their own work, including a list from the Indianapolis Public Library with over 100 titles, and titles in other languages.
  • Read, Wonder, and Learn -This is a lot of authors sharing lessons, excerpts, and more from their books.
  • Scholastic’s Learn at Home - Daily lesson plans that include books, activities, and more.
  • Jarrett Lerner’s Activities Page - contains printouts/activities that encourage creativity and story creation.
  • Maryland Day By Day Calendar - online version.

One way for children to hear a story without the Internet is:

All patrons are encouraged to try the library’s eLearning opportunities and downloadable resources. For more information, about any of these eResources visit www.tcfl.org.

Talbot County Government

On Thursday, March 19, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order to allow restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries to deliver alcoholic beverages, exempting state law during this period of emergency. Talbot County is the only county in the state which has their own liquor laws and Talbot County's liquor laws pre-empt state law to the extent that state law is inconsistent with our local laws. Talbot County wishes to support the business community during this time of crisis to ensure that Talbot County liquor license holders can take advantage of the opportunities granted by the Governor’s Executive Order.

Therefore, authority is granted to Talbot County liquor license holders who serve food to sell alcoholic beverages as a part of their carry-out and delivery services for so long as the Governor's Executive Order is in effect under the following conditions:

  • They have a current local liquor license and, before this emergency, sold food on premises;
  • The person who delivers the alcohol must be over the age of twenty-one (21) and have completed alcohol awareness training/TIPS, as required under current law;
  • Deliveries/carry out for alcoholic beverages should only occur during the hours allowed for alcohol service under your Talbot County liquor license;
  • The alcoholic beverage must be served in a container that is sealed; and
  • All other laws related to the service of alcohol to the public remain in effect.
  • Breweries, wineries, and distilleries can deliver as allowed under the Governor’s Executive Order and their state license.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Liquor Board office by phone at 410-770-8019 or by email through the Board Secretary, Patricia Finneyfrock, at pfinneyfrock@talbotcountymd.gov.

Talbot Humane

During these unsettling times, we want to assure our community we are here for you. We have instituted some policy changes during this time for the protection of the community and our team.

Hours of Operation Change:

  • Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Sunday Closed

We have instituted stricter animal handling, and shelter cleaning protocols during this time:

  • Animal visitation will be limited to those who are actively interested in adoption. An approved adoption application must be completed to view pets for adoption. These visits continue to be after 11 a.m. daily. Check out the available pets at www.talbothumane.org/pets.
  • Spay/Neuter Clinics for the remainder of March have been canceled. We will reschedule those appointments in the coming weeks with new regulations on drop off and pick up.
  • No group visits until May 1, 2020, including our PAWS to READ club. We will reassess at that time.
  • No Community Events until May 1, 2020. We will reassess our plan at that time.
  • Our services continue. We are here for you for:
  • Our pet pantry is open. Pick up is during normal office hours. If you need food and are ill please call our office. We will have an officer or volunteer drop food at your door.
  • If you are a resident who has been laid off and is unsure of finances, please contact us. We will help you with food no questions asked.
  • If you are in need of our intervention services, in order to keep your pet during difficult times, please contact us. We are here to help with supplies, behavior needs and acute unexpected veterinary emergencies for those who may otherwise need to surrender or rehome your pets.
  • Pet Surrender is still open. When possible please call ahead so we can plan for your arrival and determine if there is something we can do to help you keep your pet.
  • Talbot County Animal Control is still in effect. We are NOT picking up owner surrenders at this time from homes. All essential services are still in effect.

What our community can do to help:

  • Stay home if you can. Our staff has the care of the animals under control. Stay safe for you, your neighbors and your pets!
  • If you need food, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here for you.
  • If you are someone able to donate to our pet pantry or our intervention program, we would love your support. We are expecting these 2 programs to be used more than usual in the coming weeks and possibly months.
  • If you know of someone in need, please contact our office. Helping is what we do!

We wish to thank our amazing community for all you do. Your support allows us to serve those in need during difficult times such as these. For further information, visit Talbot Humane at www.talbothumane.org or call (410) 822-0107.

Talbot County Public Schools

Meal Distribution Information

  • FREE meals are being distributed for children ages 2 through 18 at the following expanded list of locations from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday: Easton Middle, Easton Elementary-Dobson, the corner of Dover and Aurora Streets, Magnolia Meadows, Pippin Farms, the Neighborhood Service Center, Unionville Church, St. Michaels Middle High, St. Michaels Police Dept., Chapel District Elementary, White Marsh Elementary, and Tilghman Elementary. Meals include breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack.
  • Meal packs for 600 children were distributed on 3/19/2020 including emergency and satellite site deliveries. This represents a total of 1,200 meals and a 500% increase in one day.
  • CHILDREN MUST BE PRESENT and be between the ages of 2 and 18. Adults cannot accept meals on behalf of children. No names need to be provided.
  • Children do not have to be eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
  • CarePacks will be delivered to as many sites as possible on Fridays to provide weekend meals, depending on supply.
  • If families are unable to get to one of the sites due to an emergency (lack of transportation, work schedule conflict, illness in the family, etc.) to pick up meals or CarePacks, please use this link to sign up for meal delivery: Emergency Meal Delivery Request (Please note we cannot guarantee that delivery will be available). You may also email Ms. Emily Moody at emoody@talbotschools.org to set up a CarePacks delivery on Fridays.

Talbot County Department of Social Services

To slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Human Services has announced that each of the 24 local Departments of Social Services (DSS), including the Talbot County DSS Office, are closed to the public effective at noon on March 18, 2020.

Talbot County Department of Social Services is providing services through the following:

Please call us at 410-770-4848 with questions. Child support customers should start with the DHS Call Center at 1-800-332-6347.

DHS online portal (MyDHR) should be used when possible to apply for SNAP (Food Stamps) and all emergency cash assistance programs (https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/).

Applications can also be submitted by mail (301 Bay St, Unit 5, Easton, MD 21601), by email (talbot.customer@maryland.gov), or by fax (410-820-7117).

Medical Assistance or health insurance applications can be submitted on the Maryland Health Connection website. The Maryland Health Connection has opened an emergency enrollment period. Information and online application access can be found on the Maryland Health Connection website (https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/).

Long Term Care Medical Assistance applications can be submitted at https://mymdthink.maryland.gov/home/#/home.

Child Support information and/or questions can also be submitted by email at talbot.customer@maryland.gov.

Child support payments can be made by mail, phone or online. If making payment by mail, include your name and child support case number on the payment and mail to: Maryland Child Support Account, PO Box 17396, Baltimore MD 21297-1396

To make a one-time credit card child support payment over the phone, call 1-844-324-3855. Child Support payments may be made online at http://www.mdsmartchildsupport.com/. At this link, you can establish a one-time or recurring automatic draft from your savings account or pay using Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express.

Reports of suspected child or vulnerable adult abuse or neglect should continue to be reported to 410-770-4848.

University of Maryland Extension

Effective immediately, the University of Maryland Extension is currently functioning, however, our office is closed. Our 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, our staff will continue to be available by email. If you call the office, please leave a message, employees are checking their voicemail:

Additionally, all in-person public meetings will be canceled, postponed or held via teleconference.

As part of the state’s strong response to COVID-19, Governor Hogan issued an executive order providing a grace period for any state licenses, permits and/or registrations that may be expiring or up for renewal during the state of emergency. Renewal deadlines will be extended up to 30 days after the state of emergency is lifted. This order applies to a number of items issued by MDA programs, including, but not limited to, pesticide applicator licenses, State Chemist product registrations, and nutrient management certifications.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the University of Maryland Extension will continue working hard to maintain normal operations as much as possible. Any questions regarding specific programs or services should be sent to Robert Baldwin, rsb@umd.edu.

For more information on the statewide response to COVID-19, please visit governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health

Updated Visitor Policy Restrictions At All Facilities in Response To COVID-19

With the first confirmed COVID-related death in Maryland, more than 100 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state, and an 88 percent increase in cases statewide during the past 48 hours, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is enacting updated visitor restrictions at all 13 System hospitals and other UMMS healthcare facilities.

Under the Strict Patient Safety Policy, which will be implemented by 3 p.m. on Friday, March 20, there will be no visitors allowed, except under specific circumstances, and by prior approval of the Physician Administrative Officer or their designee. This policy applies to all patients within UMMS hospitals and other facilities, is in alignment with Johns Hopkins Medicine, and is consistent with approaches taken by other leading health care institutions nationwide.

“Due to rapid escalation of COVID cases across Maryland and increased community spread of the disease, we have decided to enact this more aggressive and comprehensive, systemwide policy, which will be in effect until further notice,” David Marcozzi said. Marcozzi is the COVID-19 Incident Commander for UMMS, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Population Health within the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UM School of Medicine (SOM) and Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Exceptions to the Strict Patient Safety Policy include:

For in-patient facilities:

  • End-of-life care or end of life decision making. For these situations, two visitors will be permitted.
  • One parent or caregiver of a child in the neonatal intensive care unit
  • One parent or caregiver of pediatric patients (as long as they are not symptomatic)
  • One visitor inclusive of a professional support person or postpartum helper of a patient in the labor and delivery and the postpartum units
  • One visitor for patients in inpatient hospice units
  • One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge
  • One visitor for patients undergoing emergency surgery
  • Visitors who have been asked by the patient’s care team to be a part of scheduled family training for patients with rehabilitation needs.

For all outpatient appointments:

  • One visitor will be permitted to accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery

UMMS experts urge the public to practice vigilant hand hygiene, follow respiratory etiquette (cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing), maintain social distances when possible and avoid shaking hands. These strategies are fundamental to protecting our workforce, patients and the community.

More information about the Strict Patient Safety Policy can be found on the UMMS dedicated COVID-19 information webpage, https://www.umms.org/covid.

Changes to Laboratory and Imaging Services Effective March 23

To meet evolving health care needs in response to COVID-19, the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has announced changes in the delivery of outpatient laboratory testing and imaging services around the region. These changes go into effect as of Monday, March 23, 2020. In all locations where services continue to be provided, waiting area seating may be limited or adjusted to support social distancing.

The following imaging procedures are postponed at all outpatient locations:

  • screening mammography
  • cardiac scoring CT scans
  • screening lung CT scans and ultrasound AAA screenings.

Patients with scheduled appointments for these procedures are being notified by phone and new appointments will not be rescheduled until further notice.

All other imaging procedures with a medical necessity are being scheduled as needed; these procedures may be scheduled by calling 410-822-1000, ext. 2600. All imaging locations are open with regular operating hours.

Changes to outpatient laboratory services, either walk-in or by appointment, are as follows:

  • In Cambridge, the lab at Sunburst Plaza is closed. Regular and therapeutic blood draws are conducted at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.
  • In Centreville, the lab at 2450 Centerville Road is closed; patients needing lab services are directed to the lab at UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown.
  • In Chestertown, the Roundtop lab is closed. Regular and therapeutic blood draws are conducted at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.
  • In Denton, the lab at Shore Medical Pavilion at Denton remains open.
  • In Easton, lab services offered at the Diagnostic and Imaging Center are unchanged; however, the lab on Teal Drive is closed. The lab in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton remains open for therapeutic blood draw only; patients are directed to the Diagnostic and Imaging Center.
  • In Queenstown, the lab at Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown remains open.

For more information about University of Maryland Medical System responses to COVID-19, visit https://www.umms.org/coronavirus

Where to Find More Information