Matthew Utterback to deliver 100 face masks to Garrett Regional Medical Center.
In the face of the global pandemic, Garrett County healthcare workers continue to place themselves at risk to protect area residents. To honor their service, Governor Larry Hogan has declared May 2 Healthcare Heroes Day across the state. Engage Mountain Maryland is thanking Garrett Regional Medical Center for their tireless work with a small donation of 100 protective masks that will be delivered on Monday, May 4, 2020. "We got these masks unexpectedly," said Matthew Utterback, EMM board member. "The online order was placed just as the virus was reaching the United States and when shortages were occurring, we never expected the order to be fulfilled." The organization decided that if the masks did arrive, it was in everyone's best interest for them to go directly to the medical staff at GRMC where they would be most needed. With the public now required to wear face coverings in public, many people have adapted to the shortages by wearing homemade masks or bandanas, according to Utterback. "One hundred masks are certainly a small number for a hospital to go through," Utterback continues, "But with the ongoing shortages, even a few extras could be valuable." The Garrett County Health Department has built a dedicated page that honors local Healthcare Heroes with pictures of medical staff and emergency personnel at work. The public is invited to visit the page to honor them. EMM has been actively sharing breaking news about the COVID-19 pandemic on its Facebook page and to email subscribers since the virus first hit U.S. soil. The nonprofit community organization's recent initiative was launched to ask citizens to write the Garrett County Commissioners requesting Maryland television for county residents. "We realized very quickly that the news coming from the Hogan administration was not necessarily accessible to people in the county who are subscribed to Pittsburgh channels through their service providers," said Mark Stutzman, EMM president. "Not everyone is connected to the internet in this rural community but most people do have a television or two in their homes." The plea for Maryland channels was in response to the frequent breaking news on Facebook Live and YouTube that was covered by Baltimore television stations. Hogan's press conferences continue to share vital information about public health initiatives and progress on combating the virus, school closings, and information for businesses that are struggling to navigate the crisis. EMM continues to share live social media broadcasts as they occur and express appreciation to everyone who has followed its page and shared news coming from the Governor's administration on COVID-19. "Everyone is in this together," said Stutzman. "Although it's an uncertain time and very unsettling, having frequent updates at our fingertips can help allay fears and instill good social practices that help to protect each other." EMM encourages everyone to abide by the safe practices put in place by the Hogan administration. The state's team of experts has developed a "Roadmap to Recovery" which looks forward and has been adopted by the Garrett County Commissioners and local health professionals. In time, and by meeting a methodical series of benchmarks, Garrett County citizens will eventually return to a less oppressive condition and with the comfort of a minimized public health risk.