Updated: Apr 10
Garrett County Commissioners; Chairman Paul Edwards, Jim Hinebaugh, Larry Tichnell
The Garrett County Commissioners remind anyone traveling to the County, despite Governor Hogan’s "Stay at Home" directive, that they must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Over the past month, local emergency service organizations have been collaborating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Garrett County. The goal is to lessen the potential impact on the local rural healthcare infrastructure.
The stay-at-home order went into effect at 8 p.m. Monday, March 30 and is set to remain in effect until the state of emergency is over. Violations can be punished with a misdemeanor charge.
"We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so," said Governor Larry Hogan in a press briefing.
Hogan stated that persons traveling into Maryland from anywhere outside the state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days with the exception of persons who regularly commute into Maryland from an adjacent state or the District of Columbia, or vice-versa. However, regular commuters crossing state lines who may pose a risk of being infected with the virus should otherwise self-quarantine under applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) or Maryland Department of Health, (MDH) guidance. This would include recent travel to the New York/Tri-State area that has been determined to be a hot-spot for COVID-19.
Garrett County is a popular tourist destination for nearby metro areas with many second homes and vacation properties located on Deep Creek Lake. It is not deemed essential travel to come to Garrett County for the weekend, according to the Garrett County Commissioners, and they are asking anyone who does visit to self-quarantine for 14 days to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus.
“We are asking for understanding and cooperation from all of our citizens and visitors. It is imperative that we all try to lessen the potential for our hospitals to be overwhelmed,” said Paul Edwards, Chair of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners.
The Commissioner's request to control migration of the virus falls on the heals of an earlier action from Health Officer, Bob Stephens with the Garrett County Health Department. He was applauded for asking that rental properties temporarily cancel reservations to quell visitor traffic that could transport the virus from outside the county and deplete already limited supplies for in-county residents.
People are allowed to leave their homes to exercise in accordance with social distancing guidelines; go grocery shopping; go to an educational institution to pick up food; work an essential job; care for a relative or friend; care for livestock or pets; visit their own businesses for minimal operations and go to government buildings for necessary purposes, according to the Governor's order.
Community members with medical questions regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are advised to visit the Garrett County Health Department website https://garretthealth.org/coronavirus or to call the hotline at 301-334-7698.
For emergencies dial 911.