MDH Launches Campaign to Promote Contact Tracing Awareness

Maryland Department of Health kicks off statewide campaign to educate residents about the importance of contact tracing. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today will begin rolling out a new statewide campaign to educate Marylanders about the importance of contact tracing and how it is a vital tool in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. Contact tracing, a core disease control measure employed by public health personnel for decades, is a key strategy for…

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Maryland Joins Multistate Coalition Opposing SNAP Cuts

The coalition argues that cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would leave millions hungry when many are already struggling during the pandemic.  In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Frosh and 23 other state attorney generals expressed support for the HEROS Act which would prohibit the use of funds to implement three administrative rules aimed at cutting critically necessary SNAP benefits. As announced in a press release: In a letter to Congress, the…

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Health Inspectors Face New Roles, Responsibilities With Restaurant Reopenings

Health inspectors nationwide are grappling with restaurant reopenings and new responsibilities such as the use of PPE and maintaining social distancing measures that come with jurisdictions loosening stay-at-home orders.  The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) conducted an anonymous survey of local health departments which found that many had reduced operations of food safety programs and some even shut down the programs entirely reassigning inspection staff to meet coronavirus response needs. Route…

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St. Mary’s Health Officer Recognized as COVID-19 Hero

The Daily Record has selected St. Mary's County Health Officer Dr. Meena Brewster to be a 2020 Health Care Hero Award recipient in the COVID-19 Heroes category. “Nothing in public health is done in isolation. This is most evident during times of crisis, including the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “I’m so grateful for our tenacious public health team, partners and community that have pulled together to fight…

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Baltimore County Engages Older Adults Via ‘Virtual Senior Centers’

Amid COVID-19 pandemic Baltimore County Department of Aging ramps up virtual presence to engage and help senior residents.  The county has worked to ensure older adults continue to receive quality programming and support virtually by increasing the department's digital presence, offering online classes, and providing one-on-one staff contact. From the news release: “Our senior centers fill an important role in the lives of so many of Baltimore County’s older adults. During this unprecedented time, we’re…

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Anne Arundel Offers Fresh Food Fridays for Seniors, Disabled Community

Anne Arundel County's Department of Aging & Disabilities and the Anne Arundel County Food Bank have implemented a new program known as Fresh Food Fridays – providing boxes of fresh produce to residents 60 years of age or older, and anyone aged 18 or older with a disability. The program starts tomorrow, May 29th, at the Heritage Complex on Riva Road in Annapolis, and will take place in Glen Burnie the following Friday. For more…

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Feds Award Carroll Funding For Emergency Food and Shelter Programs

Over $50,000 in federal funds awarded to Carroll County will be used to supplement local emergency food and shelter programs.  The county received the funds through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP). As announced in a county news release: Carroll County was chosen to receive $29,779 for Phase 37 and $22,616 for Phase CARES  (which requires projects to address emerging needs…

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Harford County Uses Humor to Promote 2020 Census

The 2020 Census is happening now, and Harford County has created a few short video ads to remind residents that everyone counts when it comes to improved funding for counties. From Harford County's YouTube page:   https://youtu.be/ojd7X8J02E0 https://youtu.be/cfSzw9kPGO4 A Spanish version of this video can be viewed here. Data from the decennial census is used to determine everything from the distribution of federal funds to states and local governments for social service programs, to government…

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Medicare Getting On Board With More Telehealth

The widespread Medicare Advantage program will feature broadened access to telehealth services, under a newly adopted rule. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a new rule, seeking to expand access to telehealth services for the many users of Medicare Advantage, effective June 1. From an article on the site HealthCareFinanceNews.com: CMS is giving MA plans more flexibility to count telehealth providers in certain specialty areas such as Dermatology, Psychiatry, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Nephrology, Primary…

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School Nurses in Anne Arundel Become an ‘Army’ of COVID-19 Contact Tracers

Ahead of state-led efforts, Anne Arundel has reassigned school nurses to perform COVID-19 contract tracing to help identify how far the virus has potentially spread from an identified patient.  While the state works to start a pilot program with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to hire tracers, Anne Arundel already has employed 100 people, including 86 school nurses, to work as contact tracers. The Washington Post reports on the contract tracing…

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