June 26, 2020    Media Contact:  Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412      ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball and the Department of Community Resources and Services’ Office on Aging and Independence will present a teleconference town hall meeting for older adults, caregivers, and interested community members on Monday, June 29, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Residents can pre-register here.      “Providing timely and transparent updates on services for our residents demonstrates Howard County’s commitment to establishing an Age-Friendly community,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “We are looking forward to this important conversation with our valued neighbors and the networks of families and friends who help to make our county a great place to live for all ages.”    The teleconference will provide updates on the County’s COVID-19 response as it relates to older adults, including health tips, impact within the long-term care and assisted living facilities, available resources, and reopening plans. Department officials will also provide details on food access, wellness programs, virtual 50+ Center offerings, Maryland Access Point information and assistance, and more.     “Communication has been a central part of how the county has worked to keep our community members engaged with the changing landscape of services and programs,” said Jacqueline Scott, Director of the Department of Community Resources and Services. “This teleconference is an important part of that continuing outreach to keep our older adult neighbors informed and empowered while remaining healthy.”     “We take great pride in how our office has quickly adapted programming and partnerships in light of the county’s pandemic response,” said Jenna Crawley, Administrator of the Office on Aging and Independence. “I’m looking forward to receiving questions and feedback from the community about what is serving residents well, and ways that we can make our programs even better into the future.”    Residents interested in joining the meeting are encouraged to pre-register and to submit questions to townhall@howardcountymd.gov. WebEx for the deaf and hard of hearing https://www.webex.com/accessibility.html    For more information about the town hall or the Office on Aging and Independence, contact Jennifer Crawley at 410-313-6422 (voice/relay).       Department of Finance Updates   The Department of Finance will resume the processing of civil citations and general collections on June 30, 2020. Following County Executive Ball’s Executive Order 2020-03, the effect of certain legal and procedural deadlines were suspended. However, Executive Order 2020-04 allowed for the re-imposition of suspended deadlines for the continuity of effective government. The Director of Finance has determined that as of June 30, 2020, the re-imposition of deadlines related to civil citations and general debt collections is necessary for continuity of effective government operations, is in the best interest of the County and its citizens, and may be done without endangering public health, safety and welfare. For more information, see the Department of Finance website https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Finance.      Testing Progress    There have been recent stories and cases of residents across Maryland testing positive for COVID-19 after attending rallies or large gatherings. If you have been to or around someone who has recently been in a large gathering, concerned that you may have come into contact with COVID-19, or are showing any symptoms, get tested as soon as possible. It is possible to have COVID-19 and not have any symptoms.    Additionally, in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, it’s important that residents who have tested positive work cooperatively with our contact tracers to keep our community safe.    If you have trouble getting a test, please call the Coronavirus Information Line at (410) 313-6284. To learn more, visit the Howard County Health Department's website here: https://bit.ly/3fM0Dsb      Assisted Living Protocols    Governor Larry Hogan today announced a safe and phased reopening plan for Maryland’s assisted living facilities as part of the state’s commitment to protect vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan requires universal screenings and face coverings for staff and visitors, mandates widespread testing, and allows for limited visitation.     Assisted living facilities must meet a series of prerequisites to begin relaxing any restrictions, including:    • The facility must not be experiencing an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, defined as one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member.     • Absence of any facility-onset COVID-19 cases within the last 14 days.     • Universal source control must be in place, requiring anyone else entering the facility to wear a face mask or cloth face covering at all times while in the facility.     • Staff must have access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).    Provided a facility has met the prerequisites, limited visitation is allowable if:     • Visitors and residents wear a face covering at all times.     • Visitors and residents maintain proper social distancing at all times.     • There is not an ongoing outbreak at the facility.     • Additionally, it is strongly recommended that there are no more than two visitors at a time per resident per visit.    Read the Maryland Department of Health’s order and guidance.      Construction & Paving Local Business Outreach Event    Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the Office of Purchasing are hosting a virtual event on Wednesday, July 1 at 9 a.m. Local businesses will have the opportunity to learn more about doing business with Howard County entities, including Howard County Public Schools and Howard Community College. To register, email localoutreach@howardcountymd.gov.  

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