Friday May 29, Saturday May 30, Sunday May 31

The weather today will be partly sunny with a high near 74 and a low around 54. A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Some storms could be severe. Southwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Saturday will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 66 and a low around 44. Sunday will be sunny with a high near 60 and a low around 39.

AccuWeatherNESunMon-1

The Maryland Governor has approved outdoor dining as of 5pm today. Restaurants must:

  • Ensure patrons are appropriately distanced with no more than six people seated at a table, with the exception of members of the same household.
  • Ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other, except for households seated together.
  • Use single-use disposable paper menus or sanitize reusable menus between each seating.
  • Sanitize outdoor tables and chairs between each customer seating.
  • Train staff in the current CDC COVID-19 health and workplace guidelines.
  • Begin screening procedures including daily temperature checks of all staff.
  • Ensure staff wear masks or face coverings when interacting with other employees or patrons.

We have added the outdoor dining to our COVID-19 restaurant resource guide and here are the spots able to offer outdoor dining right away:

  • Black Bear Tavern
  • Deep Creek Funzone (formerly Smiley’s)
  • Dutch’s at Silver Tree
  • Greene Turtle
  • The Honi-Honi
  • Mountain State Brewing Company
  • Pine Lodge Steakhouse
  • UNOs

Please be patient with all of our eateries this weekend: the Governor’s rules are new and may take some major adjustments and growing pains.

We wanted to note that Pine Lodge Steakhouse is a new advertiser with a recently remodeled dining room! You won’t be able to enjoy the new features just yet but PLS is one of the hot spots at the lake able to offer outdoor dining on their patio! They serve only the finest cuts of beef, fresh seafood like jumbo lump crab cakes and Pacific Rim Ahi Tuna, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, and more… also, we can’t forget to mention the local favorite, creamy crab soup!

The Deep Creek Lake Watershed Foundation has published its current & future projects pertaining to Deep Creek Lake & the surrounding watershed.

“Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles today announced the filing of a suit in federal court against the owners of the Luke Paper Mill for seepages into the North Branch Potomac River that threaten public health and the environment.”

License-free fishing days are this summer on June 6, June 13, and July 4 — you don’t need a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

After receiving and reviewing public input, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has selected the state’s 2020-2021 migratory game bird hunting seasons. These selections are now awaiting final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

What a dramatic sunset captured by Betsy Potts! WOW:

Betsy Potts Sunset at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Thursday May 28

The weather today will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers; thunderstorms are also possible after 1pm. A high near 77 and a low around 64. Southeast wind 13 to 16 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.

The Maryland Governor has announced additional openings as part of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery Stage One — all of the below activities with specific restrictions and precautions:

  • Outdoor Dining Permitted
  • Outdoor Youth Sports and Outdoor Activities at Day Camps
  • Outdoor Pools
  • Drive-In Movie Theaters

MD Department of Health Reopening Info

The state tourism office has put together fun Maryland-centered activities for when you’re at home. Download Maryland Mad-Libs, Old Line Bingo, Free State Scavenger Hunt, Maryland Statue Challenge, This or That, Maryland Style, Maryland virtual backgrounds, choose “Only Three”, Maryland Bucket List, Choose Your Maryland Quarantine House or virtual Maryland Jigsaw Puzzle here.

The state office also has free travel brochures to view or you can request a hardcopy. Deep Creek is in our hearts but this is good material for planning other family vacations.

Several grant awards, totaling over $1.7 million, were approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works. This funding will be used to expand local broadband infrastructure to over 1,300 local addresses.

There are a total of 10 COVID-19 cases in Garrett County; no new cases thus far this week.

“Anglers are enjoying some very good fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass in Deep Creek Lake.” – May 27 Maryland Fishing Report.

l’aurait shared this sunset at Deep Creek Lake, MD with us. WOW!

l’aurait Sunset at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Wednesday May 27

Yesterday was a nice day – warm and sunny.  Today will start off cloudy, then gradually become mostly sunny, with a high near 72 degrees and a low in the wee hours of around 61. Southeast wind 6 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Here’s a really cool photo submitted by Noah Farberow taken this weekend in Hazelhurst Cove.  The light is just tight on this one!  Thanks Noah!

Hazelhurst Noah F

Hazelhurst Cove

Just heard that New Germany State Park is now accepting applications for three cabin cleaners and one visitor services attendant. These are full-time or part-time, seasonal positions. Candidates must apply by June 10th at JobAps.com/md. Please spread the word if you know of someone looking for a seasonal position in a very nice, natural setting.

And, speaking of state parks, the annual State Parks and Trails Passport is now available ($75 for in-state residents, $100 for out-of-state) and grants unlimited day-use admission and boat launching at state parks, and a 10 percent discount on state-operated concessions and boat rentals. This year’s pass will arrive in a self-contained packet with a detachable hang-tag, and will be valid for a full year from the month of purchase. Our 75 state parks include more than 900 miles of trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding, as well as unique water access and camping facilities.

The Allegany Arts Council is now accepting applications for its 2020-2021 grants program. The program, made possible by County Arts Development funding of the Maryland State Arts Council, supports non-profit organizations and individual artists in the creation of activities, programs and placemaking efforts which champion the arts in our community.  Grant awards are for activities, programs, projects and operations which occur between July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021. Please review the eligibility and guideline information prior to applying. Information, along with the grant applications themselves, can be found by visiting our website. The deadline to enter is June 30, 2020.

Here’s a summary of a good idea from Judy Carbone and Lori Richards, homeowners at the lake.  They compiled and mailed a postcard to second homeowners at their primary address.  I wanted to share because it was innovative thinking and is for a good cause – helping non-profit organizations impacted by COVID-19.  Please check it out and give if you can.  Thanks for the good work Judy and Lori.

Local, state and national organizations are providing assistance to Garrett County residents experiencing difficulties
at this time. Friends of Deep Creek Lake have compiled a directory of some of the organizations accepting financial donations to support their efforts …and information on how to donate. Please give generously.

Garrett County Community Action Committee, Inc.
The County Emergency Management Office has asked Community Action to take a
lead role in coordinating donations, including cash, food and household items, volunteer services, transportation, masks, and specific needs associated with COVID-19.
How to Donate: www.garretthealth.org/community

The Garrett County Public Schools Foundation
The Foundation helps the Garrett County Public Schools provide over 800 meals to
students. GCPS is currently providing three meals a day to anyone under 18, through
15 sites throughout the County. How to Donate: By check payable to The GCPS
Foundation. Send to P.O. Box 11, Oakland, MD 21550. 301-501-0190.

The House of Hope
The House of Hope is a non-denominational, non-profit “network of concern” for
those in need in Garrett County. It operates four free food banks in the County.
How to Donate: Send check to P.O. Box 24, Oakland, MD 21550 or online
www.houseofhopegc.org

The Maryland Food Bank
The Maryland Food Bank distributes food to eligible soup kitchens, food pantries,
and shelters throughout the State. In Garrett County, it operates through the Oak
Park Church of the Brethren. How to Donate: www.mdfoodbank.org. Click “Donate”

The Dove Center
The Dove Center is a private non-profit organization providing safety, advocacy, and
counseling to individuals affected by domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
www.gcdovecenter.org. How to Donate: www.gcdovecenter.org/ways-to-give

It’s In The Bag
Serving Garrett County Public Schools, this program fills backpacks with food to send
home with children on the weekends, coordinated by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.
How to Donate: By check to It’s In The Bag, P. O. Box 303, Oakland, MD 21550.

United Way of Garrett County
The United Way has established COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide
micro-grants to local nonprofits to aid with food, shelter, medical co-pays, and supplies. How to Donate: www.cuw.org/garrett/ or send a check to P.O. Box 394,
Oakland, MD 21550.

Western Maryland Red Cross
The Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Monetary donations are also needed. How to Donate: www.redcross.org/local/maryland-delaware/donation or call 1-800-435-7669.

Other organizations needing your help:
• www.governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites • www.211md.org

Compiled by Garrett County volunteers Judy A. Carbone (judy@corgi-cottage.com) and Lori Richards (tolori@verizon.net).
DCC postcard 1.indd 1 5/

Tuesday May 26

After a great Memorial Day weather-wise, the weather for today also looks really good. The day will start with patchy fog before 9:00 am. After that, mostly sunny, with a high near 76 degrees and a low around 57.

The warm weather this weekend has (finally) caused the trees and shrubs to go into (almost) full bloom. Here’s a close-up photo taken by Joe Vitek of one of those blooms.  It’s not only a nice photo, but also a reminder to pause and take in the “little things” around the lake.  Thanks for sharing Joe.

Bloom from Joe Vitek 5-20

The Mountain Comes Alive

The Deep Creek Lions Club Meshach Browning coloring contest has received a number of entries (23 to-date to be exact), with the talent of the artists very evident.  Check out this video for the story and a sampling of entries.  Thanks for sharing to fellow Lion Chris Nichols.

With all the nice weather and the relaxation of restrictions all over the country, it looks like a lot of people took advantage of the holiday to go to the beach, mountains, pools or just get some fun outside time under their belts.  The lake area was certainly busy this weekend. I know there is concern among some about increasing cases due to the openings and I also know it is an uncertain, tricky balance between various factors. Let’s hope for the best and be positive, as we are all in this together.

Here’s a nice photo taken by Lisa Nichols this weekend while she was kayaking in Meadow Mountain cove.  Those clouds sure are cool looking.  Thanks for sharing Lisa!

Lisa Nichols 5-25-20

Kayaking on Meadow Mountain Cove

On Sunday, the Baltimore Sun reported that the total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state had dropped from 1,320 to 1,290 since the prior day. That is good news. 

Testing late last week at a Garrett County nursing home facility uncovered seven new cases (four residents and three out-of-state staff), which brings our county total number of known cases to 10. Interestingly, all seven, from various age groups, were asymptomatic. Additional test results for the facility are still pending, with 188 negative results received for residents and staff so far.  That is very good news.

 

Monday May 25

While Saturday’s weather was wonderful, yesterday’s was cloudy, cooler and rainy.  Today will start with patchy fog, then turn mostly cloudy, gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 76 degrees and with a low around 59.

Happy Memorial Day!  Memorial Day is considered the most solemn holiday in the nation as we honor our fallen military heroes.  Originally started as Decoration Day to honor our Civil War fallen, it became a federal holiday in 1971.  And, while it has become somewhat of a rite of passage as the beginning of the summer season, we should all remember its origin and true meaning. That seems especially fitting as the nation continues the battle with COVID-19.

Michael McGovern, Director of Operations at Alpine Lake Resort, just over the border in West Virginia, shared the following photo and insight, from Alpine Lake’s annual Missing Man setting to honor our military fallen. They are not able to set up this year due to the pandemic, so sharing here and on other social media is appropriate and appreciated. Thanks for sharing Michael!

ALR Mem Day 2020

Missing Man Table at Alpine Lake Resort

Here’s an explanation of the symbolism that Michael sent over:

> In honor of our Veterans, Alpine has set a table to symbolize the unity of all members of the five armed services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard) as protectors and warriors under the same flag of our great Nation.  The Tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.

> Red rose in the vase signifies the blood that many have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.

> The slice of lemon represents the bitter fate of the missing.

> Salt sprinkled is symbolic of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

> The bay leaf since ancient times have been made into wreaths and used to crown soldiers as the heroes they are.  Bay laurel is the symbol of wisdom and bravery.

> The half full glass of water represents the fact that the missing and fallen cannot partake and the feeling of loss family members feel when their loved one is deployed or does not return.

> The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. Our Bible at Alpine Lake is open to Psalm 91 that asks God for his protection and the strength we find in his refuge.

> The Lit candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.

> The single empty chair signifies the missing and fallen that aren’t present.

> Thank you to all who have served and are currently serving for our freedom!

I salute all of our fallen, thank all of our veterans for their service and wish all of our readers a peacful, happy, healthy and thoughtful Memorial Day.

Friday May 22, Saturday May 23, Sunday May 24

The weather today will be showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 3pm; a high near 65 and a low around 53. Saturday and Sunday look to be good: partly sunny, with isolated showers; highs around 70 and lows around 55.

Many of us are looking forward to kicking-off the Deep Creek summer in a traditional way but please remember while many restaurants are open, it is for carryout only. You must cover your face when inside any retail or personal service establishment and group gatherings are limited to 10. Vacation rentals are open, and visitors are welcome here (there’s no longer a 14-day quarantine request), but the county and rental companies request that renters attempt to be as self-sufficient as possible.

We wanted to also note, the Deep Creek staple, the Honi-Honi Bar is not open per the governor’s orders. Their lawn is not open and docks are not in the water.

There are a lot of new guidelines for everyone to deal with but the lake is open. You can definitely still have a good time in Deep Creek it just may look a little different this year. And, let’s all be kind.

Our local community response to COVID-19 has been nothing short of amazing. Here’s the volunteer coordinator, Courtney, sharing more:

In case you didn’t see it yet, this month’s cover story is on that same volunteer program.

Here’s the photo guide to the Common Maryland Snakes

WFWM Radio is playing all of the DelFest favorites this weekend (since the annual festival was canceled)

The 25th Walk For Hospice is still on for June 21, 2020 but will be a virtual event to honor those they have served. They will be taking sponsorships for placement on the shirts until June 12th, 2020 if you would like to have your business or memorial included starting at $100.00 each. Please contact Donna with ANY questions at djbrenneman1@gmail.com or 301.616.3593.

Our Deep Creek Lake temperature gauge is a good place to get a general idea of the Lake’s surface temperature. This morning, the water’s surface and the air temperature are close.. who’s going for a swim?!

Deep Creek Lake Air and Water Temperature

We hope you have an opportunity to celebrate Memorial Day and honor our fallen service members. Take care!

Thursday May 21

The weather today will be cloudy, with a high near 56 and a low around 51. Rain likely, mainly after 2pm. Southeast wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

We enjoyed a spectacular sunset last night — Gena Sweeney captured it for us!

SO, food is on my mind: is 9am too early to be thinking about lunch?

The Manor is offering a takeout special this week and for Memorial Day. Tonight is spinach and parmesan stuffed chicken. NY Strip, Petit Filet with Crab and Cream Sauce, and more. See the details on their website.

Alpine Lake Resort’s Lakers Lounge has also reopened to offer curbside pickup. See the full limited menu and hours here. Um, one word to say here: RIBS.

Black Bear Tavern is back, too! Carryout today 12-8. They have one-price-fits-all Quarantine Cocktails for $7: The drinks you’ve been missing like a Black Bear Lemonade, José Margarita, Jack & Pepsi, and Bloody Marys. 

Pine Lodge Steakhouse has some great news: their restaurant remodel is nearly complete and they will be reopening to the public tomorrow, May 22, at 4pm!

There was a reminder of the local order for employees and customers to wear a face covering when inside any business.

Jay Ferguson shares that the extremely limited availability of rental docks isn’t likely to change any time soon — consider a lot with an exclusive slip as the only 100% guarantee for a slip each year.

The May 20 Fishing Report from MD DNR: “Anglers at Deep Creek Lake report that the walleye are biting well in the evenings on a variety of lures, but jerkbaits tend to top the list. Retrieving and then pausing seems to get the most strikes. Smallmouth bass are starting to be found in the spawning areas close to shore and aggressive males are striking a variety of lures.”

Wednesday May 20

Yesterday was a bit dreary, with a little rain in the afternoon.  Today will be cloudy, with a high near 53 degrees and a low of about 41. It will also be quite breezy, with an east wind of 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.  Batten down the hatches!

Garrett College held their 48th commencement this weekend. Due to the coronovirus, it had to be held virtually, but that doesn’t diminish the great accomplishments of the almost 100 graduates.  I want to give a shout-out to the special award winners, including two stellar students Merlon Devine and Aryssa Corby that I had the pleasure of teaching.  They are both smart, hard-working and great individuals. Good luck to all the graduates!

On a negative note, the Sun reported yesterday that Maryland announced 1,784 new COVID-19 cases — a single-day high for the state — and 60 new deaths from the coronavirus Tuesday, as the state reached past 40,000 confirmed infections while reaching the cusp of 2,000 confirmed fatalities. Please be safe…

To identify which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics.  To view the full report and find out where Maryland ranks, click here.

Don’t forget that the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market is open on Saturdays.  There are special requirments due to the pandemic, so please click here in advance for special order and participation requirements.

I know and like the folks at First United Bank & Trust.  They have our business acount and they do a nice job of always being there for our community.  I sit on their advisory board and they are also an advertiser on Deep Creek Times, so I received an email from them yesterday and thought I would share the link.  If you are facing financial uncertainty, are looking for guidance or just want to investigate investment or loan options, they might be the one for you.  Just thought I would give them a little plug here…

That’s all for today folks.  Be safe and be happy!

Tuesday May 19

Yesterday was somewhat dreary, with limited periods of sun.  Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 56 degrees and a chance of showers throughtout the day and evening. East wind from 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20% and the low will be around 40.

Wow! Most high school students volunteer just enough to reach the required number of service learning hours, but Madison Prudnick isn’t like most students.  Madison volunteered for more than 700 hours at Partners After School @ Oakland during her 4-years at Southern High School. We wanted to thank and congratulate Madison on her stellar efforts and wish her our best as she begins her college career at Mount. St. Mary’s University in the Fall.

We heard from reader Patti M. with a question as to the status of Autumn Glory this year. The short answer is, we do not know at this time.  I have been asking around about that event and others and it appears leaders are taking a “wait and see” approach to making a final call. I think we all hope events such at Autumn Glory, Art and Wine and others are held, but we will have to wait for an answer as managers of those events process available information and make a decision. We will let you know as soon as we find out.

The Garrett County landfill, located at 3118 Sang Run Road, will be closed on Monday, May 25th for the Memorial Day holiday. Note, the six county collection sites will be open from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm that day. Also, full-service Saturdays at the landfill will resume for the season this Saturday. The scales will be open 8:00 am – 3:30 pm. You can contact Dave Baker at 301.387.0322 with any questions.

The Greater Oakland Business Association (GOBA) has some messages they shared with us yesterday:

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the GOBA Board has decided to postpone their Annual Dinner to later in October. It will be conducted as normal with a PowerPoint of the year in review and the celebration of any Oakland Business Milestones. The Asa McCain Spirit of Oakland Award will also be presented at this time. Sign ups for the annual dinner will come out with the Asa McCain Spirit nominations and voting information later in the year.

The GOBA Event Committee has decided to postpone the Kick Off to Summer Event, initially scheduled for June 20th, 2020. The committee will be meeting soon to come up with additional approaches for “events” downtown. Standby for more information about this event towards the end of the summer or perhaps some virtual events happening sooner.

There have been some questions “around town” relative to COVID-19 case reporting.  To address those questions the County issued a press release yesterday with explanations for any changes/deviations and I am repeating it here verbatim in case any readers have questions:

Why You Might See County COVID-19 Numbers Go Up and Down – By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team

If you have been watching the numbers on the Maryland COVID-19 Data Dashboard over the last few days you have seen the numbers for Garrett County go up and back down several times. There are many reasons why the numbers could change.

First of all, the numbers on the map are preliminary. In fact, below the map it says, “All data are preliminary and are subject to change based on additional reporting.” In Maryland, the numbers on the map are generated from a database where all the COVID-19 tests are reported. Once a positive case shows up in the database, staff at the health department for the county where the positive case is assigned begin to investigate the case.

Here are some of the issues that may cause a case to be assigned to the wrong county:

  • An incorrect address may have been recorded at the testing site and reported to the state.
  • The patient may have two different homes, in two different states. Research is needed to determine which is the primary residence.
  • Sometimes a person is tested a second time, and the case needs to be removed to avoid counting it a second time.
  • The automated system may mistakenly assign a case to the wrong county.

Why is it important to get it right? Because the county of primary residence is responsible for contact tracing, the process that finds close contacts of a positive case and lets them know that they need to quarantine so they don’t spread the virus if they have been infected. When a case needs to be transferred to another county, or another state, there is often a delay of a day or two before the case is changed on the map. Once the preliminary investigation is completed, the testing results are counted in the county of primary residence.

Key staff at both the local and state level are paying close attention to, and immediately investigating, any positive COVID-19 results. Information is shared across county and state lines as necessary to protect residents and health care workers in this ongoing pandemic, while safeguarding the privacy of anyone testing positive for COVID-19.

Another question many are asking is why the data doesn’t show up for any Garrett County zip codes. Again, the explanation is under the map, where it says, “Data for ZIP codes with 7 or fewer cases are suppressed.” None of the Garrett Counties zip codes show up in the reports, because the county does not have any zip codes with enough cases to show up on the list. The zip codes for low number locations are not reported to prevent specifically identifying a positive case within a small community.

Accurate COVID-19 information is critical to the community. Please visit the Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard at garretthealth.org/covid-19-information/ for current and accurate information about the situation.

 

Monday May 18

The weather this weekend was great, especially on Saturday.  Lots of folks out on and around the lake.  Today’s weather holds a 30% chance of showers, mainly after 10:00 am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66 degrees and a low of around 48. Southeast wind 7 to 9 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph (higher in the evening).

My wife Jean was one of those out on the lake this weekend.  She took this photo from our kayak while out on Beckman’s cove.  Good job Jean.

Jean Tumbarello Barn on Beckman's Peninsula at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Jean Tumbarello Barn on Beckman’s Peninsula at Deep Creek Lake, MD

 

Here’s another nice photo submitted by reader Mary Freese.  Thanks Mary and great job!

5-14-20 Mary Freese

Beautiful Sky

According to state health officials, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in Maryland — the main statistic Governor Hogan used to justify lifting a statewide stay-at-home order Friday — dropped by 40 patients as of Sunday. I believe Garrett County is at seven confirmed cases and our low numbers will hopefully continue.

Theater on the Lake (TOTL) just announced that there will be no summer season this year.  That is a bummer, but understandable, as they are impacted by the coronavirus issue like so many arts institutions. They definitely plan to be back in 2021 and are planning some virtual video recap efforts for this summer.  We’ll let you know when we know more.

Gone phishing?  Actually, you do not want to be involved on either side of the phishing hook! Even as we deal with so many global, national and local challenges related to conronavirus and other things, there are bad people out there trying to trick you.  I have had some training on this and I can tell you it is a growing threat and can be very serious.  What am I taking about you ask?  Go here to take a quiz on phishing, which is basically online trickery that obtains personal information from the victim.  Do it!

Here is some important information to share, understand and follow and as I know there has been some significant public discussion, or maybe I should say debate, since these changes were announced, I am including verbatim from the press release issued Friday by the Joint Information Team on behalf of the Health Department and County Government:

Safer-at-Home Advisory Replaces Stay-at-Home Order – By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team

As Garrett County moves into Stage One of Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery process on Friday, May 15, at 5:00 p.m., the Stay-at-Home order is replaced by a Safer-at-Home public health advisory. The Governor strongly advises Marylanders to continue staying home as much as possible, especially older and more vulnerable Marylanders. Individuals who can work from home should continue to do so. Maryland citizens should continue wearing masks in indoor public areas, retail stores, and on public transportation. Additionally, Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, keep washing their hands often, and frequently sanitize high-touch areas.

“We are moving from what I would call government-imposed restriction to personal responsibility,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “It is all of our responsibility now to protect our neighbors, our family, and our friends through things like social distancing, washing our hands, wearing face masks, and limiting our travel within the community.”

Of note in the Governor’s Order from May 13th is the fact that gatherings of greater than 10 people for social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting are prohibited. Retail establishments may open at no more than a 50% capacity according to fire code. Also allowed to open with this capacity limit, and by appointment only, are beauty salons and barber shops. The following are to remain closed:

  • Senior centers
  • Restaurants and bars, except for take out or delivery
  • Fitness centers
  • Theaters
  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Miniature golf
  • Social and fraternal clubs
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage parlors

For more information on Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery go to bit.ly/md-stage-one.

Have a great week dear readers!

Friday May 15, Saturday May 16, Sunday May 17

The weather today will be mostly cloudy then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 72 and a low around 58. A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 5pm. Southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Saturday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 70 and a low around 56. Southeast wind 6 to 9 mph. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 68 and a low around 57. A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 2pm.

Garrett County is moving into Stage One of the Roadmap to Recovery today at 5pm. Vacation rentals needed to be addressed in Garrett County (in addition to the Governor’s “low-risk” openings) and have been approved to open with additional safety measures in place.

As part of the Stage One reopening, Maryland residents are still urged to work from home if they can. A requirement that people wear masks in public areas indoors will remain in effect. Limits prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people will remain in place, with the exception of religious gatherings.

Here’s additional guidance that was shared with us: “What to Expect When you Attend Mass”.

Ruth Enlow Library is going to be opening as well. Here are all of the details.

There will be DUI Checkpoint at an undisclosed location in Garrett County sometime between May 17 and May 23.

Garrett County Public Schools voted on a significant turf and athletic complex project for both Northern and Southern High Schools at their most recent meeting. The project is estimated to cost about $2.5 million in special funding.

Garrett County Public Schools has also announced that the 2020 graduation ceremonies for both Northern and Southern High Schools will be a mix of “virtual” and “in-person” accolades.

Garrett County Community Action Committee, Inc. – Aging and Nutrition is seeking a Supports Planner/Case Manager. Deadline for applications: 4 pm, Monday June 15th.

Hydrilla treatments will continue at Deep Creek Lake in 2020; the planned herbicide treatment dates are as follows:
June 8 – first hydrilla treatment
June 30 – second hydrilla treatment
July 21 –  third hydrilla treatment
August 18 – fourth hydrilla treatment

Thursday May 14

The weather will be partly sunny with scattered showers with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm; a high near 67 and a low around 58. Southwest wind 3 to 7 mph. The chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Governor Hogan will be lifting the “Stay at. Home” order and will be implementing a “Safer at Home” order as of tomorrow at 5pm with local jurisdictions having the flexibility to move to Phase 1 of his recovery plan. The Garrett County Commissioners will be holding a meeting today at 1pm to direct the specifics of the local orders; it will be streamed on Facebook @Garrett County Government.

Mountain Laurel Medical Center has earned a Community Health Resources Commission grant in the amount of $195,000 over two years. The funding will go to the food security and diabetes management programs.

Tri-County Council of Western Maryland serves as a source for financing for small businesses seeking to locate or expand in Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties. Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $500,000 for business acquisition, building improvements, equipment purchases, business start-up costs, working capital, and more.

A local economic recovery task force developed the “Garrett County Roadmap to Reopening: Best Practices for Businesses & Attractions.” You may utilize this document as a tool to help to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 as a customer or visitor to local store or service-based business.

A special thanks to Kelsey Brinegar for sharing her “Oriole in the Snow” photo with us:

Wednesday May 13

Yesterday was a pretty nice day.  I was able to get in a sunny walk late afternoon.  Today’s weather will include widespread frost, mainly before 7:00 am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 56 degrees and a low of about 40.

Reminder for this morning, at 9:00 am: Understanding the Employee Retention Tax Credit and Work Share Unemployment Program.  A good portion of the disaster loan and grant programs are maxed out, but these two programs could provide additional financial assistance for your business.  The Chamber member webinar is free to attend but registration is required. REGISTER HERE to receive the link or contact Holly Lane at 301.387.6171 or holly@garrettchamber.com.

Here’s a helpful resource put together by the folks at TEDCO for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.  TEDCO is one of the organizations that serves small businesses in the state in a number of ways. They have various levels of funding and assistance and their leadership has also been working with Governor Hogan on the state’s response to the pandemic.  ttps://www.tedcomd.com/news-events/covid-19-maryland-business-resources

Check out this virtual tour of the Deep Creek Lake area premiering this evening on Maryland Public Television at 7:30 pm.  It is part of their MotorWeek series of video adventures.  Here’s the link for more information.

Here’s some good news: The Board of Garrett County Commissioners announced yesterday that Comcast has expanded its footprint in the county by adding more than 370 serviceable addresses. This is a result of a collaboration between the County and the company to serve additional rural areas with broadband internet. The new addresses, adjacent to Comcast’s existing service area, are located along portions of Avilton Lonaconing Road, Bittinger Road, Foy Road, Mosser Road, New Germany Road, Oakland Sang Run Road, Sunset Ridge, Accident Friendsville Road, Foxtown Road, Rock Lodge Road, and Firetower Road. Additional areas are being considered, and residents along these roads are asked to call 1-800-COMCAST to inquire about service.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an online wedding chat on Monday, May 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. to connect couples with local wedding professionals. The online chat is free to attend but registration is required. Participants must register at visitdeepcreek.com/events/details/deep-creek-weddings-chat-32230 to reserve a spot. Seats are limited. Registration deadline is 10:00 am on May 18th to receive the link to participate. Questions should be directed to Kim Folk at 301.387.5238 or kim@garrettchamber.com.

The decision has been made that after 26 years, this year’s Chautauqua offering—Raising Their Voices—would be the last. Unfortunately, due to the continuing impact of the coronavirus, they will not be able to conclude with in-person performances. They are, however, working to bring you virtual performances in July and will announce the details next month.  This is sad news, as GLAF and Maryland Humanities do a great job with this every year and it is a fun and educational endeavor.  We will let you know more when we hear further details.

Tuesday May 12

Yesterday was cool, blustery and we had snow showers much of the day.  Today will have widespread frost before 8:00 am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 47 degrees. There will also be areas of frost after 3:00 am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 32. West wind 6 to 11 mph becoming light after midnight.

I love this photo from reader Matt Dugan.  Great job and many thanks for sharing Matt.

Matt Dugan

May Moon

The Commissioners are holding their next public meeting a week from today on May 19th at 4:00 pm.  The meeting will be Live-Streamed at https://www.facebook.com/garrettcountygovernment/  For more information please click here.

As a few readers pointed out, the message I posted from POA of Deep Creek Lake needed some clarification.  Bob Sutton of the POA must have agreed, as they sent out this update yesterday, with input from Commissioner Paul Edwards. Here it is, again verbatim from their latest communication:

In connection with the announcement of the Order, Governor Hogan stated that people traveling into Maryland from anywhere outside of Maryland are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Interpretive Guidance COVID19-08, which the Office of Legal Counsel issued on March 30, 2020, clarifies that the requirement for travelers into Maryland to self-quarantine does not apply to people who regularly commute into Maryland from an adjacent state or the District of Columbia or vice versa, or to people transiting through Maryland who have only minimal contact with Maryland (i.e., only stopping for fuel, food, or other necessary supplies, not making contact with anyone for more than three minutes at a distance of less than six feet). Commuters must follow federal and state health department guidance regarding self-quarantining (for example, because of recent travel to the New York/Tri-State area) even if not required to self-quarantine under the new Maryland requirement. 

A fairly lean  news day folks…

Monday May 11

The weather over the weekend included sun, clounds, snow and rain, with Friday and Saturday having some serious wind gusts at times. Here’s a photo from my front porch Friday afternoon:

Mikes Front Yard

Friday Afternoon Snow

After a warmer and sunny Sunday, the weather for today will be cooler and hold a chance of rain and snow showers before 1:00 pm, then a chance of rain showers, with a high near 40 degrees. West wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. There’s a chance of snow showers in the evening, with a low around 31.

Even with the cooler temperatures and staying pretty much at home the last two months, my wife and I still do carry-out once a week or so.  And Saturday, we wanted some great Italian food, and that means Brenda’s Pizzeria.  Here’s an “action photo” of the carry-out team (and my order ready to go) as I was ready to take the goodies home for us.  We had chicken parm and eggplant parm, which not only tasted great but got us thinking of the simple pleasure of dinner out, hopefully in the near future. Can’t wait to get back to “normal.”  Thanks to Brenda, JB, Jeanne and the whole team for offering carry-out during these crazy times!

Brendas Pizzeria

Saturday Night Carryout at Brenda’s Pizzeria

Don’t forget that us locals (and second homeowners and visitors) need to support our local small businesses.  Here’s the link to our shopping and food establishments, many of which are open (and/or online) during the pandemic.  Please check out the list and support our community!  Thanks.

And, along those lines, here’s a very positive piece on Deep Creek Lake by the NBC affiliate in Washington DC.  Looks like Railey, Wisp and a lot of other local enterprises have a good plan and are ready to open. Check it out!

Even as we plan for better times, Maryland officials reported Sunday that the state has confirmed 1,053 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total for Maryland to 32,587 known cases. Twenty-eight more people died due to complications from the illness since Saturday, bringing the state total up to 1,538 fatalities.

The Chamber is hosting a member webinar on Wednesday, May 13th, at 9:00 am on Understanding the Employee Retention Tax Credit and Work Share Unemployment Programs. While most of the disaster loan and grant programs are close to maxed out, these two programs could provide additional financial assistance for your business. The webinar is free to attend but registration is required. REGISTER HERE to receive the link or contact Holly Lane at 301.387.6171 or holly@garrettchamber.com.

Bob Sutton of the Deep Creek Lake Property Owners Association sent out a reminder and nice summary of the Governor’s order that went into effect last week.  I know we have reported on it, but it is important, so here’s the POA’s summary, pretty much verbatim for your reference and review (and see below for a nice photo of the result at the lake):

“As of 7:00 am May 7th, 2020 Governor Hogan lifted the recreational boating ban for Maryland. The following link gives additional information: Click Here.  A summary of the current rules are:

BOATING

Recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted, however:

• Boaters must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside. o No more than 10 people can be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.

• Boats must be distanced from each other by at least 10 feet and are prohibited from rafting up, beaching, or having rendezvous events.

o Boats are prohibited from docking at restaurants or bars. Marinas can reopen to recreational boaters, but must adhere to Maryland Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.

BEACHES

The state park beach will be opened and outdoor exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, and fishing will be permitted, however:

• Guidance on social distancing must be followed.

• The prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Chairs, blankets, and picnics will be prohibited.

CAMPING

DNR will begin accepting reservations for overnight tent and RV camping in state forests, parks, and other campgrounds, however:

• Campers must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

• Guidance on social distancing must be followed.

• No parties or reservations for more than 10 people will be granted for any one site.

FISHING

Recreational fishing activities, including catch-and-release, are allowed, however:

• When fishing from a boat, one must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

o No more than 10 people may be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.

• When fishing from onshore or at a dock social distancing guidelines must be followed.

• Fishing tournaments remain prohibited at this time.

IMPORTANT—The Maryland stay-at-home order remains in effect. If folks come to Garrett County from elsewhere in the State, they are still expected to self-isolate for 14 days in order to prevent spread of the COVID19 virus.”

Finally, here’s a nice photo as submitted by Tammy Cross, of a happy young fisherman and his catch taking advantage of the restrictions being lifted.  Nice photo and nice job young man! Better times and a great summer season are on the way! I feel it coming…

Young Fisherman

First Catch of the Season!

Have a great Monday folks!

 

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