By Sarah Myers, Communications Coordinator, Garrett County Government
Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens today announced that the Maryland National Guard will assist Garrett County with the local COVID-19 response. The primary task of the guard is to administer the regular COVID-19 testing sites while the Health Department staff focuses on vaccination distribution.
“The public may see military vehicles and members of the guard in Garrett County. This is to help the local Health Department with their workload,” said Stephens. “The local and state coordination is key to consistent testing efforts and an effective vaccine rollout.”
On Thursday, 10 soldiers from the 1729th Support Maintenance Company based in Havre de Grace, Maryland, arrived in Garrett County and will share duties between Garrett and Allegany Counties.
The crew will work at the Garrett County testing site at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To more fully utilize the services of the National Guard unit, the hours at this site will be extended to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays they will work at the fairground testing site in Allegany County.
“The soldiers of the Guard have worked on the frontlines of this challenging situation for many months,” said Stephens. “All of us here in Garrett County greatly appreciate the Guard members and their service across our state.”
All local health and government agencies are in daily contact with the local Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Garrett County EOC has been activated since March 22, 2020, offering updates, strategies, and coordination for public safety across Garrett County.
All Marylanders must continue to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. Keep wearing your mask, watching your distance, and washing your hands.
Get tested and quarantine if you expect exposure or have symptoms.
Additional COVID-19 resources:
• Visit garretthealth.org for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.
• If you have COVID-19 like symptoms, schedule a testing appointment at the Health Department by calling 301-334-7697.
• Free COVID-19 testing is available (with or without symptoms) on Tuesdays (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park. Pre-registration is recommended. Visit garretthealth.org for more information.
• For all other COVID-19 related questions, or to report a COVID-19 compliance issue, call the local COVID-19 Hotline number at 301-334-7698.
Soldiers from the 1729th Support Maintenance Company based in Havre de Grace, Maryland, assist School Health Nurse Jessica Carey with instructing Health Officer Bob Stephens about how to self-administer his COVID-19 test at the Garrett County testing site on Thursday. The group has been deployed to Garrett and Allegany Counties to assist with COVID-19 testing, allowing the local health departments to concentrate on distributing the vaccine.