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IMPORTANT ROUTE CHANGE INFORMATION

As of Wednesday, April 8, all fixed routes will be transitioning to a demand service only. What this means for our ridership is that while there will not be a bus making timed stops along these routes, you will still have the ability to get from one location to another, as long as your needed transportation is for essential travel only. We ask that you call in to our office at 410-758-2357 with as much notice as you can and we will have one of our demand buses meet you to take you to your desired destination. The locations where we are picking you up from and delivering you to must both be locations that the fixed route bus would regularly be passing. We are making this transition to ensure a higher degree of safety for both our clients and our drivers.
As we ask all of our employees as well as visitors to any of the county buildings, if you have any flu-like symptoms (fever or chills, cough, sort throat, shortness of breath, temperature of 100.4 or above) or have been in close contact with anyone with those symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19, we ask that you please refrain from utilizing County Ride until you are cleared by a doctor. Otherwise, we will be happy to transport you. Please make sure that you are practicing appropriate social distancing and CDC recommended cleanliness and disinfecting practices while riding with us.
We realize that during this difficult time, County Ride may be the only way you have to reach urgent medical appointments, procure needed groceries and supplies, or to reach essential employment locations. County Ride is dedicated to remaining a resource that our county and its residents can rely on.

Update from WSW

WSW is concerned for all of our survivors and our entire community as we face the coronavirus together over the next couple months. Governor Larry Hogan on March 30th issued an Executive Order instituting a Stay at Home directive. We will be following this directive until further notice. My staff and I are working from home and are available to those newly diagnosed with breast cancer, our current breast cancer survivors, their families, and friends should they have any questions regarding their breast cancer journey. Unfortunately, canceling our support groups and programs for the month of April 2020 is included in this directive. We look forward to rescheduling support groups, programs and events in the near future.
We will keep you informed of updates on our website, through e-Newsletters and on social media sites. Please listen to the directive issued by Governor Larry Hogan: stay home, stay safe, and be well. WSW is here for you now and we look forward to seeing you when the coronavirus has passed.
Visit the Maryland Department of Health for updates on the Coronavirus 

Haven Ministries Responding with HOPE to COVID-19

Haven Ministries continues to provide critical essential services for those in need in Queen Anne’s County. The organization just launched a new resource for Queen Anne’s County called “QAC Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” This new Facebook Group will help support the most vulnerable people in the community amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and is being coordinated through county service agencies, especially for those who are homebound.

“In this unprecedented time, we are committed to assisting the changing needs of families across the county and want to ensure that resources are readily available and known. Many want to help others by sharing urgent supplies, grocery shopping, phone calls, donating to specific needs or sharing their talents with others,” says Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries.

How you can help:

  • Join the Facebook Group and watch for opportunities to support the needs of individuals in our community
  • Share the site with your friends, family, and others who you think could benefit.
  • Post resources or abilities that may help people who are shut-in.
  • If you have neighbors who are not online, let them know that resources are available and be the conduit to helping with their needs.

In addition to this new service, Haven Ministries continues to operate essential services, including an Emergency Homeless Shelter, Food Pantries and Resource Centers.  Haven Ministries Shelter is planning to extend its operations into the summer months. Anyone in need of shelter should call 410-739-7859.  Its two Food Pantries are located at Centreville United Methodist Church at 608 Church Hill Road in Centreville and Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church at 931 Love Point Road in Stevensville. Two Resource Centers, at Fisher Manor Housing Development in Grasonville and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 301 South Liberty Street in Centreville, remain open.  The location in Centreville is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The Grasonville location is open the second Saturday from 9-12. Currently, the Resource Centers assist those facing financial crises. An average of 33 people per month is receiving $4,340 in financial assistance.

Haven Ministries Food Pantries, open once a month on Fridays from 5:30 to 7 p.m., are a drive-thru format with extra health and safety protocols in place. The next Haven Ministries Food Pantries will occur on Friday, April 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Pettit adds, “We had 273 people attend our food pantries last Friday, feeding 857 people total in households. Of this total, there were 315 children, 438 adults, and 104 seniors. This total included about 100 new people using our services.”

“We are also available for emergency food by calling 410-739-4363 or the Haven Ministries Resource Center at 410-758-0129.”

To meet the growing demands, Haven Ministries is looking for volunteers who are comfortable showing up and assisting with the Food Pantries.  Extra health and safety protocols are in place.  The sign up is online:  haven-minsitries.org under the tab:  Get Help.

Pettit states, “During this public health crisis, many have been impacted.  We too are navigating uncommon challenges. We have called upon our staff to work shifts that volunteers could not cover and to help slow the spread of the virus, we have temporarily closed our Thrift Store and Warehouse and have postponed some of our fundraisers losing our major sources of revenue for the year.”

“Now more than ever the essential services we provide are critical and we are asking for your support to make sure anyone who needs food, shelter or resources can receive immediate assistance.”

Many more families are beginning to feel impacted as hourly wages are scaled back, businesses in the community are shutting down and the schools have closed. The requests of our residents are overwhelming as they are experiencing the impact of this crisis.

To meet this growing need, Haven Ministries has launched an emergency fund on Facebook in response to this extraordinary situation.  People can also donate on the Haven Ministries website:  haven-ministries.com.  All proceeds raised will help the organization respond with HOPE to support those in crisis. For further information visit haven-ministries.org.

Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries.  Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville and at Fisher Manor in Grasonville, the Haven Ministries Food Pantries at Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville and Centreville United Methodist Church in Centreville, Our Daily Thread Thrift Store in Stevensville and Hope Warehouse in Queenstown.

SMCC receives $25k from State to launch building renovation

The St. Michaels Community Center recently announced the Maryland General Assembly appropriated $25,000 in bond bill financing toward the cost of an engineering study and architectural design to renovate its building at 103 Railroad Ave., St. Michaels.

Built for use as a lumber warehouse in 1940, SMCC’s building has received minimal upgrades since then. State Senator Adelaide Eckardt and State Delegate John Mautz sponsored the bill, with SMCC Advisory Board member Langley Shook testifying at a joint hearing to support the bill.

“This legislation requires us to match these funds through private donations,” said Shook. “The people of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area need and deserve a sounder, safer facility to better serve the community– something we all can be proud of. This is made more evident during the current COVID-19 crisis, where SMCC has been designated as the Bay Hundred’s Food Distribution Hub.”

The St. Michaels Community Center promotes and provides quality activities and services contributing to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the community. SMCC is dedicated to filling the unmet needs of the Bay Hundred and St. Michaels communities by providing supervised program opportunities for the enrichment of children and teens; activities and services for adults and senior citizens; and affordable recreational, social, and educational activities to community residents of all ages, regardless of ethnicity, gender or economic status.

 

Donations to SMCC and proceeds from the Treasure Cove Thrift Shop in St. Michaels, Md. help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for people from throughout the Bay Hundred area. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.

Choptank Transport Supports Mid-Shore Foundation with COVID-19 Response Fund

PRESTON, MARYLAND – March 31, 2020, Choptank Transport, a nationally recognized, full-service logistics provider headquartered in Preston, Maryland, along with four other local businesses, has been the first to donate to the areas’ Mid-Shore Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund.
The fund was established by the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) public charity that serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties. Its purpose— to expedite relief efforts for community-based organizations and non-profits that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Emergency Declarations and Stay-at-Home mandates have prevented many of the area’s much-needed resources from operating and being able to help those most in need.
A $100,000.00 initial endowment was provided by the Mid-Shore leadership team to seed the fund, with additional donations from large businesses such as Choptank Transport, Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency, Preston Automotive Group, and Shore Bancshares, providing a further boost.
“All our communities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland are feeling the effects of recent events,” says Choptank Transport’s president & CEO, Geoff Turner. “Business owners and individuals who were struggling before the COVID-19 crisis are finding themselves in even tougher situations now. Anything we can do to help is the right thing to do, and I implore others who have the means to follow suit. As we hear so often, we are all in this together.”
According to the Mid-Shore Community Foundation’s release, “Businesses, individuals and fund advisors are encouraged to join the initiative by making charitable contributions. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and qualify for maximum tax advantages.”
Interested donors can make their contribution by going to MSCF.org/donate-online, or they may send a check to Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 102 East Dover Street, Easton, Maryland, 21601. Donations should specify “for the COVID-19 Response Fund.”

COVID-19 Heroes: Local Quilters Bring Area Residents Together on Common Cause

As the demand for surgical masks grows, one Mid Shore resident saw that quilters in the Boston area were making masks of colorful fabric for residents. She decided to share the pattern with some of her quilting friends in the local quilt guild, Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore, Inc., specifically, the guild’s Outreach and Modern Quilt Bees.

To date, 10 quilters have made over 240 masks which will be used primarily for patients being transported in ambulances to help prevent their germs from traveling in the air before they are diagnosed, as well as for law enforcement and nursing homes. According to Jan Willis, Coordinator of the Local Care Team for Talbot County, the masks are not intended to be protective gear. Instead, they are a practical aid that may help prevent the spread of germs from patients, as well as make them smile while they are going through a difficult time.

Willis comments, “This is a moment of a lifetime for quilters and anyone who sews – to use the fabric in their closets for good!”

A local quilter with Bayside Quilters Modern Quilt Bee adapted a pattern she found on the Internet and added wire in the top to form fit the masks over patients’ noses. She is coordinating the mask-making effort locally and distributing the masks to those who have requested them.  The masks are made in a variety of fabric patterns, from flowers to camouflage, which makes the project fun for quilters and recipients of the masks. Masks are laundered before being packaged for distribution.

Completed masks are picked up from people’s porches to keep social distancing. One anecdote from a local quilter was that a Queen Anne’s County quilter brought 30 masks by plane to the Easton airport to be distributed. This project is bringing the Mid Shore residents together and giving people things they can do to help.

County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley comments, “This effort is just one example of how the residents in this community are reaching out to help meet unmet needs related to this virus. We salute the volunteerism of our community and thank all those who are stepping up.”

Bayside Quilters Outreach Quilt Bee supports Talbot Early Head Start, Caroline Family Service Center (with 3 Early Head Start locations), Talbot Hospice House and University of MD Shore Regional Health, 2 East/Pain Palliative Care unit and the Clark Breast Center with a variety of quilted items from bibs to quilts to soup bowl cozies for Empty Bowls. To participate in the mask-making project sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040e4daaa82faafb6-sewing. For further information about the project, contact Jan Willis at talbotlct@talbotcountymd.gov.

Compass Celebrates National Volunteer month

CENTREVILLE — Throughout the month of April, Compass Regional Hospice will be celebrating National Volunteer Month. This month was designated as a time to honor and acknowledge the individuals who volunteer their time and talents to give back to their community.

Compass Regional Hospice was started in 1985 as a solely volunteer-based operation, with the intention of providing care and comfort to those facing a life-limiting illness. Over the last 35 years it has grown into a community-based nonprofit, serving patients and families in Caroline, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties. The organization has also grown to encompass a wide range of services from medical care, to grief counseling, to caregiver support. 

As Compass has continued to change and grow, their volunteers have remained a constant. Their team of nearly 300 volunteers provides integral support, and these individuals volunteer their time in a variety of ways. In addition to patient care and companionship, there are opportunities to work at their resale shop, Estate Treasures, sew Memory Bears for grieving families, assist in day-to-day operations, or participate in fundraisers and events. In a single year, volunteers dedicate over 21,000 hours to the Compass mission.
“Each day the nature of our work drives home the sentiment that time is invaluable. We recognize what a privilege it is to have so many volunteers willing to spend their time with Compass to help us serve and support our community with compassion”, said Chief Executive Officer, Heather Guerieri. For more information about becoming a volunteer for Compass Regional Hospice, contact Robyn Affron at 443-262-4112 or raffron@compassregionalhospice.org.  Whatever your motivation to volunteer, there is a place for you at Compass Regional Hospice.

Governor Hogan Announces Bay Bridge Westbound Right Lane Reopened Today More Than A Year Ahead of Schedule

ANNAPOLIS, MD–Governor Larry Hogan today announced the Bay Bridge westbound right lane deck rehabilitation is 100% complete and open to all motorists. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) delivered on the governor’s directive to expedite the project—once slated to last up to two years—and reopen the right lane of the westbound Bay Bridge as soon as possible. All new concrete has been poured and cured, work zone barriers have been removed, restriping is finished, and the lane reopened to all traffic this morning.

The completion comes more than a full year ahead of schedule. It also has been accomplished amid the state’s response to COVID-19. During Maryland’s state of emergency, MDTA and its contractors have worked hard to deliver this critical project, leveraging the lower than normal traffic volumes while adhering to state and federal health and safety guidelines.

“Maryland is facing significant challenges these days, and of course our primary focus is on the health and safety of our citizens amid the ongoing COVID-19 threat,” said Governor Hogan. “But it’s important to celebrate the reopening of the westbound right lane of the Bay Bridge, because for me it represents the spirit, dedication and work ethic that will see our state through any crisis.”

“This project was envisioned as taking two construction seasons to complete. But our dedicated employees and contractors, working to serve their neighbors and all those who use this bridge, have completed it in just over seven months – record time by any measure,” Governor Hogan added. “The men and women who have accomplished this task inspire me, and will forever have my appreciation. They give all of us confidence that Maryland can and will emerge from any challenge faster and stronger than anyone can imagine.”

In September 2019, the westbound right lane of the Bay Bridge was closed. The bridge deck in this lane had reached the end of its service life and was severely deteriorated, presenting a safety risk. In one section, 75% of the lane was patched and deteriorated. Delaying this critical work would have resulted in a lengthier, costlier and more extensive project.

“We thank our motorists, communities and local and state elected officials for their support and cooperation throughout this project,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Gregory Slater. “I’d like to thank the men and women of MDOT and our contractors for rising to the challenge on a complex effort and in a challenging time. This will be one less thing for Marylanders to be concerned about as we rise out of our health crisis.”

Some Overnight/Off-Peak Work Remains; Minimal Traffic Impact

While the right lane is now reopened, some remaining work will occur on the westbound span center and left lanes during overnight/off-peak hours, including deck sealing, steel railing replacement and deck/joint repairs and replacements. Minimal traffic delays are expected. Motorists should expect some periods when steel plates will be placed in the center and left lanes.

Remaining work also includes replacing overhead signal gantries on the westbound span. Outages of individual signal gantries will be required during replacements. Drivers should continue to obey all signing and active signal gantries.

The MDTA also is leveraging the currently reduced traffic volumes to expedite installation of an automated gate system along westbound US 50 on the Eastern Shore that will allow maintenance crews to implement and discontinue two-way traffic operations at the bridge more safely and quickly. Drivers should expect single-lane closures on or approaching the Bay Bridge during daytime, off-peak hours as needed for this work, other ongoing projects, regular maintenance and facility inspections.

Bay Bridge All Electronic Tolling on Schedule 

“In addition to answering Governor Hogan’s call to reopen the westbound right lane, the MDTA remains on schedule to begin all-electronic tolling at the Bay Bridge by summer 2020,” said MDTA Executive Director James F. Ports, Jr. “We are nearly 70% complete in reaching this goal.”

Crews have installed a new overhead tolling gantry across eastbound US 50 on the Eastern Shore between the bridge and MD 8. Work is underway to install and test the tolling system components.

Once all-electronic tolling is in place, cash will not be accepted as payment at the time of travel. Drivers won’t have to stop to pay tolls, as the overhead gantry will collect tolls electronically by E-ZPass® or Video Tolling.

Motorists should prepare for all-electronic tolling now by enrolling in E-ZPass® Maryland. With E-ZPass®, Marylanders can get free standard transponders with no monthly fee and can benefit from major savings, paying as little as $1.40 daily to cross the Bay Bridge compared to $6 for Video Tolling. For the latest on Bay Bridge traffic, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or visit baybridge.com.

Library to Offer LIVE Story Time on Facebook for Preschoolers

Beginning this coming Tuesday, April 7, at 10:00 a.m., and continuing every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. thereafter, the Talbot County Free Library will take to Facebook to offer a live Story Time program for preschoolers (birth – 5 years of age). Children’s Librarian Laura Powell will read stories, lead group sing-alongs, and generally having a good time making sure our community’s little ones remain entertained and engaged during this difficult period in all of our lives. Parents can find the library’s live Story Time at:
www.facebook.com/Talbot-County-Free-Library-130124829867/

Updated Numbers of Positive COVID-19 Cases in Queen Anne’s County

As COVID-19 continues to spread in our community, we want to make sure everyone is aware of the current number of positive cases. We will no longer be sending out a press release for each individual case. To keep reporting up to date, we are adding a section to our home webpage at www.qac.org.  The number of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths will be updated every weekday by 5:00pm. This will be the most current count for Queen Anne’s County. When county health officer, Dr. Ciotola is notified of an additional positive case the information is sent to the state to update their site too.  There may be a lag in updating information on the state map so in order to ensure residents have access to the most current and accurate information, this new web reporting has been added to www.qac.org.

When you visit the site you will see “Coronavirus Update” at the top of the page. Local numbers and resources will be listed along with Queen Anne’s County news releases and current social media feed. Along with local information there are links to helpful resources and sites from the state of Maryland and Center for Disease Control.

This is a rapidly changing event so follow us on social media @QACGOV and qac.org online for the latest updates to county government. For the latest information on COVID-19 follow Queen Anne’s County Department of Health @QADOH and qahealth.org

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