Danielle Weaver, Lead PIO
Joint Information Center
Phone: 240-313-2384

Brittany Arizmendi, JIC Manager
Joint Information Center
Phone: 240-313-2389
January 31, 2022
The Joint Information Briefing will be distributed on Mondays for the duration of the current State of Emergency.
The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) presents information provided by the Washington County Health Department, Washington County Government, and Meritus Health.

All information related to COVID-19 in Washington County, Maryland can be viewed at
Washington County continues to experience a high level of community transmission of COVID-19. While the positivity rate is beginning to decrease, citizens are still advised to use all precautions. Although there has been a slight decrease in the positivity rate, the number of deaths continues to increase. Over the past week, 13 Washington County residents have died from COVID-19. Please do your part to keep yourself, your family, and members of the community safe.
Those with positive results from at-home Covid-19 tests can now report those on the Maryland Health Department portal. Click on the link above to report your results.
On Friday, January 21, 2022, the dedicated teams at Meritus Medical Center were caring for 99 COVID-19 patients. Since then, the number of patients in need of hospital care and support for COVID-19 has continued to drop. Today, there are 61 patients with COVID-19 being cared for at the hospital, but there continues to be a high volume of patients in need of hospital care for other chronic and medical issues.

Positivity rates also continue to trend in the right direction. The month of January started with nearly a 40% positivity rate at the Meritus COVID-19 drive-thru screening center and Meritus Medical Laboratory locations. The month is closing out at 27% positivity.

Here are the latest numbers:
7 Day Meritus Testing Positivity
Total Hospitalized
Total COVID - Vaccinated
Total ICU
Total ICU COVID - Vaccinated
Total Vents
Total Vents COVID
Total Vents COVID - Vaccinated
Totals Peds COVID
Average Age of COVID Patients
Drive-Thru Day Prior
We need to continue to be vigilant with masks, hand hygiene, vaccination, and boosters.

Though the numbers are encouraging, we are not out of the woods. It isn’t a coincidence that recent surges in hospital volume follow times of gatherings and travel. Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, consider distance and make an informed decision about vaccination. If you are fully vaccinated, get a booster shot. 

The COVID-19 booster helps to protect your immunity to COVID-19. Over time, protection from your initial vaccine decreases and the booster shot helps to “boost” your immunity to COVID-19, especially as different variants develop. Across the country, people are generally having fewer and milder reactions after their third dose and they will be 92% less likely to experience serious symptoms or need hospital care.
Donate Blood, Save a Life

Meritus is hosting a blood drive on March 11, 2022, but encourages community members to also reach out directly to the American Red Cross to donate, as there is a continued need for blood.

The American Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in more than a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels are affecting Meritus Medical Center and hospitals nationwide. Donations are desperately needed, so please consider donating at the next drive hosted by Meritus Health:

Friday, March 11, 2022
10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Robinwood Professional Center - Suite 142 (Blue or Silver entrance)

To schedule your donation, click here and use the search term “Robinwood.”​ ​
Washington County Government encourages anyone that enters the building to please wear a mask.
Citizens' Participation at Board of County Commissioners Meetings

  • Citizens are required to submit a request to participate to [email protected] or by calling 240-313-2204 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting..

At this time, all County operations and services continue to be offered as normal.
The Emergency Operations Center continues to encourage residents that if you have not yet been vaccinated to strongly consider the benefits of getting the vaccination. If you click on the photo above, it will take you to the COVID-19 Vaccine Community Calendar.
As mentioned last week, there are several steps YOU can take to help healthcare workers over the next several weeks to keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe:

  1. GET VACCINATED AND BOOSTED. Washington County has 53.9% of the population fully vaccinated. Let's work together to continue to boost this number! If you are wary about getting the shot, please speak with your doctor. Schedule an appointment or walk-in at your convenience.
  2. WEAR A MASK. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, please wear a mask that properly fits and is over your nose when you are out in a public. See the section below about mask-wearing.
  3. AVOID LARGE CROWDS AND POORLY VENTILATED INDOOR SPACES. To combat the rapid spreading of COVID-19, it is recommended to avoid large crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces for the next several weeks. If you must be inside, please maintain social distance and wear a mask.
  4. GET TESTED AND STAY HOME. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms, please get tested and stay home. State health officials continue to urge residents not to visit an emergency room just to get a COVID-19 test.
  5. WASH YOUR HANDS. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, especially after being out in public or around people outside of your immediate household.

Businesses and employers can play a key role in preventing and slowing the spread within the workplace. Employers’ COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plans should take into account workplace factors such as the feasibility of social distancing in the workplace, ability to stagger employee shifts, the degree to which employees interact with the public in person, the feasibility of accomplishing work by telework, the geographical isolation of the workplace, whether employees live in congregate housing, the proportion of employees at increased risk for severe illness, policies regarding sick leave for staff, and priority for continuity of operations. Employers should also consider the level of COVID-19 disease transmission in their communities.
  • Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask.
  • To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.
  • Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.
  • Some masks and respirators offer higher levels of protection than others, and some may be harder to tolerate or wear consistently than others. It is most important to wear a well-fitted mask or respirator correctly that is comfortable for you and that provides good protection.
  • While all masks and respirators provide some level of protection, properly fitted respirators provide the highest level of protection. Wearing a highly protective mask or respirator may be most important for certain higher risk situations, or by some people at increased risk for severe disease.
  • CDC’s mask recommendations provide information that people can use to improve how well their masks protect them.

Visit the CDC website to learn more about which mask is best for you.

  • Meritus Screening Drive Thru Center is located at 13620 Crayton Blvd. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Health Department Testing Site is located at the Hagerstown Housing Authority at 36 W. Lee Street, Hagerstown, and is currently open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • CVS Drive-Thru Testing Site located at 1503 Potomac Ave, Hagerstown MD 21742. Please visit to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • CVS Drive-Thru Testing Site located at 10 E Wilson Blvd, Hagerstown MD 21740. Please visit to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 11236 Robinwood Drive, Suite 101 Hagerstown, MD 21742. Walk-ins are welcome and patients may be charged with a copay. Everyday 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; 240-313-4242
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 18721 N Pointe Drive Hagerstown, MD 21742. Walk-ins are welcome and patients may be charged with a copay. Everyday 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; 301-733-8313
The purpose of this page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. Do your part to stop the spread of disinformation by doing 3 easy things; don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along, and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the state of Maryland's (COVID-19) response. 
The JIC consists of representatives from the following agencies: Washington County Government, Washington County Health Department, and Meritus Health.
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or [email protected].