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News release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control, older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions should avoid large crowds as much as possible to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. For these reasons, the 2020 St. Mary’s County Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Volunteer Recognition Banquet, scheduled for March 18, 2020, has been canceled. The Department of Aging & Human Services appreciates the service our RSVP volunteers provide to the community. 

According to a release from the St. Mary’s County Health Department, while most people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, will experience mild symptoms similar to a cold or the flu, certain populations are at higher risk of getting very sick. Adults 60 years and older or those with chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes) seem to be at the highest risk of complications. However, there are measures these persons can take to reduce the risk of getting sick.

  • People at higher risk of complications should also take everyday precautions to avoid exposure:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick – stay at least 6 feet away
  • Wash your hands often using soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands
  • To the extent possible, avoid contact with high-touch surfaces in public areas (elevator buttons, door handles, and handrails) – Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your fingers if you must touch something
  • Avoid crowds – your risk of exposure may increase in crowded, closed-in settings
  • Clean and disinfect your home, especially frequently touched surfaces (tables, doorknobs, light switches faucets, cell phones, etc.)
  • Avoid all nonessential travel, including plane trips and especially, avoid cruise ships
  • Stay home as much as possible

Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social or commercial networks so you can avoid frequent trips to crowded grocery stores

  • Make sure to have a plan in case you get sick. If you have a caregiver, discuss a plan for who would care for you if they get sick. 
  • If you are a caregiver, have a plan in place to continue care if you get sick. 
  • Watch for potential COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath
  • If you feel you are developing symptoms, call your doctor; or use 911 for emergencies.
  • Try to call ahead to health care providers before visiting their office

For status updates for programs and events offered through the Department of Aging & Human Services, please call 301-475-4200, ext. 71050, or visit www.stmarysmd.com/aging, or www.facebook.com/SMCDAHS.