Worcester County President holds State of the County Address, highlighting response to coronavirus

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Worcester County Council President Joe Mitrecic held a State of the County Address on Wednesday where he discussed actions being taken by the County Commissioners in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis locally.

Worcester County, like the rest of the country, faces a situation never before encountered, and the Commissioners are calling on residents and visitors to work together to address the challenge as they continue to fight the spread of coronavirus and treat those infected.

A total of 215 people have been tested thus far for coronavirus in Worcester County. Of that number, ten have tested positive and four have recovered.

On April 1, Worcester County issued a declaration restricting all non-essential, short term rentals in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and all other unincorporated areas of the country. Anyone who enters Worcester County from another state should heed the Governor’s order and quarantine.

“Due to the deadly nature of this virus, in instances where these directives are not obeyed we are prepared to fully enforce this action,” Council President Joe Mitrecic emphasized during the address.

Residents who have traveled outside of Maryland or visitors who have arrived in Worcester County from areas outside of Maryland should self-quarantine for 14 days. Anyone experiencing symptoms, including fever, tiredness, and dry cough, should contact their primary care doctor or medical provider.

“Now simply is not the time for visitors to travel to Worcester County, which has limited medical resources intended to care for area residents,” Mitrecic said. “Nonresidents traveling to the area to seek those same limited resources could place an undue burden on the county’s healthcare system. Please, remain at home until after termination of this state of emergency.”

Steps have been taken to protect first responders and increase capabilities at area hospitals in Worcester County.

“Atlantic General Hospital (AGH) staff have worked diligently over the past four weeks to expand hospital capabilities to care for our community during the pandemic,” Mitrecic said. “With guidance from the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Hospital Association, AGH can achieve the 83 bed capacity, the number determined necessary to meet surge capacity.”

The Worcester County Hazardous Mitigation Response Team established a decontamination station at AGH for EMS, fire, and law enforcement vehicles.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center officials have transformed the hospital’s ground floor conference center into a functioning 43 bed intensive care unit to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Worcester County government offices remain closed to the public at this time. Anyone seeking county services can contact county services at http://www.co.worcester.md.us.

Council President Mitrecic’s full address can be found here: http://worcestercountymd.swagit.com/play/04082020-676