COVID-19 Updates and Latest News for YOU

COVID-19 Updates and Latest News for YOU

 
Volume 5 | COVID-19 Update
 
About COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and has not caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has caused thousands of infections to date. The majority of people recover from this infection and only experience mild or moderate symptoms. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for more serious illness.
It is easy for rumors to circulate throughout a community during a crisis. To prevent the spread of rumors and obtain information from a trusted source, you can visit Coronavirus Rumor Control.
COVIDConnect is a secure portal provided by the Maryland Department of health that is open to all Marylanders who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now recovered from the disease. COVIDConnect is a place to share information, promote action, and find support. To visit COVIDConnect, click here.
At this time, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and inundated with information concerning the pandemic. Please remember to take care of yourselves physically and mentally.
If you need support please call 211 or the Baltimore City Crisis Hotline at (410) 433-5175. These resources are available 24/7 and are there to assist you with whatever you may need.
Symptoms
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
Common symptoms of COVID-19 are changing as more is discovered about the disease. For an up-to-date summary of symptoms, click here.
Prevention
There is no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19 as of today. People can protect themselves and others from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands, when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Know how it spreads.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when near others.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently!
If you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick, you can visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention for more information.
Maryland Cases
It continues to be one of my top priorities to demand the release of COIVD-19 positive cases in Maryland broken down by race and zip code. It is critical to know from a statewide perspective which communities need the most resources. The 21215 is one of the hardest hit zip codes in our state and we need to have a whole-of-government approach as to how we combat this virus and protect our citizens. To view a racial and geographical break down of COVID-19 cases in Baltimore City, click here.
For Maryland wide data on COVID-19 cases, visit Maryland Department of Health.
Testing
The Maryland Department of Health has created a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 testing.
Click here for more information.
Self-Checker
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has created a Coronavirus Self-Checker that asks a series of questions to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care or whether or not you should be tested. To access this tool and for more information on symptoms and testing click here.
The CDC has also provided guidance to determine whether or not someone should be tested. Decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.
In addition to the CDC, MedStar Health now has a self-checker called "Conversa Health Conversation" which would allow you to check your status and get the necessary help is a few quick steps. The assessment is fairly quick and you will get an approximate evaluation in under 5 minutes. Plus, it can be used on your phone! Click here to access the MedStar self-checker.
Want to speak with a healthcare professional? The University of Maryland Medical System now has a Nurse Line to assist with all COVID-19 health inquires. Call 1-888-713-0711.
Testing Locations
During this time of anticipated large demand on the health care delivery system, you are asked to avoid unscheduled visits to your health care provider. It is important to call ahead. People who are mildly ill should not go to emergency departments. Mildly ill people should stay home and contact their health care provider by phone for guidance.
Like all laboratory tests, testing for COVID-19 is a clinical decision made by a health care provider. Testing for COVID-19 may not be appropriate for everyone. Testing availability will expand as more testing supplies become available.
For more frequently asked questions about COVID19 testing. Read more
Baltimore City Testing Sites
Testing sites for COVID-19 are available throughout Baltimore City. If you feel you should be tested for the coronavirus and have been pre-screened, you can visit one of the locations below. REMEMBER, you MUST have a referral to be tested! If you do not have Primary Care Physician, PLEASE CALL 211 to be pre-screened and connected to a healthcare professional that can provide you will a referral to get tested free of charge.
TESTING SITES
  • MedStar Health is providing COVID-19 testing in the parking lot of the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
  • LifeBridge Health: Tents have been erected outside of Sinai Hosptial and Carroll Hospital for individuals to be tested for COVID-19. To be pre-screened, call the Teletriage line at (410) 601-9355.
  • Kaiser Permanente, South Baltimore: You must be a member and have a referral and appointment to receive testing.
  • Grace Hope Medical Center: Residents are able to walk up for testing, however, you still need to secure an appointment. To obtain an appointment call (410) 601-9355.
  • Pimlico Racecourse: Testing sites have been set up at Pimlico Racecourse. For now, residents are asked to call 211 to begin the process of securing an appointment to get tested at Pimlico. People will be screened on the phone about their symptoms, and if they meet certain criteria, they can be referred to the site by a doctor. Walk-ins won’t yet be accepted.
  • Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park: You must have an appointment and doctor's referral to be tested. Remember, if you do not have a doctor, call 2-1-1 where you can be pre-screened by a health professional free of charge and if applicable, receive a referral to get tested.
  • Clifton Park: This testing site is located at (2801 Street Lo Drive) and is the newest testing site in Baltimore City. You do not need a vehicle to access this site. You can walk up, however, you still need an appointment and doctor's referral to obtain a test. Again, remember to call 2-1-1 if you need to be connected to a doctor.
Food Assistance
For individuals in need of food assistance, there are food distribution sites that are located across our city to ensure our citizens do not go hungry. 
For an interactive map of meal sites throughout the city click here.
Recently, Baltimore City has announced additional efforts to ensure the citizens of Baltimore do not go hungry during these times. Please see the flyer below with information on the Grocery Box distribution sites that are now available on weekends throughout our city. Additional components of the Emergency Food Strategy include:
  • SNAP Expansion
  • Grocery Supplements
  • Urban Farm/Garden Grants
  • Community Food Distribution Grants
For more information, please visit coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov.
In addition, City Recreation Centers will provide snacks beginning at 2 PM and dinner beginning at 5 PM to 7 PM.
 
  • Seniors who participate in Eating Together in Baltimore should reserve a meal through their Eating Together Site and should call Maryland Access Point at 410-396-2273 for their pickup time.
 
  • Older adults who are not Eating Together Participants but need meals should also contact Maryland Access Point. ID or personal information will NOT be requested at food distribution sites.
Below is a list of free meal sites provided at schools and recreation centers as well as community and mobile meal sites.
The following organizations have set up food distribution sites across Baltimore City:
For more information for children and families visit bmorechildren.com.
SNAP Benefits
You may qualify to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at this time. Residents can apply for SNAP benefits online at mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us.  You may also call the Department of Human Services Call Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258), available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Soon, SNAP beneficiaries will be able to use their EBT card online to purchase groceries and have them delivered. Look for upcoming information on this initiative on coronavirus.baltimore.gov.
Remember, for the months of April and May, current SNAP households will receive the maximum allotted SNAP benefits according to the household size regardless of income.
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