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Antibody tests look to see if there is evidence of an immune response to the COVID-19 virus in a person’s blood. Antibody tests of varying quality are being marketed worldwide as a “test for immunity to COVID-19” and people are interested because they think it will give them “peace of mind” and they won’t have to take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19. Some of these tests are marketed for home use and others are for healthcare providers on patients and then send to a lab for results. In the US, the FDA tests and approves antibody tests to make sure they are sensitive and accurate in detecting COVID-19 antibodies, and don’t result in too many false positives or negatives.
A positive test result – a test which shows that antibodies are present – does not mean that a person will be immune to COVID-19 for many reasons:
Because so much is unknown about COVID-19, antibody tests are not recommended to diagnose COVID-19, and most people do not need an antibody test at this time. If you believe you may have COVID-19, it is best to get tested with a viral test. Frederick Health Hospital offers Curbside testing, as well as healthcare providers and other locations in Frederick County.
For everyone, it is recommended to wash hands, practice physical distancing, and wear a face covering when around others.
For more information about antibody testing, visit: CDC Test for Past Infection
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On June 16, 2020, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced that Frederick County will fully advance the next phase of Governor Hogan’s reopening plan, as most neighboring counties are doing. The following businesses and activities can resume in Frederick County effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19, at 50 percent of their capacity with recommended best health and safety practices:
Questions concerning Governor Hogan’s most recent Executive Order should be directed to the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel at 410-974-3901 or online at http://governor.maryland.gov/contact-the-governor.
Governor Hogan announced the State’s plans for reopening. The plans give local jurisdictions the authority to set their own guidelines for reopening. Based on the rates of COVID-19 in each jurisdiction, some jurisdictions will reopen sooner than others. There is no travel ban between jurisdictions, but all Marylanders are recommended to stay at home except for essential business and approved activities, wear masks or face coverings, and practice physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
For current testing locations, eligibility and instructions, click here. We are adding additional testing sites, so check back regularly.
Frederick County’s first case was announced 3/16/2020. Visit our Statistics dashboard for an interactive map of confirmed cases of COVID-19, zipcodes and congregate care facilities (such as nursing homes) in Maryland.
Frederick County lsits cases by zip codes on their website: https://FrederickCountyMD.gov/COVIDstats. Data for ZIP codes with 7 or fewer cases is suppressed, so if there is no case count listed for your zip code, it means that there are 0-7 cases there. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are listed by home address and not where they got infected. The majority of cases don’t know where or how they got infected. This means that Frederick County has “sustained community spread.” Everyone is at risk for COVID-19, and everyone needs to stay at home and take precautions.
Governor Hogan signed an executive order requiring face coverings when inside any retail establishments, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores, or when riding any form of public transportation in Maryland beginning Saturday, April 18, at 7 a.m.
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings when out in public (such as grocery stores and pharmacies) except for children under age 2, people who have trouble breathing, or people who are unconscious or unable to remove the mask without help. You can use a scarf, bandana, or you can make one using one of these patterns online: Sew and No-Sew Instructions It is important not to touch your mouth, nose, eyes or face when putting it on and taking it off. You must still practice social distancing and wash hands frequently. Click here for more FAQs about masks.
Staying home and physical distancing is still the best way to protect your family from COVID-19. Especially for younger children who may not understand why they can’t run up toward other people or touch things they shouldn’t, it’s best to keep them home. Children under the age of 2 years should not wear cloth face coverings.
For those times when a child must enter a retail establishment with you, they may wear a face covering. Here are tips on what to tell them and other precautions for children with special health care needs.
Vaccinations are a vital part of maintaining your child’s health and well-being. Without up-to-date vaccinations, your child could get sick from serious diseases like measles, rubella, pertussis (whooping cough) and many others. Many children have missed their vaccinations due to concerns about COVID-19. Children need to be vaccinated before they are potentially exposed. Now is the right time to bring your child’s vaccinations up to date to protect your child.
If you have health insurance and need to find a provider, go to www.frederickhealth.org/Find-a-Doctor.aspx
The State of Maryland has a special enrollment period. Call 301-600-3124 to make a Medicaid enrollment appointment by phone or visit Maryland Health Connection:
Frederick Health Hospital is also providing Virtual Visits, free for a limited time. Talk with a provider online. Click here to schedule a Virtual Visit.
Early on in the COVID-19 emergency, there were not enough tests to test everyone who wanted one, and those with the most severe symptoms were prioritized. The number of tests and supplies have increased, and testing is becoming more widely available every day. If you or your healthcare provider think you should be tested, click here to find a testing site. Different testing sites have different criteria for eligibility, so read carefully before showing up.
Everyone with symptoms, whether they have or have not been tested, needs to follow the same precautions - stay home when sick, avoid contact with other people and practice social distancing, cover your cough/sneeze, monitor your symptoms and stay in contact with your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen – to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. If you are sick with severe symptoms, call ahead and get medical care immediately. Older adults and people with underlying health conditions should contact their provider for medical concerns.
If you have been quarantining yourself after a known exposure, the best time to get tested is about 12 days because that gives enough time for the test to show a positive result.
However, since most people don’t know when they were exposed, you can get tested even if you don’t have symptoms.
You can get tested again! This is not a “one and done” situation. If you’ve tested negative, you could still be exposed and infected later or you were tested too soon after infection for the virus to be detected by the test.
It is recommended to stay quarantined until you get tested and get results to prevent others from possibly getting infected.
Our public health nurses talk with people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to learn where they have been and who they have been in contact with. They then contact any individuals who might be at risk. This is called "contact tracing." If there is any risk to the public, we put that information out as soon as possible. For more information about contact tracing, visit the Maryland Department of Health Contact Tracing FAQs.
Outbreaks in congregate living facilities including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and group homes with 10 or more occupants are now being reported at https://FrederickCountyMD.gov/COVIDstats. For state congregate living facilities, visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/hcf-resources.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person in respiratory droplets from someone who is infected. People who are infected often have symptoms of illness. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons without symptoms or before the onset of recognized symptoms
It is true that the majority of people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, but about 20% of people will have a serious case which can require hospitalization. People who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 include older people (especially over the age of 60) and people with chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease and diabetes. Our healthcare system is used to the amount of patients who come in during a regular flu season. With COVID-19, since it is a new virus and no one has immunity, and there is no vaccine or treatment, it could cause a surge to healthcare facilities and strain resources. It is critical that we implement social distancing so that the health care system can better manage the flow of people seeking care. This is referred to as “flattening the curve.”
During these difficult times, when many have had their normal work routines disrupted, it is important to establish a new schedule. Stick to the same sleep and wake times as you usually would. Schedule breaks and eat meals at the same time you normally would. Make time for socializing via FaceTime or phone. Stay informed but avoid overconsumption of media.
Visit Workforce Services for help filing for unemployment or finding a job. More resources can be found on the Frederick County COVID-19 Resources page. For financial resources, read the COVID-19 Health Crisis: Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders.
Here are local, state and federal resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency:
For physical distancing concerns, please contact the local law enforcement non-emergency line.
For concerns about a business, please email FCHDBusinessInfo@FrederickCountyMD.gov or call 301-600-6200.
By staying home, you are already doing the most important thing you can to help control the spread of the disease and flatten the curve. If you are looking for other ways to help our community, check out some of the opportunities listed on the Frederick County COVID-19 page by clicking on the How Can I Help? tab.
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations. Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets. When possible, have someone else care for your animals while you are sick to avoid contact with your pet.
If your pet is sick or injured, contact your veterinarian to find out which services are considered essential. Veterinarians are considered essential employees. For more information, visit CDC: If You Have Animals.