ReOpen St Mary's
ReOpen St Mary’s
Dr. Brewster, St. Mary’s Department of Public Health
We urge you to hold a St. Mary’s County Board of Public Health meeting weekly to address the County response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting can be held during the normal County Commissioners meeting.
We request you address citizen concerns during the meeting to include questions received on the COVID-19 Hotline – 301 475 4911 - as well as questions received during the meeting from members of the public. This can be accomplished by telephone as was recently done at the public hearing on emergency COVID-19 response funding.
Additionally, we request you create a St Mary’s County specific response to this pandemic and any future pandemic. The response should be tailored to St. Mary’s County, adjusting state and federal guidance for our unique county geography and demographics. The Federal and State guidelines have been geared mostly toward large, urban centers and fraught with glaring inconsistencies and gaps.
We ask you to end the lockdown of businesses, churches and citizens by authorizing the opening of all businesses and public facilities, while continuing to encourage citizens to take precautions necessary to maintain public health. Citizens should be made aware daily of the track of the spread of the COVID-19 in St. Mary’s. The local Health Department should publish a graph updated daily with the number of infections on the vertical axis and time, by day, on the horizontal axis. This information is critical to guide local business owners in making their reopening plans and to inform workers of local conditions, so they can contact their healthcare providers to create and implement protocols that will keep them as safe as possible.
St Mary’s County citizens understand the necessity of sanitation and using preventive measures in order to minimize COVID-19 and other viruses’ impact on the community. Already they have chosen to follow the guidelines put forward under Governor Hogan’s executive orders. These orders likely were not necessary, as most citizens would have followed the guidelines if just asked. Therefore, by lifting the lock-down order, opening businesses and churches, and encouraging people to continue the guidelines, you return their freedom of choice. We believe you will see citizens continue to follow and implement precautions of their OWN FREE WILL.
It is time to begin to heal our community by encouraging people to return to a more normal routine and take steps to safely get back to their lives. The effects of keeping people segregated and not working become more dangerous to mental health the longer the lock-down order is kept in place. A weekly meeting of the St. Mary’s Board of Public Health is key to securing the health, safety and well-being of Citizens as we move forward together with a local pandemic response.