In the latest effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Gov. Larry Hogan has issued an executive order that gives county health officers the authority to require retail stores to modify their operations to comply with social distancing guidelines and close those that fail to meet the requirements.
“Social distancing, sanitizing frequently used surfaces, and hand washing are still the best tools we have for limiting the spread of this virus,” said County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley. “We are asking the business community to voluntarily comply with the governor’s order. It’s your civic responsibility and in the best interest of your customers.”
While some local retail establishments are taking measures to provide for social distancing that is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19, others have not yet implemented plans to keep the public safe.
Strategies range from marking floors to ensure adequate distance between customers, to limiting the number of customers, to altering customer flow patterns. Most local retailers are also disinfecting surfaces that are touched regularly, including shopping carts, door handles, checkout areas, and other high-touch surfaces. Others offer sanitizers to customers as they enter and exit the store.
“These are trying times for all of us,” said Talbot County Council President Corey Pack. “Some of our businesses have been directed to close their doors to prevent the spread of the virus while other essential businesses are trying to balance providing necessary goods and services with ensuring the safety of the people they serve.
“We owe the compliant businesses a debt of gratitude,” he continues, “but we must also request that all essential businesses develop and employ a safety plan to ensure that they are not operating in an unsafe manner.”
Store owners and managers with questions about developing a social distancing plan should call the Health Department at 410-819-5600 and speak with an infection control nurse.
Royal Oak Community United Methodist Church is having a drive-thru food distribution on Monday, April 13, 2020. The distribution will begin at 10 a.m. and end when food runs out. Talbot County residents only.
Please approach Royal Oak on Royal Oak Rd/Rt. 329 from the Newcomb/St. Michaels direction. The line will form from this direction. DO NOT get out of your car. You will need to complete the form given on site and a picture of form will be taken through closed window to limit contact. Please clear your trunk so food can be loaded without you exiting your car. No walk ups allowed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Talbot Food Resource Line at 410-770-5515 with any questions.