Virus measures triggering business, social disruptions

The Salisbury Marathon, the Tim Kennard River Run and the Ward World Championship are among the local events that have been canceled in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Maryland public schools also will close Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. During the time of school closure, all school buildings and school buses should be cleaned and disinfected to prevent spread of the virus upon the return of students and staff to school.

On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced measures to fight the spread of coronavirus. Among the actions are:

  • The Maryland National Guard has been activated by executive order.
  • All state employees who are authorized to telework will do so.
  • Public access to state buildings, including the State House, will be restricted.
  • Gatherings of more than 250 people in close proximity are prohibited.
  • All senior centers are closed.
  • Prisons will suspend visits.

The Wicomico County Health Department continues to work closely with the community to prepare for possible COVID-19 cases on the Eastern Shore. A call center is now open for general information on COVID-19 as well as information for local physicians. Physicians and residents can contact the call center at 410-341-4600 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m.

Here are the latest closings and other information from around Wicomico County:

Events

  • Rob’s Run for Kids at EVO Public House on Saturday March 21, and the 17th annual Tim Kennard River Run at Salisbury University on Sunday, March 22, are canceled.  Pre-registrations will be automatically deferred to the 2021 Tim Kennard River Run, at a date to be determined in March 2021.
  • The annual Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition & Art Festival, which was to be held April 24-26 in Ocean City has been canceled. 
  • The Wicomico Youth & Civic Center has canceled the second showing of the Garden Bros Circus, the Indoor Community Yard Sale, and the Wicomico County Suitcase Party have been canceled. Ticket holders for the Garden Bros Circus should direct refund requests to their original point of purchase. More information on this show can be found at gardenbroscircus.com. Refund information for the Indoor Community Yard Sale and the Suitcase Party will be forthcoming.
  • The Salisbury Marathon and RunSBY Festival are cancelled. All registrations are deferred to the 2021 RunSBY Festival. Questions should be directed to sbymarathon@gmail.com.
  • 3rd Friday Indoors (March 20) is on, unchanged, as there is no gathering associated with 3rd Friday Indoors.
  • The Average Joe’s 0.5k will be rescheduled to a date to be determined.
  • The Hops on the River event will be rescheduled to a date to be determined.
  • The Census 2020 Neighborhood Walk will be rescheduled to a date to be determined.
  • The 2020 SVN Commercial Real Estate Forum on March 20 has been postponed. The event will tentatively be rescheduled this summer.
  • The Greater Salisbury Committee has canceled two of its upcoming public events: A forum scheduled Monday at the Ward Museum, featuring Delaware U.S. Sen. Chris Coons will be rescheduled; a public interview event planned March 27 with members of the Perdue Farms family has been canceled.

Church services

  • The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, has dispensed the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Wilmington from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Additionally, all diocesan and parish Catholic schools and religious education programs, in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, will be closed or canceled for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. As of now, schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30, 2020. All CYM Sports events have been canceled until further notice.
  • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church has canceled public worship on Sunday, March 15, and Sunday, March 22, and daily prayer in the church is suspended until further notice. The church is also cancelling the March 25 Evensong service.  
  • Oak Ridge Baptist Church has canceled all services at the church building, but will live steam worship services until further notice.

City of Salisbury

  • All youth and Community Center programming is suspended from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, or until public schools reopen to students.
  • All events permitted by the city through Easter (April 12) are canceled. No city support services will be provided to these events and no leases of city property during that time period will be honored. Deposits will be returned, if requested, or held for a rescheduled date.
  • All public safety services remain unchanged.
  • All critical public services, including trash and recycling, water and sewer services remain unchanged.
  • The Council Work Session scheduled for this coming Monday, March 16, will proceed as planned, however citizens are urged to take advantage of our community’s public access television simulcast of the meeting rather than attending in-person. You may view the meeting live at pac14.org.
  • All critical public services, including trash and recycling, water and sewer services remain unchanged. There is no need to stockpile bottled water.
  • Utilities will NOT conduct water shutoffs for unpaid bills for the duration of the State of Emergency. Water shutoff for unpaid water bills will resume no earlier than 30 days after the State of Emergency is lifted.
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13, municipal parking lots will be free of charge until further notice. Parking enforcement will continue for on-street, metered spaces, and permitted lots and spaces.
  • March’s free bulk pick-up will be postponed until a later date, to be determined.
  • Until further notice, job applications, and requests for information on compensation or benefits from the City of Salisbury Human Resources Department should be accessed remotely at 833-SBY-CITY, jobs@salisbury.md, salisbury.md/departments/human-resources.
  • Until further notice, permit applications, document submissions and correspondence with the City of Salisbury Department of Infrastructure & Development should be accessed remotely at 833-SBY-CITY, infdev@salisbury.md, salisbury.md/departments/infrastructure-development.
  • Until further notice bill payment to the City of Salisbury Finance Department should be completed remotely at 833-SBY-CITY, finance@salisbury.md, salisbury.md/departments/finance/pay.
  • As of this release, City Council meetings are scheduled to continue without interruption.
  • All city of Salisbury Boards, Commissions, Advisory Committees and Task Force meetings are canceled. Task Forces may continue to meet remotely.
  • All city of Salisbury employee work travel out of state is hereby canceled during the period of the State of Emergency and all personal travel out of state is discouraged.

Salisbury University

All activities at Salisbury University are canceled until further notice, and campus buildings are closed to the public, effective immediately. Spring athletics also are suspended until further notice.

The producers of ABC-TV’s Shark Tank have postponed all of its 2020 casting calls, including the one scheduled Saturday, April 18, at Salisbury University.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center

An enhanced COVID-19 Patient Safety and Visitation Policy is in effect at the hospital as of Friday, March 13. They include: 

  • No visitors under the age of 18 unless they are parents of hospitalized children.  This includes infants and siblings across all areas of the hospitals.
  • Limit of one visitor per patient.  Only one person may accompany a patient into the hospital or into any of PRHS’s physician offices or immediate care centers. Additional visitors will not be permitted in the building and may not stay in lobbies or waiting areas.  They may visit, but only after the first person has completed their visit and left the building.
  • Visitors are required to check in at the front desk of any location.
  • Visitors may be screened for flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat).  Those exhibiting symptoms will be asked to leave and referred to their primary care provider.  They will not be allowed to visit.
  • If screening questions determine a visitor has traveled internationally, they will not be allowed to visit patients until after 14 days back in the United States.
  • Labor and Delivery will be restricted to two visitors including the professional support person/post-partum helper.
  • Visiting hours restricted to noon until 8:00 p.m. starting on Monday, March 16.

Wicomico County Library

Wicomico County Public Libraries (All Branches & Bookmobile) will be closed from Saturday, March 14, to Friday, March 27.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

Have a question about the coronavirus? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll ask the appropriate public officials.


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