--> Annapolis Restaurant Week <-----
--> <-----
--> Wes Adams For Anne Arundel Conty Circuit Court Judge <-----
Insert future code here--> 1-1 to 1-31 Anne Arundel County Stop Smoking <-----
STANDARD HERMAN AD--> Anne Arundel County Stop Smoking <-----
Herrmann 40--> “Herrmann <-----
MD Higher Education Commission Near Completer
Insert future code here
Orioles Bud april 2020 to Sept 2020
“Nationals October 2019

OPINION: County Executive Pittman and Dr. Kalyanaraman need to close this COVID loophole

| July 23, 2020, 09:34 AM

If County Executive Pittman and Health Office Dr. Kalyanaraman want to get serious about getting control of the COVID-19 pandemic in our county, they need to close a gaping loophole.

For months, we have heard that people can be asymptomatic carriers. There are people walking around, exercising, shopping, eating, and working that are carrying the Coronavirus and have no idea.  That should be cause for concern for everyone.

While the county keeps patting itself on the back for their contact tracing efforts—which they claim is a model for the nation, it is falling woefully short.

And here’s why—they are missing a huge part.

Let me explain.  Over the past month, I personally know of eight businesses that have closed temporarily because an employee or employees have tested positive.

Just last night I heard…and this is unconfirmed…that an employee who works at a local restaurant has declined to be tested for COVID despite his attendance at a party where more than 8 other partygoers all tested positive.

This is a problem.

Four of the eight businesses mentioned above were county owned facilities and they notified the public with a press release from the Department of Health. As to the other four—two made an announcement on Facebook, one just posted a notice that they decided to close to clean, and the fourth just did not open for two days.

Why is the Health Department not maintaining and publishing a listing of publicly accessible businesses that have had employees (or customers for that matter) test positive?

I am approaching the “vulnerable age” for this virus. If there is an outbreak at a restaurant, how would I know? Am I expected to go to the Facebook pages of all the places I go to check? Will all the places I go update there?

Every positive case is supposed to be reported to the County Department of Health and followed up with this “national model for contact tracing”.  I have to imagine they ask about employment. Right?

The County needs to immediately begin tracking this. Why is it that I can see if a rat pooped in the refrigerator of any restaurant, but I cannot see if there was a virus that might kill me?

The Health Department is supposed to be the experts and they know the math for transmission better than I do. List the business and develop a key for how they handled any closing, cleaning and testing. Then develop another key (probably by date) for how at risk the public is and any recommended actions.

If it was a dishwasher that did not interact with the customers and had limited interaction with servers, a shut down may not be necessary and the recommendation might be for me to do nothing. But if there were three servers and a host that were positive…then it is a different story, I may want to go get a test.

And to be honest, this is a thing that should be happening in every county and at the State level if  Governor Hogan is serious about beating it.

And all of this goes hand in hand with the other problem. The lack of guidance from the  Health Department to businesses on what to do when an employee or customer does test positive. The government was quick to tell businesses to shut down, that they needed stickers for windows, masks for employee,  directional arrows on the floors, one-way aisles, and plexiglass dividers. But they remain mum on what to do if and when someone tests positive. Do they shut down? For how long? Do they clean? How? Do all employees need a negative test to return to work?

Until these questions are answered and these policies are implemented, I am afraid we will continue to see exactly what Dr. Kalyanaraman is fearing—an increase in the spread of this disease.

To County Executive Pittman—you said you wanted to make Anne Arundel County “The Best Place for All”…. Well as Bill Engvall said, “Here’s your sign”

Where to find the DNB...

Severn Bank

Category: COVID, OPINION, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with

Connect with the Author

Author's Website Facebook Twitter rss feed