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January 6, 2022 | Daily News Brief |Annapolis Fire, Arnold Arson. COVID News. Snow News, Irish Festival Returns in 2022

| January 06, 2022, 06:00 AM

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Annapolis house fire leaves 9 without a home. An Arnold arson leaves 3 out of their home. Maryland State Police airlifted a crew member from a cargo ship to AAMC. Annapolis and Anne Arundel are preparing for another dose of winter. AAMC has shifted to “crisis standards of care” due to COVID. AACPS has a new convoluted policy about isolation for COVID-positive students and staff. And the Annapolis Irish Festival is back on with some new owners!

It’s Thursday, which means that Trevor from  Annapolis Makerspace is here with your Maker Minutes with great ideas to work out your mind and hone your skills.

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, January 6th, 2022  and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.

Fire, COVID confusion, and snow. What more does one need in a daily morning newscast he asks rhetorically. But that’s what you got… so let’s get into it, shall we?

The Annapolis Fire Department fought a blaze last night on Bunche Street that did significant damage to a single-family home. Multiple calls alerted the department which was met with flames upon arrival. Five adults, four children, and one dog are displaced and being assisted by the Red Cross and there were no injuries. A cause or damage estimate is not available just yet, and if you want to see some photos from the scene…Glenn Miller was on site for us–head to EyeOnAnnapolis.net

We just learned about an Arnold fire on New Years Day that also caused significant damage to a townhome on Knottwood Court. The Anne Arundel County Fire Department arrived with fire showing from the rear of the home. After they extinguished it, it became evident that the fire was intentionally set. The son of the homeowner had rolled a burning grill into the living room. The 25-year-old male was charged with 1st Degree Arson, Reckless endangerment, and malicious burning. One firefighter suffered minor burn injuries. It took about 40 minutes to control and the damage estimate is at $150,000. Three occupants are displaced and being assisted by the Red Cross.

The Maryland State Police took to the skies yesterday to hoist a crew member from the 462-foot cargo ship Chem Jupiter which was just south of the Bay Bridge. Yesterday at about 845 am, Trooper 6 from Easton flew to the ship and lowered a paramedic to assess the patient. He was ultimately hoisted to the hovering chopper and taken to AAMC for treatment. Some have asked why not use a boat to transport…and it can be for any number of reasons, weather, seas, danger, or logistics, but this time was because the medical need was great and the helicopter could be at the hospital within 2 minutes.

Now onto the snow. Annapolis and Anne Arundel County are preparing for another dose of winter Thursday into Friday. More on the specifics from George from DCMDVA Weather in a bit but Annapolis has said they do not have the equipment on their plows to cut through the ice on the roads and asks drivers to be careful and use extreme caution. Despite another snowstorm coming in, the City required all cars to be out of the city garages last night or face having to pay for their stay. Finally, they remind residents and businesses that all snow must be cleared from sidewalks in front of the home or business within 3 hours of the cessation of snowfall.

Ah yes, COVID and Omicron! Or is it Omicron? No matter, you know what I am talking about. Our own AAMC has transitioned to what they are calling “crisis standards of care”. Over the past two months, there has been a 320% increase in COVID patients. What this means is that scheduled surgeries may be unscheduled, staffing may be re-assigned, non-clinical staff may be called upon to handle some patient care. Dr. Sunil Madan, the chief medical officer at DCMC has said to avoid the ER for non-life-threatening issues and seek help from your primary care doctor.

And to muck it all up, Anne Arundel County Public Schools issued new guidance last night about dealing with COVID in the schools and quarantining. The last time we checked the 10 day quarantine was reduced to five days. But that is now all out the window and to be honest, the new policy is difficult to follow at best. More like pulling your hair out frustrating because it zigs and zags. I’ll do my best to purse this for you. Students and staff who test positive must now isolate for 10 days without any option to test negative for a return. They say they need to do this because they are unable to separate unmasked students far enough at lunch. Upon return to school, you must be symptom and fever-free for 24 hours prior to the return. You do not need a negative test to return…and they say they do not need to mask in indoor settings (which is kinda against county Emergency Orders and State School Policy), but then say masks are required in all schools. They say that if someone else administers a positive test -like the Health Department or any other agency–they can isolate for 5 days and must be fever and symptom-free for 24 hours but they need to wear a mask for five days after their return…but masks are already required. Again, no negative test is required–despite many Omicron cases being completely asymptomatic. If a student or staff is sent home with any suspected COVID symptoms they need a negative test or other diagnosis and be fever and symptom-free to return to school. Absent either of those–cool your heels at home for 10 days. Finally, they offer this for people living in a household with a COVID positive person–no need to quarantine if vaccinated and asymptomatic, 5-day quarantine if non-vaxxed or symptomatic…but you need to be fever and symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school but you will wear a mask for five more days at school. And finally, you need to quarantine if you have symptoms regardless of vaccination status for 10 days but you can test negative in 5 and return..which somewhat contradicts the other point. There…got all that? Oh, and they say to check back regularly at AACPS.orgbecause they plan to update this frequently. All I can say is thank God my kids are out.

Finally some good news! The Annapolis Irish Festival is back for 2022. The festival was founded by Eddie McGowan, a good friend of mine and to many back in 2011. It was a resounding success for many years has donated nearly $200,000 to local non-profits. Eddie tragically passed in February 2018 of ALS. Of course, it has been on hiatus for the past two years and the owners, Tracy (Eddie’s wife), Ron, and Pam decided to pass the torch to ABC Events for 2022 and beyond! ABC is a great choice and they also run the Maryland Seafood, Chicken Wing, and Latino Festivals along with the Bay Bridge Paddle and several others! So, mark this date on your calendar because you will not hear it anywhere else, but July 16th–and expect two of the headliners to be the High Kings and Gaelic Storm….more to come!

And that’s it for the news today.  But first, a quick thank you to the sponsors for today’s Daily News Brief– Rehab 2 Perform, Solar Energy Services, and the Kristi Neidhardt Team of Northrop Realty, a Long and Foster Company.

It is Thursday so we have Trevor from Annapolis Makerspace with your Maker Minutes.  And of course, George from DCMDVA Weather is here with your locally forecast weather!   All of that gets underway in a bit…so, hang tight!

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