COVID-19 testing sites increase in Frederick County.
Frederick, Md (KM) It’s a way to “jump start” the local economy. In fact, it’s called the Jump Start program and it was launched on Thursday by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner during her public information briefing. . She says $5-million has been set aside to help farmers and small businesses whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The grants are targeted to help our small main street businesses, our sole proprietors and our full time farmers,” she says. “The backbone of our economy is certainly our small businesses. And we certainly in Frederick County we value our agriculture community and want to see them thrive after this virus experience.”
Under the program, full time farmers could qualify for one-time grants of $6,000. Full time farmers are defined as individuals who have earned 51% or more of their earnings from farming over the past two years.
Also, small business owners could qualify for $10,000 one-time grants. if they have physical space and with 10-15 employees. It can be a for-profit or a non-profit.
One-time micro-business grants of $3300 could go to businesses with up to nine employees who can either be W-2 or 1099 employees. These entities could be for-profit or non-profit, and they too must have physical commercial space to quality.
“The grant funds can be used to reimburse costs incurred from having business interrupted by the COVID-19 virus,” says Gardner.
Applications will be accepted beginning at 7:00 AM, Thursday, May 28th. The deadline is 11:59 PM on Friday, June 5th. “These grants will not be on a first-come, first-serve basis. So you don’t have all rush to get on there the first minute this is open,” says Gardner.
Applicants need to go on line to FrederickCountyMD.gov/JumpStart.
The money for this program comes from the $2.2-trillion CARES Act passed by Congress and signed by the President in March.
New Testing Sites
Some additional COVID-19 testing sites are available in Frederick County. Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer says the Wal Mart store on Guilford Drive in Frederick began testing on Thursday. She says the testing will take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Also, CVS Health will be offering testing beginning on Friday at 17 drive-though locations around Maryland, including two in Frederick County: they are the CVS stores at 8032 Liberty Road in Frederick, and 5414 Rotary Avenue in New Market.
“For some people, the purpose of testing is diagnosis, and for other purposes is surveillance. And then there’s this other category of determining prior exposure,” says Dr. Brookmyer.
CVS Health says in a statement that personnel at its sites will administer self-swab for patients. These tests will be sent to a third-party lab for processing. The results will be available in about three days, says the pharmacy chain.
Dr. Brookmyer says all three sites require patients to register in advance.
In a related topic, Dr. Brookmyer reminded residents to think twice before ordering products which have been labeled as coronavirus test kits “Many companies are marketing their tests, but they actually are not FDA authorized, and they have not even been evaluated by the FDA. So buyer beware out there, unfortunately, is the situation,” she says.
By Kevin McManus