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St. Mary’s government announces COVID-19 operational changes

St. Mary’s County government announced the following changes and adjustments to county operations to preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Effective Friday, March 27, St. Mary’s government will operate under the approved Pandemic Response Level 3. St. Mary’s government offices are closed to the public. Additional changes were announced by county government on March 30.

Essential county services will continue to be provided via phone at 301-475-4200, online, and through mail and drop off options. For information and updates regarding county government operations and COVID-19 resources, visit www.stmarysmd.com.

• Department of aging and human services — All senior activity centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) are closed to the public. Senior Information & Assistance appointments will not be conducted in person. Individuals are encouraged to conduct business by phone or email, or to reschedule appointments for a time when senior activity centers have reopened. All programs and activities are canceled, including the Centenarian Luncheon scheduled April 24. Home-delivered meals are now delivered in two-week supplies of shelf-stable food. There will be no congregate meals at senior activity centers, but meals will be provided to New Towne Village and Cedar Lane Senior Living Community.

• Department of economic development — St. Mary’s County businesses with questions regarding support and services should visit the economic development webpage at www.yesstmarysmd.com for a full list of business-related COVID-19 resources. County farmers markets will open with modifications to reduce exposure and spread of COVID-19; farmers markets are drive-thru only.

• Department of land use and growth management — Land use and growth management has adjusted operations to accept permit applications and commercial project and subdivision submittals via email, U.S. mail, FedEx and UPS. Complete permits will be returned to the applicant upon receipt of credit card or check payment. Packages can be mailed to P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD, 20650. For questions regarding final inspections, please call 301-475-4200, ext. 71500.

• Department of public works and transportation — The six convenience centers and the St. Andrew's Landfill are on a normal schedule, but the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day scheduled for April 11, is canceled.

• St. Mary’s County STS Bus System — STS and paratransit trips are limited to "essential activities" as defined in the governor’s executive order made on March 30. Some essential activities include grocery shopping, obtaining food for animals, travel to care for family members and travel to an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning. ADA and SSTAP paratransit service will continue to book and provide medical trips such as dialysis, chemotherapy, hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities as well as trips to pharmacies and grocery stores. The STS is operating under its Saturday schedule, and per social distancing guidelines, no more than nine passengers per trip may board the bus; first responders and medical service workers have priority. For more, call the STS dispatcher at 301-475-4200, ext. 71120.

• St. Mary's County Regional Airport — The county airport is under normal operations, but the terminal is closed to the public. All food truck service at the airport has been suspended. Construction updates are available online.

• Department of recreation and parks — All programs, including organized practices and games in the parks, remain canceled.

• County parks — Adjustments to public park access are as follows: waterfront parks, including Elms Beach, Myrtle Point and Snow Hill Park, are closed to the public. All other St. Mary’s County government-owned and operated parks are open under safety guidelines which include, passive activity such as walking and exploring with social distancing measures including a 6-foot distance between individuals and no gathering of groups of more than 10 in any specific area of the park. All sports or activities which engage in bodily contact such as basketball, soccer and football are not permitted. Public landings, including boat ramps, piers and gathering spaces, are closed to the public.

• Museums — The St. Clement's Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse and Museum are closed to the public, however, the public is welcome to utilize museum grounds from dawn until dusk. Residents are reminded to follow all guidelines for safe space between each other and the restricting of gatherings of more than 10 people but are welcome to enjoy the walking paths and picnic spaces. The museum division is also offering virtual tours and fun ways to stay engaged through their Facebook page. Wicomico Shores Golf Course Pro Shop and Riverview Restaurant are closed to the public.

• The Circuit Court of St. Mary’s County — The Circuit Court is closed to the public under Administrative Order 2020-4 Restrictions on Accessing the Courthouse.

• College of Southern Maryland — All CSM instruction remains online through April 30. Student services will continue to operate remotely until April 3. Access to CSM’s campuses is restricted to pre-approved and authorized personnel through April 3.

• St. Mary’s County Library — St Mary’s libraries are closed, and library programming and events are canceled. No fines will be levied during library closure period.

• St. Marys County Metropolitan Commission— All MetCom administrative lobbies and offices are closed to the public.

• St. Marys County Public Schools — St. Mary’s public schools are closed through April 24. SMCPS drive-up lunch service will continue through April 3, Mondays to Fridays, at Leonardtown, Lexington Park and Greenview Knolls elementary schools as well as Margaret Brent Middle School from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals will be offered to all children 18 years and younger free of charge. For questions regarding the lunch service, email foodservices@smcps.org.

• St. Mary's Treasurer’s Office — The treasurer’s office is closed to the public. Call 301-475-4200, ext. 3300, for dropbox instructions. Online payment options are available at www.stmarysmd.com/treasurer. Utilize MVA online tag renewal services. Liquor license renewals and Senior Tax Credits should be mailed to St. Mary’s County Treasurer, P.O. Box 642, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

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