This page provides up-to-date information regarding the Somerset County Health Department’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
general vaccine information
About COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people—especially those who are boosted— from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying. As with other diseases, you are protected best from COVID-19 when you stay up to date with the recommended vaccines.
Who Can Get A COVID-19 Vaccine?
The CDC recommends COVID-19 primary series (2 dose) vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible.
What COVID-19 Vaccine Can I Get?
There are 4 approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines. At the Health Department in Westover, we only offer Pfizer and Moderna every Wednesday and Friday. For a full list of times and dates available visit our calendar page.
What Does It Mean To Be Up-To-Date?
You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for you, when eligible.
- Vaccine recommendations are different depending on your age, the vaccine you first received, and time since last dose, as shown below.
- Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations specifically for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
What Is The Difference Between An Additional Dose and A Booster Dose?
A COVID-19 booster shot is another dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time. The booster is designed to help people maintain their immunity for longer. A COVID-19 additional dose is given to people with moderately or severely compromised immune systems to improve their immune response.
vaccine clinic information
We are currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible persons 6 months and older. To schedule an appointment call 443.523.1920.
We offer 1st, 2nd, additional and new (bivalent) booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna at every COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics: (Updated 11/1/22)
general testing information
Why Is It Important To Get A COVID-19 Test?
Testing helps us prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What Are The Different Types of COVID-19 Tests?
PCR: A PCR test is the most accurate test available. Results received in 2-3 days. Tests are given at a clinic or pharmacy and sent to a lab. We currently offer free COVID-19 testing every Tuesday from 9:30am – 11:30am at the health department in Westover. This is a drive-through outdoor event, open to all ages. Face masks are required. For more details about COVID-19 testing, visit our calendar page
RAPID ANTIGEN: Less accurate than PCR tests. Results received in 15 minutes. Can be given at home.
When Should I Take A Test?
Regardless of vaccination status, take a test if: you are experiencing symptoms or it’s been 5 days after close contact with someone with COVID-19.
How Can I Get A Free COVID-19 Test?
Every household in the U.S. can order up to four free at-home tests. Tests usually ship in 7-12 days. Visit covidtests.gov to place an order.
What Should I Do While I Wait For Results?
If unvaccinated, stay home and quarantine while waiting for your result.
If vaccinated, you don’t need to quarantine while you wait, unless you develop symptoms.
What’s The Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine?
Isolation: If you are sick or test positive, isolate when you are sick or when you have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.
testing clinic information:
We are currently offer free COVID-19 testing every Tuesday from 9:30am – 11:30am at the health department in Westover. Testing is open to all ages. Face masks are required. For more details about COVID-19 testing, visit our calendar page
I’ve tested positive, now what?
A tool to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19.
If You’ve Tested Positive With An At-Home Test Kit:
State of Maryland residents can now self-report a positive COVID-19 at-home test result to the Maryland Department of Health. The form is only for reporting tests taken in the past 10 days. To report a positive test result older than 10 days you will need to consult your medical professional. Access the form by visiting: https://onestop.md.gov
vaccine additional resources:
FOR THE LATEST NEWS go to our news and events page
what is covid-19?
The novel-coronavirus is a respiratory disease. The outbreak began in China is caused by a virus known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Information and numbers of confirmed cases changes rapidly.
To learn national and general information visit the Center for Disease Control here.
what are the symptoms of covid-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. If you are feeling sick, get tested. Scroll to the top for available COVID-19 testing dates.
what is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
you should quarantine if you were exposed:
- Quarantine and stay away from others when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
you should isolate if you test positive or are sick:
- Isolate when you are sick or when you have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.
what are covid-19 variants?
Viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others persist. New variants will continue to emerge. CDC and other public health organizations monitor all variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States and globally. For more information on COVID-19 variants, click here.
the omicron variant:
the delta variant:
covid-19 information for individuals with disabilities:
If you would like more information or assistance regarding COVID-19 for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities please contact Kyleigh Beaver, Public Affairs Specialist at email@example.com or call 443.523.1700 or 443.783.0621.
COVID-19 is challenging to explain, live through, and communicate about. As a caregiver, you work hard to help the person you care for stay healthy and safe during this difficult time.
tips for talking about covid-19
Model and explain what you’re doing to stay safe. When you take steps like wearing a mask or washing your hands, try pointing out and talking about what you’re doing. For example, as you’re putting your mask on, say “I’m putting my mask on now before I go outside.”
Show empathy by acknowledging the hard things. Some ways to prevent COVID-19 like wearing a mask and getting a vaccine, can be hard — especially for people with sensory challenges. Show that you understand what they’re going through. Then remind them that everyone needs to take steps to stay safe from COVID-19. When possible, see if there are small changes that could make it easier – for example, trying out a different style of masks.
Give safe distance reminders. When you’re getting ready to leave home, remind the person you care for to keep a safe distance (until a few weeks after their last COVID-19 shot). Be sure to use the same words every time. For example, you could say, “When we go out, keep a safe distance between yourself and other people.”
Identify and acknowledge changes in routine. When COVID-19 interrupts your plans or routines, clearly acknowledge what’s changing and explain why. For example: “We can’t go out to dinner with Uncle Marcus right now. I know you miss hanging out with him, but it’s not safe because of COVID-19.” If possible, suggest a safer alternative like a video call.
Explain what to expect ahead of time. When you’re getting ready to go to a new place, explain what to expect and point out anything that might be different than usual because of COVID-19. For example, as you’re getting ready for a doctor’s appointment, you could mention that everyone will keep a safe distance in the waiting room, and the doctor will also wear a mask. Social stories can be a great way to prepare for new situations like these.
Ease their worries. It’s normal to feel scared or anxious about COVID-19 — especially when there’s so much that is out of our control. If the person you care for is feeling worried, remind them that there are things they can do to stay safe: get a COVID-19 shot, wear a mask, and keep a safe distance until 2 weeks after their last shot, and wash their hands.
for those who are deaf or hard of hearing:
Click here to see the full list of American Sign Language videos regarding COVID-19.
Where can I find a face covering? Most stores are now selling pre-made face masks. You can also look for a bandanna or a scarf that will cover both nose and mouth.
How do I make a face covering? The Center for Disease Control has an excellent handout on making them for both those who do not sew and those who do sew. Follow link to download PDF Document Link.
Do I need more than one covering? It’s a good idea as they must be cleaned daily.
How frequently do I need to clean a face covering? Every day. Wash your covering in warm to hot water with soap.
Can I share my face covering? No. Everyone should have their own to limit the exchange of germs and stop the spread of infection.
need help finding food during covid-19? read the list of local sites in both english and spanish here
children and covid-19:
Caring for children, Tips from the CDC
Managing teen anxiety
mental health and covid-19:
substance abuse and covid-19:
resources for on-line access for families and individuals dealing with substance abuse disorders
- Narcotics Anonymous http://www.jftna.org or http://virtual-na.org or http://NAbyphone.com
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Recovery dharma
- SMART Recovery
- Celebrate Recovery
SAMHSA has also added a COVID-19 website which has several guidance documents and resources pertinent to treatment and recovery. https://www.samhsa.
environmental health and covid-19:
COVID-19 Food Safety guidelines FOR HOME AND BUSINESS
pets and covid-19:
- The risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is low.
- The virus can spread from people to animals during close contact.
- More studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
- People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife.
For more information about animals and COVID-19, click here.
cdc fact sheets:
spanish covid-19 information:
contact tracing survey:
The Contact Tracing Unit at the Maryland Department of Health is working to evaluate contact tracing by asking the public to fill out a brief survey. Please consider participating in the brief survey (10 minutes or less to complete). Please click the following link to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ctmaryland
If you would like to complete the survey in Spanish or know anyone who would, please use the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ctspan
Your participation is voluntary, and you may stop at any time.