LEONARDTOWN, MD – June 8, 2020 – Following the large gatherings of residents for demonstrations held in the county this month, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) and St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office encourages participants to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and consider testing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The health department is increasing testing options locally for residents this week in order to accommodate testing demand.

“These peaceful protests were important and timely for our community as we work together toward positive change — as we simultaneously continue to be cautious about residents gathering in groups,” said Sheriff Tim Cameron.

“Our health department is grateful for the efforts of the protest participants to wear face coverings and social distance as best as possible,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “These events were large gatherings and we are still in a pandemic. I encourage those who participated to get tested if they develop any symptom of COVID-19.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Fever
• Chills or shaking
• Muscle pain
• Headache
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell
• Fatigue
• Diarrhea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you have been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider to arrange for testing. Anyone who cannot access or does not have a healthcare provider may contact the St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Call Center at 301-475-4911 to arrange testing through the St. Mary’s County Health Department. The local COVID Call Center is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday.

For more information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing and local response efforts, please visit http://www.smchd.org/coronavirus/.