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Carroll County Commissioner Stephen Wantz to host virtual town hall on coronavirus response Thursday

Stephen Wantz, Carroll County Board of CommissionerÕs President, left, with Leslie Simmons, Exec. Vice-President, LifeBridge Health and Carroll Hospital, right, provides an update on the coronavirus outbreak at the Pleasant View Nursing home in Mount Airy which has infected 66 residents. One resident, a 90-year old man with underlying health conditions, has died. March 29, 2020
Stephen Wantz, Carroll County Board of CommissionerÕs President, left, with Leslie Simmons, Exec. Vice-President, LifeBridge Health and Carroll Hospital, right, provides an update on the coronavirus outbreak at the Pleasant View Nursing home in Mount Airy which has infected 66 residents. One resident, a 90-year old man with underlying health conditions, has died. March 29, 2020 (Amy Davis)

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners has not been able to meet in person and take public questions since the COVID-19 state of emergency began, but that won’t stop them from trying for the next best thing: At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Board President Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, will host the county’s first virtual town hall to answer questions about the county’s coronavirus response.

“This is all about ensuring our citizens know up-to-date information on the process that everyone is working on and the ability to clear up some things they may be challenged with,” Wantz said.

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The town hall will not only give people a chance to pose questions to Wantz — he will also have Sheriff Jim DeWees, Carroll Hospital President Leslie Simmons, Health Officer Ed Singer and Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Steven Lockard available during the virtual town hall.

Anyone can view the virtual town hall on Youtube by visiting tinyurl.com/rsl9lf5 beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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Those interested in submitting questions can do so by submitting a question through an online form ahead of time at tinyurl.com/yxx2x7rp, or by calling in at 410-386-2043 during the virtual town hall.

“I am going to be physically in the Carroll County office building and we will have a phone bank set up and I will have several of my staff there to answer phones and emails,” Wantz said. “I am going to try to keep it as focused as I can and will try to keep it to an hour and let the others know to keep their questions on point and get right to the answers so we can get in as many questions as we can.”

Wantz and other county, health, first responders and emergency management staff have been holding multiple conference calls today to coordinate their response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Carroll County — as of Tuesday, there have been 162 positive cases — and Thursday’s virtual town hall represents an opportunity for citizens to learn exactly what is being done, how and why.

“I would hope that since everyone seems to be staying home, we will have a lot of interest,” Wantz said. “This is the perfect opportunity to get the answers directly from those that are leading the charge.”

Nationwide, as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, the coronavirus had resulted in more than 12,200 deaths in the United States out of more than 387,000 people who have tested positive for the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization deemed the coronavirus a pandemic March 11.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the Carroll County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline, which is available 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. seven days a week at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911.

Updates on the number of Maryland cases and other important information can be found on the health department’s COVID-19 webpage at cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19/.

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