Jan Gardner COVID Presser

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner addresses county residents in August.

After a marathon meeting that included over two hours of public comment and stretched past 1 a.m. Friday, Frederick County’s Board of Health voted to institute a local mask mandate.

Under the new directive — set to take effect at 5 p.m. on Friday — everyone five years and older will be required to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces where they are unable to stay at least six feet away from people who are not members of their household. Exceptions included, among others, those experiencing medical conditions or disabilities that make it unsafe to wear a mask, people eating and drinking and those swimming or engaging in other physical activities where wearing a mask would pose a safety risk.

The action faced criticism from the county council’s three Republican members, two of whom noted it was not accompanied by defined enforcement mechanisms. But the regulation’s supporters — like County Executive Jan Gardner, who called Thursday’s emergency health board meeting — said unprecedented levels of virus transmission in the community necessitated action.

“We are really projected to see a significant spread of COVID like we have never seen before,” she said. “I believe as leaders in this community it is our responsibility to do what we can to protect public health and welfare. We raise our right hand to do that.”

“It’s not going to be perfect,” she continued, “but we are in a place where we have to take bold action.”

Earlier Thursday evening, Gardner declared a state of emergency in the county — a step that put the jurisdiction’s emergency plans in place and opened it up to requesting additional assistance and funding, she said during the health board meeting. It would not change day-to-day operations within the county government by much, she said.

Frederick County is just the latest jurisdiction to order mask wearing in public indoor settings. Anne Arundel County’s mandate will also be starting Friday, joining previously passed directives in Baltimore City, as well as Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

At earlier meetings, the local health board — which is composed of Gardner, county health officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer and the county council’s seven members — declined to pass any mask requirements because of concerns over how they would be implemented.

The county had a mask mandate last year, following an executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan, and existing staff members and contracted security personnel were charged with enforcing it. At times, noncompliant residents were argumentative and combative, which put county employees at risk and caused the contractors to quit, Gardner told The Frederick News-Post last month.

Instead of voting on a mask mandate during their last meeting, on Nov. 23, health board members instead opted to issue a statement advising members of the public to don a face covering. But the state of the virus in the county is much different now than it was back then, Gardner said.

Frederick County logged a record 646 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and had a positivity rate of 23.58 percent — a number that towered over where levels stood on Nov. 23, at 6.45 percent. In the coming weeks, the county is expected to add 1,400 or 1,500 more cases every day, Gardner said.

“Will some people not want to comply [with the mask mandate]? Sure,” Gardner said. Still, “I think we have to do a mask mandate or mask requirements and have it enforced by businesses or organizations and by self-compliance to as much as we possibly can do and reserve the right to do compliance, should we find a situation where we need to do that.”

This explanation was not satisfactory to Councilman Phil Dacey, who was especially vocal in his criticism of the decision to pass a policy without a way to enforce it. He worried doing so would put business owners in a tough spot when dealing with customers who refused to wear a mask.

“This looks political, the way we’re doing this, because we’re trying to pass something that says you have to wear a mask, but in reality, you don’t," he said, "because there's no consequences."

Councilman Steve McKay also called out the policy’s lack of enforcement mechanism, saying the directive was more of a recommendation than a mandate without any sort of penalty attached. He additionally voiced alarm over the quick turnaround in the board’s decision — the emergency meeting was announced on Tuesday, two days before it took place.

Still, McKay and Dacey both said they would be unlikely to support a mandate even if it did come with enforcement mechanisms. McKay and Blue both said they would rather see the health board spend more time considering how to get more people vaccinated.

The health board, however, received support from Frederick Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kathy Weishaar for passing a mandate — a measure she hoped would help the health system as it weathers tremendous stress on its capacity, resources and staff members. As of Thursday evening, the hospital was caring for a record number of 82 coronavirus patients, she said.

Of this number, 70 percent were unvaccinated. In the intensive care unit, more than 90 percent of COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated. At times, Weishaar said this number has been 100 percent.

In response to a question from McKay about steps Frederick Health is taking to boost the capacity of its intensive care unit, Weishaar said the health care system’s current problem lies more along the lines of staffing than space limitations. Some clinical employees have left the health field entirely due to burnout, while others have taken early retirements or pursued jobs that are more lucrative, Weishaar said.

“Last time, we had two ICUs running with a third that was sort of ‘in the wings,’ if you will, prepared to open if needed,” said Weishaar, who is also the vice president of medical affairs at Frederick Health. “This time, we don’t have the nurses to run it.”

Weishaar also shared that the health system’s emergency department and urgent care centers are currently overwhelmed by people who are seeking COVID-19 tests. This is “clogging the system and bogging us down and limiting our ability to provide the resources to the folks that really, really need it,” she said.

“Just for some perspective, we’ve had patients wait over 11 hours to be seen in our ER,” Weishaar said. They are treated and released at that point, but “it’s a real issue and it’s a significant concern for us.”

She also asked the health board to pass limits on public gatherings. Members had planned to discuss this topic, as well, but it was already past 1 a.m. by the time they voted to pass a mask mandate.

They agreed to meet again soon and convene regularly in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Gardner said it was important for people to understand that the larger the crowd they’re in, the more risk they have for catching COVID-19.

“Certainly all the immunocompromised people, older people, unvaccinated people should really try to avoid a crowded situation — really everyone right now because of the transmission rates,” she said.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier

(147) comments

Boomer631B

Well once again panic sets in and quick wear a mask as if that will curb covid... see NY or NYC or etc... that is why CT and others are now saying no to mask mandates. They do not work and we would be better off if we stop this nonsense. People should get vaccinated and get the boosters when available. Those who have other illnesses wear a mask as you should have been for years not just because of covid now. This latest variant is like the cold and it passes quickly. If this was such a great thing why did Jan wait till 5PM for it to take effect??? Why not sooner? We are now learning more and more about this latest variant and how this is what is needed to put this virus behind us and we continue to have certain groups play politics for the $$$$ now that is disgusting! I am sure the unions want school back to virtual and send us more $$$ because we are in a covid depression.... please stop this insanity! The hypocrisy is just too much! By the way looking at the majority of mask wearers go and get the right mask and put away your favorite mask that is useless...

MRS M

Happy New Year to all! and Go! Jan Gardner and the Council..........

I've always been unclear as to why "a request" to wear masks generates such division? angst? derision? unhappiness? anger? Unless, of course, Covid has (and always was) a "political" stance, rather than a public health, economic, and national crisis and back-breaking tragedy.

821,000 US deaths as today, and I know this much is true: The health care community and the first responder community are exhausted, tired, overworked, underpaid...and SICK-TO-DEATH of the unmasked and the unvaccinated, moronic "patriots", who end up as burdens in the ER's of America's hospitals, expecting to be brought back to life.....and often asking if they can get vaccinated...now. These workers see you coming...they know who you are....and they are frankly disgusted by you. (Sorry).

Wear a mask. Anti vaxcers and anti-maskers can still shout "Go Brandon" through their mask when the need to show their "bold patriotism" , and......"who knows"........they may be lucky enough to survive this pandemic and go forward to vote for Trump in 2024....while screaming "Repeal Obamacare!"

Losers then, losers now, losers always, willing to follow and imitate any grifter who promises ....what now?. Gosh, I hate to even think it as a new year begins.......but Amercians are stupid, and hellbent on proving it, wishing Covid-19 a successful Year 3 in the a$$whipping of America, due to stupidity, ignorance, and abject, unconscionable selfishness.

matts853

Yep. This is as much a battle against stupidity (the Brandons) as it is the virus.

bckosk

Well said! Exactly!

AOC

UPDATE:

Kai has completed his anti-mask patrol at the Thurmont Food Lion.

Kai will be in Frederick at 11PM for the Frederick Civitan New Years Key Drop 2021/2022

Friday, Dec 31, 2021 at 11:00 p.m.

Carroll Creek Promenade

38 S Market Street

Frederick, MD 21701

I reliable confidential informant has informed Kai that a few rowdy Civitan's may be planning an illegal balloon release at midnight.

Hayduke2

Wow Blaine, you are a piece of work...

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

Plenty of illegal fireworks going off tonight. Any enforcement expected?

jsklinelga

This was posted today by the Health Department:

The regulation will remain in effect until positive Covid-19 cases in Frederick County fall below 20 per 100,000 population or this regulation is superseded, amended, or revised by an additional Board of Health Regulation."

Right now there are over 650 cases and climbing. Approximately 250 cases per 100,000. Was this posting a mistake?

bhall74

jsk, was it a mistake, or just another stupid "decision" by someone who doesn't really understand what they are doing? I'm guessing the latter. First of all, how is the Board of Health defining what a "case" is? Is it a positive Covid test, or someone admitted to the hospital for covid, or a covid related condition? How is the 20% per 100,000 figure to be determined? Through an appropriate random sampling methodology, or from individuals who "self-report" to a testing center for a Covid test? With a population of approximately 265K, the 20% case rate is 53 cases. Frederick County has most likely not had less than 53 individuals infected with Covid at any one time since March 2019. As with last night's Board of Health meeting, "Act in Haste, Repent in Leisure", which is fast becoming the motto of the Democrat Party.

jsklinelga

bhall

I am not going to be so quick to judge but I had similar thoughts. Sounds unreasonable but maybe not. Hopefully someone can explain or maybe it was a mistake.

Call the Health Department if you are that concerned...you Christian you..this Heathen is not concerned...

Hayduke2

An average of 676 cases per day were reported in Frederick County, a 738 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 8 residents have been infected, a total of 30,646 reported cases. Right now, Frederick County is at an extremely high risk for unvaccinated people. NOTICE the per day statement...

Hayduke2

Stick to what you know bhall. I believe the Tcounty is averaging 676 cases reported per day. It is not based on the total population but is based on the number of tests administered. Big difference and makes you stats misleading or worse.

bhall74

Hay said “Stick to what you know bhall”, and to that I say gladly, and since I know numbers and statistics, let’s look at some numbers and statistics for Frederick County.

You said the county is averaging 676 cases reported per day, and there have been 30,646 reported cases. According to the Board of Health (BOH) website, the 7 day moving average was 66.82 cases on December 23rd and it was 132.99 on December 29th, the last date for which data is available. So, where did the FNP get the figure there were 646 new cases on Thursday, December 30th with a positivity rate of 23.58%? It’s not on the BOH website, or the State of MD website which appears to be the source for the Frederick County data.

The problem with the BOH’s confirmed case number of 30,636 is that it doesn’t indicate if these are unique, reported cases tracked on an individual basis, so that no individual who may have tested positive on two separate occasions is reported as a single case, or multiple cases. 30,636 reported cases does equate to 11.5% of the county population, or as you correctly point out, 1 in 8 county residents. How many of those 30,636 reported cases resulted in a death? Well, 407 deaths out of 30,636 confirmed cases, is a death rate of 1.3% of those who tested positive, and a countywide death rate of .0015%, which is lower than the nationwide death rate of .0024%.

One concern I have with numbers and statistics is that quite often there can be a large volume of different numbers available, but unless you know where the numbers came from, or how they were collected, the resulting statistics drawn from those numbers may not accurately portray the result you are seeking. For example, on the BOH website it very clearly states that 175,856 county citizens have been fully vaccinated, but it doesn’t indicate if that includes the Booster. It also states that 174,364 county citizens have received the 1st dose and 158,156 have received the 2nd dose, and 17,700 have received 1 dose, which is most likely the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, but that is not clearly stated on the website. The single dose number, when added to the 2nd dose number, gives you 175,856, which matches the fully vaccinated number. No where does the BOH website identify the number of county citizens who have received a booster, other than a discussion of how a booster number was inadvertently labeled as a 2nd dose and had to be backed out of the 2nd dose number.

Another problem with the BOH website numbers is apparent when you look at the graphic used. The data appears to have been collected by zip codes at the state level, and the county has what appears to be at least 9 zip codes that extend into neighboring counties. There is nothing on the BOH website that indicates how vaccinations, cases, and deaths at the zip code level are apportioned by county. This could indicate an undercounting or overcounting of vaccinations, cases, and deaths at the county level.

Finally, the BOH website provides a link to the CDC Covid information website where you can zero in on Frederick County, and this should come as no surprise, the CDC data does not align with the BOH data. The CDC data, as of December 29th, says there are 187,483 fully vaccinated in the county, which is 11,627 more than on the BOH website. So, that raises the question of which is correct, which is incorrect, or are both incorrect. The problem with both websites is that I cannot download the data so that I can verify the accuracy of the charts and graphs presented, or the totals presented. This is a significant problem for researchers, and raises the question of why is the data not available? It’s been my experience with government agencies that don’t provide the underlying, supporting data, they’re hiding something. Is the BOH, State, or CDC hiding something? If so, what?

Hall

I see you took my advice about paragraphs….cool and you sure went to a lot of trouble to prove you know what you are talking about, so I ask again what are your credentials for understanding what you just posted about?

Why are you asking us???? Would you trust what an anonymous poster tells you?...how are we supposed to know?? Maybe contact the Health Department, not anonymous commenter's, okay sound like a plan...??? Cool...

bhall74

Privileged, maybe you should contact the Board of Health since you're so happy with the mask mandate and definitely don't want to find yourself not understanding, or following, it to the letter. jsklinga pointed out that the mask mandate posting on the Board of Health website appears to be wrong. I verified what jsklinga posted is correct, and then made a case for it being another example of the Board of Health's incompetence in this entire mask mandate matter. So, my question to you is, why are you taking offense? Democrats can be soooo testy, maybe you need a chill pill. Sound like a plan?

Hall

I know you are a supposed expert on "algorithms" ? you should perhaps go and testify at the next hearing and advise our senators about algorithms, because they are clueless...so your credentials in being able to call the BOH incompetent are what exactly? Are you also an expert on health stuff???

I have always worn my mask, I never stopped, despite being vaccinated and boosted out of common decency for my fellow man. Because not everyone is able to be vaccinated...you know like children under 5...and people that are Immunocompromised, etc... whether or not the BOH mask mandate posting is correct or not..it's irrelevant at this point and you darn well know it. Why are you and JSK trying to incite people? Did you listen to the callers last night? Were you one of those people???

JSK and you claim to be Christians...is this what Christian behavior looks like? Explains why I proudly call myself a Heathen...it's as faraway from a Christian as I could get, so do you realize that you and JSK are proving what I always knew, that Heathens are way better people than so-called Christians.....carry on though. Sound like a plan...?

bhall74

Privileged, I suspect that you are probably pretty mad right now, because now you are rambling in you comment below, most likely because you see the logic of what I am saying and it frustrates you to no end, so you just lash out. You really need to take a chill pill, maybe two, right now.

Greg F

At this point, not wearing a mask indoors is stupid. Pretty easy to see it’s the stupid ones that refuse.

Hall

I see you answered my questions by not answering them...cool. Your answers have been notated again that neither you nor JSK, know what you are talking about, as usual, remember the other day?

No when I get mad I get funny...did you see humor in my comment? If you laughed at my comment then I am angry? If you didn't laugh then you saw your self in my comment, and you are taking my words seriously...so you are the one that is mad.

Hey are you offended that I call myself a Heathen so I will not be mistaken for a Christian? Do you and JSK pray to the same god, if so you should coordinate

bhall74

Privileged, when you get angry, you do not get funny (other than in your own mind), to others you become a tedious rambler.

bhall74

and yet you keep reading and responding to my ramblings(granted you are now down to one line responses)....did I ever tell you my favorite god is Loki, the god of mischief? That is the one god I believe in....which god/s do you believe in?

C.D.Reid

Snowy stated "I see you answered my questions by not answering them/"

Would that be like how you answered my question to you as to what the Dem's "long plan" is that you spoke of? Taking a little while to dream up an answer for that one, huh Snowy?

Smoleys

The problem is official sources are not reliable. I give you two examples from the State coronavirus hotline:

1. Last August the State told me that they will begin distribution of the FDA-approved vaccine in mid-September and I should check with local providers for an exact date. The next month, I asked the Monocacy Blvd vaccine site when they would start Comirnaty and they told me that they were already using only Comirnaty. They told me that they don’t administer the old shots with EUA anymore and they switched to fully FDA approved shots several weeks prior.

2. I called the State hotline to ask where to buy and get fitted for an N95 mask and they told me to buy one of the LuLu Lemon sport mesh masks because they stop all Covid. But only work if you are vaccinated.

I have stories about local HD, but don’t want to pick on them. They do what they do a great job under the circumstances.

Hayduke2

I believe that number of 650 cases is the number of new cases reported from the previous day.

phydeaux994

There are thousands of Mandates on the books except they were passed by a Legislature so they are called Laws. Mandates are Laws declared by public figures with the authority to do so, like Jan or the Governor. They are equally enforceable, by the Police I would assume. What bothers me are the people who refuse to wear masks as an act of defiance against the Government. That’s Stupidity. How many have died needlessly because a Stupid person infected them? Thousands. People have shot employees because they were asked to wear a mask. Stupid people.

MD1756

Phydeaux, those people were not stupid, they were simply savage criminals that deserve the death penalty.

MD

But most of them (probably all of them) are not liberals(they could probably be your twin)....you still wish the death penalty on them? Just want you to understand who you are wishing dead??

MD1756

PWW, Phydeaux stated "People have shot employees because they were asked to wear a mask. Stupid people." I think you misunderstood me. I'm saying those who shoot another because they were asked to wear a mask are not stupid, they are criminals. I am asking for the death penalty for someone who shoots another just because they don't want to wear a mask on property that the shooter does not own. Nothing unreasonable about asking for a person prone to violence and potentially a killer (it may only be luck that the person shot doesn't die) to be given the death penalty.

MD1756

PWW I don't know where you get the idea "...they could probably be your twin" I don't shoot people and if I did it would be only for self defense against someone who has invaded my home. I am neither a liberal nor a conservative. While I am a registered democrat, that is only so I can vote in the primaries. My position depends on the issue at hand. For example, I am pro death penalty (not many liberals are) and I am pro abortion (not many conservatives are) although abortion is a less desirable solution to preventing pregnancy in the first place. I am against supporting population growth but I am for programs that, for example, help save children's lives (which keeps the population higher than it could be) from catastrophic and expensive illness (i.e. childhood cancer which even with the best planning is something a parent is unlikely to be able to afford treatment for their child on their own). It's almost as if many people don't realize there are those of us who are not in lock step with any party and are willing to call out anyone who does wrong no matter what party rather than defend when someone is doing something wrong. I know who I' saying should receive the death penalty and with roughly 7.8+ billion people on the planet, we wouldn't miss the few that shoot someone for something that is designed to protect everyone.

bhall74

MD1756, that's it, you've just jumped the shark on behalf of any moderate democrats there may be left among the FNP commentators. Now let's see if any of your fellow democrats have the guts and gumption to tell you that you're wrong.

phydeaux994

MD is just being obtuse (I think) but since I’m not sure that you are just being sarcastic I won’t tell you you’re wrong. Happy New Year. You too bhall. Are you bosco reincarnated. You sure sound like him.

Also MD wishing them dead is redundant, savage criminals eventually wind up dead sooner rather than later…..

Piedmontgardener

Good. It's not going to kill anyone to take a bit more care the next six weeks. Daughter was out of bed yesterday at 6am to rapid test to be able to take care of her elderly patients. This is no joke right now and if a mitigation such as a mask in public can knock down any community spread, there's no reason whatsoever that it shouldn't be the plan, the communities' health is the job of the Health Board and the Council and this is the proper move.

MisAul

I am wondering how the Board of Health is made of up Dr. Brookmyer and the County Council and not a committee of doctors. Am I wrong? I think that I would feel more comfortable if the decisions and discussions were from doctors and not just council members. Granted they did I have one doctor from FHH give a report.

sevenstones1000

If not wearing a face mask is your absolute line in the sand for defending your country and “freedom” - you are really pretty pathetic.

Greg F

There are plenty of those pathetic ones out there. That is certain.

doitforahobby

Welcome to the discussion.

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Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.

TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.

Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.

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Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.

Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

AOC

As a public service, Kai will be patrolling the produce section of the Thurmont Food Lion looking for mask violators.

Aslan19

👍😂👍😂❤️

bhall74

What really happened in last night’s Frederick County Board of Health meeting? It appears panic and fear took over and the Board of Health felt it was better to appear to be doing something, rather than nothing, even if the “something”, a mask mandate, is totally unenforceable. Why didn’t they pass an unenforceable vaccine mandate while they were at it? What about the recommended quarantine period? Did they voice support for the current CDC recommended 5 day period, or continue to support the 10 day period, like Gov. Whitmer of MI? The CDC says that while “cases” are up, hospitalizations are down nationwide, due largely to the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant that results in mild symptoms in most people. Now, let’s break down the real numbers in Frederick County. Thursday there were a record 646 new cases, which represented a 23.58 percent positivity rate. That means that of 2,739 individuals who went for a covid test, 646 (23.58%) tested positive. The people who were tested were “self-reporting” individuals, which means they may have been suffering what they felt might be covid symptoms, but which could just as easily have been flu or common cold symptoms, or no symptoms at all. As such, the “positivity rate” is a false number, not unlike how every Internet poll there has ever been is skewed and totally worthless. And what exactly qualifies as a “case”, other than a positive test result. How many of those 646 who tested positive were fully vaccinated, and therefore in minimal danger from getting sick, and if they do get sick, will most likely have a mild case? How many were unvaccinated, and therefore in greater danger. What was the breakdown of the positive test results? How many were the original Covid-19 variant, Delta variant, and Omicron variant? That kind of information would be important for the Board of Health to know to develop an appropriate response. At the same time, what is the break down of Covid variants for those currently hospitalized? Also important to know besides the vaccination status of those hospitalized would be the age and health condition for those hospitalized before they became sick. We may be talking about elderly individuals with comorbidities that made them susceptible to getting sick, preconditions the Board of Health and public should know about so as to make an informed decision whether to go to public places, with or without a mask. What appears to be the real problem Frederick County is facing is a shortage of qualified healthcare workers to staff the Frederick Health ICU’s. Identifying and implementing a solution in conjunction with Frederick Health to THAT problem would have been a good use of the Board of Health’s time, rather than tilting at windmills in order to appear to be doing something…anything. At least it appears that among those who are posting in response to this article, the majority are fully supportive of the Trump vaccines, even those who hate Trump.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

bhall, the most useful thing the CDC could do is to develop a decision tree. Start with vaxxed or not vaxxed. Next level down symptoms. Then test or no test, and so on.

I saw a guy on 26 by Walmart with a sign "Will Trade Toilet Paper For Covid Test"

bhall74

W.T.F., most people have access, through their health insurance, to a telephonic nurse advice line. The RN's use a computer program that is designed to assist the nurse in determining what the patient's likely health issue is. It's an algorithm designed by Dr.'s and RN's based on the latest, peer reviewed, medical guidance. It's doesn't result in a diagnosis of the patient's condition, because only a Dr. can make a diagnosis based on the appropriate observations and tests. The end result can be a recommendation for home care, watchful waiting to see if the symptoms worsen or get better, or a recommendation to see the patient's Primary Care Provider or seek Urgent or Emergency care. People should be using this service, if available to them, instead of clogging up their Dr.'s office, the Urgent care or the ER, or the Covid testing services if they don't have the right symptoms.

Hall

Do you really think Trots need the obvious explained to him? I mean you explained the obvious quite well ( see I read your comment this time) but don't you think Trots already knows this? If you were explaining the obvious because you think that guy that was holding up the sign may be reading the comments.....carry on...but hopefully people are not using the FNP comments as their Covid guidance...if they are that could explain many, many things....

bhall74

Privileged, my post in response to W.T.F. was more for the education of ALL of the posters, not just W.T.F. because I seriously doubt more than a few, if even that many, understand how a nurseline service works, especially the algorithm process. I am intimately familiar with how it operates from having spent 9 years working for one.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

Pay no attention to the ready-to-pounce lefty contrarians here, bhall. Thanks for the information.

MD1756

Let's start with public identification of those not vaccinated. Maybe they should wear (or be tattooed) a scarlet "A" for anti-vax (or maybe "I" for any I word that means infectious or not smart). It will make it easy for those of us who care to avoid the anti-vaxxers. It would have been a lot cheaper if everyone had got the vaccine as soon as they were able to. How much is the cost of the vaccine versus all of the repeat testing that is going on now? All those people who want to save tax payer dollars should have gotten the vaccine if for no other reason than saving money. Those anti-vaxxers are just costing more money and should have to pay for their decisions.

Hall

Do you really expect people to read this wall of words and make sense of it without a paragraph or two? FYI I didn't and don't plan on it...I know the little box they give you to type the comment is annoying but most of us have figured out to make paragraphs. Are you out of breath now??

gomogirl

People of all ages have co-morbidities. Too many complaints about something so simple as wearing a mask. Just do it, its not hard.

jsklinelga

bhall

You made some excellent points. I was a little surprised that the meeting focused on the mask "suggestion." (And yes I will wear one because at present we need more cooperation than infighting) But it did seem that the really important issues were not addressed.

People waiting 11 hours for the ER? Granted it would take hard work, creativity and a lot of community involvement to solve or mitigate this "health crisis" but isn't that is what needed? I am certain local churches would open their doors to help. Or other organizations. Was all this needed for a mask suggestion?

But to the folks on both sides of the aisle trying to address this. Thank you foir your service,

JSK and Hall

The meeting last night was about a mask mandate..nothing more...those other issues are going to require way more meetings...

The callers last night had to be reminded several times, on almost every call it seemed, that the County Council has no say over what the schools do. The BOE does and they aren't the BOE, it's like no one was listening....AGAIN the meeting last night was to address a mask mandate...nothing more and nothing less. Are we clear on that ?

Some of the tangents the callers went on last night were stunning to say the least...and the meeting went on for 6 hours..... over a simple thing like wearing a mask...but that was all the meeting was for masks...understand???

bhall74

Privileged, had you read my "wall of words" then you would understand that last night's meeting did not address the "mask mandate" question from a position of knowledge, based on the facts, but from a position of fear mongering. Understand?

Hall

That's what happens when you don't use paragraphs...I don't read your comments as you just found out..now you are comprehending what I am saying (people don't read walls of words) see that wasn't hard was it? I'm so proud of you....the lightbulb does go on for you every now and then...

One thing you can do is type your comment in a word document with paragraphs and then paste it over in the comment box. Maybe if you want to repost your wall of words with a few paragraphs I could better understand your position? Just sayin...thanks Hall[yawn][yawn]

Smoleys

You missed the beginning of the meeting. A FHH representative gave a long presentation about the terrifying conditions at the ER where treatment is delayed because ER is overwhelmed and it is going to get much worse if we don’t mandate masks. The County Executive later said that the mask mandate needed to be passed because FHH said that they needed it.

bigups10

The comment sections on these are just absurd. You have the same 6 people typing the same insults behind a screen name and calling other people stupid all while not knowing the difference between where and wear.

You want a dose of absurd?? Go listen to last night's meeting...fair warning you will roll your eyes a lot..make sure you have plenty of snacks...it was long meeting, but one of the more entertaining ones.

bigups10

Watched the entire thing and I can agree. That meeting was a complete cluster. Between Jerry wanting to fine businesses, Kai calling people idiots and the Lets Go Brandons it was an absolute joke.

bigups10

I liked it when Kai was calling people idiots..because they were acting like complete idiots...(not sure what an incomplete idiot is though?) I understand Jerry wanting to fine businesses though....everyone wants this pandemic to be over but no one wants to do anything to end it...well except for some members of the County Council.

Me I don't patronize businesses that don't require their employees to wear masks....because that tells me all I need to know about the business, I mean if they don't care about keeping their employees safe then they don't much care about keeping me safe, I haven't talked to an employee yet that is angry their employer requires them to wear a mask. Quite the opposite....they are gladly masking up because they deal with the public and they have seen with their own eyes who and what the public consists of(we heard from the public last night remember?)...if a business needs to be fined to comply then that is a business that isn't getting my dollars anyway...so I say fine away....

Aslan19

👍

yogib

I am very proud of the courage of Jan gardner and the other folks who supported her emergency recommendation. We want everyone to be safe, even those who are obstinate. For all of our sakes, please get vaccinated folks.

Dwasserba

“…a measure she hoped would help the health system as it weathers tremendous stress on its capacity…” I hope it helps the hospital too.

jth7100

So Dacey and McKay were concerned that there is no mechanism for enforcement; but wouldn't support it anyway. Nuff said there. It's all about owning the libs and being obstinate. Spend more time getting people vaccinated? It's free and it's everywhere; it's not unavailable, it's being refused by the ignorant. The general theme of mask haters is "I know about science" (you don't) and more to the point, "I'm not affected and I don't care about others, so why should I do it."

Dwasserba

[thumbup]jth Yes, what more can anyone do to get others vaccinated when they just say no, I’m wearing a mask when I have to, I object on this/that basis, I want to live life on my terms, etc.? At this point only throwing a bag over them and dragging them where they need to go will work. McKay surprises me.

stevemckay

Dwasserba - just so you know, I absolutely believe that people should be wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and I do it myself. I also support any business that institutes their own mandates for their customers or employees - they have that right. What I don't believe in is the government mandating it over those individuals.

But what I really don't believe in is passing a recommendation masquerading as a mandate. I think it's deceptive. A "mandate" with no penalty is actually a recommendation, not a requirement. There actually isn't an enforcement issue because what is there to enforce when there is no penalty for non-compliance. So the public is told that there is a mandate and that businesses must enforce it, which is unfair to them, but what has it really accomplished? I would have been more comfortable if the resolution actually stated that it was a recommendation - which it is.

I pretty much listened to the entire thing last night...I couldn't stop once the public started to comment, listening to their comments was like watching a train wreck. I just couldn't stop listening. The caller would start out sounding reasonable and then just go full on bonkers then longer they talked, and then of course show off their level of maturity, basically negating everything they had just said, someone called in and said they were acting the fools to delay the vote, it's too bad they didn't have to actually identify themselves and be on camera, (I really wanted to know what some of these people looked like, because what I was picturing in my mind was hilarious) but that is one of the good things with virtual meetings, I could let my imagination run wild and run wild it did...

I am so grateful for our County leaders....the adult ones.

I was not surprised by Dacey's stance, but I was surprised by McKay's stance, I had thought he was more of a reasonable adult,(he sure acts like it at times) his reasons for not supporting the mask mandate were not adult in the least, but these days Republicans are not allowed to be the reasonable adults because if they are then they aren't an actual Republican? I will remember that. I thought McKay was a more independent thinking Republican ?

But my premise is correct after listening to the public comments: Do Not Trust Anyone That Isn't Wearing a Mask...they are probably bonkers.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

Pretty much a toothless mandate, but a feel good move for the council to appear like they have done something. Masks and mandates have not worked so far, but the vaccine is effective against preventing serious illness until the virus burns itself out when the population is either vaccinated, immune by infection, or dead. In the meantime, get vaxxed and boosted.

rwaesche

Exactly. Yet there are County Government employees, many of whom interact directly with the public, that are unvaccinated. Serious action should start there. Meantime Michael Hough is undoubtedly a happy guy.

FrederickFan

If you want to know what Hough thinks just watch Dacey. It's no to everything and do nothing. Hough is Trump supporter and probably doesn't believe covid is even real. The disrespect for our hospital is unbelievable.

Hayduke2

WFT posts a " Me first" rides again. i.e. - I am only concerned about myself.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

Why don't you chime in with an original opinion, hay, instead of just being a contrarian? Troll.

Hayduke2

Well, it is my original opinion based on your constant " me first " positions and comments... As far as a contrarian, read your own posts bro...

cmmiskell

The majority of public comment was against the mandate. Government is for the people by the people. The Democrats clearly serve their own interests over the will of the people. I am looking forward to a Republican lead County Council in the next election. Thank you Democrats for your arrogance.

matts853

The majority of people who were against had no idea what they were talking about, especially the ones that exclaimed “Let’s go Brandon!”. Those people are really, really confused and are to be ignored. I have a feeling you’re one of those people.

cmmiskell

Actually I am a health care professional. No ones voice should be ignored. Thus the arrogance.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

[thumbup] cmmiskell. It's the lefties who are afraid of free speech and public discourse. From them sprang the so called "cancel culture"

Tell me, is the virus that causes covid on its way to mutating into more easily transmittable but less lethal variants?

Dwasserba

I thought it was to help the hospital which is already fairly overwhelmed, which should concern us all? Doesn’t affect you?

matts853

Health care worker or not, your comment, like those of many from last night, is purely partisan. Remove your arrogant, partisan rancor and then I’ll listen to you.

Hayduke2

Healthcare professional?????

Hayduke2

What you really mean is the majority of the people making comment were the vocal few anti-science and anti-mask proponents.

cmmiskell

Did you not have the opportunity to speak but didnt

Fredginrickey

Freedumb. FredCo is blue, and will be bluer in the next election thanks to the ridiculous backwards policies of the Trumplicans.

cmmiskell

Frederick county is purple soon to be red.

DickD

Lol, you made my day, CM!

FrederickFan

Actually if you listened to the meeting the vast majority of the emails received were in support of a mast requirement by numbers in the hundreds. So most of the public input was actually in support. Those opposed kept saying vitamin D and zinc would cure or prevent covid. This is just not true. Should the council believe misinformation? And base decisions on it? Or listen to health care professionals like the hospital leadership?

bhall74

cmmiskell [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

FrederickFan

This was a good decision though not a perfect one. I was truly disappointed that three of our council members who completely ignored our healthcare system and the request for bold action by our hospital including for the mask mandate. Particularly disappointed with McKay who seemed to talk out of both sides of his mouth but was unwilling to make a decision. Did the Republicans really value the rude commenters more than our health experts and protecting our hospital? Sure seems that way.

matts853

You’re 100% right that the healthcare system is the paramount concern. It has to dictate policy. We simply can’t have hospitals needlessly overrun with deathly ill people who were too stubborn and stupid to vax n mask. Masking up will relieve the stress on it.

matts853

I was also stunned that they voted cutting off the phone-in queue even when it was close to midnight. The conversation had turned vapid and it was time to shut it down. Callers were getting more absurd as the night wore on and it’s unrealistic to be there all night. Some people seemed drunk. There were other options for people to comment, like email or leaving a message that could be transcribed for a quick read through by the board.

Fredginrickey

McKay pretends to be a moderate, but plays by the GQP playbook as needed.

DickD

Fred, he (McKay) disappointed me! Of all the Republicans I thought he would be the most reasonable and he was not.

stevemckay

FrederickFan - just so you know, I absolutely believe that people should be wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and I do it myself. I also support any business that institutes their own mandates for their customers or employees - they have that right. What I don't believe in is the government mandating it over those individuals.

But what I really don't believe in is passing a recommendation masquerading as a mandate. I think it's deceptive. A "mandate" with no penalty is actually a recommendation, not a requirement. There actually isn't an enforcement issue because what is there to enforce when there is no penalty for non-compliance. So the public is told that there is a mandate and that businesses must enforce it, which is unfair to them, but what has it really accomplished? I would have been more comfortable if the resolution actually stated that it was a recommendation - which it is.

I also don't believe that we had a very good public process. If these decisions need to be made on an emergency basis, then do that, but don't call it a good public process. We met on two days notice. Cut off public comment after midnight. There were 20-30 transcribed comments delivered to us in a spreadsheet containing over 100 comments, and we were supposed to read that in 15 minutes. Didn't happen. Those comments were ignored. I'm not saying that I value some of the rude comments last night, but I do value the public process.

DickD

Steve, I agree with almost everything you say, except not supporting the mandate because it is not enforceable. Enforceable or not, more people will follow the mandate and as far as business having to enforce, if there is no penalty, there is no harm. You just weren't consistent on this issue.

stevemckay

It wasn’t the lack of enforcement, it is the fact that it isn’t a mandate, and that it’s disingenuous to call it that

phydeaux994

The Police could arrest someone not wearing a mask inside I believe. It is a law isn’t it?

stevemckay

I’m not so sure about that

Brookhawk

I wear a mask outside in the winter anyway. It keeps my nose warm. When I've gotten a bad upper respiratory thing in the past and couldn't stay in for whatever reason, I've worn a mask and kept social distance - once at a pretty crowded get together in Arizona. It worked. I got well and nobody else got sick (the next year somebody came sick and didn't mask up, and a dozen other people got sick, two to the hospital). There's a reason last winter found a lot fewer cases of flu, too.

Just wear it. It helps.

sevenstones1000

Will a face mask alone stop this horrid pandemic? Of course not. Neither will vaccines, washing your hands, social distancing, zoom school/church/office.

But they all do something, however small. Just wear the dam mask. It’s easy to do and doesn’t hurt at all. Let’s all do what we can. Too many good people have suffered. Whatever objection you have is petty and childish.

Aslan19

@seven, I can understand that you consider someone protesting this action as petty and childish. That has been the claim throughout history when the ruling elite did something that was strongly opposed to by the ruled. It even led to several wars.

sevenstones1000

OFFS - it’s a face mask, not your right to vote. Just wear it and stop being silly.

matts853

I listened in for a while and OMG there are some seriously stupid Trumpers among us. I must have heard half a dozen people finish their comments with “Let’s go Brandon!” Look it up if you don’t know what it means. Just shut up, morons. No one on the Board of health took you seriously, except for maybe Dacey. He’s a man of your people.

I’m boosted so I’d stopped wearing a mask for a while and so I’m ambivalent on the mandate, but I will comply. But I disagree with the no votes. The litmus test is hospital capacity. We simply cannot allow ICUs to be overrun with sick people who are too stupid to get vaccinated or where a mask if they’re predisposed to getting sick. So if mandating gets more people wearing masks - which it will - and slows the spread - which it also will - despite what these Brandon’s were all saying, and therefore keeps people out of hospitals, then it’s incumbent on the health board to mandate. Hospital capacity has to dictate policy.

I hate to say this, but I have no compassion for these crazy people who’ve chosen not to get vaxed or think masks don’t work, and then wind up in the hospital filling up a bed for someone who’s had a heart attack or been in a car accident. I’d like to see hospitals turn away these anti-vaxers. And if they’re already admitted and someone needs that bed for a legitimate emergency, remove the ventilator and roll them to the parking lot. I’m a fan of social Darwinism.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

I'm vaxxed and boosted and will wear a mask when required - maybe even a cowboy bandanna GregF. Seriously though, if the unvaxxed would rather die, let them do so and decrease the surplus population.

Hayduke2

Matt - [thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

".... remove the ventilator and roll them to the parking lot. I’m a fan of social Darwinism." Right along side of their hero, Trump!

bhall74

And DickD says what most of the Democrats, Progressives, Liberals, Leftists, and the lame stream media are thinking. Every now and then a Democrat tells the truth...by mistake.

DickD

How would someone that supports Trump know the truth, Hall. Have you ever heard about the "big lie"?

bhall74

DickD, asked have I ever heard of the big lie. That's what my post above was all about, but maybe it was too difficult for you to understand, so let me explain. I hear the "big lie" every time a democrat, or a progressive, or a marxist, or a communist, or a member of the lame stream media, or Biden, or Harris, or Psaki, or Pelosi, or Schumer, or any politician speaks. But lately I hear the big lie from you, usually wrapped in some ad hominem or invective directed towards someone that you hate...which appears to be anyone who does not share your beliefs, which are rooted in the big lie. The "big lie" as the democrats refer to it is just the usual projection on the part of the democrats on their political opponents...and betters. The problem with democrats is they've been lying to themselves, about every thing, for so long that they no longer recognize that as the big lie.

phydeaux994

bhall, what is it you like about Trump? What has he achieved for a majority of American citizens that you like? I’ve asked this question to the RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans)/BTT(BullyTagTeam) for the last 6 years and never gotten a reply. They stammer and stutter but never give their reasons. Did he MAGA?

cmmiskell

If you think that car accident victims or heart attack victims won't be cared for because of the beds are occupied by COVID people then you truly have no idea how the health care system works. If you think nonvaxxers should be turned away something is truly wrong with you.. We care for all who are in need. Your comment of remove the ventilator and roll them into the parking lot sickens me. When did Democrats become so heartless and the party of Hate?

matts853

I’m not a democrat, and you’re the one that’s playing politics with people’s lives. And if you want to play the pol card and keep score of which party has taken this pandemic seriously and which party has caused more deaths by their callous disregard for science and common sense, you will lose. Listen to yourself - you’re a political hack masquerading as a compassionate person.

bhall74

matts853 says that he is not a democrat. I'm reminded of the "walk like a duck, quack like a duck, looks like a duck" saying. For someone who claims to not be a democrat, matts853 certainly talks like one, in fact, matts853 gives every impression of being a fiercely partisan democrat with nothing but hatred for the other political side.

public-redux

bhall, I’d be curious to hear you explain why you think matt is a Democrat and I’m a Marxist rather than the conservative Republican that I’ve been my entire life. Not characterizations but specific examples. Demonstrate your political acumen, please.

matts853

Bhall, a platypus looks like a duck, but it’s anything but. It’s in a class by itself. Like me.

matts853

Public, it’s the argument of last resort for people like Bhall. They have no legitimate case to make, so when they’re presented with a logical, factual argument they can’t refute, it’s so alien to them that they reimagine the messenger into something they think is bad in order to compensate.

bhall74

matts853, so what happened, did your hate take over your self control and you posted exactly what you want to see happen to "crazy people who've chosen to not get vaxed"? Let's see how many of your fellow liberals, leftists, progressives, and Democrats rush to support your hateful position. While they're most like in agreement with your hateful position, they know that expressing that level of vile hatred will totally expose them for what they are, and they're not willing to do that because they don't have the strength of their convictions like you apparently do.

micky

After 3 vax shots, will a piece of paper, proven to be ineffective, make a difference?

sevenstones1000

Maybe. Maybe not. It’s easy to do. Just do it.

Aslan19

@seven, and don't bother thinking logically while doing it. The only thought that is allowed is to be done by those who are using their approved governmental brains. 🙄

Hayduke2

Did the Proud Boys or QAnon tell you that?

Dwasserba

The majority voted them in to make these decisions.

DickD

How many shots have you had, Micky? I have had three and prefer to go with science.

Aslan19

@DickD, that is a great joke. The only "science" that you follow is that which supports your preconceived ideas and viewpoints. 🙄

DickD

I am following medical advice and science, what do you follow, the Republican insurrection?

bhall74

Asian, nailed it! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

Thank you, Jan and the four Democrats! Any mandate is better than none!

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

Pretty weak mandate too - "everyone five years and older will be required to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces"

Cowboy bandannas are back in vogue.

Aslan19

@DickD, this is one of the most stupid things I have ever seen you post. Congrats on reaching a new low.

DickD

Thank you for displaying your IGNORANCE, Asian. lol

bhall74

Asian, nailed it again! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

bnick467

So not really a "mandate", more of a "suggestion".

TaraS

Not an easy choice, but I think the right decision.

chris

Absolutely. Very glad for this decision.

frederickmom518

Tell the truth. FHH is struggling with employee shortages due to vaccination mandates and changes in management policies.

Big Easy

Listening to the event last night many things jumped out at me. Two of these items that were really glaring were how arrogant some of the Commissioners are and how they only truly believe in "science" when it fits their agenda / narrative. I would truly like to see the detail in the numbers. They are more than happy to disclose all the death and misery numbers with this so called dangerous virus and also thrilled to tell us how many of the admitted are unvaccinated but they don't disclose the entire details of any these people ... their age and underlying health conditions for example, that actually were major reasons for their admission. I am sure they will say they can't because of medical privacy issues and such but then why can they disclose how many are vaccinated or unvaccinated? So why do they do this? See the top of my comments, it clearly fits their political narrative / agenda. Pathetic and sad these "leaders" are. They are not leaders, they are clearly followers.

... want more pathetic? Even CNN came out and seriously questioned the effectiveness of masks.

Brookhawk

Think what you will but I've lost one neighbor and three other friends/relatives to Covid, and they were healthy people until they got it. Most died before the vaccine - one was the son of a friend and refused to take the vaccine. They are all dead.

Masks help. Wear one.

matts853

We’ve also had a friend die. Their family is shattered. It’s dangerous alright.

Dwasserba

[thumbup]Brookhawk

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup] Got it right, Big Easy. [thumbup][smile]

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

BigEasy, it's sad when not even the Clown News Network can support the mandates.

Don't forget, though, Biden declared that if we get the vaccine we don't get covid.

Fredginrickey

Trump said it would be gone by Easter 2020. Ask Herman Cain how that went, oh wait

DickD

90% of those in the hospital are unvaccinated, that doesn't tell you something? Get vaccinated or prepare to meet your "maker".

LoveOneAnother

No one said “if you get the vaccine, you won’t get covid.” The studies showed, and officials repeated, “95% effective against severe disease and hospitalization,” and that number has held true. No single preventive measure is good enough, which is why we keep going back to the layered approach: vax, distance, mask. Why is that so hard to grasp?

matts853

“so called dangerous virus”.

You are an ignoramus.

sevenstones1000

I’m glad FHH will not employ health care workers who don’t believe in vaccines or washing their hands or covering their mouths when they cough or sterilizing equipment or any of the other tenets of modern medicine. Let them go back to the 1700s and be happy.

Hayduke2

Having two family members who are RN's in local hospitals, I can tell you that your post is pure BS...

bckosk

Can you clarify... are you saying that local hospitals (FHH is my local) are not requiring vaccinations? Wearing masks? I just want to know where I should or shouldn't go. I'm not going to any hospital that does not require employee vaccinations for staff.

cmmiskell

Honestly FHH is struggling for many reasons that wasn't said just keep watching the next few months.

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