Montgomery County Reminds Residents to be COVID-Prepared for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Per Montgomery County: The third holiday season with COVID-19 is underway, and everyone agrees that COVID fatigue exists. A few simple steps of caution can make being with family and friends enjoyable while reducing the risk of illness from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu. Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services offers the following things to keep in mind when planning for family gatherings:

  • Make plans with the highest-risk person in the family and friends group in mind. Talk to family members ahead of time to figure out the plan. Encourage everyone to take additional precautions if a high-risk family member is attending. This means being up to date on all vaccinations and could include limiting the number of people invited. If the weather cooperates, think about moving meals outdoors.
  • Get the new bivalent COVID-19 booster. Everyone who is eligible (ages 5 and up at least two months after their latest dose) should get the new booster to add an extra layer of protection. There are County-operated clinics and private providers offering both the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent boosters. Visit GoVaxMoco.com to see dates, times and locations.
  • Pay attention to symptoms. In the days before the event, and especially the day of, watch out for COVID symptoms: sore throat, congestion, coughing, fatigue, headaches and muscle pain. People infected with BA.5, the dominant variant, are less likely to report losing their sense of taste and smell. If you feel sick, stay home—even if you have a negative rapid test.
  • Test wisely. Everyone should test before a family gathering—the question is when to test and how many times. There are differing opinions on the exact timing and combination of tests that should be taken, but for the most accurate measure of whether or not you are contagious, take an at-home rapid test immediately before an event. If you have been wearing masks regularly, limiting contact and do not have symptoms, a negative test is a good measure. If you wake up with a scratchy throat and have interacted with someone who tested positive, consider staying home even if the tests are negative.
  • Consider a mini-quarantine before a holiday gathering. Wear a mask in public indoor spaces and limit the time spent around crowds—for example, time trips to the grocery store for when they are not overwhelmingly packed. If traveling, check case counts for the area you are visiting.
  • Mask up when traveling. Whether taking a plane, bus or train, make sure to wear a mask.
  • Ventilate your space. If holding an event outside is not an option, increase air circulation and reduce the risk of trapping and transmitting the virus. Portable air purifiers with HEPA filters can be expensive, but even opening windows slightly can improve air flow.

The County continues to provide free N-95 masks and rapid test kits at multiple locations.

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Oak Chapel is excited that Priority Partners Managed Care Organization (PPMCO) in partnership with Johns Hopkins HealthCare (JHHC) have selected the Oak Chapel Hub as the location for the first mini-food pantry/mini library in Montgomery County. Please join us for the cupboard unveiling on Saturday, May 18th, at 10 AM (rain or shine). This is scheduled to be an outdoor event. If there is inclement weather, the event will be held in the multi-purpose room of the main church building (Hub distribution location). The cupboard will be fully stocked and ready for the community to take what they need and leave what they can. It is a privilege to be able to continue to serve the 20906 community.

Fighting food insecurity, feeding families.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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