Gov. Larry Hogan announced Sunday that state officials have identified two additional positive cases of novel coronavirus in Maryland. The state now has five total confirmed cases, and 62 negative tests for COVID-19.
One woman, a Harford County resident in her 80s, contracted the virus while traveling overseas and is currently hospitalized.
One man, a Montgomery County resident in his 60s, contracted the virus while traveling overseas, and was briefly hospitalized.
Maryland’s State Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore previously had confirmed three positive cases in Montgomery County. Those patients, who contracted the virus while traveling overseas, were in good condition and were in quarantine at their homes.
In the two new cases, there appear to be no major concerns over exposure risk to the community and there is no connection to the previous positive cases.
“Our state health department team has been working seamlessly with local health departments, and our emergency management teams are engaged with our local and federal partners to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Hogan said in a press release. “We continue to hope for the best, and actively plan for the worst. I encourage all Marylanders to remain calm, but to take this seriously and continue to stay informed. We will provide additional updates tomorrow as more information becomes available.”
The Maryland Health Department (MDH) has notified county health officials. The governor’s office has notified Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.
Hogan plans a press conference at 3:30 p.m. today in Annapolis to provide an update to Marylanders. At that time, he will be joined by House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson to sign emergency legislation granting the governor the authority to use the state’s rainy day fund to mobilize additional resources.
“We continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19,” said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Fran Phillips. “As we learn more, Marylanders are encouraged to practice everyday actions to promote good health and to protect yourself and your loved ones from respiratory viruses — wash your hands thoroughly, cover your cough, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home from work and school if you’re not feeling well. People over 60 should stay home as much as possible, and follow CDC guidance regarding travel.”
Maryland is currently operating under a state of emergency, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has elevated its state response activation level. At the governor’s direction, state agencies have ramped up response and preparedness efforts across all levels of government. He has also issued a directive requiring state health carriers to waive all cost-sharing regarding testing for COVID-19.
Hogan had announced the state’s first positive cases and declared a state of emergency Thursday to ramp up Maryland’s coordinated response across all levels of government.
In addition to the emergency legislation, the governor also had submitted a supplemental budget today for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) that requests $10 million for emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses.
At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Prevention measures center on frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and separating people who have respiratory symptoms.
Treatment for COVID-19, as with any coronavirus infection like the common cold, includes the use of over-the-counter fever-relievers, drinking plenty of fluids and resting at home to help relieve symptoms. Those with more severe symptoms may be hospitalized to provide additional support.
While much remains unknown about COVID-19, the CDC reports that people who are elderly and who have chronic health conditions appear to be at higher risk for infection. These chronic conditions may include cancer, diabetes, heart disease or any issue that lowers the body’s immunity to germs.
A Johns Hopkins University tally, based on publicly available data that doesn’t always agree, puts the total cases in the U.S. at 565 with 22 deaths; 19 of those were in the state of Washington.
Information and updates about COVID-19 in Maryland are available at health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.