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First case of coronavirus confirmed in Baltimore County

UPDATE: Baltimore County officials will hold a press conference on Thursday morning.

Original story below…

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ANNAPOLIS, MD—On Wednesday night, Governor Larry Hogan announced three additional confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Maryland:

– A Montgomery County resident in his 20s who recently traveled to Spain, and is not hospitalized.
– A Baltimore County resident in his 60s who worked at the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC, and is not hospitalized.
– A Prince George’s County resident in his 60s whose travel history is under investigation, and is currently hospitalized.

The State of Maryland now has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has notified local officials regarding these cases and begun investigating potential exposure risk to the community.

Governor Hogan is postponing his National Governors Association (NGA) State of the States Address, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Washington, DC in order to continue managing the crisis from Annapolis.

Additional State Actions to Keep Marylanders Safe

Earlier today at the CHART State Operations Command Center in Hanover, Governor Larry Hogan provided additional updates on the State of Maryland’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

“Marylanders should be taking this pandemic very seriously,” said Governor Hogan. “All Marylanders need to understand that there may be significant disruption to your everyday lives for a period of time. We will continue tracking this and will be receiving and providing Marylanders with almost constant, up-to-the-minute information. I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus, because our highest priority is keeping our residents safe.”

Earlier today, the governor announced that a Montana resident visiting Anne Arundel County has tested positive for COVID-19. While this will be classified as a Montana case, the Maryland and Anne Arundel County Health Departments are taking the lead on the investigation.

The governor also announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is requesting that Marylanders onboard the “Grand Princess” who are not showing symptoms return to the State of Maryland. The U.S. citizens on that ship are in the process of being transported to military bases for examination and to be quarantined. The state has informed HHS that they must test all 12 of these passengers for COVID-19. All who are cleared will be safely transported back to Maryland.

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The administration has also been informed that a volunteer first responder in Montgomery County, a Virginia resident, has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is tied to the rector of Christ Church in Washington, DC, so the State of Maryland is coordinating this investigation with the Virginia and Washington, DC health departments. Maryland’s chief epidemiologist has cleared the firehouse where the first responder works and has no major concerns regarding potential exposure risk to the community.

New Actions from State Agencies

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is discontinuing visits for individuals currently in infirmaries, reducing programs and movement within facilities, providing more video visitation opportunities, and requiring staff who exhibit flu-like symptoms to remain home.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration will immediately begin moving toward an all-appointments system for all transactions in order to eliminate walk-ins, reduce foot traffic, and keep crowds to a minimum.

The Maryland Health Benefits Exchange is working to establish a special enrollment period through Maryland Health Connection specifically for the coronavirus.

All Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, including the Charlotte’s Hall Veterans Home, have been directed to adhere to the same guidance Governor Hogan announced yesterday for long-term care facilities, including prohibiting staff from international travel.

Today, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The State of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

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