Update: As of the evening of Saturday, March 14, there were 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified in the state of Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday night that Baltimore County has its first positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to a county press release, the patient is in his 60s and worked at the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, D.C. The individual had limited contacts, who have all be notified of the diagnosis.
“We have been preparing for this situation and we are ready to respond to any potential impact of the COVID-19 virus in our communities,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We continue to work with our partners across County government and at the state level to monitor this rapidly evolving situation.”
“Keeping residents safe and informed remains our highest priority,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services and Health Officer. “We strongly urge residents to continue following public health best practices and rely on credible sources including the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your state and local health departments for accurate and up-to-date information.”
For up-to-date fact sheets and information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. For the latest information from Baltimore County, please visit: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/health.
Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency last week in preparation of an outbreak. On Wednesday Hogan said it was a global pandemic that Marylanders should take seriously.
People above 60-years-old or those have underlying health problems or compromised immune systems should avoid crowds.
Wondering what you can do to protect yourself and family from the virus?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but says that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.
The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
The CDC recommends the everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.