Maryland coronavirus total rises to 37 with six new cases

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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the exterior structure of the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. Image courtesy of CDC.

Maryland’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 37 on Monday with the addition of six new cases.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, there are a total of 37 cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Maryland, including 15 in Montgomery County, 10 in Prince George’s County, four in Baltimore County, two in Harford County, and one each in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Carroll, Charles, Howard and Talbot counties, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s Maryland COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

That dashboard will be updated every day at 10 a.m., according to Mike Ricci, spokesperson for Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.

Until the Talbot County case, there had been no confirmed cases along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The eight remaining counties in that region have yet to report any confirmed cases of the coronavirus, nor have portions of southern and western Maryland.

Nationwide, there have been at least 3,774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, including at least 69 deaths and 12 recoveries, as of 10:50 a.m. Monday, according to a real-time dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

On Saturday night Baltimore City said a man in his 60s tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the city’s first confirmed case.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa said the patient is believed to be a case of community transmission.

“In the days and weeks to come, we expect the number of positive cases in Baltimore City to increase,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that events with 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC has also promoted social distancing–staying home or, when absolutely necessary to go out in public, putting at least six feet between yourself and other people–to help curb the spread of the virus.

Last week Hogan ordered a series of actions the governor announced that day to reduce the virus’s spread in Maryland, including closing schools and limiting the size of crowds at events. Effective Monday, Hogan has shut down all casinos, racetracks and off-track betting locations in the state, he announced Sunday.

“These are unprecedented actions in an extraordinary situation, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe,” Hogan said in a statement.

In a press conference Sunday, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said the most important thing people can do to reduce the spread of the virus is to stay home and employ social distancing measures if they do have to go out in public.

“I want to stress that these two weeks are not a vacation for our youth out of school or for residents sent home from work,” he said. “This is not time to hang out with friends or go catch the latest movie.”

Young reiterated personal protective measures people should be taking, such as washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, not touching one’s face, staying home, maintaining at least six feet of space when going out in public, cleaning high touch points often, and coughing into one’s elbow.

Dzirasa said not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. She said people who have been ill with symptoms of the virus, including cough, a fever greater than 104 degrees, and shortness of breath; people who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19; or people who have lived in or recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 may be candidates for testing.

People should not go to the hospital to request to be tested, rather they should consult their primary care physician, who may refer them for testing, Dzirasa said.

“If everyone with mild symptoms attempts to go to the hospitals at the same time, we will overburden our hospital system,” she said.

Marcus Dieterle

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