County Executive Barry Glassman encouraged the public to stay calm and stay informed following news of a coronavirus case in Harford County. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced on March 8 that one woman, a Harford County resident in her 80s, contracted the virus while traveling overseas and is currently hospitalized. The governor also announced there appear to be no major concerns over exposure risk to the community and there is no connection to the previous positive cases.
County Executive Glassman brought local officials together to answer questions and provide the pubic with accurate information about the virus. They included Harford County Health Officer Russell W. Moy, MD, MPH; HCPS Superintendent Sean Bulson; Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler; Harford County Director of Administration Billy Boniface, and Director of Emergency Services Edward Hopkins.
“Public safety is our highest priority, and my administration has been working closely with allied agencies to prepare for the coronavirus in our community,” County Executive Glassman said. “With a case confirmed yesterday in Harford County, it is important for everyone to remain calm, continue to take precautions and avoid rumors. We will continue to share verified reports and timely updates provided by Governor Hogan and public health officials.”
The Harford County case is still being investigated by the Maryland Department of Health and more details may become available. What is known is that the patient is an 86-year-old female who contracted the virus while traveling overseas and is currently hospitalized. Public health officials report that there appears to be no community exposure from this case, as this person went straight from the airport to home, did not leave her house, and when she began to feel ill, went straight to the hospital for medical evaluation and care.
The Maryland Health Department indicates that the vast majority of people recover from the coronavirus, and most will have mild or moderate symptoms. Frequently asked questions about the virus, including symptoms and what to do if you are sick, are on the health department web page https://harfordcountyhealth.com/coronavirus/.
To prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like the coronavirus, the health department recommends the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Video of the press conference is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEIaaj633zs&feature=youtu.be
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