Governor Larry Hogan took time during yesterday’s Board of Public Works meeting to brief attendees on the steps Maryland is taking to respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Maryland, though one individual has met the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) screening, and remains in isolation, pending the results of testing.
“This morning, I received a thorough briefing from state health officials regarding our coordinated response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has become a major public health crisis in China,” said Governor Hogan. “At my direction, the state is taking every precaution to prepare and mobilize whatever resources are necessary to address the coronavirus. Our state government team is in close communication with federal officials and will continue to remain so on an ongoing basis. Maryland is fortunate to have some of the top health research facilities in the world, and I am confident in our state’s ability to respond to any potential cases of the virus, and I expect that we will be a leader in developing treatments and perhaps even a vaccine. While there is no need for immediate concern, we are taking this issue very seriously, and we encourage Marylanders to stay informed.”
The State Emergency Operations Center’s activation level has been raised to “Enhanced” in support of a local incident and novel coronavirus response in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has issued clinical guidance to the state’s 20,472 physicians, 2,786 nurse practitioners, 1,301 pharmacists, and local health departments. The department has held briefings for Maryland Strategic National Stockpile partners and public health and hospital emergency managers. In addition, the department has held an informational webinar for local health departments, and is scheduled to hold a preparedness webinar for healthcare facility infection leaders
At the governor’s direction, MDH is coordinating with BWI Airport officials on protocols for incoming flights, as well as signage and notifications for travelers. The department has also worked with the CDC Quarantine Station to ensure a continued coordinated response for incoming travelers from China and other areas experiencing ongoing coronavirus transmission. MDH is coordinating with the University System of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University to address concerns with their respective student populations. Local health departments are working with local colleges.
Counties are using social media to spread awareness and keep the public informed as new information becomes available.