Jan. 20, 2020: The first case of a COVID-19 infection in the United States is reported in Washington state, in an American citizen who traveled home from Wuhan, China. The same day, the World Health Organization and Chinese authorities confirm human-to-human transmission of the virus has already occurred.
Jan. 30: The World Health Organization declares the virus a Public Health Emergency of National Concern.
First week of February: St. Mary’s College of Maryland cancels their study abroad program to Fudan University. Two Maryland residents are tested for COVID-19, but test negative.
Last week of February: A St. Mary’s Youth Cultural Exchange trip to Milan, Italy, is postponed.
March 3: Although there are zero cases in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announces Maryland’s State Public Health Laboratory has been approved for COVID-19 testing. Previously, tests had to be sent to the Center for Disease Control lab in Atlanta.
March 5: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) confirms the first three positive cases of COVID-19 in Maryland: a couple in their 70s and an unrelated woman in her 50s. All three were on a river cruise on the Nile River in Egypt, and reside in Montgomery County. Hogan declares a state of emergency.
March 7: The Maryland House Republican Caucus, of which Del. Matt Morgan (R) is the assistant minority leader, discovers that an attendee at the previous week’s Conservative Political Action Conference has tested positive for COVID-19, but it is “improbable” that any of the 12 members who attended came in contact with that person.
March 10: St. Mary’s commissioners allocate $40,000 from their emergency reserve to the county health department to prepare for potential cases but vote against declaring a local state of emergency, with blessings from health officer Dr. Meena Brewster and Emergency Services Director Steven Walker, in a 3-2 vote.
March 11: St. Mary’s College of Maryland announces the college is preparing for online or remote instruction after the following week’s spring break ends. Face-to-face classes will be suspended for “at least” two weeks after the break. CSM similarly transitions to online classes starting March 16.
March 12: State Superintendent Karen Salmon announces Maryland public schools will be closed from March 16 to 27. Margaret Brent Middle School closes early the following day after suspicion of school community members being exposed to COVID-19. The St. Mary’s County COVID-19 call center opens.
March 14: St. Mary’s Commissioner President Randy Guy (R) declares a local state of emergency.
March 16: Thirty-seven people in Maryland have tested positive for COVID-19.
In a morning press conference, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) orders for all movie theaters, gyms, bars and restaurants must close effective at 5 p.m. that day.
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital begins offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing.
March 17: Hogan issues a proclamation to postpone the April 28 primary election to June 2.
March 18: The Maryland General Assembly ends its session early for the first time since the Civil War. A Prince George’s County man in his 60s becomes the state’s first death due to COVID-19.
The county government begins canceling and postponing meetings.
March 19: Hogan orders for all enclosed malls and entertainment venues to close, and decreases the social gathering limit to gatherings of ten people or less.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland decides to hold classes online for the rest of the year and cancels the 2020 commencement ceremony. The University System of Maryland does the same.
Most employees at Naval Air Station Patuxent River are teleworking.
March 21: A Washington, D.C., resident who works at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital tests positive for COVID-19. Later that day, the county health department is notified that a St. Mary’s resident, a woman in her twenties, has tested positive, making the first known case in the county.
St. Mary’s County government offices officially close to the public.
March 23: Hogan orders for all nonessential businesses to close at 5 p.m.
March 24: Two more St. Mary’s individuals in their twenties test positive for COVID-19. The first NAS Patuxent River employee tests positive.
March 25: A St. Mary’s man in his 60s tests positive for COVID-19, bringing the case count to four.
March 27: Two residents at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home test positive for COVID-19. There are eight total cases.
March 30: Hogan issues a stay-at-home order, effective at 8 p.m. that night. “We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home, we are directing them to do so,” he said.
March 31: A total of 23 St. Mary’s residents have tested positive. The county health department determines that there is “strong evidence of community spread” of COVID-19 in the county.
April 10: Hogan announces more directives to slow the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. A total of 76 cases are confirmed in St. Mary’s.
April 13: Two county residents die of COVID-19, marking the first deaths in the county. Health Officer Dr. Meena Brewster announces that all county residents and store employees must wear a face covering while at any local business starting on April 15.
April 15: Hogan issues a statewide order requiring face coverings in stores.
April 17: Salmon announces all Maryland schools will continue to be closed from April 24 to May 15.
April 20: Medical tents are erected at MedStar St. Mary’s to prepare for the possibility of a hospitalization surge.
The governor’s office of legal council takes a new stance, allowing barber shops to open on tight restrictions, and only to serve essential workers.
April 23: There are 130 confirmed cases in St. Mary’s County. Of them, 44 are African-American, 47 are white, and 39 are in the other or data not available category.
April 29: Hogan orders for universal testing at all nursing homes in the state. 18 cases of COVID-19 are reported at Charlotte Hall Veterans home, including 12 residents and six staff, with one resident death.
May 5: There are 175 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths in St. Mary’s. Brewster tells commissioners that testing is amping up, with a focus on nursing home staff and residents as well as a homeless population living in a tent encampment.
May 6: Hogan announces that Maryland can enter Phase 1 of his “Roadmap to Recovery” reopening plan if state trends show a downward decline of hospitalizations for 14 days.
Hogan also lifts restrictions on safe outdoor activities such as golf, boating, fishing and tennis, effective the following day.
Salmon announces Maryland schools will remain closed the rest of the school year.
May 13: Progress in universal testing at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home reveals 68 total cases, including 55 residents and 13 staff. Two residents have died. In St. Mary’s County, there are 290 cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths.
The St. Mary’s County Adult Detention Center announces that it will be the first jail in the state to commence universal testing.
Having reached the 14-day benchmark, Hogan announces the stay-at-home order will be lifted on May 15 at 5 p.m., and some non-essential businesses will be allowed to open.
May 19: The St. Mary’s County Detention Center receives tests from nearly every inmate and staff member. Only one staff member tests positive, and no inmates.
May 27: Hogan announces that the state can complete phase one of the roadmap, allowing outdoor dining, youth sports and outdoor pools to open starting May 29.
June 2: St. Mary’s case count spikes to 518 confirmed cases and 24 deaths, from around 400 cases the previous week. Officials believe the spike is due to testing of more individuals, including asymptomatic cases.
June 3: Hogan announces the state can begin phase two of the roadmap, completely lifting bans on non-essential businesses beginning June 5, and reopening state government offices beginning June 8.
June 10: Hogan announces the next round of phase two reopenings will begin on June 12, including indoor dining and outdoor amusements such as mini-golf and go-kart tracks, and another round will commence on June 19, reopening gyms and malls.
June 16: Brewster says “a little over” 5% of the county’s population has been tested for COVID-19, with a goal of testing 10% of the population.
June 23: St. Mary’s health department reports 608 cases in the county. Also, there are 48 deaths reported, and 53 deaths at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, marking an issue with how the location of deaths are documented.