CHESTERTOWN — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kent County, the least populous county in Maryland, has climbed to five.
State health officials on Wednesday, April 1 issued a news release announcing the two newest cases, women in their 70s and 80s. Both are hospitalized and have preexisting conditions, according to the release.
The majority of the Kent cases have not had travel history or a known connection with another positive case, according to health officials.
The third case was confirmed Saturday, March 28 as a man in his 40s who has a recent travel history to areas where COVID-19 is known to be present.
The man, a Kent County resident, has no known preexisting medical conditions, according to a news release from the Kent County Health Department.
He has been self-isolating for the past 17 days and is recovering at home, according to health officials.
The man received testing Monday, March 23 and results were reported to the KCHD on Friday night, March 27, according to health officials.
The KCHD has reached out to the man and a contact tracing investigation is underway.
Kent County officials on Friday morning reported a second confirmed case of COVID-19. The individual was identified as a man in his 70s who lives in Kent and has no known travel history, according to the health department.
The man was tested Monday, March 23 and results were reported to the health department late Thursday night, March 26, according to a news release.
Bill Webb, health officer for Kent County, said a contact tracing investigation is underway to determine the man’s exposure within the county, and the KCHD is working with the Maryland Department of Health to take the appropriate precautions.
“As COVID-19 is now widespread in Maryland, it is likely that we will continue to identify more positive cases in the County,” Webb said in a March 27 news release.
Also on Friday, on Facebook, a man identified himself as “Kent County #2.”
The Kent County News has not confirmed the accuracy of the post.
When contacted Saturday afternoon, Webb, the county’s health officer, wrote in a text message, “At this time I prefer not to comment.”
In his social media post, the man who self-identified as “Kent County #2” said he was “writing as a public service so folks I known [sic] and love can put a real face on this illness. So far I am holding up well with fever, extremely tired, and all the rest you would expect with the flu. The concern now is the fever could spike and the congestion could move to my lungs. The scary part is there is actually nothing I can do about that except bed rest and lots of water.”
He said he was being well taken care of, was “totally isolated” and communicated with his caretaker by cellphone.
The man, who said he was writing from Chestertown, added, “In the build up to this I read how few cases there were in this area and voices minimizing the dangers. Do not believe any of this. I realized how wrong they were when I was only the 2nd person tested in the Eastern Shore area. This disease is out there, and you have no idea how wide spread it is (nor do I and without testing neither does anyone else), So protect yourself with great distancing and cleaning practices. And know you have the fully measure of my care and concern.”
On Tuesday, March 24, county officials announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Kent — identified as a man in his 20s. Officials said he was not a member of the Washington College community.
The following day, the college reported that a student who lived off campus had tested positive.
In the first confirmed Kent case, the man had traveled to areas where other COVID-19 cases had been confirmed, according to a news release from the Kent County Health Department.
Webb said the man was never hospitalized.
Testing occurred March 16.
The man is now home.
Since testing, he has remained in self-isolation and “reports an almost full recovery,” according to the news release.
In this case, too, a contact tracing is underway to determine exposure within the county.Washington College’s Emergency Operations Group has been made aware that a student who lives off campus has tested positive for COVID-19, the college announced in a news release shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.
College officials reported that the student is under a doctor’s care in their home state, where they were tested March 18 and received positive test results March 22.
Earlier on Wednesday, March 25, the college announced negative test results for another student who had been hospitalized for flu-like symptoms after traveling out of state to an area with confirmed cases of community-transmitted COVID-19.
That student was hospitalized at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown on March 13 and was discharged March 19. He lived on campus, according to college officials.
Spring break was Saturday, March 7 through Sunday, March 15.
In the confirmed case, the student returned to their off-campus private residence in Chestertown the weekend of March 13-15 and attended an off-campus outdoor gathering at another private student residence in Chestertown on the afternoon of March 13, according to the Washington College news release.
Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the student entered self-isolation for 14 days. The student’s off-campus roommates have all returned to their homes beyond Chestertown, according to the news release.
The college is assisting the Kent County Health Department by helping to identify others who may have come into contact with this student from March 13-15. Health department officials have asked that any individual who attended an off-campus gathering hosted by Washington College students the afternoon of March 13 contact them and self-isolate for the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period, which ends Sunday, March 29.
Questions and concerns should be directed to the Kent County Health Department at 410-778-1350, and not to Washington College Health Services.
If you believe you were exposed, are exhibiting symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and are in Kent County, contact the Kent County Health Department. If you have returned to your home county or state and are exhibiting symptoms, contact your primary care provider.