ELKTON — Of the 288 positive cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maryland, Cecil County accounts for three of those cases as of press time Monday afternoon, March 23.
In a press conference with Health Officer Lauren Levy, DES Director Chief Richard Brooks, Sheriff Scott Adams, Director of Administration Al Wein, Cecil County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Lawson and State’s Attorney James Dellmyer, County Executive Alan McCarthy confirmed that there are three cases of COVID-19 in the county.
The cases include a woman in her 20s in the Rising Sun area, a woman in 40s in Elkton and a man in his 50s also in Elkton. The latter two were confirmed the morning of March 23, bringing the total to three lab confirmed tests.
None of the three confirmed cases are travel-related, suggesting community transmission.
"When a case of COVID-19 is identified, the Cecil County Health Department has an experienced team of communicable disease clinicians to investigate the case of any contact the patient may have had," Levy said.
If the health department determines that there is a threat to the general public, a notice will be disseminated to the public.
State of Emergency
In order to "mobilize all available resources," McCarthy officially declared the county in a state of emergency beginning March 23.
"With this declaration I am officially authorizing deployment of requisite resources, requesting access to the Maryland Emergency Management Assistance Compact, therefore activating Cecil County's emergency operation plan," McCarthy said during the Monday press conference.
He also said that the safety of Cecil County resident's is the No. 1 priority, but the ability of businesses to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic is also essential.
"Our business owners are concerned, as are we," he said.
"Employment for our citizens provides a sense of comfort as each deals with these critical matters in the home."
The Cecil County government website posts consistent updates during this time to in order to help support business leaders in the area.
Wash your hands, social distance, stay at home
Both the county executive and Levy, again, stressed the importance of social distancing, frequently washing hands and disinfecting as much as possible to "eliminate the silent threat," McCarthy said.
Residents are also encouraged to keep in contact with their primary care provider if they are experiencing symptoms or if symptoms worsen — do not go to the emergency room unless there is an emergency, i.e. difficulty breathing.
If you are feeling sick, stay home and self isolate.
"Each one of us has an obligation to our friends, family and the entire county to take this pandemic seriously," McCarthy said.
The county has gotten access to the national stockpile for required medical needs including masks, garments and other personal protective equipment.
Lawson spoke on behalf of the schools, which are now in the second week of distance learning, adding that staff is beginning to transition the coursework for students.
Adams said that the county detention center has closed to public visitors and is continuing to try to eliminate movement in order to stop contamination.