St. Mary’s has at least 16 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the county, including two residents at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.
In an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued an executive order Monday instituting a “stay at home” directive beginning at 8 p.m. that day and applying to everyone not in an “essential” job or going out for a necessary reason, such as obtaining food, medicine or health care.
Hogan’s March 30 stay-at-home order excludes those obtaining necessary supplies or services, engaging in activities essential for health and safety, traveling to educational sites for meals or distance learning materials, engaging in outdoor exercise, traveling required by law, and traveling to and from a federal, state or local government building.
A total of 1,660 cases have been confirmed in the state and as of Tuesday morning, and 18 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state also announced Tuesday morning that there have been more than 400 hospitalizations in Maryland, and nearly 15,000 negative test results in the state.
The health department announced Friday night the two veterans home residents tested positive for the virus.
Sharon Murphy, director of the home, said in a press release the residents are in stable condition and they are making efforts to take care of them and keep other residents safe.
Dr. Meena Brewster, health officer for the county’s health department, told The Enterprise they are working with Charlotte Hall Veterans Home and other local long-term care facilities on COVID-19 preparedness and response planning.
“They are following CDC guidance and there are protocols in place to protect our most vulnerable community members,” she said in an email.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website gives guidelines for long-term care facilities that include restricting almost all visitation, volunteers and non-essential health care personnel, to cancel all group activities and to implement active screening of residents and health care personnel.
Brewster said Hogan issued a statement March 9 that restricted visitors from long-term care facilities.
“Additional adjustments made since the two positive cases [at the veterans home] include the requirement for all staff to wear face masks, isolation/distancing of the positive cases or patients under investigation from others, and a quarantine of grounds for residents who may be close contacts,” Brewster said.
Hogan’s office announced on Saturday night that a coronavirus outbreak happened at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Carroll County where 66 residents have tested positive for the virus and 11 were hospitalized.
St. Mary’s had its first confirmed virus case on Saturday, March 21, and it was a woman in her 20s. The next two cases were also people in their 20s, followed by a man in his 60s, a woman in her 50s and men in their 30s, 50s and 70s. On Monday morning, the St. Mary’s health department confirmed two more cases to be a man in his 30s and a woman in her 40s whose method of exposure is still being determined. This brought the county’s total to 14.
The department said press releases will no longer be issued to announce individual cases, but the number of cases will be posted at www.smchd.org/coronavirus and updated daily at 10 a.m. The health department’s website showed 16 confirmed cases in the county as of Tuesday morning.
For more information on the coronavirus, visit the health department’s website or call the community hotline at 301-475-4911.