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Blog COVID-19 in Maryland Health Care

Hogan Seeking $10M Supplemental Budget to Combat Coronavirus

Two people in Maryland who recently traveled to China are being tested for possible Coronavirus, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced Thursday.

He said the two people met criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested for the new virus, known as COVID-19. The CDC will examine their cases and determine if they actually have the virus.

Speaking to reporters at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown, Hogan said the state is marshaling resources that might be needed should the disease appear here. The state is also coordinating closely with federal officials.

To make sure the state has the resources it needs, Hogan said he will submit a supplemental budget to the General Assembly that includes $10 million for emergency Coronavirus preparedness expenses.

Hogan urged residents to remain calm.

“While there is currently no immediate public health emergency here in Maryland, based on the latest guidance from the CDC and our federal partners, we want our citizens to know that all levels of government are working together proactively and taking every possible precaution to respond to threats of public health,” said Hogan.

“We will continue to track this and will be receiving almost constant, up-to-the-minute information. The public should be assured that our state’s preparedness builds on decades of planning, experience, and expertise gained from previous and ongoing public health events.”

Deputy Health Secretary Fran Phillips said it will take about two to three days to receive the test results of the two patients, who are being quarantined at home.

She said a third patient is being examined to see if their test should be sent to the CDC.

There have been no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Maryland. Still, Hogan noted that the CDC has advised schools and businesses to be prepared for closures and disruptions to daily life.

The spread of the Coronavirus beyond Asia has triggered a record selloff on Wall Street. President Trump has tapped Vice President Pence to coordinate the federal government’s response, and Hogan spoke with Pence before briefing reporters.

On Friday he will convene his full Cabinet, and administration officials will provide a detailed briefing to members of the General Assembly, the Comptroller, the Attorney General, and the Treasurer.

Officials said prudent precautions for Coronavirus are similar to those they advise for the flu:

*   Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water

*   Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing

*   Avoid close contact with people who are sick

*   If you are sick, stay home from work or school

*   Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Residents can dial 2-1-1 to speak with experts about the disease, Hogan said.

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This report contained material from WTOP.com through a content-sharing partnership.

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Hogan Seeking $10M Supplemental Budget to Combat Coronavirus