Maryland reported nine new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the biggest one-day jump since the state began counting and releasing infection numbers.
As of Saturday evening, the state had 26 confirmed cases of the virus.
The governor’s office did not disclose where the new patients live, referring reporters to county and local health departments for information on individual cases.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R) announced the county’s second case on Saturday.
“The Harford County case is a 69-year-old who is a family member of the county’s first reported case, an 86-year-old woman who traveled overseas and remains hospitalized,” Glassman said in a statement. “The 69-year-old remains isolated at home and is asymptomatic.”
And on Saturday night, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) announced the city’s first confirmed case.
Tonight, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced that the Maryland Department of Health identified the first positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Baltimore City.
“The case involves a male in his 60’s,” Young said in a statement. “The Baltimore City Health Department is currently investigating the case.”
The first cases of infected persons fully recovering from COVID-19 exposure appear to be the state’s first cases, in Montgomery County.
In a news release, Montgomery County Health Officer Travis Gayles said the first three Montgomery County residents who tested positive last week have completed treatment and are now doing well.
All six residents who have tested positive over the past week “are doing well and recovering,” according to county health officials.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeffrey A. Elting said the majority of patients will recover with minimal difficulty.
“Young, healthy, fit people [who] don’t have lung disease, haven’t smoked, don’t have diabetes and aren’t in a nursing home, they’re probably going to have a severe cold and get better,” Elting said in an interview.
The patients most at risk of serious illness and death are the elderly and those with underlying health issues, he said. But most patients will recover “relatively uneventfully.”
Can people who’ve had COVID-19 catch it again?
“That’s yet to be determined,” said Elting, a former White House physician who now serves as medical director for the Presidential Healthcare Center.
“Presumably your antibody level goes up right after you recover. So probably, like most conditions, you should have a period of time where you’re protected. … But that may wear off. Your antibody levels drop, just like when you get the flu shot in the fall.”
Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), said the progress of the Montgomery County cases is “a reminder that the vast majority of people will recover from this infection, and this disease can be properly managed.”
In an interview, Montgomery County’s deputy health officer, James C. Bridgers Jr., said the county’s first cases were believed to be relatively healthy people when they contracted the virus, which likely boosted their odds for recovery.
He offered the following advice:
— Don’t shake hands with other people
— Limit who you allow into your personal space
— If you are sick, stay home and contact your health provider
— Sneeze into the crook of your elbow
— Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth
— Get the latest information from county and state websites
— Utilize virtual means of communication such as Xoom, FaceTime and Skype
“We want to remind folks to stay fit and self-distance” from others, Bridgers said.