County Council holds press conference, addresses Coronavirus in Montgomery County

Courtesy Maryland Department of Health

By Anna Kulbashny

To address coronavirus concerns, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich held a county-wide news conference March 6. The conference followed Governor Larry Hogan’s declaration of a state emergency the previous day after three Montgomery County residents tested positive for Coronavirus. 

All three patients returned home to Maryland Feb. 20 from the same overseas trip. The patients are receiving medical attention and the Center for Disease Control is conducting a sweeping investigation of all cases, according to state and county officials. 

As of March 8, five Maryland residents have tested positive for Coronavirus, four of which are Montgomery County residents. 

Many students and teachers are fearful of the spread of the virus and potential school shutdowns.

“I really hope [MCPS] doesn’t close school because I’m doing my field trip next Friday, and if they cancel school then we can’t reschedule [it],” science teacher Janice Bauroth said. “I’m trying to be positive.”

The Maryland Department of Health advises that while there’s no vaccine available for the coronavirus yet, people can still protect themselves by washing their hands with soap and water, avoiding contact with their faces and staying home from school or work when sick.  

“When I get sick, my lung capacity drops, so if I get Coronavirus — which is already a respiratory illness — that could really affect me,” junior Josh Harkins said. “In general, I’m not really concerned because I have really good personal hygiene. It also doesn’t seem to be affecting teenagers.” 

In the meantime, the best thing people can do is to stay informed and follow the news, Elrich said during the press conference. Any new information regarding the outbreak in Maryland will be immediately shared with the public, officials said