Hogan gives update on coronavirus

Hogan gives update on coronavirus

Prior to a news conference Thursday evening, Gov. Larry Hogan is shown speaking on the phone to Vice President Mike Pence. President Donald Trump has appointed Pence as the point person in the administration for response to the coronavirus. (Governor's Office photo)

Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday evening that Maryland is taking additional steps to protect residents from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and prepare for a potential outbreak in the state.

Just before a news conference at the State Emergency Operations Center of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the governor met with his senior cabinet officials and spoke to Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the federal response to the virus.

“While there is currently no immediate public health emergency here in Maryland, based on the latest guidance from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] 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,” Hogan said. “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. I would encourage all Marylanders not to panic, but to take this seriously and to continue to stay informed.”

The governor said he will submit a supplemental budget that will ask for an additional $10 million for “emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses.”

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland, he said. But state officials said five patients have met the criteria for CDC testing as of Friday. The governor urged local schools, businesses, and communities to follow the CDC guidance in preparing for closures and disruptions to daily life.

Hogan urged encouraged Marylanders to visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information, and to call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns about the virus.

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