Message from the County Executive Concerning the Novel Coronavirus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2020
Dear Cecil County Citizens,
Over the last few weeks, we have been inundated with warnings and information regarding the novel coronavirus and the associated illness, also referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which was first identified in Wuhan, China. As the world prepares for and manages COVID-19, I want you to be assured that the wellness and health of Cecil County is a top priority.
While the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers COVID-19 a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general American public is considered low at this time.
Maryland’s State Activation Level (SAL) is currently at *Enhanced* meaning the event requires additional monitoring or resources. To date, the Maryland Department of Health-Laboratories have confirmed five cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, 4 in Montgomery County and 1 in Harford County. All of the patients contracted the virus while traveling overseas.
On the local level, we have formed a COVID-19 Task Force, consisting of representatives from the Cecil County Health Department (CCHD), Cecil County Department of Emergency Services, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, Cecil County Detention Center, Cecil County Public Schools, Cecil County Circuit Court, Union Hospital, West Cecil Health Center, Department of Social Services, Cecil County Public Libraries, Cecil College, and Cecil County Government, including the Administration, Community Services, Finance and Budget.
Largely, our local measures, at this time, will focus on educating the public about preventing COVID-19 and preparing to respond to a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the community.
CCHD remains vigilant and proactive in providing the most current information to our community and I will rely on their expertise to continue on that path.
Simply put, practicing good, personal hygiene is the best way to stop the spread of germs. CCHD encourages the public to:
W – Wash Hands with Soap & Water for at Least 20 Seconds
A – Avoid Contact with Sick People
S – Sanitize Frequently Touched Surfaces
H – Home: Stay There If You Are Sick!
U – Use a Tissue or Your Elbow to Cover Coughs & Sneezes
P – Put Your Hands Down & Away From Eyes, Nose & Mouth
If you have a fever, with or without respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), you are advised to stay home and avoid contact with others for the duration of the illness, and for 24 hours after symptoms abate.
For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the Cecil County Health Department website, www.cecilcountyhealth.org, the Maryland Department of Health, health.maryland.gov/coronavirus, or the CDC website, www.cdc.gov. If you have questions, you can call Maryland 211 and they will be able to direct your call to the appropriate point of contact. Also, seasonal influenza continues to be an ongoing concern in our area. Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. Please contact your primary care physician or local pharmacy regarding flu vaccinations and/or illness.
Having a safe, active, healthy community has always been one of my top priorities. I believe that preventative efforts to keep the public as safe as possible will allow for a healthy, coronavirus-free Cecil County. Together, we can do our part with greater results.
Dr. Alan J. McCarthy
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government