This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

A staff member of a local restaurant has tested positive for COVID-19, as Frederick County reported four new confirmed cases of the disease.

White Rabbit Gastropub in downtown Frederick disclosed on its Facebook page Wednesday that the employee tested positive and that the restaurant would be closed for two weeks.

The staff member is on the mend and self-isolating with his family at home for two weeks, according to an internal memo obtained by The News-Post.

News of the staff member’s case comes as Maryland reports more than 400 confirmed cases of the disease and an increase of 74 in 24 hours, the largest so far. It is unclear if the staff member is among the eight cases reported in Frederick County. Cases are typically categorized by where the person lives and not where they work.

The Frederick County Health Department reported four more cases, all of which were community spread, meaning the origin of the disease in each case is unknown. The four new cases bring the total in the county to eight.

White Rabbit contacted the health department, which advised that the restaurant could stay open, according to the Facebook post announcing its temporary closure.

The staff member had not been in the restaurant for a week, according to the post.

According to the internal memo, White Rabbit did not intend to close immediately after learning the staff member tested positive. Instead, the restaurant told employees to “remain super vigilant with our interactions at work and outside of work,” according to the memo.

White Rabbit also asked that employees sanitize door handles, their phones and other surfaces.

“First thing you do when you walk into work, get your temperature taken, sanitize your phone and wash your hands,” according to the memo.

The restaurant also encouraged staff to limit interaction with customers. In the memo, the restaurant listed the symptoms of COVID-19 and said if people experienced any of them, they should get tested and not come to work.

White Rabbit ownership did not return a request for comment.

All but two counties in Maryland — Dorchester and Allegany — reported confirmed cases of the disease Wednesday morning.

Cases jumped by 74, from 349 to 423, although the numbers do not include an eighth Frederick County case reported Wednesday morning.

The four new Frederick County cases are two men in their 50s, a woman in her 40s and a woman between 65 and 69 years old.

All four people are recovering at home.

While Frederick County has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, the first case, a woman in her 30s, has been cleared.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Fran Phillips, deputy secretary of public health services, said that 17 of the 423 cases across the state have recovered. The state has also had four deaths related to COVID-19.

Of the 424 cases, as of 10 a.m., 217 are in people between 20 and 50 years of age. The majority of those who test positive are in their 40s, Gov. Larry Hogan said at the press conference. The youngest case in Maryland is a 10-month-old.

“And while we’re thankfully not at the level of infection and death that we’re seeing in some other states, we’ve been taking swift, aggressive and unprecedented actions in an effort to stop hundreds of thousands of people from becoming infected and to save the lives of thousands of Marylanders,” Hogan said. “Yet, in spite of these aggressive actions, this crisis continues to escalate at a rapid pace.”

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at

(22) comments


Went to a pharmacy bought 2 diet coke, the person in front of me sneezed on the basket she was carrying, the employee wearing gloves picked all items and put them in the plastic bag ( Possible virus on her gloves ) she picked my 2 diet cokes wearing the same gloves , she will be ok but how about me and other costumers in the line. AND EVERYBODY WONDER HOW THE VIRUS IS SPREADING.


We need that person to stay well for Diet Coke emergencies.

Alice Jones

Get well soon.


As long as that employee was wearing those magical, all- sanitizing rubber gloves, we'll all be fine🤪


I think there are many people out there that are self-quarantining and after 14 days and not show any symptoms will think they have passed the hurdle and then proceed to go back to their normal lives. Little do they know, they still run the risk of contracting the virus.


Elections have consequences


GET A TEST! ANd then the next day you catch it. The TESTS are for what? The vast majority who get it are asymptomatic and will never know they had it thus NOT being included in the Got it and Survived it. So the mortality figures are more around what seasonal flu is.


A lot of people get the flu and do not get tested either, and so many of the actual flu infections are not included in the number of total reported flu cases/stats.




Eventually, we all will be tested.

Alice Jones

aw - well written. thank you.


Your fact is absolutely wrong about the vast majority.


When someone has coronavirus they spread the disease on average to three people, and after being spread 10 times, up to 59,000 people could be infected with the illness.


Frederick County has about 250,00 residents. We have 8 or 9 cases of the virus. That is .003% of the population. A lot more people have the flu in the county and many, many more will die from it than the coronavirus. -- let's keep this in perspective.


The goal is to least amount of people infected and die from the illness as possible.

How many out of 250 thousand county residents have been tested? And even if they don’t have it now, aren’t they susceptible to the virus 🦠? Especially spread by asymptomatic carriers (not aware they’re positive and never tested).


Here we go again. If this gets out of control you can forget about those flu numbers. It will past it by a milestone. Use your brain and be safe.


This isn’t the flu


I realize how thrilling it can be to learn how to calculate percentages, but there are people studying this stuff who have an education that goes beyond 5th grade math. (They know how exponential growth works, for example.) This all started with ONE PERSON. That's 0.00000001% of the world's population! Now, in just our country, we're well past the death toll of 9/11 and possibly headed toward 100,000...a truly horrific figure that could have been 100 times greater if we hadn't initiated a new depression that makes 1929 look tame. How's that for perspective?


What needs to be shared is that OF COURSE the numbers will go up for some time- -BECAUSE WAY MORE PEOPLE ARE BEING TESTED, AND THERE IS UP TO A 14-DAY INCUBATION PERIOD. YOU HAVE TO STOP SENSATIONALIZING THESE NUMBERS AND CAUSING PANIC. Help the primary care providers out- these individuals are risking everything to be on the front lines for your families. Let's show a little more decency and REALITY, please.


What numbers do you think are being sensationalized?


Evidently the factual ones, Kai.


Any that make Trump look bad.

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