A person in Frederick County has tested positive for the new coronavirus disease, the county announced Monday.

The woman is in her 30s and did not travel to an area with ongoing community spread, but had contact with individuals who had, county health officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer said in a briefing Monday morning.

The woman did not require hospitalization and is recovering at home. 

"Imagine it three times removed: If I’m the traveler and I infect someone else, that’s contact of a traveler," Brookmyer said after the press conference, explaining how the spread occurred in this case. "Well, what if someone over here is infected, they didn’t know they were in contact with someone who was sick. ... How often are they infecting other people and spreading it to other people? So it’s like the third [person] removed."

She added the person received the positive test from a private lab, and declined to reveal what part of the county the resident was from, citing privacy reasons. The health department is investigating the case, she said.

"Now, we knew this was going to happen for the last several weeks based on what we had seen in the rest of the country and more recently in Maryland," Brookmyer said in the briefing.

COVID-19 in Frederick

Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, Frederick County health officer, announces that a woman in her 30s in Frederick County has tested positive for COVID-19.

This makes 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland since March 5, when Hogan announced the state’s first case of the disease.

Although Frederick County has its first case, it does not necessarily mean the risk for the county’s overall population changes, Brookmyer said in an email. Risk could depend on the details of the case.

If the person contracted COVID-19 after travel, the risk to the community is low, Brookmyer said.

But if the person does not have a history of travel, it might indicate that the illness is spreading in the community. The risk in that case would be higher, she said.

If there is person-to-person spread in the community, there could be more widespread changes, Brookmyer said. This includes canceling events and meetings, letting employees telework and other social distancing methods seen in other communities. Gov. Larry Hogan already announced several measures to encourage social distancing, including prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people, closing casinos and changing how restaurants can operate.

Hogan closes all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms
Frederick County residents prepare with uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19

On March 12, Maryland announced its first case of COVID-19 — a Prince George's County man in his 60s — from community transmission. 

The response in Frederick County will likely stay the same as before the positive case, Brookmyer said.

“We will continue to recommend personal actions to reduce the potential to spread any infections and to reduce the potential for becoming infected, especially if one is particularly at-risk for complications,” she said in the email. “We will still be monitoring the situation and working with providers to screen their patients. If the situation warrants, we could be monitoring people in isolation, but will continue to provide updates to the community about our level of risk and recommended actions.”

The Frederick County Health Department will work with the Maryland Department of Health and follow state guidelines to monitor the person. That includes talking with the person in self-isolation a couple of times a day to monitor their health and make sure they have everything they need.

Brookmyer and County Executive Jan Gardner said that a press conference won't be held for each new case, but county officials will keep residents updated in the coming days and weeks.

For now, it's important for people to practice social distancing in order to lessen the impact on the health care system, Brookmyer said.

"It’s about flattening the curve. The fewer people we come into contact with, the less the risk we will become infected, the less the risk is that we would unknowingly infect someone else," Brookmyer said. She added it's difficult to tell the difference between the flu and coronavirus. 

She said Frederick County's first recorded case is a reminder that younger people are not immune, although those over 60 and with compromised immune systems tend to be at higher risk. It's important for all county residents to be vigilant and prevent the virus from spreading, Gardner said.

"It takes the public to keep the community safe," Gardner said. 

Staff writer Steve Bohnel contributed to this report. 

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

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

(110) comments

rpphoto

While the Health Dept. report and recommendations are great, there is one question remaining : They know the ID of the infected person, I really don't care to know. My concern is what, if anything, is the health community doing about tracing this person's contacts with others and advising those who have been in contact with how best to proceed, where to be tested, etc?? Seems that would go further towards limiting the spread of the virus than merely mentioning "one person tested positive"...

solicitations

People: this focus on the identity of one anonymous covid19 patient is a waste of energy. Community infection is here. How will you change your behaviour if you know she was at Costco or the public library or some pub? If you believe you could rest easy knowing that you haven't been to those places, you have not been paying attention.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup]

awteam2000

You are right. Testing for containment purposes and surveillance purposes should’ve been done sooner. But we where still in denial. Now “The horse is out of the barn”. But it would be useful to know who is contagious, who you may have had direct contact 😷. The CDC says avoid those that test positive, quarantine, but it’s hard to avoid people if you’re still working socializing and don’t know who tested positive.

awteam2000

I think Trump said he just waved the ‘HIPAA’ in his ongoing Coronavirus press conference.

Comment deleted.
Dwasserba

Asian Americans are already subject to enough bias. None of our family hs been to China since 2006, but our (naturalized citizen) daughter has been asked where she comes from etc. Frederick.

LeBlancp01

Does anyone now what action a Self-quarantined person should take by law or otherwise. Any requirements to notify neighbors and or any posting of Quarantine Signs of property? What responsibilities do Health Department have to notify people in harms way? I bet they are still on the Law books from earlier epidemics.

shiftless88

Just stay in the house and if you go outside for a walk or to work in your garden, stay away from others. It is not that tricky.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup]

sofanna

No more but 10 in gatherings! What don't people understand? This is very serious. At least be mindful of those you might infect not knowing if you've been infected and just don't know yet. Inconvenience now could save a LOT of lives. Thank you to everyone who is doing their part!!

threecents

Good quote from OP responding to AW: "You keep focusing on the negative aspects of this crisis..."

Alice Jones

Good? More like pathetically tone deaf - and selfish.

Obadiah Plainsmen

I can hear Ms Jones and in this time of crisis, if you run short of any supplies, post it here and if i'm able I will jump at the chance to help you.

Dwasserba

That's nice.

Alice Jones

Bless.

awteam2000

Good idea 👍

steelersfan2005

It 100% would be helpful if we knew what part of the county, and her events for the past 10 days. How can we protect ourselves if we don't know if we came in contact with her?

mlpogp

No HIPAA violation by naming the area of the county she lives...by stating the patient is from Mt. Airy, Thurmont, Libertytown, Brunswick or wherever is a violation of Nothing. Stupid. It is when you identify the person by name it becomes a violation.

User1

No violation if the person is not identified. Correct. So why hide the location in county to warn others?

Kelpfarming

The left is trying everything. But Trump is not only gonna win..He wins California too.

olefool

He's already lost. The sad thing is that you don't get it... Start with this: Jared Kushner is in charge.....

threecents

Olefool, I think you have it wrong; this time around they're not blaming Jews.

DickD

That doesn't mean Kushner should be in charge of anything, three.

steelersfan2005

this and the economy puts the nail in his re-election coffin.

DickD

God has spoken Kelp. The "chosen one" will not win. ."You will have no false Gods before me".

jsklinelga

DickD

Not sure of the voices you hear. Do they sound remotely like Morgan Freeman.

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butterflygirl

Racist thing to say.

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disneynut

It’s called privacy.

ecco123

Why is she declining to provide any additional information????

Who or what is she protecting?

public-redux

Someone’s privacy?

disneynut

Her privacy.

butterflygirl

A persons privacy in which she is entitled.

LeBlancp01

Does she have the right to infect others when she and the county knows she can?

jayel86

So that shes treated like a leper when it's not even serious.

Russian

It was unrealistic to believe those stock market gains were sustainable. Companies who buy their own stocks to elevate their values is kinda like fraud

tvaughn512

I concur with the others, yes there are the HIPAA regulations to abide by, but to know where about in the county could be beneficial to ease one's mind. I go along with the thoughts that if everyone would be cautious enough, and keep their common sense, this thing can get out of here. In our town we've had hoards of people wiping out the store shelves that don't live within our zip-code, which is taking everything away from the locals here.

public-redux

Wash your hands. Ease your mind.

Comment deleted.
duffy5x

Or you just contracted it from community spread, but sure...be a bigot

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duffy5x

Yes...”ridicules” indeed

awteam2000

The White House can’t say how many people have been tested? But test and facilities to be tested are coming.🦠 The market is now down over 12.30% from the day high. Now down 12.9%. The market closed 2,999.10 points down from this morning. Nobody is buying what he spewing.

public-redux

I sure wish I had some cash so I could buy stocks.

Comment deleted.
Greg F

Maybe it would expose someone not Asian...you, of course, being of the racist right wing, must assume it has to be otherwise and must be an Asian. I'm pretty sure I have a good idea from where that case came...and I'll leave it at that.

awteam2000

Coronavirus update White House briefing going on now: Trump is now saying “we should take seriously the pandemic ” just the opposite, of what he said 1 week ago, on Fox News. When he said “It’s all under control”. In the background there’s a screen of the ‘Dow Jones’ tumbling down. Now over a 11% drop from this morning.

Obadiah Plainsmen

I got out of it when it hit 25,000 back in Jan 2018 because i thought it was overvalued. When it drops below 15,000 I'm getting back in. You have to time it when the "curve" starts flattening out. Once this crisis is over and it will be the market will take off.

awteam2000

If you pulled out already, my over night stay at a ‘holiday inn wisdom’ would suggest not rushing back in unless you’re risk tolerant. Just sayin’🤷‍♂️. Medical and pharmaceuticals do still have potential advantages. More risky but bigger payoffs ‘drones’ have large growth potential, short turns ‘coffins’, cremations are gaining popularity.

Obadiah Plainsmen

You keep focusing on the negative aspects of this crisis which I might add you have excelled at and I’ll take of the positive side. Tomorrow going to be another beautiful day in the neighborhood.

awteam2000

Tomorrow maybe your positive day. I’m going for the long game, decades of positive days, not taking a day off , absorbing today, and fighting for the next. I won’t be put out to harvest without a fight.

Obadiah Plainsmen

That’s the spirit think long term every day is positive but you don’t reflect it in your comments. “You become the monster you fear the most so the monster won’t overtake you”. Fear is a liar.

shiftless88

OP is a typical republican. "I'm okay so I don't care if you are screwed"

Obadiah Plainsmen

Now that wasn't a very nice thing to say shiftless. I'm in the same country, breath the same air as you do. Except I believe we have the best minds in the world working and battling this virus. The virus is causing disruption in our every day lives, and it will for some months to come, and you and I should be able to handle that. My priority is to Trust God, stay calm, listen to follow the instructions that the experts tells us. Hope you remain calm and safe. And in this time of crisis if you run out of any supplies, give me a shout. If I'm able to assist you I won't hesitate to help.

awteam2000

The fundamentals of the stock market are strong. If it drops to 15,000 there will be dead people in the streets. What you saw was a reaction to the lack of a coherent plan and distrust in the administration’s ability to address the health crisis.

Like Gabe, no one can rely on DJT’s for direction on managing the health crisis on the national level. His incompetence is and has made the crisis worse.

gabrielshorn2013

Just a question aw. Is Justin Trudeau and Health Canada incompetent since Trudeau's wife (and in all probability as is he) positive for Coronavirus? My colleagues in Germany are saying the "stuff" has hit the fan there. Is Angela Merkel and the Federal Ministry of Health (including the Paul Erlich Institute) incompetent. Is Macron and the ANSM in France incompetent? Is the Italian Ministry of health and AIFA similarly incompetent? Please explain why or why not.

shiftless88

gabe; at least in other countries they have a realistic view of where the virus is. Here, without testing, we are operating blindly.

gabrielshorn2013

Understood shiftless. However, how far did all that testing get them? The same place they would be without it, and that was my point in asking "what does a positive test mean to the patient", and "what does a negative test mean to a patient" (got no answers btw). All the patients knew was their status at the time of the test, , nothing more. Did it change anyone's behaviors there at that time? No. It sure is changing their behaviors now that the "stuff" has hit the fan, especially with law enforcement's ability to issue hefty fines for violations, and it's a damned shame. It only takes a few people who think "well, those rules don't apply to me, because I'm too important" (like that putz lawyer in New Rochelle NY), or "it's only this once, how will that hurt anything" for the established safety wall to come crashing down. Unless law enforcement here has such power, and people respect it , good luck. That's why I cannot determine who is positive, or who is negative, without a tattoo across their forehead. Therefore, I look at everyone out in public as being potentially infectious, and act accordingly. It's what we should all be doing during flu season anyway.

awteam2000

Trump has made a 180 degree turn in 6 days, following the steps of national leaders and Gov. Cuomo, Inslee, Newson, Hogan and other governors directions, plus direction of congress and his subordinates. I give him credit. If you can’t lead get out of the way. That is a good move. Thank god.

DickD

Wait until it hits 10,000 and you willl get a better deal. lol

Comment deleted.
threecents

Or EURope?[pirate]

Comment deleted.
awteam2000

JayeI86, If their’s ‘one’, couldn’t there be many? If not, why is the state shutting down everything? Why is everyone loading up on goods. Why is Trump now saying we need to isolate? “ Everyone should quarantine“. What should I do to sustain my income, if living “week to week”?

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

jayel - not a helpful post.

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
hayduke2

sniffles are associated with the common cold, not coronavirus

Comment deleted.
jayel86

HIPPA laws, and considering she wasn't hospitalized there really is nothing to worry about.

Comment deleted.
vodalone

You are beyond saving I fear.

frederickmom

It is absolutely inexcusable that the community was not notified before now. If this woman is already in recovery, many people in the county knew about this long before now. How can the public be sure that all of this woman's contacts were notified? What public places did she visit? Who might have been in contact with her? I am sure that there are many other cases in the county that are not identified.

newspostreader

frederickmom - I think you're over thinking the "recovering at home". When you're sick, you stay at home to recover. That doesn't mean that she was sick for days and is now on the upswing. It just means that she is recovering. I'm sure they annouced it as soon as they could. If you're concerned about where she visited and who she contacted, it is best to keep your family self quarantined so you don't have to stress over those things. There will be more cases. It's a matter of time.

gabrielshorn2013

npr, agreed. The best way to go about this is to turn the situation around, and use what we call "universal precautions" whenever handling a sample of human origin. That is to say, treat every sample in the lab as if it is potentially infectious. Therefore, treat anyone you encounter the same way. Do not touch any surface that anyone who is infectious may have touched. If you do touch such a surface, wash your hands ASAP, and do not touch your face before doing so. Keep a distance from others if you possibly can.

awteam2000

The facts were out there months ago. They should have had been testing sooner to contain the spread Only four states are not aware of positive test. Now we’re in to mitigation -social distancing, closing businesses, no gatherings larger then 10 - staying at home, wash your hands, sanitizing touch areas, limited direct interactions, telecommute. Mitigation will be followed by medical demands, healthcare - hospitals, beds, respirators, protective gear and medical staffing. Let’s not talk about the economic fall out.

Trump “It’s all under control”, a media and democrat hoax. Now says it’s “it’s out of control” and the media has been very fair.

gabrielshorn2013

Yes aw, the facts were out there back in January when China finally got WHO involved. At that time the R0 was reported, and those that understood what that meant took appropriate action. Did you, or are you one of those people hoarding toilet paper and bleach? My family will be fine. Do you really look to Donald Trump for advice on anything, especially public health issues? If so, that's sure surprising, given some of your rants here. Who is the bigger fool, the fool, or the fool that follows him? I sure don't rely on DJT for anything., especially public health information.

awteam2000

Gabe, How are you protecting yourself or preventing ‘You’ from infecting others, any differently then anyone else, other then washing your hands, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces and social distancing? Please share... you aren’t hoarding test are you?

gabrielshorn2013

Aw, Yes, I follow all of the recommendations for outbreaks/epidemics that have been drilled into my head since my first undergrad microbiology class many years ago, and what I have taught my students for years. These same recommendations were found on the CDC website, but for whatever reason, you were unable to find or comprehend (which is pretty amazing given all the kvetching you have done in this online forum). I avoid crowds, I sanitize my hands before touching an environmental surface (such as shopping cart handles), and I sanitize the surface with an alcohol wipe before I touch it, and I sanitize with an alcohol swab after I am finished with it. I do not go out unless absolutely necessary, and condense the number of trips into as few as possible. I keep in touch with family and friends via Skype, and have relayed everything said in this response to them. I always keep at least six months of food (canned goods, dry goods, frozen food)in the house as normal practice, but I also bought a 50 lb. bag of rice, and two 25 lb. bags of red beans in late January (for use if there is an emergency, but we have red beans and rice weekly anyway). Since 1 gallon of household bleach will make 100 gallons of sanitizer, and only a quart is needed in a spray bottle weekly in the home, you can do the math to see how long that will last. Clorox or equivalent is a household staple, so hoarding is silly. We don’t need to go to the grocery store for at least six months if hunkering down is required. I also telework now, since my domestic and international travel schedule has been put on hold for the 1st and 2nd quarter. Lots of Skype meetings with international and domestic customers, clients, and regulatory agencies. With your wisecrack about hoarding kits, at this point it is clear that you are not having a discussion to seek understanding, but are looking to fight. I have no idea what credentials you may have, if any, in any public health related field. You certainly have not shown any in this forum. Cobbler, stick to your last.

threecents

FMH expects to have drive-thru testing in a few days.

vodalone

Expects...many places are expecting a lot but won't get much.

CurlyBrian

About 2 weeks too late to isolate the few cases then.... that feral cat has already escaped from the bag and its kittens are already pregnant.

Deana519

i hope the person gets well soon but without name how do you know if you've been in contact with that person????

newspostreader

Deana519 - The person who has it can provide names and contact information for those she was around. The Health Department or other organizations will then reach out to them as a precaution. It's a fairly standard practice for this type of situation.

Deana519

Providing the names of her contacts is one thing but if she’s been in the public shopping etc, you would have no way of knowing if you were in contact with this person. She may have accidentally spread it not knowing she had it.

BlueFredneck

I've heard things like "the patient was in Target on March 14" before. In South Korea that means you get tested. In the US, you're told to come to work unless you're showing symptoms, because we don't have enough tests even now to test asymptomatic people unless maybe they were rolling around in the dirt in Milan.

gabrielshorn2013

Diana519, Divulging the person's name and health status is a violation of the HIPAA regulations, and therefore cannot be done.

Deana519

Well the media have been broadcasting names of people all weekend that’s been infected?🤷🏾‍♀️

gabrielshorn2013

Not private citizens they haven't. Celebs, politicians, yes, because they are public citizens who most likely released the information themselves. Not private citizens.

Dwasserba

Please don't stress over what you can't control. Be mindful that it taxes your immune system whatever your age. If they must reveal a place and time to find contacts, they may. If they don't, there is nothing anyone can do.

awteam2000

The Secretary of HHS may waive certain provisions of the Privacy Rule under the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 (PL 108-276) and section 1135(b)(7) of the Social Security Act.

gabrielshorn2013

Have they done that? No.

Kazoo

I don’t care about her name, I just want to know where’s she’s been

Deana519

Exactly. I suppose the name isn’t as important as knowing where she’s been

ShellHaines73

EXACTLY!! I rarely go away, as I work from home. Yet, Saturday I come down with a sore throat and went down hill from there. Yesterday and today, full blown flu-like symptoms. I was recently at a few stores to restock my pantry and freezer. I did call the doctor today but they don't want you coming in. Said it was probably the flu and prescribed meds. They basically asked if I've been out of county or around anyone who has been. Considering we are close to DC and all the travelers in and out of country, how would you really know? If they announced where she's been, it could possibly give the uncertainty for someone like myself, a little insight one way or another. I wouldn't be so concerned if I didn't have a cancer patient in my home.

butterflygirl

Hope you feel better soon and the cancer patient in your home stays well.

threecents

Shell, Yes, try to get rest, have a lot of fluids, and monitor your temp. If you have trouble breathing, then probably time to call doctor again. Best wishes.

Alice Jones

You are a real human being, kazoo.

butterflygirl

If your name was given by the person , you would have heard from someone. You can’t get it just walking by someone.

Serendipity1

If they are not testing those who (1) didn't travel or (2) did not have contact with someone with a known diagnosis how will they know if there is community spread? Is a drive through testing center coming to Frederick County?

Jthomas515

Exactly. I know several people who are sick, called health department in Frederick, and we’re excluded in testing because of not traveling, etc. I think a lot more people have it, but can’t confirm it. Numbers will increase, because testing will increase.

jayel86

Plus by not testing every one that requests it,they will never be able to determine the real rate of transmission.

Dwasserba

Agree. Stay home. Get better.

Dwasserba

Get well soon.

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