The state will close all child care centers, except those serving essential personnel, at the end of the day Friday, as Maryland continues to address COVID-19, a disease that has sickened at least 580 residents.

Although few children have contracted the disease in the state, they can get it. Closing child care centers marks the latest attempt by state officials to slow the spread of the virus.

The state established child care programs for essential personnel, according to a statement from Karen Salmon, state superintendent of schools. Those sites can be found at or by calling 877-261-0060. On Wednesday, Salmon announced all public schools would remain closed for four more weeks, but online instruction will begin Monday.

The Maryland Department of Health, along with Gov. Larry Hogan, announced Thursday that the state now has 580 confirmed cases — an increase of 157 — the largest single-day increase so far in the state.

The state numbers, however, incorrectly gave Frederick County an additional case, did not include a fifth Cecil County case and did not include three Carroll County cases, making the total cases in the state 583 as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Frederick County has five new confirmed cases of COVID-19, which brings the county’s total up to 13.

Downtown restaurant employee tests positive for COVID-19

The extra Frederick County case was due to the state list having someone from Carroll County on it, said Rissah Watkins, director of planning, assessment and communication for the Frederick County Health Department, in an email.

The 580 cases include four deaths as well as 23 people who have been released from isolation. The state did not break down the 23 people by county, but the number includes the first Frederick County case.

The state also reported that 132 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19, but it is unclear how many are still hospitalized. Of the 580 cases, 298 are men and 282 are women.

There are now six children in Maryland with COVID-19, none of which are in Frederick. The majority of cases, 461, are between the ages of 18 and 64.

The number of confirmed cases in Maryland has more than doubled in four days.

There are more than 1,200 confirmed cases between Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, Hogan said in a tweet.

“The battle is going to be much harder, take much longer, and be much worse than almost anyone comprehends,” Hogan tweeted. “We have never faced anything like this ever before, and I continue to urge the people of our state to stay in place at home and stay safe.”

The Frederick County Health Department did not provide any details regarding the five new cases. Now that there is community spread in the county, everyone is at the same risk of contracting COVID-19, Watkins said.

“At this time, it’s more important for all of us to be taking steps to keep ourselves and others as healthy as possible and slow the spread than to focus on numbers and who may be sick,” Watkins said in her email. “COVID-19 is in our community and affects people from all walks of life.”

The local health department will continue to update the numbers and age ranges, but it will no longer provide details about each case, Watkins said.

“We want to encourage our community to be kind to those who are affected by this and any other health issue,” Watkins said in her email. “Supporting others in their time of need is good for the person receiving support as well as the helper — as long as we’re giving that support in a safe way!”

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

(13) comments


With a population of 330 million residents, the United States is the world’s third most populated nation, meaning it provides a vast pool of people who can potentially get Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. We have now surpassed China and Italy in recognized cases. Now in a sprawling cacophony of every man for himself, where each state sets their own policies differing from their neighboring states with mixed messages, bidding against each other for medical needs, no order and guidance from the White House, leaving it up to local governments to best decide how to address the pandemic. The scale of the danger is rising off the hook, not to mention cost in lives and fortunes. 1,200 deaths in less then to weeks, doubling every three days.

No one will be going to church on ‘Easter’, No one will have backyard barbecues with neighbors on ‘Memorial Day’ and kids won’t be returning to school this semester.

Only failures: no coherent strategy, no unified response to a grave public health threat, no effort in a national containment plan. Only a series of missteps and lost opportunities, and a missing national response.

Among them: a failure to take the pandemic seriously even as it engulfed China, a deeply flawed effort to provide broad testing systems for the virus that left the country blind to the extent of the crisis, and now a dire shortage of masks and protective gear to protect doctors and nurses on the front lines, as well as ventilators to keep the critically ill alive. Less not forget no national leadership.

This will be around for not days, not weeks, not a couple of months, but many months - if we are lucky.


Aw, what would you have proposed, given that there is very little legal enforcement authority that the Federal government has in the states? The president can call out the National Guard to help with logistics, but the Guard cannot perform law enforcement activities due to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 ( Only an act of Congress could allow their use for law enforcement purposes. Without such authority, it is left to the States to enforce any law or decree. The CDC publically issued guidance at the very beginning of the initial outbreak in the US, and I have posted those points here numerous times. You were somehow (amazingly) unable to find the guidelines despite them coming up first in a Google search for “CDC COVID-19”. When I gave you the exact link, you failed to click on any of the links to find highly detailed reports, predictions, and guidelines, and mocked what you gave a cursory look to. Very disingenuous, doncha think? People simply did not (and many still do not) take them seriously. Evidence? The idiot lawyer in New Rochelle that, despite knowing he was in close contact with a sick person in a nursing home, went out and infected his congregation, his neighbors, his law office colleagues, etc. With the disease having a R0 between 3 and 5, it is not difficult to predict how that would work out. NYC is now the biggest hotspot in the country, and he was “patient zero” in that area. Then there are the “Spring Break Bros” who believed it is their right to party (props to the Beastie Boys), despite the dire health consequences to themselves, and anyone they came into contact with. Both of these examples are where the States had the enforcement authority, but failed to do so. Florida still has not issued any laws to prevent public gatherings. Even in states like Maryland, where it is against the law to congregate in groups, people flaunted the law and still do so. So, with that said, what else was the Executive Branch to do? I’d like to hear your suggestions.

BTW, is Trudeau in Canada, Macron in France, Abe in Japan, Johnson in the UK, Varadkar in Ireland, Morrison in Australia, and on, and on, and on, and their governments also incompetent? Don’t think so, yet they are all in the same boat as we are. Once this situation got out of control early on in China (and they continually tried to deceive the WHO until it was too late), and travel to/from China was not halted immediately, this situation was inevitable, and predicted. There was no stopping it no matter what our Federal government tried to do.

Comment deleted.

The borders both South and North were closed.

The Grape of Wrath

There are sites that track deaths by country but I have not found one tracking deaths by US state. Less than 25 or so deaths do not lend themselves to such tracking yet. Chinese deaths are leveling off, no doubt due to the draconian quarantining and isolation imposed by the authoritarian government. All but a few deaths are doubling every 2 to 7 days. US deaths are doubling every 3 days as are France's and Spain's. Neither shows any sign of rate decrease.. Italy's death rate is decreasing to a doubling period of 5 days from its former 2 days, no doubt due to the national lockdown. It is easy to get a wrong impression because the deaths are plotted on a logarithmic scale. A small jump can mean a factor of 10. Some Asian countries have had a doubling period of about 2 weeks from the git go. Those nations of course have populations that understand math and science and exponential progression whereas our population understands nothing of the sort. Those populations take pride in stepping up to challenges and defeating the virus whereas we have idiots who say it's just a bad cold and go to coronavirus parties. So far every coronavirus party has resulted in more infections feeding the formulas.


I’m surprised, being a fake principal, that you haven’t seen the John Hopkins University web site that the government has been briefing with daily. Just google “JHU Covid-19” and you can select their chart which has a country count on the left side and death count on the right. When you select a country like the USA it’ll show a by state/county breakdown



Alice Jones

go to church on Easter sunday. Your president is right, all is well. Head out and spend.




You are correct user1, and that JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health website (as well as their entire staff of epidemiologists) has been operating since the outbreak in Wuhan in December. The CDC has also been tracking this since that time, and developing a response. The information is there if folks simply do a Google search. Some folks think that you can snap your fingers and the PPE and respirators appear as if manna from heaven. Respirators are FDA registered class II medical devices. It takes time for companies to ramp up their production of such FDA licensed devices.


Many infected with coronavirus are for 6 or more weeks meaning the schools can’t possibly open this school year.


It would be nice if Frederick County could speed up providing the test results so the tracing can occur as to where the person was in the time leading up to the symptoms showing up before further community spread - we are going on 8th day with no answers. Yes patients self isolate but who notifies businesses, airlines etc. that may have been infected before symptoms appear?



It is baffling. South Korea flattened the curve by test, trace and treat. Now that testing has ramped up we are missing a vital component" trace. It is obvious that this is not spreading among seniors. Perhaps if we knew the locality and the daily whereabouts of the infected, and if they were restricting their activities we would have a significantly better chance of stopping the spread.


There are two variables in this equation jsk. The infected "positives", and the uninfected "negatives". While the positives have a responsibility to quarantine themselves and not infect others, the negatives also have a responsibility to themselves and others to not get infected. This was a lesson hammered home during the AIDS epidemic, but has somehow been dismissed and forgotten. If you don't allow yourself to be a viral target by following universal precautions and isolating yourself, you will not contract the virus and get sick. Too many people want somebody else to do something, so they don't have to change their lifestyle. It doesn't work that way. Everyone has a part to play, and if a percentage fail to do their part by not heeding the guidelines and not staying home if they can, this will continue.

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