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News Release, St. Mary’s County Health Department
LEONARDTOWN, MD (March 3, 2020) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) understands the concerns our community may have over the potential spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Despite COVID-19 being detected in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that risk to the general American public remains low at this time.
SMCHD is working closely with local, state, and federal agencies to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation. Local partners are collaborating in actions to prevent the spread of disease and prepare for the impact of COVID-19.
Community members, healthcare providers, and local business owners are encouraged to visit the SMCHD website for updates and information at: http://www.smchd.org/coronavirus/.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19; however, everyday actions can help prevent the spread of this and other respiratory illnesses, such as:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home when you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
At this time, the CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public. Those who are showing symptoms of illness (coughing, sneezing, fever, etc.) or those caring closely for people showing symptoms (healthcare providers, emergency medical services, etc.) should wear a facemask.
While the influenza vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it is still recommended that everyone over the age of six months be vaccinated for the flu. Less flu decreases the demand on medical resources and supplies that may also be needed for COVID-19. SMCHD has scheduled a flu vaccine clinic for children ages six months to 18 years on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Please call 301-475-4330 to schedule an appointment.
Residents should consider travel warnings from the CDC when making plans. Travel guidance may change as the worldwide situation evolves.