Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he is submitting a $10 million supplemental budget to the legislature as he outlined preparations the state is making for the new coronavirus disease.
Hogan said two Marylanders who recently traveled to China have met the CDC criteria to be tested for coronavirus. A third Maryland resident also is being tested. There have been no confirmed cases in the state.
Some of the steps the governor said Maryland is taking to get ready for COVID-19 during a news conference at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency:
Top state health officials are in communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state officials have been working with hospitals to develop plans. State health officials also are keeping in touch with health officials in neighboring states. Hogan said he spoke Thursday to Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading President Donald Trump's administration response to the outbreak.
Maryland's health department has been working with health care providers to make sure the state has around-the-clock intelligence on anyone who may have symptoms and need testing, said Fran Phillips, the deputy health secretary. The department's information technology department has worked on software to monitor anyone as needed in their homes using remote technology to keep an eye one people who might be developing symptoms.
The department's response team has been working with health care providers to understand their inventories of essential supplies, such as materials to treat patients or gear to protect health care workers, Phillips said.
The state is working with federal partners to make sure that travelers who have returned to Maryland from affected areas, like China, are screened, and that the department keeps in touch with them for the duration of their quarantine. Two people already have been tested who did not have the virus, and Hogan said two more were being tested.
The health department also has been working with state education officials to provide guidance to local school superintendents and school officials, as well as colleges and universities in the state.
Hogan said state emergency officials are coordinating with local emergency managers across the state, and leaders from all state agencies will be brought together for a comprehensive tabletop exercise. The governor said he met with his Cabinet on Thursday and plans another meeting on Friday.