Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad | WYPR

Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad

Credit CDC via AP, File

WYPR Coronavirus Coverage

Resources for Maryland families during COVID-19 crisis.

The Daily Dose - A podcast from WYPR that is a summary of essential state and local updates.

The presence of COVID-19 was confirmed in Maryland in early March. Scroll down for resources that track the number of cases by country and state.

The difference between coronavirus and COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. The novel (new) coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. 

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Other symptoms and emergency warning signs as reported by the CDC

Precautions

Advice given by national health advocates includes:

  • washing your hands frequently
  • staying home if you’re sick
  • avoiding touching your face
  • social distancing (staying away from mass gatherings and keeping a 6 feet distance from others) 

Officials say to call your primary care provider if you feel COVID-19 symptoms, especially in people who have travelled abroad or in contact with someone who has travelled to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, or other areas where there’s been an outbreak.

Demographics most at risk for developing COVID-19

  • Older adults
  • People of all ages with underlying health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease

Tracking the spread

Credit:  Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

To view cases in North America, pull the map to the right. To view an active list of Maryland cases, zoom in (+ sign) and click the red dot. This map is updated once an hour. 

The number of cases is also updated at the Maryland Department of Health's website

Learn more

Local officials advise residents seeking information to call 2-1-1 and visit coronavirus.gov or health.maryland.gov/coronavirus. Maryland FAQs here

With Mississippi on track to become the number-one state for new coronavirus infections per capita, Gov. Tate Reeves is implementing a temporary mask mandate and delaying the reopening of schools in certain counties.

Reeves announced the new measures at a press conference on Tuesday.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The State Board of Elections plans to begin mailing all voters applications for absentee ballots on Aug. 24, State Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan.

 

Although the state is encouraging all voters to submit their ballots by mail, Hogan has said state law requires every polling place to be open on Election Day this November. But legal experts say the state of emergency Hogan declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could give the governor broad power to change how and when people vote.

Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing. As the nation's death count continues to rise above 150,000, the states said they will jointly purchase 3 million rapid antigen tests that can quickly detect the virus.

The Daily Dose 8-4-20

8 hours ago
Baltimore County Councilman Julian Jones

Baltimore suffers some flooding, but Maryland emerges relatively unscathed by Tropical Storm Isaias. And the Baltimore County Council votes to table a police reform bill, for the moment.

Rafael Nadal will skip this year's U.S. Open, the defending champion announced in a series of tweets on Tuesday, citing concerns over the coronavirus and his desire not to travel amid the pandemic.

Rezan al-Ibrahim understands separation. A Web developer who fled the war in Syria and now has asylum in the Netherlands, he's in a long-distance marriage with his wife, Aysha Shedbalkar, an Indian American math teacher, because of the Trump administration's ban on Syrians.

"She had taken this year off work to stay with me in Amsterdam," he says. "Then the pandemic hit."

Get set for 2020's mega-campaign against the flu amid the COVID-19 pandemic: immunization drives in the parking lots of churches and supermarkets, curbside inoculations outside doctors' offices, socially distanced vaccine appointments held indoors, with breaks in between for disinfecting.

These are just some of the ways heath providers say they will give tens of millions of flu shots this fall — arguably the most important U.S. effort to prevent influenza's spread among Americans in a century.

In some nursing homes, 100% of the residents are positive for the coronavirus. That's by design. These facilities have volunteered to devote part or all of their buildings exclusively to treating COVID-19 patients, who bring in more government money. But to make room for them, the original residents can be forced out of the places they've called home.

When Marquita Burnett heard Philadelphia was moving to the "green" phase of reopening, she was confused. First of all, she was pretty sure the city had already earned the green label from Pennsylvania's governor (it had). The next thing she knew, the city was scaling back on plans it had made to allow some businesses to reopen (namely, indoor dining and gyms). But it was still calling that phase "restricted green."

With the national death toll from COVID-19 passing the grim 150,000 mark, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds broad support for a single, national strategy to address the pandemic and more aggressive measures to contain it.

Two-thirds of respondents said they believe the U.S. is handling the pandemic worse than other countries, and most want the federal government to take extensive action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, favoring a top-down approach to reopening schools and businesses.

For most public officials, battling the coronavirus and keeping their constituents safe is an incredible professional challenge.

For Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, it's also personal: His mother died of COVID-19 complications last month at age 61.

His mother, Gaby O'Donnell, was a medical assistant for more than 25 years in Southern California. She immigrated from her native Peru with 5-year-old Garcia and other family members in 1982.

Kathleen de Leon is frustrated with the U.S. handling of the coronavirus.

"Well just look at the news," she says. "It's a disaster."

De Leon is German, and she and her husband, an American, and have been living in the United States for more than a decade. She says their daughter Zoe is happy here, and the family wasn't planning a move to Germany. But now they're talking about it.

Mississippi is heading for a title that no state would want: It is on track to overtake Florida to become the No. 1 state for new coronavirus infections per capita, according to researchers at Harvard.

The state already faces high levels of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity.

At least 36 crew members from a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Hurtigruten, the company that owns the ship. Several passengers have also tested positive in what the cruise line describes as an "outbreak" onboard the MS Roald Amundsen.

Four patients were admitted to a hospital in the northern Norwegian city of Tromso where the ship is now docked.

The Daily Dose 8-3-20

Aug 3, 2020
Baltimore City Health Department

Baltimore’s Health Commissioner shares concerns about the city’s elevated COVID-19 infection rates. Hopkins researchers launch a nationwide clinical trial to test the effectiveness of coronavirus blood plasma treatments. And the pandemic slows down new public transportation plans in Towson.

Adria Gonzalez still remembers the blood, the screaming, the bodies.

On August 3, 2019, she was shopping with her mother at a Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, Texas, when a gunman opened fire with an AK-47, killing 23 people and leaving more than two dozen others wounded.

Miss international travel? Why not recreate the experience in the comfort of your own home with some airplane food?

A leading airline food company in Israel is offering its in-flight meals to the general public as a low-cost delivery option during the pandemic.

Tamam Kitchen, which services Israel's El Al airlines, Turkish Airlines and other international carriers flying out of Tel Aviv, piloted the idea in late July as a way to stay in business.

In January, two weeks after Rick Solomon joined the YMCA near his home, he fell ill. The 65-year-old Bay Area resident hoped to spend the month working out, instead he lay in bed wheezing, with crippling muscle aches. He missed several days of work at a small publishing house.

"I was sick for most of the month of February with a horrible cough like I've never had before," said Solomon as he ran his fingers through his thick salt and pepper hair. "It went into my chest. I used inhalers for the first time in my life."

Despite progress made on a vaccine against COVID-19, "there's no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be," the World Health Organization's director-general warned on Monday.

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

Baltimore City Health Department

Today, on Midday with Tish the Commish, an update from Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa on the troubling rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Baltimore, throughout Maryland, and the country.  

Yesterday, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the federal response to COVID-19, painted a somewhat dire picture of the state of virus containment.  She told CNN that what we are seeing today is different from March and April.  She said that the virus is extraordinarily widespread, and that it is affecting both rural and metropolitan areas throughout the country.

The number of cases of COVID 19 in Maryland has climbed steadily in the past several weeks.  Since the middle of July, the State Health Department has reported more than 500 new cases every day.  Over the past week, there have been an average of 933 cases per day -- 175 in Baltimore City alone --  an increase of 31 percent from the average two weeks earlier.    Friday was one of four days last week in which Maryland saw more than 1,000 new cases.  At least 9 new coronavirus deaths and 910 new cases were reported in Maryland on Aug. 2.  As of Monday morning, there have been at least 90,835 cases and 3,515 deaths in our state since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a New York Times database.

Creative Commons/Cristina_Frost

During the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are staying home in order to stay safe. But what if home is the opposite of safe … because you’re trapped inside with your abuser? Fushena Cruickshank from the The Maryland Health Care Coalition Against Domestic Violence, tells us how they’re training healthcare providers to help patients in these dangerous circumstances. And Lauren Shaivitz, director of the non-profit Chana, talks about the unique challenges their clients are facing during lockdown.

Check The National Domestic Abuse Hotline for resources or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A collapse in demand for suits and other office attire is leading another storied retailer across the brink, with the parent company of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank filing for bankruptcy.

Parent company Tailored Brands had been struggling with debt and flagging demand before the coronavirus pandemic. But the temporary store closures and collapse in apparel sales during the health crisis took their toll.

Alexea Gaffney battles health issues every day on multiple fronts. As an infectious disease doctor in Stony Brook, N.Y., she treats patients who have COVID-19. And two years ago, at age 37, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

As a result, the physician and single mom, who is also home-schooling her 8-year-old daughter these days, is still under medical treatment for the cancer. And that makes her more vulnerable to the virus.

It's no exaggeration to say this year feels like a horror movie. And now, a few filmmakers are making it official.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Sunday that the U.S. is in a "new phase" of the pandemic, urging people to follow public health guidance as cases continue to climb in many parts of the United States.

"What we're seeing today is different from March and April," Birx said on CNN's State of the Union. "It is extraordinarily widespread — it's into the rural as equal urban areas."

Canadians are typically seen as pretty friendly people, and until the coronavirus pandemic, most were happy to welcome Americans.

But when the coronavirus began to quickly spread in March, the U.S. and Canada shut their shared border to all nonessential traffic.

Since then, Canada's border patrol has effectively prevented caravans of Americans — and their RVs and their campers — from surging across the border as they normally do each summer.

But Americans can be crafty.

It's strawberry season in northwest Washington's Skagit Valley.

For Ana, a farmworker, that means long days bent nearly doubled over to snap ripe strawberries from low bushes.

"You have to lean over a lot to pick strawberries, so of course everything hurts — your legs, your back — everything," she said in an interview in Spanish.

Ana moved to the U.S. from Mexico nearly 20 years ago. She asked that we not use her last name because she's undocumented.

Amy Holditch isn't the kind of woman to let fear dictate her life.

"No, she's not," says her mom, 73-year-old Sandra Gillis. "She pretty much gets her mind on something, then it's probably going to happen."

So when the coronavirus cancelled her family trip to Hawaii, she didn't postpone the trip with her mom and 12-year-old son for another year.

"I just kind of jumped off the cliff and did it."

Rep. Raúl Grijalva tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, becoming at least the 12th member of Congress to contract the virus.

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