ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Health officials confirmed the first three positive cases of coronavirus in Maryland on Thursday night. According to officials, those patients are Montgomery County residents -- a married couple in their 70's and another woman in her 50's.
Gov. Larry Hogan also declared a State of Emergency at a press conference on Thursday.
Hogan said the trio contracted coronavirus while traveling abroad. Now, health officials are working to trace where the patients went after they arrived home from international travel. Due to patient confidentiality, however, health officials did not release where the patients may have contracted the virus. Officials said that the patients returned from international travel on February 20 and that the state learned of it on March 3.
On March 4, the state contacted them, and test results came back Thursday.
The state said it was notified through the CDC about the patients and that this was not community transmission. The patients are in good health and are currently under quarantine at their homes.
"This is serious, but this is what our state has been actively preparing for," Hogan said during a press conference.
The Maryland Department of Health said that there's a thorough investigation underway.
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Gov. Hogan assured residents that this is "not a reason to panic" and said that Marylanders should go to work and school as they normally do.
Hogan issued the following statement:
"The state's Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore has confirmed the first three positive cases of novel coronavirus in Maryland. The patients, who contracted the virus while traveling overseas, are in good condition. We have been actively preparing for this situation over the last several weeks across all levels of government. I encourage all Marylanders not to panic, but to take this seriously and to stay informed as we continue to provide updates."
In the Baltimore area, there have still been no officials cases of coronavirus, although several tests are pending results.
Three sisters at Bnos Yisroel School in Baltimore were sent home early Wednesday after officials were made aware of possible indirect contact between those students and someone who tested positive for coronavirus in New York. According to The Wall Street Journal, the girls had traveled to a bat mitzvah.
The school said it has been in touch with the Baltimore City Health Department, the CDC and the Department of Health.
Hogan submitted emergency legislation to allow the state to use the "rainy day fund" for response efforts.
That legislation allows the governor to transfer up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account to fund costs associated with COVID-19.
Maryland will also now be able to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and carry out its own tests. The Maryland Department of Health said that will speed things up.
As more possible cases pop up, state officials, agencies and universities are taking more precautions.
Towson University just expanded its study abroad suspension to its summer programs.
A number of other universities, including the University of Maryland, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Loyola University, Morgan State University and the Maryland Institute College of Art have canceled spring study abroad programs.
Maryland residents can dial 211 for coronavirus resources.
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