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First Baltimore City case of coronavirus confirmed

Baltimore area businesses and other venues show the effects of public reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young on Saturday night confirmed the city’s first case of the new coronavirus.

The patient is a man in his 60s, according to a statement from the mayor’s office. Few details were provided on the case, including where in the city the man lives; Young said the city health department is investigating.

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"We don’t have any additional information beyond what’s been released,” said Lester Davis, a spokesman for Young.

Young urged all residents to take precautions against the respiratory virus, “especially our older adult population who are at higher risk for contracting this virus.”

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The city has canceled permitted gatherings of more 250 or more people. Activities are canceled at senior centers. And schools and recreation centers are closed for the next two weeks.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said city officials have worked closely with other government agencies to respond.

"Our staff has been preparing for this possibility for the last two months, and will be working with all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies to address COVID-19,” she said in a statement. "Social distancing remains of the utmost of importance as we aim to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

State officials said Saturday they have confirmed 26 cases of coronavirus in Maryland, up from 19 on Friday.

On Friday night, Johns Hopkins Hospital officials confirmed a “provider” there has tested positive for COVID-19, but provided few details, including the person’s gender or role at the medical institution.

It was not clear late Saturday whether the city case was part of the state’s total count of 26, or whether it was a separate case from the one announced earlier by Hopkins.

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