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Harford coronavirus cases hit 111, with most patients between ages of 20 and 60, Glassman says

Harford County has 111 confirmed coronavirus cases — increasing from 41 cases a week ago — as area hospitals prepare for a possible surge, County Executive Barry Glassman announced Friday.

Though the county has reported zero deaths, medical professionals are preparing for a peak in cases, expected to arrive between April 18 and the beginning of May, according to a presentation by Harford County Health Officer Russell Moy to the county council earlier this week.

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According to Glassman’s statement, 68% of Harford’s coronavirus patients are between 20 and 60, which defied health officials initial predictions of the virus mostly affecting people 60 or older.

“The vast majority of Harford’s cases are isolating at home, although some are hospitalized. Our fellow citizens remain in our prayers,” Glassman said in the statement.

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White House and federal officials have designated the I-95 corridor, including Harford County, as an emerging hotspot, according to Glassman’s statement, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained. This change comes with the realization that the mist of particles emitted during speech are enough to transmit the virus.

It was also recently discovered that some people do not show symptoms, or only show mild ones, while infectious. Glassman cautioned county residents to treat everyone like they could have the virus.

“Up to 25% of cases show mild or no symptoms. This means that everyone could be infectious, including yourself,” according to the statement.

Glassman said that the virus will have acute effects on the local economy — foreshadowing the public release of his proposed budget Monday. He said the county is working with state and health officials to “plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

“We are working closely with Gov. Hogan’s office and local surge planning is ongoing with our health department and other partners, including first responders, hospitals, nursing homes, and those who serve vulnerable populations," Glassman said in the release.

Statewide, the virus has sickened over 6,900 Marylanders, corresponding to over 1,400 hospitalizations and 171 deaths as of Friday. Over 37,000 negative tests have been conducted, and 397 have been released from isolation, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health. The virus is most concentrated in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

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