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Harford County has 40 cases of coronavirus, but no deaths, as of Thursday

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said the county had 40 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday afternoon, though none have died and several patients have been released from hospitals to self-isolate.

Like elsewhere in the country, the virus cuts across all demographics, affecting multiple age groups from 20-years-old on up.

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Glassman said the virus is still most deadly to older citizens and those with preexisting conditions and that officials were trying to “look out particularly for folks who are over 60 years old.”

“The data still puts them at most risk,” he said.

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County officials, hospitals and health officials are also in regular contact and planning for contingencies, including a sudden hotspot of cases that might put a strain on personal protective equipment and medical resources.

“There is a lot of emergency planning and prep work going on every day in case we get a surge to make sure our folks here in the county have adequate medical supplies,” Glassman said of the protective equipment.

With the opening of a drive-through testing site at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, Glassman said he expects more cases to be confirmed as access to testing broadens. Only people with orders from their doctors can be tested at UCH currently.

Glassman also said hospitals have been keeping track of their available bed-space and ventilators, believing they have enough currently and preparing for the event of a surge in cases.

Accountants, too, have been documenting expenditures in case federal disaster relief funds are paid to the county. That could be a slow process — and may not happen — but Glassman said the county is documenting their expenses just in case.

“If the federal government does reimburse us, we want to be able to capture as many of those federal dollars as we can,” he said. “That federal money takes a while to flow down to the state and even longer to flow to counties.”

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland jumped 17% Thursday to more than 2,000, and scores of out-of-work residents have filed for unemployment benefits as businesses continued to shut their doors in response, state officials said.

Five more people have died in Maryland, bringing the state’s death toll to 36 from COVID-19, the global pandemic that has infected more than 800,000 people and killed nearly 40,000 internationally. The state announced 13 coronavirus deaths Wednesday — the most in one day from the coronavirus, officials said.

With 346 new positive coronavirus cases in Maryland, the total is now at least 2,331, according to the state. Another 18,890 COVID-19 tests have come back negative, officials said. Eighty-one people have been released from isolation.

Of the positive cases, 1,194 are women and 1,137 are men.

Nearly 85,000 Maryland residents filed for unemployment last week, providing a glimpse of the escalating economic fallout in the state from the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses continued to shut their doors.

According to the state Department of Labor, 84,230 Marylanders filed for unemployment either over the phone, online or by mail during the week ending March 28. Of those, 4,143 came from Harford County.

That’s almost double the 42,334 state residents who filed for unemployment the week before. They were far from alone: a record 6.6 million Americans across the country filed for unemployment last week.

Baltimore Sun reporters Phil Davis, Pamela Wood, Scott Dance and Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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