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Harford County closing senior centers starting Friday to prevent spread of coronavirus

Harford County’s senior centers have been ordered to close starting Friday until further notice as a precaution to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus among older adults.

While a majority of people recover from the virus, adults age 60 and older and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for serious illness, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

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“Public health officials tell us that seniors are more vulnerable to coronavirus, so we are taking this step to reduce their chances of infection and to keep them safe,” County Executive Barry Glassman said in a prepared statement. “We continue to encourage all of our residents to stay calm and stay informed through our state and local health departments and other reliable sources.”

County government said there has been no indication of coronavirus infection at any of its four senior centers, located in Edgewood, Havre de Grace, Bel Air and Fallston.

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After 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, the facilities are used as activity centers for people of all ages. They will continue to operate normally in that capacity at this time, said Cindy Mumby, a spokeswoman for the county.

Earlier this week, officials announced an 86-year-old Harford woman tested positive for the virus after traveling overseas. Health officials said they did not believe the woman, who was hospitalized, posed a risk to the community at-large.

There are 1,215 reported cases in the U.S., according to the CDC — 12 of which are in Maryland, including the state’s first case unrelated to travel, which Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday.

Seniors who have a critical concern caused by the closure of their center can contact the Office on Aging at 410-638-3025. If closures impact classes starting on March 30, more information will be posted on the Office on Aging’s website as decisions are made.

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