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Three new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Howard County

Howard County confirmed three new cases of coronavirus mid-day Monday, bringing the countywide total to four.

The cases are a man in his 40s who is on dialysis in the hospital, a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions who is self-isolating at home and a woman in her 70s who also is self-isolating at home, according to the county.

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The three new Howard cases would bring the statewide total to 40 as of Monday.

The first case of coronavirus in Howard was reported Sunday, an 82-year-old woman with underlying health conditions who is a resident at Lorien Health Services’ Elkridge facility. She is being treated at a hospital, though Howard County could not confirm which one.

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During transport of that first patient, six Howard County emergency responders were exposed, according to acting Fire Chief Bill Anuszewski.

“All providers have been contacted, are self-quarantining and are in relatively good spirits consider the circumstances,” Anuszewski said.

On Sunday, when County Executive Calvin Ball announced the first case, he also signed a state of emergency mandating social distancing measures including closing The Mall in Columbia, the shops at Savage Mill and the county’s movie theaters.

On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan took that one step further and announced that restaurants, bars and gyms would close statewide beginning at 5 p.m. Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies and other essential services will remain open. While closing restaurants, Hogan’s order permits drive-thru, carryout and food delivery service.

“We need to remain vigilant, but calm, and continue practicing social distancing,” Ball said in a statement Monday. “We will only be successful in slowing this virus if we work together.”

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