On March 19th Howard County Executive Calvin Ball gathered officials to address concerns and provide updates to the community after news that a 5-year-old Howard County resident has contracted coronavirus. The child is a student at Elkridge Elementary, however it is not believed that students or teachers at the school are at a greater risk. Video of the news conference can be found here.
“Coronavirus does not discriminate – it is touching and altering all facets of life as we know it,” said Ball. “We are going to continue to see more confirmed cases and we all must do our part to flatten the curve and to ultimately save lives. By staying home – and limiting interactions with others – we are slowing the spread and potentially saving a life. I want the Howard County community to know that our government is working tirelessly to keep our public safe and informed.”
Ball reiterated the Mall in Columbia, Shops at Savage Mill and movie theatre closures and other mitigation that are already in place. He also highlighted the additional guidance from the Governor limiting gatherings to 10 people, emphasizing that residents need to follow social distancing best practices.
“Today’s announcement of a child diagnosed with the coronavirus should illustrate how this disease does not discriminate. It can affect people of all ages,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. “We need to follow strategies to slow the spread of the virus. We must limit contact with one another by staying home. If essential items are needed, have them delivered if possible. Stay away from others if you are sick and call your healthcare provider for instructions. And lastly, but most importantly, wash your hands frequently. Taking these actions will help us protect ourselves and others of all ages.”
The Howard County Health Department reiterated guidance for the public to stay at home as much as possible, limit interactions with others, and repeatedly wash hands.
“With 59,000 students, their parents and guardians, and thousands of HCPSS employees living in Howard County, it was inevitable that this pandemic would directly impact our school system,” said HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano. “I have remained in contact with Howard County Health Officer, Dr. Maura Rossman who has informed me that there is no more risk to students and staff at that school than there is to any other students or members of the Howard County community. I encourage all of our families to continue to follow the guidance we have been sharing with you every day. I cannot reinforce more strongly the direction from the Governor and local and national health officials to limit the spread of the virus by adhering to stringent social distancing measures.”
Current and updated measures are rapidly evolving, to stay informed, please visitwww.howardcountymd.gov/coronavirus.
Economic Development Authority has created an information portal for the business community impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that is available online. It includes information from partners such as Howard Chamber, Tourism, and Maryland Department of Commerce.
Recreation and Parks
All County Park gates are now closed. At this time, park-goers are unable to access our parks by vehicle. Our parks may still be accessed by foot, however the restrooms within all our parks are currently closed and park patrons are urged to stay off playground equipment, as their cleanliness cannot be guaranteed.
Community Action Council (CAC) is seeking online donations rather than physical donations. To donate, navigate to https://www.cac-hc.org/get-involved/donate, click the donate button, and complete the form. All donations are safe, secure, and most importantly go directly to those who need assistance during this critical time. On Tuesday, March 17th, CAC delivered emergency bags of food to more than 400 families. This would not be possible without the continued generosity of our community. All donations, no matter the size make a profound impact for our community.