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Montanan tests positive for coronavirus, was last in the state in November

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A Montana woman in her 70s has tested positive for coronavirus.

Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland said Wednesday, that while the case will be classified as a Montana case, Maryland health departments will take the lead on the investigation.

The Montana resident was reportedly in close contact with a confirmed case. She was tested at a Maryland hospital.

Governor Hogan said he was been in communication with Montana Governor Steve Bullock about the case.

Governor Bullock released additional information Wednesday afternoon:

Governor Steve Bullock today provided an update on the Montanan visiting Maryland who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Maryland investigators reported to DPHHS that the patient was last in Montana on November 2019, has not returned to the state since this time, and was not in the state during the 14-day incubation period.

“Since the case was announced earlier today, public health officials have been working nonstop to learn more about this case and can now confirm the patient did not have coronavirus while she was in Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “We will continue to monitor the patient in Maryland and remain committed to preparing for coronavirus to reach Montana.”

The patient is a resident of Lake County, Montana and is in her 70s. She’s currently being hospitalized at an Anne Arundel County hospital in Maryland. The presumptive positive test was confirmed on March 10. Given the individuals’ known travel history and the 14-day incubation period related to COVID-19, we believe this individual did not have coronavirus while in Montana.

Maryland health officials contacted the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) communicable disease staff on Wednesday to report a Montana resident tested positive for COVID-19. DPHHS immediately began to confirm information and work to acquire the patient’s travel history. Maryland health officials are the lead investigators regarding any close contacts and any other preventive health measures and will continue to work with DPHHS as they learn more.

Because the patient is a resident of Montana, the CDC classifies the patient as a Montana case. This is a common practice for national surveillance.

Montana still does not have a confirmed case in the state at this time.

A full press release from Gov. Hogan’s office is below:

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that a Montana resident visiting Anne Arundel County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While this will be classified as a Montana case, the Maryland and Anne Arundel County Health Departments will take the lead on the investigation.

This individual is a woman in her 70s who was alerted that she had been in close contact with a confirmed case. The patient presented for testing at an Anne Arundel County hospital, which took all necessary precautions to protect staff and patients.

Maryland Department of Health (MDH) officials have notified Montana health officials, and Governor Hogan contacted Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

“Once we became aware of this case, we acted swiftly to coordinate with officials both here in Anne Arundel County and in Montana,” said Governor Hogan. “I continue to urge Marylanders to stay informed, and follow the guidance we have issued. We want to emphasize that if you are concerned about symptoms, please call your healthcare provider. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.”

Today, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. More than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the United States across more than 35 states.

Maryland is currently operating under a state of emergency, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has elevated its state response activation level. At the governor’s direction, state agencies have ramped up response and preparedness effort across all levels of government. He has also issued a directive requiring state health carriers to waive all cost-sharing regarding testing for COVID-19, and guidance to long-term and continuing care facilities that serve older people. The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

Congressman Greg Montana (R-Mont.) today issued a statement after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that a Montanan visiting Maryland tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

“As the governor of Maryland confirms Montana’s first case of coronavirus, protecting the health and safety of Montanans is my top priority. Our country is one of the best prepared in the world to keep Montanans safe from the virus. The Trump administration is using the tools Congress has provided to respond to this public health crisis. I will continue to work with federal, state, and local officials on our efforts to respond and protect our communities. I pray for those impacted by the virus, and remain grateful to our first responders and health care workers who are on the front lines,” Gianforte said.

For resources about COVID-19, including best practices to prevent its spread, Montanans should visit coronavirus.gov.

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