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Caroline County News

Posted on: March 17, 2020

Caroline County Local State of Emergency COVID-19


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 17, 2020

Caroline County Commissioners Declare Local State of Emergency Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

County Government Closing to Public Effective March 19

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Caroline County Commissioners declared a local state of emergency on March 17, 2020.  All County government buildings and departments will close to the public effective March 19.

“The Commissioners felt it was important to declare a local state of emergency now to emphasize to our residents how serious this situation is,” said County Commission President Larry Porter.  “We want to reinforce the Executive Order made by the Governor yesterday to close restaurants, bars, gyms, and movie theatres and to prohibit gatherings of more than 50.”  Porter also stated that guidance issued March 16 by the White House had influenced the Commissioners to declare the local state of emergency. The President has encouraged all Americans to stay home whenever possible, avoid unnecessary travel, and avoid social gatherings of more than ten people.

“Our community has asked what they can do to help,” said Public Information Officer Sara Visintainer.  “The answer is to take individual, personal responsibility for limiting the spread of this disease.”  To that end, the County Commissioners are asking all residents, regardless of their age to do the following:

  • Stay home unless you are at work, picking up essential supplies, or going to the doctor.
  • Avoid social gatherings, especially any interaction with groups of more than 10.
  • Stay home if you or a family member is sick.
  • Limit all non-essential travel, including domestic travel.
  • Continue to practice diligent hygiene measures like frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and disinfecting surfaces regularly.

“It is important to know that you can have COVID-19 even if you have no symptoms or very mild symptoms,” said Department of Emergency Services Director Anna Sierra. “That’s why social distancing is so important. It is currently the only way we have to effectively stop the spread of coronavirus.”

If you feel sick or are worried you have COVID-19, you are encouraged to take the following steps:

  • Call your primary care physician. This is the best way to address questions about your symptoms and receive a test, if ordered.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Monitor your symptoms and do not go to the emergency room if your symptoms are mild. If your symptoms become severe or you experience any difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the hospital.
  • Call 2-1-1 with general questions about COVID-19.

“We are all in this together,” emphasized Visintainer.  “While the actions we are asking the public to take will be disruptive and may cause hardship, they are our best defense. We are asking people to do their part to help preserve the capacity of our healthcare system and protect the health of their family, friends, and our entire community.”


For all press related inquires please contact 

                          Jennifer Farina

                        Deputy Public Information Officer

                        (410) 479-0660

                        jfarina@carolinemd.org

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