FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, during a news conference Wednesday morning, outlined his offices plans to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the county.
More personnel are on patrol in an "all-hands-on-deck-situation" enforcing Gov. Larry Hogan's orders to keep Maryland residents safe during the State of Emergency, Jenkins explained. Deputies are equipped with personal protective equipment to ensure that they are safe out in the field.
In accordance with the closures of restaurants, fitness centers, and movie theaters, Jenkins said people are issued several warnings to comply and an arrest is the last resort.
Several sheriff's office-related programs are suspended until further notice. Visitation at correctional facilities is also being suspended, including the holding of weekend inmates.
Frederick County officials discussed safety measures and updated coronavirus data on March 10, announcing the county's plan to prepare for the virus's impact.
Dozens of positive cases have been reported in Maryland, all of which were travel based.
According to Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, the number of positive cases is only likely to increase. While Frederick County has no cases of the virus yet, officials said they are doing everything they can to prepare residents for the virus's exposure.
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The county is currently in the containment phase, which means that they are trying to prevent cases as much as possible. If the virus were to spread in the county with cases of unknown origin, the county would move to start mitigation plans that would try to contain and slow the spread.
So what happens if someone in the county gets sick?
Frederick Health Hospital is "well prepared" should a patient test positive at the hospital, said Casiano. The hospital has not yet seen any patients presenting with the new coronavirus disease, but has been planning for infectious diseases since the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
Until then, residents are encouraged to take precautionary measures, like purchasing sanitizer and non-perishable food, as well as residents over the age of 60 spending more time indoors.