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Maryland Department of Health encourages early preparedness against coronavirus

Several people have been tested for the coronavirus in the DMV, but there are no confirmed cases yet.

BALTIMORE — Several people have been tested for coronavirus across the DMV, but there are no confirmed cases yet. On Monday, Maryland Department of Health officials have released their latest numbers of patients dealing with coronavirus, or COVID-19:

  • Number of patients approved for COVID-19 testing: 6
  • Number of COVID-19 tests pending at CDC: 1
  • Number of negative COVID-19 tests: 5
  • Number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases: 0 

Maryland’s Deputy Secretary of Health Fran Phillips released an Audio Public Service Announcement urging home preparedness.

"This is a good time to begin thinking about home preparedness, just as we might prepare for inclement weather," Phillips said.

Phillips did not elaborate on what items residents should have at the ready. However, the US Surgeon General is imploring Americans to cross surgical masks off their lists.

"Seriously People, Stop Buying masks," Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted over the weekend. "They are NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk."

RELATED: 6 dead from coronavirus in Washington state, first US deaths

D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt also said face masks for the general public are of little help. However, Nesbitt urged residents to prepare for illness at home.

"We want the public to understand that you need to have an adequate supply of the medications you take on a day to day basis," Nesbitt said.

Nesbitt recommended having plenty of common over the counter cold and flu medications especially in households with kids.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

"For home quarantine and home isolation, but also to prepare for simply having an illness,” Nesbitt answered when asked about the possibility of people being asked to isolate themselves.

As of Monday, no confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia, according to the latest statements from health officials in the region.

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