MISSOULA — The Maryland Governor's Office has confirmed a Montanan visiting the state has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Maryland health officials are addressing the situation right now. You can watch the press conference here:
According to a news release from the Office of Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland Dept. of Health has notified Montana health officials and Gov. Hogan has contacted Gov. Steve Bullock.
Officials say that the woman is in her 70's and was visiting Maryland's Anne Arundel County. She had previously been in close contact with a confirmed case.
She was tested at an Anne Arundel County hospital.
The release also notes that while this case was diagnosed in Maryland, it will be classified as a Montana case and that this particular case will be investigated by the Maryland and Anne Arundel County Health Departments.
The woman has not been identified and it is unclear where exactly in Montana she is from.
Congressman Greg Gianforte issued a statement shortly after the news broke:
“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.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued this statement:
“Public health officials are working closely with Maryland to confirm case details on when this individual was last in Montana. We are committed to providing Montanans with accurate and transparent information and will be working around the clock to ensure that those details will be provided as soon as possible. Lisa and I are sending all our good thoughts and love to the patient.”
The press release from the governor continued:
In the time the Maryland health officials contacted the Montana Department of Public Health communicable disease staff, we immediately began to confirm information and work to acquire the patient’s travel history. DPHHS is working with Maryland health officials. We will continue to update Montanans with additional details as we learn more.
The patient is a woman in her 70s and is at an Anne Arundel County hospital in Maryland. 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.