Lake County resident visiting Maryland tests positive for virus

March 12, 2020 9:30 AM

HELENA (AP) — A Montana resident who is visiting Maryland has tested positive for the new coronavirus, Maryland’s governor said Wednesday.

The woman is in her 70s and was alerted that she had been in contact with a confirmed case in another state before traveling to Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said. She was tested at a hospital in Anne Arundel County, which includes Annapolis.

The county’s Facebook page says the case is “related to domestic travel.” It was not immediately clear where she came into contact with someone who has COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

The woman is a resident of Lake County but she has not been in Montana since November, according to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. Montana has not confirmed any in-state cases of the new coronavirus.

“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,” Bullock said in a statement.

Her case was classified as a Montana case because she is a Montana resident. But officials in Maryland and Anne Arundel County will lead the investigation.

The World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday, meaning it is spreading worldwide. Health officials say people with mild illnesses recover in about two weeks while severe cases may last three to six weeks and can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia.

More than 120,000 cases have been reported worldwide, including more than 1,000 in the United States. There have been more than 4,300 deaths worldwide.

In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.