My office is tracking the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) closely. Below, you will find information and additional resources you can use to keep you, your family, neighbors and loved ones healthy. Constituents are encouraged to take steps toward prevention.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and, in rare cases, death particularly for at-risk patients.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
Shortness of breath
For more information on at-risk groups, please visit the CDC: here.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.
Stigma and Discrimination
Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. We can fight stigma and help not hurt others by providing social support. We can communicate the facts that being Chinese or Asian American does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.
My colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) have worked to dispel the stigma, misinformation, and conspiracy theories that are disparaging and negatively affecting the Asian American community in the United States and abroad. More information can be found: here.
Social Distancing Guidelines
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
“Social distancing” helps prevent person-to-person spread of the coronavirus. It is our best way to limit transmission and protect our vulnerable neighbors including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. You can help save lives by doing the following:
- Stay home, avoiding unnecessary errands and non-essential travel
- Work from home if possible for your work situation
- Avoid handshaking, hugging and other intimate types of greeting
People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk of coming down with COVID-19, such as those who have recently returned from traveling or have been exposed to an infected person, might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people.
- Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
- Not sharing things like towels and utensils
- Staying at home
- Not having visitors
- Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household
Once your quarantine period has ended, if you do not have symptoms, follow your doctor’s instructions on how to return to your normal routine.
These measures are strict but they are necessary to keep our communities healthy and aid frontline health care workers caring for those who are ill. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Stay in contact with those you love by doing the following:
- Use the telephone, email, text messaging, and social media to connect with friends, family, and others.
- Talk “face to face” with friends and loved ones using video messaging
- Check-in on those who may live alone or at risk of social isolation especially the elderly and disabled
- If you experience depression, anxiety or feelings of extreme loneliness contact a medical professional
Federal Resources and Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) provide updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.
For the most up-to-date information from the CDC, please visit the agency’s dedicated COVID-19 page here. You can sign up for the CDC's email updates here.
You can sign up for the WHO's email updates here.
Additionally, the State Department has compiled a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to travel outside of the United States.
State Resources and Guidance
All Maryland businesses can now apply for emergency low-interest, long-term loans from the Small Business Administration to weather this crisis. To apply, please visit their website: here.
All previous SBA disaster loan payments have been deferred until December 31, 2020. These deferments are automatic. Borrowers of home and business loans do not have to contact SBA to defer.
Both part-time and full-time workers are eligible for unemployment benefits. You can make a claim right now if you are temporarily out of work due to the coronavirus, if you can’t go to work because you’ve been asked to quarantine or had to leave a job to care for infected family members. To apply please visit the state’s Division of Unemployment Insurance website: here.
Maryland residents are encouraged to call 211 to connect with health department representatives to get additional information and resources. Residents can also text "MdReady" to 898211 to get alerts, tips, and resources related to COVID-19. Maryland has also set up a help line through the Maryland Health Department that you can call for more guidance, at 410-767-6500.
Local Resources and Guidance
Prince George’s County has a coronavirus information page: here. You can also reach the Prince George’s County Health Department Coronavirus hotline at (301) 883-6627 to receive updated information.
Prince George’s County Public Schools have expanded the number of locations for student “grab-and-go” meals. For more information, please visit their website: here.
The Anne Arundel Office of Emergency Management has a coronavirus information page: here. You can get more local information by calling the Anne Arundel Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Program at (410) 222-7256.
Anne Arundel County expanded locations for student “grab-and-go” meals. For more information, please visit their website: here.
*Please contact 911 for medical emergencies only. Do not contact 911 for Coronavirus related issues*