COVID-19 AP

(Associated Press photo)

CUMBERLAND — After being the last jurisdiction in Maryland to report a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Allegany County Health Department on Wednesday announced positive test results in two residents.

The first case, a male in his 60s, recently traveled to a neighboring state, has underlying medical conditions and is hospitalized at UPMC Western Maryland.

Details of his condition were unavailable.

The second, a female in her 20s, recently traveled out of state, is self-isolating and has not required hospitalization.

"Upon notification of a positive case, (ACHD) begins a contact investigation," the department said via press release. “The health department conducts interviews to determine where the patient has been and who (they have) been in contact with."

The department said it will notify all individuals who came in contact with the patient while he was infectious.

"Individuals who came in contact with the patient must self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days," the release stated.

"If you are seeking medical care, call ahead so your healthcare provider can offer guidance over the phone and take the necessary precautions if you must come into the office,” the release stated.

Also Wednesday, health officials said 337 county residents had been tested for COVID-19, and 269 results have been negative. The results of 66 tests were pending.

Allegany County Department of Emergency Services Director James Pyles said local and state public health and safety officials have been monitoring trends in the virus from across the country.

"We knew it was only a matter of time until the virus developed in Allegany County," he said via press release.

"It is imperative that citizens in the county remain calm and vigilant," Pyles said. "Continue social distancing, following the stay-at-home directives, frequently wash hands and clean regularly touched surfaces."

On Wednesday afternoon, Garrett County officials said 130 specimens for COVID-19 had been processed.

Of the county's three positive cases, two people recovered and were released from isolation. The third remained hospitalized.

Garrett’s tests for the disease so far include 66 negative and 61 pending results.

"The Garrett County Health Department is also aware of one additional COVID-19 positive test result from a testing site at Garrett County Regional Medical Center," officials said via press release. "This person is from West Virginia and their local health department has started an investigation and will be calling individuals who have had contact with this person."

News of the local cases followed Tuesday's national record number of COVID-19 deaths reported in a single day, as 865 people lost their lives to the disease, making America's death toll reach more than 4,080, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The Maryland Department of Health announced 13 additional deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the state’s total to 31 deaths.

Additionally, 1,985 Maryland residents had tested positive for COVID-19, which included 325 new cases in 24 hours and marked the state's biggest one-day jump so far.

Local, state, federal and global health officials continued to warn people to stay at home in order to protect themselves and others from the disease.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan announced emergency orders that will expand telehealth services and designate disabilities services personnel as health care providers.

With this order, healthcare providers may engage in some services via communication methods including email.

The telehealth services are also eligible for reimbursement by Medicaid.

Also, workers that provide certain support services, including in-home care, interpreting, and support systems for substance abuse and mental illness, for disabled people will be treated as health care providers.

“As our state faces new and unprecedented challenges, we need to be adaptive, innovative, and inclusive in our response,” Hogan said via press release. “The orders I have issued today help ensure that Marylanders of all ages and abilities can continue receiving essential services throughout this public health crisis.”

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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