ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — Marylanders should be taking the novel coronavirus COVID-19 seriously but do not need to panic, Governor Larry Hogan said Thursday.

Hogan made the comments during a news conference with state leaders Thursday afternoon, during which he announced he’ll ask for $10 million in a supplemental budget to address the coronavirus.

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“While there is currently no immediate public health emergency here in Maryland, based on the latest guidance from the CDC and our federal partners, we want our citizens to know that all levels of government are working together proactively and taking every possible precaution to respond to threats of public health,” Gov. Hogan said.

Prior to the news conference, the governor said he had just gotten off the phone with Vice President Mike Pence, who has been put in charge of the national coronavirus task force.


He said that all state agencies are working to get ready for a possible spread across Maryland, and will set aside the $10 million for preparedness actions.

WATCH: Gov. Hogan Holds News Conference About Coronavirus Preparations

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Gov. Larry Hogan did confirm that two people who recently went to China have met the criteria as of Thursday to be tested for COVID-19, bringing the total tested to four people. The first two tested negative. The Maryland Health Department announced a third person was being tested on Friday.

On March 2, the health department said those three people tested negative for coronavirus, however there’s now a new patient undergoing testing.

The Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus tracker hasn’t updated that number yet as of Thursday evening.

“I would encourage all Marylanders not to panic but to take this seriously and to continue to stay informed.” Gov. Hogan said.

He added local schools and daycares should be prepared with contingency plans for potential long-term closures, communities should prepare to cancel or postpone mass gatherings and local businesses should be ready to adjust for possible work-from-home scenarios.

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“The public should be assured that our state’s preparedness builds on decades of planning, experience, and expertise gained from previous and ongoing public health events,” Gov. Hogan said.

Annie Rose Ramos