TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, the Baltimore County health officer and director of the county’s Department of Health and Human Services, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the county’s health department has confirmed.

In a statement, Branch said he got tested after experiencing a mild cough and lost his voice.

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“While I do not know exactly how I contracted the virus, this is a stark reminder of how contagious COVID-19 can be,” he said. “I will continue to rest and recuperate at home, but would like to use this opportunity to remind everyone that this disease is still very much with us and that we are all susceptible.”

Branch added he continues to take part in county business while self-isolating at home.

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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski tweeted:

“All of us in Baltimore County are praying for a full and quick recovery for Dr. Branch after learning he has tested positive for COVID-19. From the beginning, he has been ably leading the County’s response to the crisis and I am grateful for his ongoing service.”

In Baltimore City, the mayor and health commissioner stressed people need to take COVID—19 seriously.

“Dr. Branch’s illness and the illnesses of so many Maryland residents are not just numbers on our dashboards. They are real people whose illnesses are affecting their lives and the lives of their loved ones,“ said city health commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.