By Amy Kawata

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Friday, March 5, marked a year since Maryland reported its first cases of the coronavirus.

After several weeks of testing people with symptoms, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the first three positive cases.

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All of the patients were Montgomery Country residents — a married couple in their 70s and a woman in her 50s. They all contracted the virus while traveling abroad.

Gov. Hogan put Maryland under a state of emergency that same day, and submitted emergency legislation to allow the state to use the “rainy day fund” of up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account for response efforts.

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We would later learn that the trio had been on a cruise along the Nile River in Egypt and contracted the deadly virus abroad.

A year later, Gov. Hogan declared March 5 a day of remembrance for the more than 7,748 Marylanders who died as a result of coronavirus.

Flags were lowered at half-staff to honor those lost. A ceremony was also held at the State House, and buildings across the state were lit up in amber.


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“One year ago at this time, we could not have fathomed the toll that the pandemic would take on each and every one of us,” Gov. Hogan said. “On Friday, we will pause as a state to remember all those we have lost, and express our gratitude to the healthcare heroes and frontline workers whose many sacrifices have saved lives and kept us safe.”

Thousands of candlelights lined the steps of the State House. Each one had its own story.

“We know that we cannot bear, as you do, the unimaginable burden of their loss,” the governor said. “We grieve with you and we resolve to keep each of you in our hearts and in our prayers.”

Gov. Hogan shed hope on the light at the end of the tunnel.

“After confronting a threat unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes, each day now brings us closer to a return to normalcy,” he said. “We will get through this together and we will emerge better, stronger and more resilient than ever.”

WATCH: Gov. Larry Hogan Holds News Conference After First 3 Marylanders Test Positive For COVID-19 (March 5, 2020):

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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