Maryland nursing home coronavirus outbreak may have started with asymptomatic staffer, gov says

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At least five residents of a Maryland nursing home died recently due to the novel coronavirus, officials said, with the state’s governor suggesting that a staff member who did not have symptoms may have unknowingly exposed the facility to COVID-19.

A Maryland State Trooper guards the driveway to the Pleasant View Nursing Home, in Mount Airy, Md.

A Maryland State Trooper guards the driveway to the Pleasant View Nursing Home, in Mount Airy, Md.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“The Carroll County Health Department today announced the county’s third fourth and fifth deaths as a result of COVID-19,” the health department said in a statement, according to Fox Baltimore. “The three individuals were all residents at Pleasant View Nursing Home and all had underlying medical conditions. The first individual was a male in his 70s, the second was a male in his 70s, and the third was a female in her 60s. Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones.”


Gov. Larry Hogan has called the outbreak “tragic.”

“Multiple state agencies are on the scene and working closely with the local health department and the facility as they take urgent steps to protect additional residents and staff who may have been exposed,” he said in a statement.

While appearing on C-SPAN, Hogan said that the state had shut down access to nursing homes and assisted living facilities to visitors, leading to the likelihood that the outbreak started with a health care worker.

“One of the health care workers, who are being screened and tested and checked to make sure they don’t have temperatures, one of them somehow, who was asymptomatic, came into the facility and brought the virus in and infected the population,” Hogan said. “It went like wildfire and now we have a situation where nearly 70 of these patients have tested positive, and a whole number of staff persons. We have a number of deaths already in the facility and a number of people, nearly half of the patients, have been hospitalized. It is a tragic situation.”

The Mt. Airy nursing home reported that 77 of its 95 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the Fox Baltimore affiliate. Staff members are also being tested, and the National Guard was deployed to help assess the situation.


“Unfortunately, as tragic as it is, it’s not an unusual situation,” Hogan said of the outbreak. “It is happening in other places around the country.”

On Monday, Hogan issued a stay-at-home order for residents, which began March 31. The state has seen nearly 2,000 cases of coronavirus, and at least 31 deaths. Carroll County, where the Pleasant View Nursing Home is located, has seen 96 cases.

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