Coronavirus: a timeline

Coronavirus: a timeline

A summary of coronavirus news

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via Maryland Department of Health

A timeline of coronavirus news, continually updated:

April 8, 2020: A new drive-thru coronavirus testing site opens in White Oak.

April 8, 2020: The state total of COVID-19 cases increases to 5,529, and Montgomery County records 1,088 cases. Statewide, 124 people have died.

April 7, 2020: The Montgomery County Council pitches an idea that would make wearing masks mandatory in public places.

April 7, 2020: MCPS says it will not distribute free meals to students during spring break.

April 7, 2020: Montgomery County is one of 12 Maryland jurisdictions to be designated a “hot spot” for the coronavirus and Gov. Larry Hogan announces new state “strike teams” that will focus on triage and care for patients at nursing homes.

April 7, 2020: Montgomery County reports 871 known cases of the coronavirus. The state total rises to 4,371 confirmed cases. The total death toll is 103.

April 6, 2020: A county health official says Montgomery County COVID-19 cases could peak on approximately April 29.

April 6, 2020: Two MCPS employees who worked at a food distribution center in Wheaton test positive for COVID-19, the school district announces. Also, a Montgomery County Department of Corrections officer tests positive.

April 6, 2020: MCPS begins its second week of remote learning, and school leaders say they expect the transition to get smoother each week.

April 6, 2020: Montgomery County has 793 cases of COVID-19 and the state has 4,045 confirmed cases. The state’s death toll rises to 91.

April 5, 2020: Bethesda restaurant Chef Tony’s closes temporarily, citing concerns about the coronavirus. 

April  5, 2020: Employees at Montgomery County medical cannabis dispensaries say sales rose rapidly during the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

April 5, 2020: Real estate agents change how they show properties to potential clients after a statewide stay-at-home order was issued.

April 5, 2020: Montgomery County records 693 COVID-19 cases and the state total rises to 3,609. Sixty-seven Maryland residents have died.

April 4, 2020: There are 640 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Montgomery County and 3,125 statewide. 

April 3, 2020: Montgomery County receives donations of face masks from private businesses as local leaders prepare for a possible surge in cases. 

April 3, 2020: MCPS leaders say they are “troubled” by the potential impact on school closures on the district’s achievement gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers.

April 3, 2020: Gaithersburg city officials signal that they will likely have to reconfigure their proposed budget for the next fiscal year due to fallout from COVID-19.

April 3, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces a state-run drive-thru coronavirus testing location will open in White Oak.

April 3, 2020: MCPS teachers who have young children at home detail their experiences trying to balance work and parenting. 

April 3, 2020: Montgomery County surpasses 500 confirmed COVID-19 cases, reporting 566 cases. The state total increases to 2,758 cases.

April 2, 2020: In an interview with Bethesda Beat, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith explains what it’s like to lead the state’s largest school district during the coronavirus pandemic.

April 2, 2020: The Montgomery County Council proposes ditching its 5-cent plastic bag tax during the pandemic. 

April 2, 2020: Construction on the new Marriott International world headquarters in downtown Bethesda is temporarily halted after two contractors test positive for the coronavirus.

April 2, 2020: Initial unemployment claims rose 4,717% since the first week of March to 9,394 this week.

April 2, 2020: There are 498 cases of the coronavirus in Montgomery County. Maryland’s total rises to 2,331. There are 36 deaths across the state.

April 1, 2020: MCPS announces its plan for the second week of online learning, which includes block schedules for each grade level and “virtual office hours” for teachers.

April 1, 2020: State and local health officials announce four more Montgomery County residents have died from COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to five. There are 31 deaths across Maryland.

April 1, 2020: MCPS officials say the completion of the hotly debated countywide school boundary analysis is “highly likely” to be delayed due to the coronavirus. 

April 1, 2020: Montgomery County records 447 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while the state total rises to 1,985 cases.

March 31, 2020: County leaders approve taking $10 million from the general fund reserves to help hospitals purchase medical supplies and cover construction costs to convert non-clinical spaces into treatment areas.

March 31, 2020: The Montgomery County Council approves a $20 million funding package to provide grants for small businesses and nonprofits that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

March 31, 2020: Montgomery County Chief Health Officer Travis Gayles tells the County Council coronavirus testing availability is lacking locally and he doesn’t know when it will receive more kits from the state.

March 31, 2020: Local police agencies clarify that they don’t intend to randomly stop and question why people are outside of their home while the state after Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statewide stay-at-home order. Instead, they say they will ask if people are complying with the order during other routine calls for service.

March 31, 2020: Montgomery County has 388 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the state total is 1,660 cases.

March 30, 2020: Montgomery County government officials pitch the idea of using $10 million from general fund reserves to help purchase supplies and cover the cost of converting non-clinical spaces into treatment areas in hospitals.

March 30, 2020: The owner of a gymnastics business in Silver Spring who had to lay off all of her 65 employees recounts the decision as “devastating.”

March 30, 2020: During a press conference, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces has has signed an executive order prohibiting Maryland residents from leaving their homes, except to conduct “essential business” like buying food or medication.

March 30, 2020: Montgomery County records 341 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, while the statewide total climbs to 1,413 cases.

March 29, 2020: In a message to community members, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith details the school district’s plan for remote learning. The announcement says the first week of classes will be dedicated to getting used to the new online platform and finishing previously assigned coursework.

March 29, 2020: Montgomery County has 301 confirmed coronavirus cases, and the statewide death toll increases to 15. There are 1,239 confirmed cases in Maryland.

March 28, 2020: State officials order an additional 500 hospital beds be made available in Montgomery County to increase availability of the number of coronavirus cases surge.

March 28, 2020: There are 255 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Montgomery County, and 992 cases in Maryland. The state’s death toll rises to 10 residents.

March 27, 2020: In anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases, hospitals across the county ask community members to collect and donate medical supplies.

March 27, 2020: County officials say a Bethesda liquor store employee, four Fire & Rescue staffers and residents and staff at multiple local nursing homes tested positive for the coronavirus.

March 27, 2020: MedStar Health sets up a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at 7801 Democracy Blvd. in Bethesda.

March 27, 2020: The state orders all child care facilities in Maryland shut down, unless they provide care for people whose work is considered essential.

March 27, 2020: Despite furloughing two-thirds of Marriott International’s headquarters staff amid financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, officials say construction on the new headquarters in downtown Bethesd awill continue.

March 27, 2020: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Montgomery County rises to 208, while the state total increases to 774.

March 26, 2020: County leaders begin discussing the possibility of funding hotel rooms for medical employees, first responders and other frontline staff to use between long shifts.

March 26, 2020: Initial unemployment claims for Montgomery County increase by 1,500% in one week.

March 26, 2020: Maryland-National Capital Park Police say they broke up a crowd of approximately 100 teenagers who had gathered for a memorial service in Cabin John Local Park. The service was for a friend who died.

March 26, 2020: Montgomery County restaurants get the OK to serve cocktails and mixed drinks to go while they remain closed for sit-down service.

March 26, 2020: The Rockville City Council looks to cut its proposed $144.2 million budget for the next fiscal year as COVID-19 rocks the economy.

March 26, 2020: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland spikes to 580, an increase of 157 from the day prior. Montgomery County records 164 confirmed cases.

March 25, 2020: County Executive Marc Elrich explains the county’s $20 million plan for emergency grants for small businesses and nonprofits.

March 25, 2020: The Rockville City Council votes to let the city manager suspend certain laws to slow the speed of the coronavirus.

March 25, 2020: MCPS releases its plan to distribute laptops and WiFi hotspots to students who don’t have access to devices at home. Online classes are expected to begin March 30.

March 25, 2020: State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon says schools will remain closed through at least late April in further efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

March 25, 2020: The number of confirmed cases in Montgomery County increases to 127 while the statewide total rises to 423.

March 24, 2020: County leaders voice concern about the next fiscal year’s budget amid economic fallout from the coronavirus. County Council leaders say they are considering an economic crisis.

March 24, 2020: Basketball hoops are removed from some area parks to dissuade children from gathering to play.

March 24, 2020: Police are called to a Bethesda neighborhood to break up groups of people viewing the Kenwood cherry blossoms.

March 24, 2020: The Maryland State Department of Education seeks permission from the federal government to not administer standardized tests for the 2019-2020 school year.

March 24, 2020: A staff member at Whetstone Elementary School in Gaithersburg tests positive for the coronavirus. Maryland announces its fourth COVID-19 death — a Prince George’s County man in his 60s.

March 24, 2020: The number confirmed coronavirus cases in Montgomery County increases to 107. The statewide total jumps to 349 cases.

March 23, 2020: A Montgomery College staff member and a student test positive for COVID-19.

March 23, 2020: The Montgomery County Council introduces an expedited bill establishing a fund with $20 million in grants to help small businesses and nonprofits affected by the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

March 23, 2020: MCPS says it will distribute laptops and WiFi hotspots to students who don’t have access to devices at home during the ongoing schools shutdown.

March 23, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan orders all nonessential businesses to close, effective at 5 p.m. He also unveils $175 million in grants and loans available to small businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus.

March 23, 2020: The number of Montgomery County coronavirus cases increases to 93, while the state total rises to 288.

March 22, 2020: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland rises to 244. Eighty-three are in Montgomery County.

March 21, 2020: A Montgomery County woman in her 40s with an underlying health condition, dies. She is the first county resident and third Marylander to die from the disease.

March 21, 2020: A Montgomery County police officer tests positive for the coronavirus. The county has 68 confirmed cases, and Maryland reports 190 cases.

March 20, 2020: Twin Valley Distillers, Montgomery County’s only distillery, begins making hand sanitizer to sell to residents.

March 20, 2020: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich says he is considering a pair of emergency funds for businesses and individuals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

March 20, 2020: The number of coronavirus cases in Montgomery County jumps to 51. Statewide, the number of cases is 149.

March 20, 2020: The Universities at Shady Grove announces all campus buildings will be closed until June, and its graduation ceremony, scheduled for early May, is canceled.

March 20, 2020: The number of unemployment claims in Maryland soars. In one day, around 5,400 claims were filed, about 4,000 more than the average day.

March 19, 2020: The number of coronavirus cases in Maryland rises to 107, up from 85 the day before. Montgomery County has 33 cases, the most in the state.

March 18, 2020: Gov. Larry Hogan announces that a Prince George’s County man in his 60s is the first person in Maryland to die from coronavirus disease.

March 18, 2020: Montgomery County leaders request banks, financial institutions and public utilities to place a moratorium on customer defaults for at least 60 days due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

March 18, 2020: MCPS says it’s waiting for more information from state officials before making a final determination about how it plans to make up days schools are closed due to the coronavirus.

March 18, 2020: Local hospitals begin setting up tents outside of their facilities to triage patients with symptoms of the flu or the coronavirus.

March 18, 2020: Marriott International, a Bethesda-based hotel company, begins furloughing tens of thousands of workers due to decreased demand in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

March 18, 2020: Catering businesses report a dramatic drop in business, layoffs and lost income.

March 18, 2020: The number of coronavirus cases in Maryland jumps to 85, up from 57 the day before. Montgomery County continues to have the most cases, with 31.

March 18, 2020: The county’s liquor board approves a change that temporarily allows restaurants to sell beer and wine in takeout and delivery orders.

March 17, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan postpones the state’s presidential primary election from April 28 to June 2.

March 16, 2020: Many local restaurant owners say they fear they’ll have to close permanently after the governor ordered the closure of restaurants, bars and movie theaters.

March 16, 2020: On the first day of a mandatory, two-week public schools closure, MCPS distributes 2,800 free meals to students.

March 16, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan orders all restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms across the state to shut down by 5 p.m. Hogan also tightens restrictions on public gatherings, saying no more than 50 people can congregate in one spot.

March 16, 2020: The number of coronavirus disease cases in Maryland rises to 37, up six since the day prior. Fifteen of the cases are in Montgomery County.

March 15, 2020: Restaurants and bars across the region say they’ve seen a steep decline in business due to the coronavirus. José Andrés announces he’s closing his Washington-area restaurants, including Jaleo in downtown Bethesda.

March 15, 2020: During a press conference, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich says he is frustrated that testing is not widely available.

March 15, 2020: The number of coronavirus disease cases in Montgomery County doubles in three days. There are 32 confirmed cases in Maryland, 12 of which are in Montgomery County.

March 13, 2020: Local governments begin restricting public access to their buildings. The Montgomery County Council and City of Rockville close their buildings to the public. Gaithersburg will keep its administrative offices open, although staff coverage might be limited.

March 13, 2020: After the announcement public schools will be closed for two weeks, parents rush to make childcare accommodations while students and teachers prepare for online learning.

March 12, 2020: State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announces all public schools in Maryland, including the 208 in Montgomery County, will be closed from March 16 through March 27.

March 12, 2020: State leaders ban gatherings of more than 250 people to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. In response, the Music Center at Strathmore cancels shows. New restrictions on access to state government buildings, the closing of all senior activity centers and a suspension of visits to state prisons are also announced.

March 12, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces a Prince George’s County man is the first to contract the coronavirus through community transmission. Other cases have been tied to overseas travel. Hogan plans a press conference to announce “major actions to protect public health” later in the day.

March 11, 2020: Montgomery County school board members receive an update on MCPS’ short-term plan for remote teaching in the event of school closures.

March 11, 2020: Montgomery College announces it is canceling classes for the rest of the week and it will switch to online-only classes until April 3.

March 11, 2020: A Montgomery County volunteer first responder and a Montgomery County man in his 20s test positive for the coronavirus disease. There are 12 cases in Maryland.

March 11, 2020 : Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces a Montana resident has tested positive for the coronavirus disease in Anne Arundel County. It is considered a Montana case.

March 11, 2020: The World Health Organization declares the coronavirus a pandemic as the number of cases world surpasses 120,000.

March 10, 2020: State officials announce a fifth Montgomery County resident has the coronavirus disease, bringing the state total to nine. The patient contracted the disease on the same Egyptian cruise as five other Marylanders.

March 10, 2020: The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce announces it is postponing its annual public safety awards luncheon due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease.

March 10, 2020: Prince George’s County announces that it has two more cases of coronavirus disease. The latest patients are a couple who returned from a cruise.

March 9, 2020: Montgomery College announces one of its students is experiencing coronavirus symptoms. That student is advised to stay home.

March 9, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that several more Marylanders who traveled overseas are being tested for coronavirus disease after they took a trip on the same cruise line as other patients who contracted the disease. Two of the six are described as experiencing symptoms. Maryland’s number of coronavirus cases rises to six. The latest is a Prince George’s County woman in her 50s who contracted the disease while traveling to Massachusetts.

March 8, 2020: Two more Maryland residents test positive for coronavirus disease, one of whom is a Montgomery County man in his 60s. The other is a Harford County woman in her 80s. Both contracted the disease while traveling overseas.

March 6, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that one of the Montgomery County patients attended an event at a retirement community in Rockville on Feb. 28 with between 70 and 100 other people.

March 6, 2020: County officials, led by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, hold a press conference to give additional information about the state’s coronavirus cases. County leaders say the state is tracking where the people went after returning to the U.S.

March 5, 2020: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces the state’s first three cases of coronavirus — all residents of Montgomery County. The three patients contracted the virus while on a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt. They are a married couple in their 70s and a woman in her 50s, not related to the couple.

March 4, 2020: MCPS releases a message to community members saying it is preparing for remote teaching if there is a local coronavirus disease outbreak.

March 3, 2020: The Montgomery County Council, sitting as the county’s Board of Health, receives a briefing about local efforts to combat and prepare for coronavirus.

Feb. 29, 2020: The first U.S. COVID-19 death is reported in Washington State.

Feb. 26, 2020: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces the first case of coronavirus disease in the U.S. in a patient with no known international travel history.

Jan. 30, 2020: The World Health Organization declares a global health emergency in response to the coronavirus, indicating the organization believes the virus could spread internationally.

Jan. 21, 2020: A Washington state man in his 30s is the first United States resident diagnosed with coronavirus disease.

Jan. 11, 2020: China reports its first coronavirus death

December 2019: The first case of coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, was detected in Wuhan, China.

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