Last updated: August 9, 2021
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is a disease caused by a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This was a new virus that had not caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in over 173 million human infections, causing illness and hundreds of thousands of deaths. The widespread virus, which has caused over 595,000 United States deaths, has been reported in Anne Arundel County, Maryland with more than 43,800 cases and over 600 deaths.
The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is a global pandemic. Federal, state and local governments have taken a comprehensive approach to keep Marylanders safe. For Maryland and Anne Arundel County confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, check the Maps. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and get the country back to normal, individuals will need to get vaccinated and people who are not fully vaccinated need to practice social distancing when in public (at least 6 feet away from others), wear face coverings in public, and practice healthy hygiene measures including frequent handwashing.
Unvaccinated people are at higher risk for COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.* Based upon available information to date, those most at risk are listed at Medical Conditions and COVID-19.
COVID-19 is spread just like colds or flu through:
- coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching an object or surface with the virus on it
Symptoms (Most Common):
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- In more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)
NOTE: Symptoms usually appear within 2-14 days from time of exposure. Sometimes there are no signs or symptoms. Infected people without symptoms can still spread the disease. If you have concerns about any symptoms or possible exposure, call your health care provider or get tested. Free Testing Clinics: AAHealth.org/covid19-testing
Most people recover from this infection. Close to 80 percent will have mild or moderate symptoms. People with any symptoms are advised to get tested within 48 hours of symptom onset. For no-cost testing sites click here. To lessen the severity of symptoms, people who have COVID-19 should get medical advice. Treatment Options
Some COVID-19 infections can lead to serious illness, and in some cases death. If someone has a more serious illness from COVID-19, they may be admitted to the hospital. Older people and those with pre-existing medical problems have a greater risk for serious illness. Examples of pre-existing medical problems are cancer, diabetes, heart disease, COPD or other conditions impacting the immune system’s ability to fight germs.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available. For appointments: https://aacounty.org/covidvax. If you have respiratory illnesses like colds, flu and COVID-19, it remains important to take everyday preventive steps to slow the spread.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve, or your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay at home, unless you need to get medical care or essential items such as food and medicine.
For COVID-19 vaccine information, click here.
Fully vaccinated people who do not have symptoms do not need to be tested. Free Testing: AAHealth.org/covid19-testing
Currently, face masks are recommended for everybody in public indoor places. Face masks provide extra protection from COVID-19 and its variants for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Here are guidelines on face coverings.
Anne Arundel County residents can be tested by primary care providers, pharmacies or through the Department of Health’s testing services. For more information, click here.
The CDC states that at this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading COVID-19. Human transmission of COVID-19 to animals is considered to be low.
- Do not stigmatize people of any ethnicity. People who have not had close contact with a person who is ill with COVID-19, are at no greater risk of this disease than you. Viruses do not target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds.
- Stay informed and only get information from trusted, official sources. Be especially wary of myths, rumors, misinformation and scams circulating online and elsewhere. Health information spread on social media is frequently inaccurate.