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Press Releases - County Council

Schedule change: Council to hold briefing on coronavirus on March 3 at 2 p.m.

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 28, 2020

Meeting to discuss county’s efforts to ensure health and safety of all residents

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 28, 2020—Tuesday, March 3 at 2 p.m., the Council, sitting as the Board of Health, will receive a briefing from Dr. Travis Gayles, health officer and chief of public health services in the Department of Health and Human Services, and Earl Stoddard, director of the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, to obtain updated information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to discuss the county’s efforts to ensure the health and safety of all residents.  Dr. Raymond Crowel, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, will also attend the meeting.  The briefing will take place at the Council Office Building (100 Md., Ave.) in Rockville in the third floor Council Hearing Room. This Council briefing is in lieu of the Health and Human Services Committee meeting that was originally scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 9:30 a.m.  

“The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting is to get updated information from Dr. Gayles and Director Stoddard about the county’s prevention and preparation efforts,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “Fortunately, Maryland currently has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus; however, our public safety leaders are taking a proactive approach to public education and are ensuring that the proper health protocols are in place, in the event that a case of the disease occurs in our community.”  

“Montgomery County leaders are closely monitoring the ongoing developments with the coronavirus,” said Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, who serves as chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “Right now, our main priorities are to keep our residents safe and healthy and equip them with the most-up-to-date information surrounding this disease. Our county currently has no reported cases of the coronavirus; however, our public health officials and providers are taking this outbreak seriously. We remain vigilant and are focused on disease prevention and public education efforts.”   

Dr. Gayles will provide an update on Montgomery County’s efforts to closely monitor the health impacts of the coronavirus, which started in Wuhan, China and has spread to other international locations including the United States. He also will discuss prevention methods and symptoms of the coronavirus.   

Director Stoddard will explain the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security’s role in state and local readiness efforts and the overall communications structure for public health issues.  

As of noon on Feb. 28, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 15 confirmed cases of the disease in the U.S., with 12 cases being travel related and three cases being contracted from person-to-person contact.  In contrast, for the week ending Feb. 22, cases of the flu have been reported as being high and widespread across Maryland.     

To learn more about the coronavirus visit the Maryland Department of Health’s web page at or the CDC’s web page at



Release ID: 20-072
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931