COVID-19 is in Montgomery County. Does MC have a plan?

Three confirmed cases were announced Thursday night in the county.

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CDC

Maia Cafri, Editor-in-Chief

Three patients were diagnosed with novel coronavirus in Montgomery County, Governor Hogan said Thursday evening. Those diagnosed were recently on an international cruise.

Hogan also declared a state of emergency this Thursday, due to the presence of COVID-19. Currently, the government is investigating whether or not others may have been exposed to the virus.

According to an email sent to students and faculty by President DeRionne Pollard to students and faculty Friday night, the college is currently not canceling any classes, events or activities.

Montgomery College is working on a plan for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in Montgomery County, one that they plan to have ready within the next two weeks, college officials said.

Pollard created a coronavirus advisory team at Montgomery College to “monitor developments and provide expertise”, in which five of the college’s employees were appointed.

Steve Drummond, the Director of Public Safety at Montgomery College, said the college can perform all of its essential functions, including administrative work like financial aid, with employees working from home. Many classes can also be shifted to Blackboard.

If students are financially impacted by the virus, quarantines, or work closures, the Montgomery College Foundation can help individual students on a case by case basis.

The college sent out an email on March 2 to students and faculty with a list from the CDC containing guidelines for prevention. The guidelines include thorough hand washing, avoiding touching the face, and staying home when ill.

The college encourages students to regularly check their MC emails and follow them on social media for potential updates, and the MC Alert System may be used in the event of an emergency.

In Pollard’s Friday email to students and faculty, she also stressed the importance of acceptance and inclusion at this time.

“Let’s be intentional about not stigmatizing people assumed to be from those regions that first experienced the coronavirus outbreak.” Pollard said.

Students with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and how it could affect them at the college can email publicsafety@montgomerycollege.edu.