BULLETIN: Cecil County Records First Fatality from COVID-19 Virus; Elderly Man Dies at Union Hospital

March 31, 2020

Cecil County has recorded its first fatality from the COVID-19 virus, which claimed the life of an 80-year old man at Union Hospital on Tuesday (3/31/2020), county sources said.

Statewide, the lethal virus had claimed the lives of 18 people as of 10 a.m. on Tuesday (3/31/2020), according to a daily update by the state health department and the Governor’s office. However, those daily statewide and county-by-county figures on fatalities and confirmed cases of the virus, issued by the state at 10 am, have often lagged local health agency’s information by a day or more. The Cecil County fatality was recorded Tuesday afternoon.

For example, the Tuesday morning state report listed positive-tests for the virus at 14 cases in Cecil County, but the Cecil County health agency report counted 16 confirmed cases in the county at that point.

The state Health Department virus count, issued on Tuesday morning (3/31/2020), listed a statewide death count at 18 people, with a total state positive test result for the virus listed at 1,660 people.

Maryland has been slow to step up testing for the virus, with Gov. Larry Hogan promising weeks ago to set up virus testing at Motor Vehicle Administration auto emissions testing sites. But only three sites began testing just this week and the Cecil County MVA site on Route 40 was not included in the new state testing program.

Union Hospital in Elkton, recently acquired by and now owned and operated by the ChristianaCare health system in Delaware, has declined to reveal numbers for its intensive care beds and ventilator capacity to cope with the current crisis. But CECIL TIMES has previously reported, based on public documents and sourced information, that the local hospital has 8 ICU beds and 10 ventilators, although the ventilator count was not specified on the number of adult mechanical ventilators and those designated for pediatric patients.

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