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'This is not a crisis' | Montgomery County urges residents to prepare, not panic for coronavirus

So far, three people in Montgomery County are confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

BETHESDA, Md. — On Friday Montgomery County gave an update on what the county is doing to prepare for the coronavirus. Part of that update included the county's president urging people to start preparing for potentially being home for two weeks.

“We want to make it clear that this is not a crisis,” Katz said. “Community members should not panic, but instead prepare as you would for any event that may keep you home for two weeks.”

It appeared people heard that message Friday. The line to get into the Costco in Gaithersburg was so long, and constant, that a police officer was directing traffic for people to get in.

Credit: WUSA
Many shoppers leaving Costco Friday had multiple packages of toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

One shopper at a Bethesda hardware store said he and his wife had looked ‘many’ places for masks, and the Stronsiders Hardware store was the only place to have them in stock.

That shopper bought several of those masks, along with Lysol cleaner.

An employee said they have been running out of masks on an almost daily basis and it was hard to keep them on the shelves.

Credit: WUSA
This shopper said he had looked online and tried 'many' stores looking for masks.

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In addition to asking people to prepare for two potential weeks at home, Katz also encouraged Montgomery County residents to do the following:

  • Make sure their medications are up to date
  • Have non-perishable food items in the home
  • Make a contingency plan in case you or a loved one would need to work from home

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“We’re certainly concerned, our public health and safety providers have consistently been preparing and training for this type of situation on the county and state level,” Katz said. “We want everyone to know that they have been working on this, thought this through, and will keep our community safe.”

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