Travel Updates: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
For the latest information on the respiratory illness COVID-19, including links to key resources go to: The Maryland Department of Health / COVID-19
Guidance For Travelers
The Maryland Office of Tourism wants every visitor experience in Maryland to be exceptional. Maryland Welcome Centers, bars, restaurants, malls, theaters, gyms, casinos, racetracks and non-essential businesses have been closed temporarily and travelers are encouraged to contact all businesses before visiting. The safety of our visitors is our highest priority.
In December 2019, Chinese health officials announced they were investigating a pneumonia outbreak of unknown etiology (cause) in the city of Wuhan, China. At that time, it was reported that many of the cases were linked to a seafood and animal market in Wuhan. Since then, health officials have reported that the outbreak was caused by a novel coronavirus, and the illness has been named "coronavirus disease 2019" (abbreviated "COVID-19").
Since then, thousands of cases have been reported and some cases have been fatal. Cases of COVID-19 have been identified elsewhere in China, and in other countries, including in the United States.
There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals. Several coronaviruses commonly circulate among people all of the time, and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold. Other coronaviruses commonly circulate only in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people as has been seen with MERS and SARS.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:
Shortness of breath
While the exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, it is believed that most infected people will develop symptoms 2-14 days after they were exposed.
Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, person-to-person spread is now widely occurring.
There is no vaccine available for COVID-19. In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:
Wash your hands frequently with soap & water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Practice good health habits.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
World Health Organization
Resources for Maryland businesses addressing the Coronavirus issue may be found here.