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State Health Officials Brief Congressional Delegation

March 10th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Maryland's congressional delegation held a conference call with top state health officials to discuss progress and needs in responding to a potential outbreak of COVID-19. Health Secretary Robert R. Neall and Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips were initially due to brief members in Washington, but new cases of coronavirus kept them in Annapolis, Sen. Ben Cardin said.

"We had a robust discussion," Cardin said. "Let me be very clear. This is Team Maryland. We are all working together seamlessly to make sure we protect the health of all Marylanders."

Cardin said they talked about expanding testing capacity in private labs and hospitals. The state's laboratory in Baltimore can test 100 samples per day.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen said school systems and local governments are working based on guidance from state and federal health officials but that it would be "useful to have more standards."

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger stressed the necessity of listening to expertise.

"It's extremely important that we let the professional health care workers do their job," Ruppersberger said. "We are the greatest country in the world and we have an opportunity now to pull our country together."

As of Tuesday afternoon, eight Marylanders had tested positive for the virus.

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