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Community reacts to first child case of the coronavirus

Posted at 4:16 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 18:23:36-04

ELKRIDGE, Md. — News of an infant and a teen contracting the virus come on the heels of the state's first confirmed case involving a child, a five year old from Howard County.

The five-year-old girl is from Elkridge, a bedroom community in Howard County of about 15,000 people, and it's a case, which is now challenging previously-held beliefs about the coronavirus.

The sign outside Elkridge Elementary School carries the message 'Stay Healthy Elkridge, See You Soon', but no one envisioned a five-year-old student who attends the school becoming the first child diagnosed with the coronavirus in Maryland---especially Vicky Trail who is now watching her 2-year-old twin granddaughters.

"I was shocked because of the age and then once I found out it was Elkridge Elementary School, which I live near, then it was scary, especially when I think about these two."

Authorities say they do not believe the child contracted the virus at the school, and they are not concerned other students, teachers or faculty members may have been exposed, but that leaves open the question of where or how she came into contact with it.

"You don't know like what's safe to touch, what's not safe. It's like you still have your required things. You still need to go to Green Valley, of course, to get your groceries, but it's just kind of thinking, 'Yes, that kid could have been here. That's definitely something that's always on your mind, but you just kind of have to stay positive, and just keep going with it."

With some degree of caution, like making the tough choice to keep your preschooler from playing with her friend across the street.

"It is tough cause she sees her across the street and she's waving to her and saying, 'hi', to her, but I talked to the mom and even though they both want to play together, we said it's best if they just kind of talk to each other on the balcony, through the parking lots. They're not to be together."

And while this grandmother cares for her granddaughters, she will have to leave her own parents' care to others out of an abundance of caution.

"I usually would be going to my parents down in Virginia this weekend and they're in their eighties and I've decided not to go, because of what Governor Hogan said. He said, about crossing state lines, and I don't want to risk taking anything down to them."

Health officials say this underscores the fact that while the elderly and people with previous conditions may be most at risk, the coronavirus does not discriminate no matter what the age.