Columbia and other towns across Maryland are putting proactive measures in place to quell the spread of COVID-19. Disruptions to school, work, and major public gatherings are already manifesting and it’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening in the Columbia, MD community.

Stay up to date and informed with our resources: Breaking public health news, information on your local Maryland hospitals and healthcare facilities, information from the Maryland Public Health Department, and Twitter updates from Maryland government officials. Continue to visit our website for the latest updates.

Maryland COVID-19 Cases

Maryland New Coronavirus Cases: 541
Maryland Total Coronavirus Cases: 97,384
Maryland New Coronavirus Deaths: 8
Maryland Total Coronavirus Deaths: 3,612
U.S. New Coronavirus Cases: 54,345
U.S. Total Coronavirus Cases: 5,360,302
U.S. New Coronavirus Deaths: 1,386
U.S. Total Coronavirus Deaths: 169,131
Last updated August 13, 2020
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Coronavirus News for Columbia

Some Maryland nursing homes are struggling to coordinate COVID-19 testing for staff with critical state deadline looming

When Maryland’s health department told nursing homes in late July that the state would stop paying to test their staff members for COVID-19, the facilities were told they’d have to come up with their ... More info »

The Baltimore Sun on MSN.com - 08/12/2020 12:05pm

August 8 coronavirus news

Maryland has reported 775 new cases of Covid-19 and 11 additional deaths from the virus, according to the state’s official website. More info »

CNN - 08/07/2020 04:00pm

Howard County partners with hospital, churches for coronavirus testing

As more Marylanders look to get tested for the coronavirus, and issues with getting timely results persist, Howard County officials announced a new plan for popup testing events. More info »

WBALTV11 on MSN.com - 08/10/2020 09:32am

Howard County popup effort brings coronavirus testing to the community

Howard County is testing people for the coronavirus where they are using popup testing sites. || Coronavirus updates | Maryland's latest numbers | Where to get tested || Sign up for our Newsletters St ... More info »

WBAL TV Baltimore on MSN.com - 08/11/2020 09:22am

Vaping Linked to Increased COVID-19 Risk, According to New Study

It's the first study to look at e-cigarette use and COVID-19—and the results were surprising, even to researchers. More info »

Health.com - 08/12/2020 02:36pm

Coronavirus daily news updates, August 12: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

We’re updating this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world, including stats about the spread of the coronavirus ... More info »

Seattle Times - 08/12/2020 01:32am

Ottobar, 'under very real threat' from Covid-19, launches $200K fundraiser

The campaign had already raised more than $81,000 of a $200,000 goal as of Monday morning. #Baltimore #music #arts ... More info »

The Business Journals - 08/10/2020 04:57am

Coronavirus relief package talks stall; Trump might use executive actions to bypass congress

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he tested negative for the virus, hours after a positive result from another test prevented him from meeting with President Trump. More info »

Washington Post - 08/07/2020 02:58pm

Scammers tell people they're fired or may have COVID-19

The Federal Trade Commission received 83,858 fraud reports through Aug. 9 relating to COVID-19 and economic stimulus. Consumers lost $105.7 million. More info »

Detroit Free Press on MSN.com - 08/12/2020 08:37am

2020 Big 10 and Pac-12 College Football Seasons Postponed Due to Coronavirus

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the country, the Big Ten 2020 college football season has been called off ... More info »

People - 08/11/2020 08:38pm

Science and politics tied up in global race for a coronavirus vaccine

The announcement Tuesday President Vladimir Putin that his country was the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine did not provoke the awe and wonder of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first satellite ... More info »

Bangor Daily News - 08/11/2020 11:05pm

Maryland public schools postpone fall and winter high school sports seasons because of coronavirus concerns

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association has postponed the fall and winter high school sports seasons because of coronavirus concerns. More info »

The Baltimore Sun - 08/03/2020 03:23am
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5 Tips for Easing Anxiety During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How much information is too much? While it's essential that American citizens stay up to date on the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation unfolding in Maryland, the country, and across the globe, it can also be a great source of anxiety.

You never know when a positive case is going to be reported in MD, or more concerning, right in your Columbia backyard.

Feelings and reactions of worry, anxiety, and panic are completely normal in the face of crisis, but finding healthy coping mechanisms are essential for keeping our minds' healthy.

Here are some good ways to combat coronavirus anxieties:

  1. Get accurate information - The Internet inundates us all with so much information every day. Now's a good time to practice becoming an expert researcher and fact checker. Don't immediately trust all of the sources that pop up on your social media or community forum. There are a lot of rumors and inaccurate information swirling around. The best thing you can do is sign up to get emails from your state government as well as Columbia officials and stay up to date with the information put out by the Centers for Disease Control.
  2. FaceTime with friends and loved ones - While you're self-isolating and limiting contact with others, it's important to stay in touch digitally. Set up a FaceTime schedule with your friends and loved ones to stay connected.
  3. Stick to your routine - You're working from home, the kids aren't in school, your gym is closed, and the grocery stores are a madhouse. Daily routines are all over the place for everybody right now. Regardless, it's important to do your best to stick to a routine. Get up at the same time every day, get dressed for work even though you'll be at home, do some at-home workouts, and keep your space tidy.
  4. Get fresh air - There's nothing like the great outdoors to help you ease your mind. Head to a local Maryland hiking trail to get some exercise and unplug. Hit the bike trail. Go for a jog. Do some yard work. Don't stay cooped up in the house.
  5. Eat well, hydrate, and take care of yourself - If you have a busy and hectic work life, eating right and hydrating well isn't always easy to fit into your schedule. Now, there's no excuse! It's time to hone your cooking skills by making healthy meals at home. And don't forget: Drink PLENTY of water. Staying hydrated is key.

How do you feel your community is responding to the coronavirus crisis:

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5 Ways to (Safely) Help Your Neighbors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Social distancing. It's quickly becoming the most-heard phrase of 2020—and for good reason. Experts across the globe report the practice of social distancing as one of the best ways to "flatten the curve"—to spread out the cases of COVID-19 across a longer period of time so that sick individuals do not overwhelm the healthcare system all at once.

It's important to take these measures seriously but that raises the question—how do I continue to help my Columbia community? How can I help the most vulnerable population of Maryland?

There are a number of ways you can do your part and serve your community without putting lives at risk. Here are a few ways you can help out:

  1. Help your at-risk friends, family, and neighbors - Whether it is an immunocompromised friend or a grandparent, we all have at least one person in our life that would be significantly impacted if they became infected with COVID-19. Ask these friends, family members, and community members if there is any way you can make their life safer and easier during this time. Pick up their medication, help them with groceries, do anything you can without coming into direct contact with them.
  2. Check in with your loved ones regularly - Send a text to your coworker. FaceTime your family members. Give your best friend a call. Staying connected with each other is how we stay sane. A simple conversation can really brighten someone's day.
  3. Donate to food banks - Rather than donating unused non-perishables, consider donating any extra money you might have to your local Maryland food banks. As food banks see an increase in demand, the extra financial support can help ease the strain.
  4. Stock up but do not overbuy - Don't be that guy. You know, the person buying enough toilet paper to last a year? Stock up on essential supplies at the store, but do not buy more than your household needs. When you overbuy, another individual or family is suffering. And if you can, now is the time to opt for an at-home delivery service for your groceries. If you must go to the grocery story, limit the number of trips you have to make.
  5. Limit Contact - The rule to follow. Limit your contact with people as much as possible, even those who are close to you. If you are quarantined in your house with a significant other, family members, or a roommate, those are the only people you should be contacting for the next several weeks. It's time to hunker down.

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Grocery Store Safety

In order to keep your household well-stocked during the coronavirus outbreak, trips to a local Columbia grocery store are inevitable. Next time you have to visit a store, follow these safety precautions:

  • Keep your distance from others – Remember, the most important measure to take to avoid contracting the virus is to keep your distance from people. While you're shopping, do your best to maintain a six-foot distance from others.
  • Wipe down surfaces customers commonly touch – Shopping cart handles, shopping basket, etc.
  • Senior hours – If you are senior, pregnant, immunocompromised or have any other underlying health conditions, it is probably a safe idea to utilize senior hours if your local Columbia grocery stores have them. This way, you can avoid larger groups of people such as young, asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
  • Protective gear – You might see people in the grocery store wearing a surgical mask and gloves. While initially experts stated that wearing these weren't helpful, some other opinions have entered into the discussion. Experts now believe a large number of people could be asymptomatic, which would make a surgical mask (to avoid spreading the virus) not such a bad idea. Just remember: If you wear a surgical mask and disposable gloves you still must be conscious of touching your face. If you touch contaminated surfaces around the store and then touch your face or phone, those gloves aren't protecting you from anything.
  • Choose self-checkout – To further limit your contact with others, it's best to avoid exchanging money and credit cards with a cashier. Self- checkout is a better option as it reduces the amount of contact with others.
  • Worry more about washing hands than wiping down containers – Reports on how long the virus survives on certain surfaces are mixed. Many variables come into play in determining how long a virus will survive on a specific surface (surface material, environmental factors such as sunlight and temperature, etc.) Because of this, it is best to avoid touching container surfaces and then touching your face. Wash your hands right away after handling your groceries. If you purchase raw fruits and vegetables, simply wash them off with water as you normally would.
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Major US retailers announce temporary closures

Last updated April 4, 2020

As COVID-19 precautions continue to be enacted, retailers across Maryland and the country continue to close. Please consult the following retailers' website to read about the details of their closures-including whether or not they are closing fully. We will be updating the list as more retailers close:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Adidas
  • Aerie
  • Allbirds
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Ancient Greek Sandals
  • Ann Taylor
  • Anthropologie
  • Apple
  • Aritzia
  • Ashley Stewart
  • Athleta
  • Away
  • Banana Republic
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Belk
  • Best Buy (offers curbside pickup)
  • Buck Mason
  • Build-A-Bear
  • Calvin Klein
  • Canada Goose
  • Carter's
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Chico's
  • Chipotle
  • Claire's
  • Coach
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Crate & Barrel
  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Disney
  • Domino's Pizza, Inc.
  • DSW
  • DXL Big and Tall
  • Equinox
  • Everlane
  • Five Below
  • Foot Locker
  • Forever 21
  • Fossil
  • Free People
  • GameStop (offers curbside pickup)
  • Gap
  • Gilly Hicks
  • Glossier
  • GOAT
  • Gold's Gym
  • Guess?, Inc.
  • H&M
  • Half Price Books
  • Hallmark
  • Hollister
  • HomeGoods and Homesense
  • IKEA
  • IZOD
  • J. Crew
  • J.C. Penney
  • J.Jill
  • Kate Spade
  • Kiehl's
  • Kirkland's
  • Kith
  • Kohl's
  • L Brands
  • L.L. Bean
  • L’OCCITANE
  • LA Fitness
  • Lands' End
  • Levi Strauss
  • Lululemon
  • Lush
  • MAC Cosmetics
  • Macy's
  • Madewell
  • Mark & Graham
  • Marshalls
  • McDonald's
  • Microsoft
  • Neiman Marcus
  • New Balance
  • Nike
  • Nordstrom, Inc.
  • Old Navy
  • Open Ceremony
  • Origins
  • Outdoor Voices
  • Panera Brand
  • Party City
  • Patagonia
  • Peloton
  • Phillip Lim
  • Pier 1
  • Pottery Barn
  • PVH
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Reebok
  • Reformation
  • REI
  • Rejuvenation
  • Rent the Runway
  • Ross
  • Rothy's
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sephora
  • Shoe Carnival
  • Sierra
  • Soma
  • SoulCyce
  • Speedo USA
  • Sprint
  • Starbucks
  • Stuart Weitzman
  • Supreme
  • T.J. Maxx
  • Tailored Brands
  • Tapestry, Inc.
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • T-Mobile
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Tory Burch
  • Ulta Beauty
  • Under Armour
  • Uniqlo
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Van Heusen
  • Vans
  • Verizon
  • VF Corp.
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Vineyard Vines
  • Walmart
  • Warby Parker
  • West Elm
  • White House Black Market
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • WW/Weight Watchers
  • Yum! Brands

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How to Make Your Own Face Mask

While initially healthy people were advised against using face masks to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now changing their stance.

In recent studies, the CDC has discovered that a significant number of people spreading COVID-19 lack the typical symptoms of the virus. Additionally, those who do eventually develop symptoms may still be spreading the virus before they become symptomatic. As a result of this, the CDC is now recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings such as grocery stores, pharmacies, or any other space where social distancing (6 feet) is more difficult to maintain.

It is important to note that the CDC is recommending cloth face coverings fashioned out of household items or other common materials as surgical masks and N-95 respirators are in short supply. Those life-saving materials should be saved for healthcare workers.

Crafting your own face mask at home is quite simple. Now is a great time for you and other members of your household to make them. Here are two easy ways to make your own face mask:

Using a bandana (no sewing machine):

Materials:

  • Bandana (or cotton cloth, 20 x 20 inches)
  • Coffee filter
  • Rubber bands (or hair ties)
  • Scissors (if needed)

Steps:

  1. Cut the bottom part of coffee filter funnel (where the grounds would sit)
  2. Fold your bandana or fabric in half
  3. Fold the coffee filter in the center of the folded bandana by folding the top of the bandana down and bottom part up
  4. Put rubber bands or hair ties about six inches apart around each end of the bandana fabric
  5. Fold the outer sides of the bandana toward the middle and tuck one end into the pocket of the other
  6. Adjust and fit to face

Using fabric and a sewing machine:

Materials:

  • Two 10 x 6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric – The fabric should be tightly woven cotton such as sheets or quilter's cotton but T-shirt fabric will work as well.
  • Two 6-inch pieces of elastic (rubber band, string, cloth strips, hair ties will work)
  • Needle and thread (bobby pin will work too)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Steps:

  1. Stack the two rectangles of fabric on top of each other.
  2. Fold over the longer sides of the fabric 1/4 inch and hem.
  3. Fold the double layer of fabric over 1/2 inch along the short sidesand stitch down.
  4. Using a needle or bobbly pin, run a 6-inch-long piece of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the hem on each side of the mask. These will serve as ear loops. Knot off each end tightly. You can follow these same steps with elastic bands or hair ties.
  5. Tuck the knots inside the hem.
  6. Gather each side of the mask and adjust to fit your face.
  7. After fitting, stitch the elastic in place so it does not move.

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