Sunday, March 15, 2020
Some Montgomery County businesses close, gym confirms member has coronavirus
confirmed a member tested positive for coronavirus after last working out there on March 9. Some employees and members of the gym expressed anxiety over its decision not to temporarily close, and WUSA-9 cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that suggest a 24-hour closure is needed before an exposure site can be disinfected.
Mall operator Westfield released identical statements regarding its Montgomery Mall and Wheaton Plaza properties Saturday. Westfield stressed that both retail centers remain open, but that it will allow individual tenants to change hours or close as needed to protect their staff and patrons. The company added that the open status of the mall could change if the CDC or government authorities request such gathering places be closed.
President Trump announced he tested negative for coronavirus on Saturday. The United Kingdom announced citizens 70 and older would be asked to self-isolate in the near future, but Maryland Larry Hogan had long ago recommended Marylanders 60 and older do just that to avoid exposure to the virus.
Some of the business closures appear to be driven by the same magical thinking of local politicians that schools would somehow be able to reopen in only two weeks. That will almost certainly not be the case. Testing locally and nationally remains inadequate, and as a result, we have no true sense of how far and how rapidly covid-19 has spread in our county and region yet. But no credible medical professional believes this will blow over in two weeks. "I'm not an epidemiologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."