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A special message from Secretary Rona E. Kramer to older adults during the COVID-19 global pandemic:
Released ​March 16, 2020:

Released ​​March 23, 2020:
 ​​​For more videos, see below!
What is COVID-19?​ 
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. COVID-19 is a new virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of infections, causing illness and in some cases death. 

Cases have spread to countries throughout the world, with more cases reported daily. COVID-19 is thought to be able to spread like the cold or flu through: 
• coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets 
• close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands 
• touching an object or surface with the virus on it Symptoms of COVID-19 include: 
• fever 
• coughing 
• shortness of breath 
• in more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)​

Do older adults have a higher risk of becoming more seriously ill from COVID-19? 

Older adults (age 60+) and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for serious illness, and in some cases death, if they become infected with COVID-19. Examples of preexisting medical conditions include: cancer, diabetes, heart disease or other conditions that impact the immune system’s ability to fight germs. 

If you are an older adult or you have one or more chronic health conditions, you can take action to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19: 
• Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others 
• When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content 
• Avoid crowds as much as possible​

Please read: Frequently Asked Questions: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Older Adults:

Sign up for Senior Call Check here​ or call 1-866-50-CHECK:

The Senior Call Check program is a free resource to MD residents over 65+ and we recommend all seniors use the program as a resource during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Senior Call Check phone lines are open M-F 8 am-5 pm and Saturday 9 am-3 pm.  During these hours, seniors can call toll-free 1-866-50-CHECK (1-866-502-0560) and register with a live agent.  Registration is also available online 24/7, click here​

•         The verification and enrollment process can be completed within 24 hours Monday – Saturday.

•         We will provide messages and updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak where to find support if you need it.

•         Finally, regarding our emergency preparedness for handling possible disruption from COVID-19, we can provide you information at this time of need.

Please read program details here:​

Additional resources:

MAP Link 1-844-MAP-LINK (1-844-627-5465)​
Maryland Unites webpage, including Maryland helping Marylanders: 
CDC video on COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know​
ACL Administration for Community Living "What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know?"​
Food resources shared by the National Council of Aging  

Senior Shopping Hours Senior Shopping Hours.pdfSenior Shopping Hours.pdf

Video PSAs Regarding the COVID-19 and Older Adults from Secretary Kramer:

YouTube Playlist (view all):

*New*Long PSA released March 23, 2020, 9:23 minutes:

Long PSA released March 16, 2020, 7:47 minutes:

:30 Second PSAs:
General Prevention:
Health Conditions:
*New* Home Caregiver: 
Informing Others:
*New* Older Adults from MDH :45 Seconds:
*New*​ Mental Health: 
*New* Professional Care Providers:​
*New* Professional Healthcare Providers from MDH :45 Seconds:
Senior Call Check:
Senior Center Closures:
Social Distancing:
Visitor Restrictions:​

For anyone needing a different format for the videos, such as open captioning, downloadable files in MP4 or MP2 format, or another need, please email 

For additional resources, please visit the designated website for COVID-19 shared by the Maryland Department of Health:​

Prevention of Isolation:

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will provide updates as they become available.