BETHESDA, MD — Social media posts that say schools are closed due to the coronavirus are false, according to Montgomery County Public Schools.

"Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will be open tomorrow, Monday, March 9, and operating on a normal schedule. We are aware of fake posts circulating on social media suggesting that schools will be closed due to the coronavirus. This is false," MCPS said on its website. "Any information about school closures or updates relating to the coronavirus will come directly from County health officials and the district and will be posted on the official MCPS website."

The message comes less than a week after Montgomery County officials announced that three residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. These are the first cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in Maryland.

According to MCPS, state officials do not believe that the patients came in contact with students.


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The three residents — only identified as a woman in her 50s and a married couple in their 70s — contracted the disease, dubbed "COVID-19," while on an Egyptian cruise on the Nile River, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.

In a previous statement, MCPS said it is prepared "for the possibility of school closures in the future should this become necessary."

If that does happen, school officials said they are ready to teach children remotely. More specifically, students in prekindergarten through 12th grade will get physical and online copies of instructional activities.

MCPS also said it would make accommodations for those who need food.

"Depending on the length of time schools are closed, we are prepared to provide meals at several schools as regional meal sites. Information on the sites will be shared with the community once it is finalized," MCPS wrote.

Despite three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, local health and government officials say most residents are still at low risk for contracting the disease, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Those who have symptoms such as a high fever, cough and difficulty breathing should call their health care provider to get advice if they are concerned, according to state officials.


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