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COVID numbers up again as holidays, indoor season sets in

by Geoff Fox

With Christmas days away, COVID numbers have seen a large surge due to the Omnicron variant. All case numbers are from the state and county.

Within the state of Maryland, there have been 621,220 confirmed cases of COVID as of Monday afternoon. In Washington County, that number is 22,026.

In the state of Maryland, 41,539 people have been confirmed as COVID positive but fully vaccinated.

Positivity rate in Maryland is 10.27% but in Washington County, it’s at 14.7%.

There have been a total of 423 deaths associated from the virus in Washington County and 11,022 deaths statewide. Of those deaths, 419 had been fully vaccinated people.

There are 78,580 fully vaccinated people in Washington County and 4,233,728 fully vaccinated people in the state.

No information was available on Monday afternoon regarding localized numbers on the state website.

In a press release, the Washington County Health Department said there had been 71 people hospitalized this week with COVID, 80% of whom were unvaccinated.

The health department also noted community outbreaks have risen throughout the community by 75 since November 1.

With individuals congregating indoors more during the winter months, the Washington County Health Department strongly urges people who are not yet fully vaccinated to wear masks in indoor group settings and get vaccinated and boosted if eligible.

COVID vaccinations are available to anyone aged five and older. Boosters are available to anyone aged 16 and older who had their vaccination shots more than six months ago (Pfizer and Moderna) or two months since their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

For more information or to make a vaccination appointment, visit washcovax.com or call 240-313-3456 or visit the Meritus Health community clinic page.

The health department is also recommending folks continue to take actions to protect themselves and prevent the spread of COVID, even if they are vaccinated.

This includes wearing a well-fitted mask indoors, getting all members of your family aged five and older fully vaccinated or the boosters if eligible, avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces where distancing isn’t possible, washing hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer, getting tested if you have symptoms or may have been exposed, and avoid close contact with people who are sick or other if you are sick.

“At this point we again are heading in the wrong direction and we all need to do our part to stop further spread of COVID-19,” said Washington County Health Officer Earl Stoner.

Stone said local hospitalizations are elevated and we cannot continue to allow the virus to spread and impact those who are most vulnerable like younger children, older adults and those who have a lowered immunity due to other medical issues.

“Simply put – I urge everyone to get vaccinated or boosted when you are eligible, wear a mask indoor public settings, and get tested and stay home if you are sick,” he said.

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