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County COVID cases drop, but deaths increase, say taskforce

by Kate Shunney

Washington County’s Joint Information Center (JIC) on Monday reported that an additional 13 county residents have died from COVID-19 over the past week, according to state health data.

The county’s positivity rate was listed at 16.71% at the time of the release.

More county residents continue to get vaccinated against the highly contagious respiratory disease. According to the Maryland Department of Health Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, 54% of Washington County residents are fully vaccinated. More vaccine clinics are being held weekly as the county is experiencing a “high level of community transmission.”

“Although there has been a slight decrease in the positivity rate, the number of deaths continues to increase,” said JIC officials from the Emergency Operations Center.

Residents who have used at-home COVID tests are being asked to report positive results on the Maryland Health Department portal, located online at https://onestop.md.gov/forms/maryland-covid-at-home-test-self-report-61dc801b819e860001f1037a.

The Maryland Contact Tracing Unit can be emailed at mdh.mdcovidalert@maryland.gov.

Hospital officials from Meritus continue to urge residents to get their booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The COVID-19 booster helps to protect your immunity to COVID-19. Over time, protection from your initial vaccine decreases and the booster shot helps to ‘boost’ your immunity to COVID-19, especially as different variants develop. Across the country, people are generally having fewer and milder reactions after their third dose and they will be 92% less likely to experience serious symptoms or need hospital care,” the JIC announced.

The JIC consists of representatives from the following agencies: Washington County Government, Washington County Health Department, and Meritus Health.

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