FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — As hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise, the Frederick County Health Department and Frederick Health are working together to encourage county residents to take steps to enjoy the holidays safely.

Since Frederick County is experiencing high transmission and a sharply rising number of COVID hospitalizations, the rate of transmission is expected to continue to rise during the holidays and winter months.

Hospitalizations have increased by 50% over the past week. On Wednesday, the number of COVID patients stood at 60, with 14 in the intensive care unit.

“Persons who are vaccinated also are at risk for becoming infected. So a much lower likelihood of becoming infected, but they are at risk for becoming infected and also are at risk for spreading it once they are infected,” Director of the Frederick County Health Department, Barbara Brookmeyer explained. “So we recommend for everybody that you consider the risk that would be associated with going to an activity with persons outside of your household.”