HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Just as soon as we thought this pandemic might be winding down, health experts across the country are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases yet again.
As of Tuesday, there were 1,540 new COVID-19 cases across the state of Maryland. Areas like Montgomery County and Prince George’s County have seen a combined total of more than 500 cases. The Prince George’s County Health Department released a statement on Thursday recommending that residents wear masks indoors.
Meanwhile, Washington County only saw 30 new cases. Leaders at Meritus Health say hospitalizations are not high.
“Our positivity rate is up slightly in our county, but our patients still remain in the single digits. So we have roughly eight patients in-house right now. And very hopeful, none in ICU as of today,” said Carrie Adams, Operating Officer for Meritus Health.
Danielle Stahl, spokesperson for the Washington County Health Department says the increase in gatherings due to warmer weather may be driving the increase.
“We can expect a little bit now that the weather’s nice and people are gathering getting outside more. So this is something that we do expect to see a little bit of an increase,” said Stahl.
When it comes to staying safe, officials want you to practice the same protocols you did during other COVID spikes.
“I always recommend hand hygiene is the best level of defense. So washing frequently, before and after eating when you’re in high touch areas or public areas, making sure you’re using hand sanitizer,” said Adams.
“Masking too, as much as it’s not a mandate anymore, it’s still a really important preventative measure that can help slow the spread of COVID,” said Stahl.
Health leaders hope the pandemic ends soon, but until then, they say to remain vigilant.
“Making sure that they really check out the vaccination as we’re preparing to travel this summer. Paying attention to where you’re traveling, what their positivity rates are if that’s available and also consider getting boosted and making sure they’re following the recommendations that are coming out for boosters,” said Adams.