Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has made two recent posts on his social media accounts noting the concern over the increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in people under 35. Here is the text from the post on Sunday (July 26th):
We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 data and trends in Howard County. We have steadily increased the amount and frequency of testing and have successfully tested 13.6% of our population. Our 7-day average positivity rate is flat, remaining below 5% at 3.7% as of this morning. Our hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients remain low from our peak of 47 patients in May, with a total of 15 hospitalizations as of today.
At the same time, our 7-day confirmed case average has hit the highest peak since the beginning of the pandemic at 41 cases this week, which is the highest case average since May 28th.
Our average age of daily COVID-19 cases is still shifting towards a younger demographic, with an increase in cases in people under 35. At the start of the pandemic people under 35 made up 30% of our cases, and today 53% of our cases are people below 35. As of yesterday, the average age of new daily confirmed cases is 23, the lowest it’s been since June 23rd.
We must continue to collectively make safety a priority. Please remember to physically distance whenever possible, wear masks, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, and stay home as much as possible. We can only be successful in avoiding large-scale outbreaks if we all work together. The well-being of our community depends on us.
On Monday (July 27th) he posted the following text on social media:
The increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in people under 35 is concerning, and something we’ve been closely monitoring. Many people in this age group have returned to work, and spend more time outside their homes. The good news is we know how to reduce the spread – and it starts with wearing a mask.
Whenever you are spending time with someone outside of your household, and especially if you cannot maintain 6 ft of physical distance, you should wear a mask.
It’s critical we stay informed and help keep each other safe. The welfare of our community depends on us all working together.
Those two posts have me wondering if serious considerations are being had in regards to some type of roll backs of re-openings here in Howard County. I do not have any inside knowledge of such discussions but given some recent happenings around us the wording in those posts above made me think that maybe serious discussions are happening.
Here are some things we know:
So Howard County Health Department (along with many other county health departments) requested roll backs. Governor Hogan has shown that he does not plan to implement roll backs statewide in the near future. Two other jurisdictions (both noted in the letter) have taken some type of action. Is action of some type on the way here in Howard County?
The COVID-19 numbers in Howard County are better than many other areas in the state. Howard County Health Department is reporting a COVID-19 “7 day average positivity rate” of 3.73% and only 15 ICU and Acute beds in use by COVID-19 patients (a pretty low number if you look at the history) today.
What do you think…do you think Howard County will or should act in the near future or should they wait to see how things progress in the coming weeks?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.