As many residents across Howard County and Maryland begin getting vaccinated, it’s vital that we all maintain vigilance and practice mitigation measures against COVID-19. As of 9:00 a.m. today and according to the Maryland Department of Health, our 7-day average positivity rate is at 7.75%, our 7-day average case rate per 100,000 of our population is at 45.24. While we have the 4th lowest case rate in the State, these are the highest numbers since this summer.

We are seeing increasing COVID-19 trends, likely due to the holiday surge, compounded by colder weather, and it’s important to follow the guidance of our health experts – wash your hands, wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, etc.

We are also seeing an increase of COVID-19 patients at Howard County General Hospital. Currently, our ICU is 78.8% utilized, Acute Care Unit is 77.7% utilized, and we have 12 ventilators in use. There are 55 COVID-19 patients at Howard County General Hospital.

The Howard County Health Department is actively working to ensure our healthcare workers and first responders receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, we have received 4,500 vaccines and administered 4,197 to our first responders and healthcare workers under Phase 1A of our distribution process. In total, 93% of the vaccines received have been used, and we have the second best vaccine administration rate in the State. As we receive more vaccines, our Health Department is working diligently to administer to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Eligible residents will be notified by their healthcare provider and/or the Howard County Health Department when registration becomes available. Resident MUST register online with the Health Department when it is their turn to take the vaccine. For more information on the vaccines, the phases for availability, and other COVID-19 information, please visit StayCOVIDSafe.howardcountymd.gov.

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Scott E