To date in Howard County, we have 15,284 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 8,188 active cases, 6,867 total recoveries, and 218 of our neighbors have passed from this virus. We’re keeping these families in our hearts.
As of 9:00 a.m. today and according to the Maryland Department of Health, our 7-day average positivity rate is at 4.2% and our 7-day average case rate per 100,000 of our population is at 14.6. Both our positivity and case rates are below the State averages, and our rates are within the lower third of all jurisdictions.
We are strong partners with the Howard County General Hospital and continue to monitor their staffing capacity. Currently, there are 33 staffed ICU beds (12 available) and 169 acute care beds (27 available). Today, there are 19 COVID-19 patients in both ICU and Acute Care unit.
Per the Governor’s direction, the Howard County Health Department is actively making its way through Phases 1A, 1B, and older adults in Phase 1C. To date, since our first 100 dose shipment on December 23rd, we have received 18,725 first doses and administered 103.2%. The percentage is over 100% due to the week that we received the Pfizer vaccine and were able to generate more doses from the allotment. This week, we learned our Health Department will receive 1,700 doses each week for the next four weeks. This allocation, which is less than our January average of about 3,000 per week, and our high of 4,500 in a week, represents the State’s continued transition from local health departments vaccinating their communities to regional State-run mass vax clinics, retail pharmacies, and hospital operating clinics. All residents are encouraged by the State to register for a vaccine at these sites by using the State vaccine locator: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine#locator.
All phases—1A, 1B, 1C, 2, and 3– can pre-register at vaccine.howardcountymd.gov or by calling 410-313-6284. Pre-registering does not schedule an appointment but provides your contact information to the Health Department, so you may be notified when appointments are available. All vaccinations at this point are by appointment only. Not everyone will get appointments immediately until we have enough vaccine, and we do not have enough vaccine. Residents who have preregistered will be notified by email over the next several days to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required, and persons should arrive no sooner than 10 minutes prior to their appointment time.
Although vaccine distribution has started and expanded administration efforts are on the way, it’s important that we continue to remain vigilant with our mitigation efforts. We can only end this pandemic by working together, we must continue practices that we all know at this point – wear a mask around people not in your household, avoid gatherings of large groups, keep your distance, and wash your hands. Let’s StayCOVIDSafe HoCo.