Reported by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on January 18th:

As of 9:00 a.m. this morning and according to the Maryland Department of Health, Howard County’s positivity rate is 16% and our 7-day average case rate is 114. Hospitalizations remain high around the state. There are currently 68 COVID-19 patients in both the ICU and Acute Care units at Howard County General Hospital.

Howard County has high vaccination rates with 81% of our total population being fully vaccinated, and 86% of our residents 12+ are fully vaccinated. Approximately 50% of our eligible residents (12+) still have not received their booster shot. With Omicron’s virulence, the unvaccinated are at greater risk for hospitalization. Studies show that vaccinated individuals are still at risk of being infected with the Omicron variant. However, vaccines and boosters are working by significantly reducing hospitalization and even death.

Today, the the federal government kicked off a new program that will deliver free rapid COVID-19 tests to every American home that requests them. To learn more, or order the tests for your household, please visit Tests are expected to begin shipping in late January.


We must continue to practice the mitigation strategies we have all become accustomed to: stay home if you are sick, get tested, wear a high-quality mask, and please get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already. Find a vaccine near you at


Here is additional information about the free COVID-19 tests:

Scott E


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