Maryland surpasses 5% coronavirus positivity rate for first time in three months

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland’s 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate surpassed 5% on Tuesday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. This is the first time the positivity rate has crept this high since the end of August, three months ago.

According to the CDC, jurisdictions should remain below a 5% positivity rate for 14 days or more in order for it to be considered “safe” to lift restrictions.

Just days after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, other key coronavirus metrics are also rapidly increasing. As of Tuesday, 663 people were hospitalized due to the virus (170 of those in the ICU), up from 490 just two weeks prior.

The daily confirmed case total on Tuesday was 1,244, the highest number since early October.

While no cases of the newly-discovered Omircron variant (which is listed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization) have been confirmed in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Saturday that he would not be surprised if the mutation has already made its way into the country.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan advised residents to get vaccinated on Monday and released a statement saying in part, “While there is still much unknown about the Omicron variant and how it will spread, the most important thing Marylanders can do right now is to get vaccinated or get a booster shot. It is the best way to maintain your immunity and protect yourself and your family from severe illness. All Marylanders age 18 and older are eligible for boosters, and we continue to have the supply and the capacity to provide a vaccine to anyone who wants one.”

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