FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Local Public Health Advisory: Recent Rise in COVID-19 Cases
Hagerstown, Maryland (August 3, 2021) – Ongoing surveillance of local COVID-19 data by the Washington County Health Department (WCHD) indicates a recent increase in several key indicators, including:
- Cases of COVID-19 in Washington County residents have increased 180% in the past 3 weeks
- New Case Rate per 100,000 have increased 860% over the past 3 weeks (Currently 7.3)
- Positivity Rate has increased 780%% over the past 3 weeks (Currently 4.4%)
- Hospitalizations has been increasing these past weeks, with currently 11 people hospitalized.
- There have been breakthrough cases confirmed in Washington County
- Identified Variants of Concern in Washington County:
- 1.1.7 (Alpha)
- 1 (Gamma)
- 1.617.2 (Delta)
In the past two weeks, 82% of COVID-19 positive cases in Washington County were unvaccinated individuals. WCHD strongly urges all community members who are not yet fully vaccinated to wear masks in indoor group settings and to get vaccinated if they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccinations are available to anyone age 12 and older. For more information or to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, please visit WashCoVax.com or call 240-313-3456.
Additionally, WCHD recommends that all community members, even those who are vaccinated, continue to take actions to protect themselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Wearing a well fitted mask indoors among people who do not live with you
- Avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, or others if you are sick
“We are at another critical point in this pandemic and this moment requires action. The recent upward trend in new COVID-19 cases, and hospitalizations; including breakthrough cases in those fully vaccinated, is sign of increasing community spread and this is concerning,” said Earl Stoner, Washington County Health Officer. “The vast majority of new cases and hospitalizations are happening in unvaccinated people. While not 100%, we know vaccines are very effective in preventing hospitalization and death, including against COVID-19 variants. Simply put – we desperately need more people to get vaccinated, until then, this is the reality that we have to confront.”
If you’re not yet vaccinated, please get vaccinated and wear a mask when indoors with people outside your household. If you’re fully vaccinated, consider wearing a mask indoors in public settings to decrease your risk of breakthrough COVID-19 infection and prevent the possible transmission to others if you were to become infected.”
Community members showing any sign or symptom of COVID-19 should get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. Asymptomatic persons exposed to COVID-19 should also get tested, regardless of vaccination status. For more information on testing locations and hours please visit https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/.