By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department
State and local public health continue to do contract tracing when they are notified of positive COVID-19 cases.
Garrett County experienced a slight increase in COVID-19 cases over the last week. Currently the 7-Day positivity percentage is 1.4% and the case rate per 100,000 is at 3.54. These new infections are mostly in persons who have not been vaccinated.
Vaccination rates for Garrett County residents are 46.1% for those 12+ and 74.3% for those who are age 65+.
The Maryland Contract Tracing Weekly Data Summary shows an increase in persons who are reached by contact tracers reporting that they attended large gatherings, sporting events, funerals, and religious services. These are locations where they may have been infected, or they may have spread the infection to others.
Today, the Allegany County Health Department reported that the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant has been confirmed in Allegany County. The Maryland Public Health Laboratory conducts RNA sequencing on COVID-19 case specimens from across the state, and the delta variant was found in an Allegany County specimen. The delta variant now accounts for about 58% of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States, up from just 3% in late May. The variant was first detected in the U.S. in March and is now present in all 50 states.
The World Health Organization and the CDC have labeled the delta variant of COVID-19 as a variant of concern because it is spreading much more quickly and easily than other variants of the disease. The CDC reports that the delta variant has been found to be particularly dangerous to those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against COVID-19, and preliminary data indicates that it may increase the risk of hospitalization.
Fortunately, studies show that all three available vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson – do provide protection against the delta variant and help to prevent hospitalizations and deaths.
“It comes as no surprise that the delta variant has been detected locally,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “Please protect yourself, your family and your community by being vaccinated. If vaccination rates are high, transmission can be greatly reduced, and this is in the best interest of each of us.”
The Garrett County Health Department has weekly clinics scheduled at their Oakland and Grantsville Offices during July, with Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer vaccine available at each clinic.
1025 Memorial Drive
· 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· Tuesday, July 20, and 27
28 Hershberger Lane
· 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· Friday, July 16, 23, and 30
Scheduling links are available at garretthealth.org. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome.