By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department
Garrett County’s 7-day case rate per 100,000 has held steady at 0 for the last six days, making the county’s positivity rate less than one-half of one percent, at 0.46%.
“People are tempted to think that the issue of COVID-19 is behind us,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Garrett and Allegany County Deputy Health Officer, “but there are still very real ways that the virus can impact our community.”
Even though Governor Larry Hogan is lifting the state of emergency as of July 1st, COVID-19 continues to circulate in the state, and any unvaccinated person who is exposed to COVID-19 will be required to quarantine.
“There are several reasons why our local numbers are currently looking so good,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “The first reason is the stunning success of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 and the second reason is that the warm weather has brought people outdoors instead of inside where there is more chance of exposure to the virus.”
Health officials are concerned about what will happen in the fall when life moves indoors without the protection provided by face coverings and social distancing.
“Nobody wants to see participants in after school activities be sidelined because unvaccinated students need to quarantine because of an exposure,” Stephens said. “If a vaccinated person is exposed, they do not need to quarantine unless they begin to have symptoms.”
“Each family needs to decide whether or not to vaccinate family members who are 12 years and older,” Dr. Corder said. “However, the choice to not vaccinate has consequences. Unvaccinated students will have to quarantine after every exposure to COVID-19, and because the state of emergency will no longer be in effect, the extra accommodations of last year may not be available. Anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated should do it now so they don’t have an interruption in their life because of an exposure down the road.”
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 6, 24, 20, and 27
- 28 Hershberger Lane
- 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Friday, July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30
Scheduling links are available at garretthealth.org. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome.
“It doesn’t matter where you get your vaccine,” Stephens said, “what matters is that you get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones. We all need to do our part to help keep our numbers down and our residents safe.”
For more information call the Health Department at 301-334-7698.