BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Community transmission rates of COVID-19 in Baltimore have shifted from moderate to high over the past two weeks, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The change came Thursday night, with CDC data now indicating there are 283 cases per 100,000 people, hospital admissions per case rose to 11.8 admissions per 100,000 cases, the Baltimore City Health Department said.
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Data compiled by the CDC shows that Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties also have high levels of transmission, while east coast counties Dorchester, Kent and Talbot have high rates of community spread.
The new CDC status comes nearly three weeks after the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, issued a recommendation that Baltimoreans return to wearing masks when in public spaces due to rising transmission rates.
“The most important thing to remember is that we have the tools to fight it,” said Dr. Dzirasa. “Vaccines, tests and masks coupled with a sound hygiene routine are enough to keep many healthy people out of the hospital while we work to determine whether we are at the tail, middle or start of this spike in cases.”
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In Maryland, the positivity rate has risen to 8.55%, up nearly 500% from its March low. Similarly, hospitalizations have surged to more than 500 after bottoming out in April.
The advice of Dr. Dzirasa remains in place, according to the Health Ministry, which underscored the importance of wearing masks indoors, especially when community transmission rates are high.
The health department urged people to continue donning masks indoors where social distancing is not an option and encouraged the unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine and their booster shots to help stem the spread of the virus.
The agency has alerted Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore City public school leaders and business leaders to the rising transmission rates. The agency said it will provide an update to the public following the release of the CDC’s upcoming community broadcast update in June.
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To learn more about where to get a vaccine or test kit, visit Baltimore City’s coronavirus resource page.