Maryland

Frederick County Health Systems Stressed as COVID Transmission Remains High

Eleven county residents have died from COVID-19 this month

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Hospitals in Frederick County, Maryland, are stretched thin as community transmission of COVID-19 has remained high for weeks on end, officials say.

The county has seen more than 250 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed every week for the past 11 weeks.

Frederick Health Hospital reported Tuesday that 30 patients are currently hospitalized due to the virus.

So far this month, 11 people have died from COVID-19, county officials said in a news release Wednesday.

Four Virginia children who lost their parents to COVID-19 are now in the care of an aunt and uncle in South Carolina. Their new guardians spoke in an emotional interview with WYFF-TV, the NBC affiliate in Greenville, South Carolina.

"Our healthcare workers are exhausted,” County Executive Jan Gardner said in the release. “We need to stay vigilant to protect our entire community. Please get your vaccine or booster shot, and continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.”

Frederick County’s positivity rate has been higher than the state as a whole since Sept. 8, the county said.

As of Wednesday morning, the local positivity rate stood at nearly 5%, while the statewide rate is 3.05%. The seven-day average of new cases in Frederick County stands at 15.74 cases per 100,000 people. Maryland’s case rate is 12.76.

Elsewhere in Maryland, community transmission has gone down.

Montgomery County announced Wednesday it would lift its indoor mask mandate beginning Thursday as the county continues to see a decline in community transmission.

Frederick County mandated masks be worn inside all county-owned buildings and facilities, but there is no mandate in place for all public places.