It says the county is ‘at a dangerous point in this pandemic.’
Hagerstowns, Md (KM) The Washington County Health Department has issued a COVID-19 alert. That means residents are strongly encourages adhere to the Maryland Department of Health’s Public Health Advisory to limit gatherings to 25 people or less, and consider canceling or postponing events that are not essential.
The County Health Department says there’s been significant increases in coronavirus cases in the county due to the cold weather bringing people indoors, and people getting tired of taking precautions against COVID-19. The county has been experiencing significant community spread of the coronavirus due to gatherings of all sizes; and in some instances, there have been sizable clusters and outbreaks, the Department says. People can spread the virus even if they have no symptoms.
The Health Department says the positivity rate is 7%, , and the daily rolling case rates is 29.1 per 100-thousand people. Officials says in Washington County, Thursday’s total new cases was 74, and Friday’s total rose to 152, a one day increase of 105%,
“Over the past few weeks, we have definitely been going in the wrong direction,” said Health Officer Earl Stoner, in a statement. “We are at a critical point, and now is not the time to reduce our vigilance, or reduce protective measures put in place.”
The Health Department says this is not a time to go back off track. The agency is urging residents to redouble their efforts to limit the virus. That includes wearing a mask, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 second. Trey should also cover their cough or sneeze and stay home if they’re sick. Avoid touching their faces.
These are just recommendations, but the Health Department says if people continue not wearing masks and practicing social distancing, tighter restrictions could follow.
Earlier on Friday, the Health Department reported Washington County 2,808 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 50 deaths.
By Kevin McManus