Residents are urged to continue wearing a mask & practice social distancing.
Frederick, Md (KM) COVID-19 has not gone away despite having vaccines, and Frederick County residents should not let their guard down. That message comes from County Executive Jan Gardner, who held a public information briefing on Thursday.
She said as of Thursday, there have been 17,893 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, which is 55 more than the day before, and more than the 17,545 last week. At Frederick Health Hospital, Gardner said there are 26 patients with COVID-19, with five of them in the intensive care unit. That’s up from 18 from a week ago.
“Unfortunately–this is the worst part of all of this–is that the deaths from COVID are rising as well,” she continues. “In the past week, ten people in our community have died from the virus, bringing the county’s total to 288 over the past year.”
Gardner says residents still need to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing to keep themselves safe against the coronavirus.
She also urged citizens to get vaccinated when it’s their turn. “So far, a quarter of all Frederick County residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and that is over 30% of the adult population,” she said. “That is progress that we need to get many more people vaccinated to win the war against the virus.”
The County says 63,141 citizens have received the first dose of the vaccine, and 33,121 have received the second dose. A total of 35,237 citizens are fully vaccinated.
Vaccines against COVID-19 have been around for several weeks. But Health Officer Doctor Barbara Brookmyer says the supply coming from the state is often not enough to meet demand. “The Health Department and Hospital’s allocations have been relatively flat. But yet the state mass vaccination centers open up, we’re seeing that a greater percent of Frederick County residents are being vaccinated at these state mass vaccination sites because that’s where they’re increased availability and allocation,”: she said.
Both Dr. Brookmyer and County Executive Gardner suggested that residents go to these mass vaccination centers if they are able to travel. One opened on Thursday in Hagerstown at the Premium Outlets. There are plans by the state to open a mass vaccination center in Frederick County, but Gardner said nothing has been finalized as of Thursday.
Also during her public information briefing, County Executive Gardner took time to praise the county’s employees who have been participating in the vaccination effort, and doing their regular assigned duties. These employees work at vaccination sites and the call center, and deliver groceries to seniors.
“Our call center is staffed by employees by our Division of Citizens Services, and several other departments, including one person from my staff, and someone from the County Council staff,” she said. “Our large vaccination clinics require as many as 120 positions to operate them. And that means we’re utilizing staff from almost every division.”
The county staff also makes sure senior citizens don’t go hungry. “We’ve upped food to seniors delivery 600%, and we’ve done it with county employees,” says Gardner.
The County Executive says many employees find this work “uplifting and satisfying.”
The employees come from such agencies as the Public Library System, TransIT, the Scott Key Center, Finance, Interagency Information Technologies and Parks and Recreation.
By Kevin McManus