news 5 days ago

Frederick County COVID-19 deaths reach 100

The Frederick News-Post, Md. — Heather Mongilio The Frederick News-Post, Md.

May 23-- May 23--The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Frederick County over the last 2 1/2 months is now more than four-times more than roadway fatalities in the county in all of 2019.

The Frederick County Health Department reported Friday that the 100th Frederick County resident died from COVID-19. There were 24 roadway deaths in all of last year, the Maryland Department of Transportation told WFMD last week.

The 100 deaths marks an increase of four since Thursday, although that does not mean that all four deaths occurred then. There is a lag between deaths and when they are reported, said Rissah Watkins, director of planning, assessment and communications for the health department.

The four new deaths include a woman in her 100s, the oldest person to die from COVID-19, so far, in the county. The other three deaths are a man in his 90s, a woman in her 90s and a woman in her 70s, Watkins said in an email.

There are now 1,653 confirmed cases of the disease in Frederick County, which means about 6 percent of those diagnosed have died. However, that is not the mortality rate of the disease in the county as it does not include those who had COVID-19 but were not tested.

Overall, the county has received results from 10,652 tests, with a positivity rate of about 15.5 percent. That does not necessarily mean 10,652 people have been tested as there are scenarios where a person may be tested more than once. Deaths across the state increased by 47, slightly higher than the increases reported Thursday and Wednesday, which saw 41 new deaths each day.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed the number of flu diagnoses in Maryland on Friday, as COVID-19 cases topped 44,000. It is not clear if this is the case in Frederick County as the Maryland Department of Health does not provide influenza data by county, although it is likely that there have been more COVID-19 cases and deaths in Frederick County.

The Maryland Department of Health reported an additional 893 cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 44,424 in less than three months. This does not include 28 Frederick County additional cases reported Friday afternoon.

The Maryland Department of Health reported 43,996 cases of flu over the 6.5-month flu season. In that same season, 4,018 people were hospitalized due to influenza. COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed that on April 27, almost two months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state.

Hospitalizations are dropping, with 45 fewer current hospitalizations reported Friday than on Thursday. Intensive and acute care numbers, as well as current hospitalizations, are at their lowest since April 20.

However, that does not mean there are not people being hospitalized for the disease. There were 149 more people reported hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of 10 a.m. Friday.

The consistent declines in current hospitalizations have been seen throughout the week since Gov. Larry Hogan initiated the first part of his reopening, which included allowing businesses to reopen at 50 percent capacity. However, not all jurisdictions followed the governor's plans. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner implemented a modified and delayed reopening plan, as did Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

In Prince George's County, which has the most cases and deaths, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks extended the stay at home order to June 1.

While current hospitalizations continue to drop, cases and deaths are not following that trend. Cases increased by 893, which is smaller than the reported increase Thursday.

The number of confirmed cases are likely to rise as testing increases. There will be at least four state-run sites where people can get tested without symptoms, if they think they have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, according to an announcement this week.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

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