Wicomico Covid-19 cases surge beyond 100 patients

Wicomico County’s confirmed cases of coronavirus patients has entered triple digits, state health officials reported.

As of Friday, 103 county residents were being treated for the virus, a jump of more than 30 patients from midweek.

Additional cases have also been confirmed in Worcester County, which now reports 28 people as having Covid-19.

One person has died from the virus in Wicomico County.

The patient count in Somerset is nine, which makes for a total of 140 cases in the three Lower Shore counties.

Officials concede there are likely more cases in the communities, as many virus victims have not been tested.

Dorchester County counts 20 cases with one death. Caroline County has reported 28 cases; Talbot County has recorded 14 cases with one patient death.  

Statewide in Maryland, 11,572 cases have been confirmed, with 425 deaths reported. The hospitalization totals of people with the virus stands at 2,122.

Across Maryland, 50,537 people have tested negative for the virus and 736 people have been released from hospitals after receiving treatment.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland is now in a position to plan the gradual rollout of the state’s recovery phase amid “very real reasons for hope and optimism,” laying out four building blocks for a recovery plan:

  1. Expanding testing capacity.
  2. Increasing hospital surge capacity.
  3. Ramping up supply of hospital protective gear.
  4. Building a robust contact tracing operation.

“Fortunately, because of the early and aggressive actions and because of the extraordinary sacrifices of Marylanders, we are now in a position to move from containment and mitigation to planning the gradual rollout of our recovery phase,” said Hogan.

“There are some very real reasons for hope and optimism right now and there is clearly a light at the end of this tunnel, but exactly how and when we will get to that light is going to be up to each and every one of us,” he said. “Right now while our numbers are still climbing and we are still heading up that curve, not down, it is absolutely critical for Marylanders to stay home, to continue avoiding crowds and gatherings, and to aggressively practice social distancing.”

Hogan said that over the last several weeks, state officials have been consulting with doctors and public health experts serving on the Coronavirus Response Team to develop a roadmap for the reopening of Maryland and the state economy.

Testing

Hogan announced that Maryland has expanded testing capacity by more than 5,000 percent in the past month and the state is on track with an aggressive plan to more than triple current capacity to perform up to 10,000 tests per day. 

The state recently secured an additional 40,000 tests, including 30,000 that will utilize Abbott m2000 testing machines.

The state entered into a separate agreement with Abbott Labs to acquire a substantial number of antibody tests.

Face coverings

Hogan this week announced an executive order which requires the wearing of face coverings when inside any retail establishments or when riding any form of public transportation in Maryland.

The order also requires all retail locations to require staff to wear face coverings and requires those businesses to put appropriate social distancing measures in place. To give retailers time to make these adjustments, the order will go into effect Saturday at 7 a.m.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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