COVID-19: Maryland hospitalizations near 1,000; Delaware averages 300-plus new cases daily
SALISBURY, Md. — The COVID-19 surge health experts have been sounding the alarm about is here.
Delaware is seeing "significant community spread," and Maryland and Virginia have once again tightened precautions to curb climbing virus metrics.
Vaccine trials first from Pfizer and now Moderna are showing promising effectiveness, but state officials are warning it isn't time to let your guard down as some places reach record highs for new COVID-19 cases reported daily and hospitals are bombarded with patients.
"Too many Marylanders are traveling out of state to unsafe locations, hosting large gatherings, crowding in bars, attending house parties and refusing to wear masks," said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in his Nov. 10 news conference.
Maryland has reduced indoor restaurant capacity to 50% and issued advisories on non-essential out-of-state travel and indoor gathering size.
Virginia's limit for public and private indoor and outdoor gatherings has been lowered from 250 to 25, the mask mandate has been expanded and alcohol sales will have a 10 p.m. curfew.
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Essential retail businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies that don't comply with Virginia guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings and enhanced cleaning could face a Class One misdemeanor.
A steady stream of Delmarva schools have been moving to online learning because of cases identified among students or staff or increasing case numbers in the surrounding area.
With holiday festivities fast approaching and many exhausted by the pandemic's burden, experts and officials are warning precautions must be taken or the worst may be yet to come.
Here's the latest pandemic data from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia as of Monday, Nov. 16:
Maryland hospitals have 278 more COVID-19 patients in their care than they did a week ago.
Current hospitalizations across the state have spiked to 985. This is the highest they've been since early June.
It represents an increase of 88% since the start of November, when they were at 523.
The number of patients in intensive care also surpassed 200 in the last week. That metric is at 237 as of Monday, which is an added 69 patients.
The state's overall COVID-19 case total has reached 167,656, with 1,726 cases gained in the last 24 hours and 12,285 gained over the last seven days.
That's almost 4,000 cases higher than what was added to the case tally for the week prior. The state has been reporting at least 1,000 new cases each day for 13 days straight.
Over the weekend, Maryland saw a record high for new cases, when the infection total jumped Saturday by more than 2,300 cases. That's the first time since the state started tracking cases that new daily infections have been above 2,000.
The three Lower Shore counties reported a combined 326 infections during this period. Wicomico County alone saw 200 infections added to its case total. Worcester County's increased by 80 and Somerset County's by 46.
Here are the case totals in these jurisdictions as of Monday morning, with fatalities in parentheses:
- Wicomico County - 2,914 (55)
- Worcester County - 1,362 (32)
- Somerset County - 541 (8)
The death toll for the region is up by five, with three more virus-related fatalities reported for Wicomico, one for Worcester and one for Somerset.
The Maryland Department of Health has calculated the statewide seven-day positivity rate at 6.45%, which is down slightly from 6.57% over the weekend, but up compared to 5.05% a week ago.
Both Wicomico and Worcester counties are below that rate at 5.91% and 6.41%, respectively.
Somerset County holds the third highest positivity rate in the state at 8.96%. It's one of six jurisdictions with a rate above 8%.
In the last week, Virginia has surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 cases.
The state's tally of cases jumped by 11,160 since last Monday, bringing it to a total 204,637 infections. That's more than a 1,000 cases higher than the number of infections the state gained for the week prior.
The case count increased by 2,677 infections Monday morning because the Virginia Department of Health's data system was playing catch up after being down for upgrades for a few hours over the weekend.
Cases for the Eastern Shore Health District increased by 22 in the last seven days. Accomack County gained 17 infections for a total 1,258 residents who have tested positive for the novel virus and Northampton County gained gained five for a total 332.
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Accomack also reported two more virus-related deaths during this time. This is the first change in the region's death toll since mid-September. Deaths in Accomack now stand at 21, while deaths for Northampton are at 31.
A new COVID-19 hospitalization has been added for the region as well, this one out of Accomack.
Accomack has seen 102 hospitalized patients throughout the pandemic and Northampton has seen 49. That metric has been unchanged for Northampton County since mid-August.
Current hospitalizations of patients infected by the novel virus throughout the state are at 1,337 Monday compared to 1,100 a week ago.
A chart of hospitalization trends from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association shows a sharp upward spike this month in the number of hospital beds filled with COVID-19 patients.
The number of outbreaks on the Shore remains at 16, and cases associated with those outbreaks have increased by one to 883.
Those cases account for about 2.9% of the more than 30,000 cases linked to 1,417 outbreaks in facilities across the state.
The seven-day average in Delaware of new daily cases shot past 300 over the weekend.
It stands at about 326 infections daily as of Monday morning. A week ago, that metric was at an average of roughly 226 new cases a day.
Another metric that's seen an increase is the seven-day average for the percent of people that have tested positive, which has come up from 11.5% to 12.1%.
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For Sussex county, that average has gone from 13.8% to 15.5%.
It spiked to 14.1% for the state over the weekend and 16.1% for Sussex over the weekend before coming back down slightly.
The statewide case total has reached 29,200, which is an increase of 2,292 infections over the last week. Sussex gained 552 cases for a tally of 9,139 infections.
Current COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen from 119 last Monday to 141. They briefly dropped in Sunday's numbers to 81 before surging again by Monday's data release.
Sussex County's hospitalizations have come down slightly. They were at 47 a week ago and are at 45 Monday.
Another 17 virus-related deaths have been reported for all of Delaware, with seven of them out of Sussex County. The statewide death toll is up to 736.
The lower Delaware county has now seen 248 residents die after contracting the novel virus. The bulk of those deaths were among Sussex residents at least 65 years old or older.