LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Ongoing monitoring of local COVID-19 data by the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has shown a recent increase in several key indicators, including:
- Community Transmission (considers rates of new infection): High
- Community Level (considers burden on regional healthcare systems): Low
- Total cases of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County residents: 24,466 (+272 in past 7 days)
- New Case Rate per 100,000: 33.79 (+10.68 in past 7 days, 46% increase)
Due to rising rates of new cases and an increase in identified COVID-19 outbreaks locally, SMCHD encourages community members to review their personal risks for severe COVID-19 infection and recommends the following protective actions:
Everyone age 5 and older should get and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines for best protection from severe illness and to help protect others in our community. Those with compromised immune systems as well as adults age 50 and older are encouraged to get a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, available SMCHD vaccine clinic dates, or to make an appointment, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are also available through primary care offices and local pharmacies.
Testing continues to be a key strategy in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. For more information on SMCHD testing, including hours of operation for PCR testing and pick-up information for at-home test kits, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-testing.
SMCHD recommends that community members age 2 and older wear well-fitted, more effective mask options when in crowded public indoor settings. More effective mask options include N95 masks, KN95 masks, or double-masking with medical grade surgical masks. Masking is especially important for those who may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors and those with chronic medical illnesses. Higher-risk workers, including those in healthcare settings, first responders, and those exposed to high volumes of community members in indoor settings, such as grocery stores and food service facilities, should consider masking throughout their workshifts. St. Mary’s County residents may pick up free K95 masks from the St. Mary’s County Libraries, while supplies last.
“Fortunately, COVID-19 burden on the region’s health care systems still remains low. However, the recent and persistent rise in local COVID-19 case numbers should prompt our community members to evaluate their personal risk for severe COVID illness and take protective actions,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “I encourage our residents to consider more effective masking in crowded indoor places, replenish their supply of COVID-19 test kits, get up-to-date with their COVID vaccination, and speak with their personal doctor about ways to access COVID-19 treatment should it be needed.”
For local updates and information on COVID-19, please visit smchd.org/coronavirus. Community members may view up-to-date, local COVID-19 data at smchd.org/covid-19-data.