Calvert County has seen a concerning jump in COVID cases this month. During the 1st week of July, 12 cases were diagnosed. During the 3rd week of the month, 34 cases were diagnosed. This past week, 101 cases were diagnosed. We now have a case rate of 109/100,0000 residents, which puts us in the High Transmission category as defined by the CDC. The Delta variant, which is currently responsible for >80% of COVID infections in Maryland, is 5-times more transmissible than the flu and more than twice of contagious as the original strain of COVID.
The positivity rate increased from 2.8% to 6.7% over the past week. Positivity rates in all age groups below 65 years-old are above the 5% threshold. This verifies widespread community transmission. The positivity rate is highest among high school-aged residents, clocking in at a very concerning 13.5%. Cases among elementary and middle school students have also jumped. If this trend continues through August, it will impact classroom learning, sports, and other extracurricular activities due to the number of students who will need to quarantine. Vaccinated students are less likely to get infected and do not need to quarantine if they have contact with an infected classmate.
We have 40,000 unvaccinated people in Calvert. If we generously estimate that 25% of them have already been infected and have sustained immunity, that leaves 30,000 susceptible individuals. Unless people's behaviors change, including willingness to be vaccinated, adjusting their social interactions, and mask wearing, this is shaping up to be a difficult few months ahead.
It is important to mention that infection from a previous strain of COVID is not fully protective against the Delta variant. Infectious disease doctors strongly recommend that people who contracted COVID in the past should boost their immunity with vaccination.
We encourage everyone eligible for vaccination to consider contacting their primary care provider or the Health Department to arrange their first dose. Vaccines continue to be extremely effective against infection and the serious health complications that have harmed so many Americans. Until you are fully vaccinated, please avoid large gatherings and have your face covering available when you are indoors with people who don’t live in your household.
Vaccines can be scheduled with Health Department nurses at https://www.calvertcountycovid19.com/vaccination