Coronavirus

Frederick County’s coronavirus case rate continued trending downward over the weekend, bolstering signs that infections caused by the pandemic’s most recent wave — powered by the highly contagious omicron variant — have peaked locally.

The county logged 133 new cases on Sunday, a far cry from the record 868 new cases it added on Jan. 12. As of Friday, the last day for which data was available on the county’s COVID-19 data tracker, the local case rate sat at 98.78 per 100,000 residents, a dramatic drop since the crest of 246.67 per 100,000 on Jan. 8.

Still, transmission levels remain above where they stood before omicron began circulating in the community last month. At the end of November, the county was adding fewer than 100 cases per day, and its case rate stood at 22.02 per 100,000.

Positivity levels increased slightly from Friday, though they remain below measures seen earlier this month, when they peaked at 33.85 percent. Sunday’s rate sat at 23.75 percent, up from 22.53 percent on Friday.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have also been decreasing in Frederick County. As of Sunday morning, Frederick Health Hospital was treating 87 people diagnosed with the virus, a drop from 92 on Saturday and nearly 30 fewer than the hospital had been treating on Jan. 17.

Though the county recorded no new deaths from the virus on Sunday, it saw an increase in this metric last week, when it recorded 16 new deaths between Jan. 17 and Friday. At Thursday’s Board of Health meeting, county Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer explained that though omicron may trend toward causing less severe illnesses, because it is so infectious, it has still filled hospitals with unprecedented numbers of patients.

“A smaller percentage of a bigger number is still a big number,” she said at the meeting.

Frederick Health Hospital remained under crisis standards of care as of Sunday, a shift it made earlier this month to cope with dramatic levels of patients and staffing shortages. Taking this step allowed the hospital the flexibility to channel its limited resources toward those with the highest levels of need.

Also at Thursday’s health board meeting, Frederick Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kathy Weishaar shared that the health system is currently developing a referral system for the distribution of Evusheld — an injectable medication meant to prevent severely immunocompromised patients from getting COVID-19.

Similar to the process for monoclonal antibody therapy, Weishaar said patients will be referred for the treatment through their care providers. Since the supply of the medication remains limited, Frederick Health will be prioritizing those with the highest level of need for the treatment, Weishaar said.

“So, it’s taking the pool of immunocompromised and then determining who’s most severely immunocompromised and then trying to direct the resources there,” she said, “and then hopefully the supply of that medication will increase at some point and we could cast a broader net, a wider net at that point.”

Oral therapeutics effective as treatment for COVID-19 — Molnupiravir and Paxlovid — are also now available at two Walgreens in Frederick, Brookmyer said at Thursday’s meeting. She added that the county is still waiting for more information from the state about when it will make KN95 and N95 masks available for mass distribution at local health departments.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier

(28) comments

AOC

"...long Covid, with impaired brain function." It all makes sense now: POTUS has long COVID. Guess he did not hide out long enough in the basement.

Hayduke2

Again, such mature and thoughtful comments. Do better.

EZRider

How about today's quote from the scarecrow when asked a question by the press about inflation:

"What a stupid son of a b*itch". Joe Biden. President of the United States.

Ranks right up there with:

"Let's go Brandon, I agree"

threecents

Today's paper reported 118 more Covid deaths in MD, including 6 in Frederick. I guess that is over a 2-day period, since it is over the weekend. We are down to 11 Covid patients in the FHH ICU. Those numbers are still ridiculously high, and schools back in session could slow the recovery some. For those thinking that they wouldn't mind getting Omicron now to get it over with, keep in mind that 10% of those that get Covid - including mild cases - get long Covid, with impaired brain function and debilitating fatigue over 12 weeks after diagnosis. Also, the very effective Paxlovid pills and home rapid tests will soon be widely available. So things are still bad right now, but projections are good for the time being. To quote Dr. Leana Wen, "Now is not the time to give up now on masking or other commonsense measures to avoid infection. Keeping Omicron out of your body is still in your best interest and the interests of those around you."

EZRider

I agree with people masking up to keep omicron out of THEIR body or wearing a mask as long as they feel the need, but as a vaxxed and boosted person, I have an issue with requiring me to mask up to protect those who refuse to get vaccinated. That being said, I mask up when required.

Greg F

Um...what the f-oxtrot....you don't seem to get it through that thick skull of yours that even vaccinated/boosted people can be carriers and exhale as much toxic stew from their mouth and nose as you write on here regularly. You masking up prevents that viral load from getting to others. One mask on the receiver stops a lot, while one on the giving end stops almost all of it from escaping. How is it you just cannot figure that out?

bnick467

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot does not care about others. He/she/it only cares about itself.

EZRider

Hey, GregF, haven't I repeatedly said here that I wear a mask when required? How is it that you seem to ignore that fact?

EZRider

Interesting conclusion, bnick. I do indeed have a hard time garnering much sympathy for people who refuse to get vaccinated. I do, however, and as I have stated many times, wear a mask when required.

Question for you, bnick, do you drive 10 mph to protect those who refuse to wear a seatbelt?

Hayduke2

WFT lives by the " me only, me first" mantra

EZRider

How so, hay, when I have stated many times I am vaxxed, boosted, and wear a mask when required. Please explain.

Are you saying I should also wear a mask when it's not required, such as outdoors or in the car by myself?

Or do you just like being a troll?

Hayduke2

WFT - numerous post have questioned the need for masks and said they don't work. Is it not logical that one questions your committment to mask wearing, since you've also indicated that you don't care about others.

EZRider

I've never said masks don't work, hay. Prove your assertion.

So in your book, being vaxxed, boosted, and wearing a mask when required is a me first attitude. Do you wear a mask when it's not required?

Vaxxed, Boosted, and Wear A Mask When Required.

threecents

Illustrating the need for mandates

veritas

For some people, when it comes to Covid, every silver lining has a cloud.

EZRider

I love your post, veritas. I know someone who is able to find the cloud around every silver lining. A Debbie Downer. We usually avoid interacting with her since she can suck the life energy right out of us.

Here's today's silver lining right out of the FNP:

"In the U.S., cases have crested and are dropping rapidly, following a pattern seen in Britain and South Africa, with researchers projecting a period of low spread in many countries by the end of March. Though U.S. deaths — now at 2,000 each day — are still rising, new hospital admissions have started to fall, and a drop in deaths is expected to follow."

Boomer631B

as predicted...

EZRider

Yup. All we had to do was follow the data from South Africa and the UK.

Hayduke2

Did that data you so often mention include the sharp rise in deaths and hospitalizations?

EZRider

You tell me.

Hayduke2

Hmmm, you are the one who said the data predicted what is currently happening so I asked you a logical question, which you refuse to or can't answer.

EZRider

Well, the data that I've seen from south africa does not show any sharp rise in deaths or hospitalizations.

Do you wear a mask when it's not required?

gabrielshorn2013

Here you go w.t.f.. The blue lines are the daily tallies of deaths, the red line is the 7-day moving average of deaths. Hospitalizations are now heading down, and hopefully the number of deaths will soon follow.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailydeaths

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailydeaths_newhospitaladmissions

EZRider

Thanks, gabe. [thumbup]

threecents

Yes, All the experts predicted a surge in cases after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day, and that cases would go down at the end of January.

gabrielshorn2013

Absolutely correct three. They also predicted a lagging hospitalization peak, and a lagging death peak after that. While this is good news today, we still have a lot of bad news yet to come...until (if or when) the next variant appears.

threecents

Yet a certain poster will only wear masks when required - because he cares more about being owned by the libs than life and death.

gabrielshorn2013

I think they mean that when indoors around other people, three. I don't think they meant "whenever someone makes me".

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