Gov. Larry Hogan announced protocols for the state’s assisted living facilities as they begin to reopen and allow limited visitors.
According to a news release Friday, those facilities must require visitors to wear face coverings and social distance. They must also maintain proper supplies of personal protective equipment and screen all residents for coronavirus symptoms on a daily basis.
Facilities can lessen restrictions put in place because of COVID-19 and allow visitors if they haven’t had any positive cases in the last two weeks, or if there has been no outbreak, which is defined as at least one positive case among staff members or residents.
Crucial trends for the novel coronavirus continued to drop as of Friday morning, as the state health department reported a 4.92 percent positivity rate over the last seven days.
Hospitalizations due to the coronavirus dropped to less than 500 for the first time in 12 weeks, according to a news release. They have dropped by more than 58 percent since June 1.
According to county health department data, the seven-day positivity rate countywide is 4.37 percent. Frederick County has reported a lower positivity rate than the state since June 17, according to the data.
Hogan and County Executive Jan Gardner have stated that although the data is trending in the right direction, Marylanders should continue to wear masks in many businesses and social distance, among other precautions.
“While we are unfortunately seeing rising case numbers in states across the country, here in Maryland, all of the key health metrics continue to trend in a very positive direction,” Hogan said in a prepared statement. “But the fight against this virus is far from over ... We simply cannot afford to stop being vigilant and cautious. Our long-term recovery can only be effective if all Marylanders continue exercising personal responsibility.”
Hogan has also set a goal for all counties to test at least 10 percent of their populations, given expanded testing capabilities statewide. Frederick County has currently tested 9.1 percent of its population, according to state health department data.
As of Friday morning, 3,015 people have died from the coronavirus across the state, with 109 of those being from Frederick County, according to state and local data.
Testing is now available at several locations countywide, including public clinics which recently opened at the following locations:
- Thursdays from 5-7 p.m. at the Railroad Crossing parking lot
- Fridays from 5-7 p.m. at the town’s municipal building
- Tuesdays from 12-2:30 p.m. at the Seton Center
- Saturday, June 27 from 1-3 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, 101 W. All Saint Streets
Face coverings and social distancing are required at those locations.