Confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed 1,500 in Frederick County on Monday.
The county added an additional 26 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Frederick County Health Department, bringing the total in the county to 1,503.
This means about 0.6 percent of the county’s residents, or roughly six out of 1,000 residents, have received a positive test result for the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
Slightly more than half of the confirmed cases in Frederick County have now been released from isolation.
But as cases rose in the county and across the state, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continued to drop as the number of patients in intensive care reached a 19-day low.
While hospitalizations in the state dropped overall, in Frederick County they rose by four, a four-day high.
Frederick County now has 106 hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Numbers are not broken down by intensive care and acute care.
As of 10:20 a.m. Monday, the Maryland Department of Health reported there were 555 COVID-19 patients receiving intensive care — the lowest since April 28, when there were 551 patients.
With the numbers of intensive care patients dropping, as well as those in acute care, current hospitalizations reached their lowest in 23 days. There were 1,447 people currently hospitalized as of Monday morning. The numbers had not dropped below 1,450 since April 25.
Current hospitalizations and intensive care patients are two measures that the state and counties look at to determine if the state is entering a deceleration phase of the pandemic, said Dr. Randall Culpepper, deputy health officer with the Frederick County Health Department. Deaths related to COVID-19 are also considered.
“Although the numbers for each of these metrics are low on a daily basis at the county level, we are beginning to see a persistent decline across all three metrics, likely indicating the county is in the early phase of deceleration,” Culpepper said in an email.
The drop in hospitalizations is likely due to the stay-at-home order put in place by Gov. Larry Hogan on March 31, as well as other measures such as using physical distancing, wearing personal protective equipment and teleworking, Culpepper said.
While Hogan lifted the stay-at-home order on Friday, it will take more than two days to determine how the first stage of the Roadmap to Recovery will affect the COVID-19 situation in Maryland.
Not all jurisdictions followed Hogan’s plan. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner issued a modified reopening plan, including delays to when houses of worship and personal services may reopen.
Others like Howard County allowed retail to open but only for curbside delivery instead of at 50 percent capacity as Hogan announced.
There was a smaller increase in the number of deaths, with 27 new deaths reported in the state. New reported deaths have fluctuated throughout May, with lows of 26 on May 3 and 28 on May 10. However, after a dip, the numbers tended to rise back up.
At this point, there have been more than 3.5-times as many deaths due to COVID-19 in two months than there were roadway fatalities in 2019, according to the most recent data available from the Maryland Department of Transportation.
Frederick County reported two additional deaths Monday — a woman in her 60s and a man in his 80s.
Overall, confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 959 in Maryland, slightly higher than Sunday’s numbers. Maryland is now just shy of 40,000 cases of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 and will likely exceed that amount by Tuesday.
However, the state numbers are likely lower than reality as county health departments report slightly higher numbers than the Maryland Department of Health does.
This includes the Frederick County Health Department, which consistently reports higher case and death counts than the state. This is in part due to differences in how deaths are reported, with the state health department waiting for a full death certificate, which can take longer.
Numbers like those seen Monday will likely continue if people follow the steps issued by the governor and the health department, Culpepper said. This includes using face coverings, teleworking and physical distancing.
“Now is not the time to drop our guard and begin those activities that are likely to cause outbreaks and escalate the pandemic again in our region,” Culpepper said in an email.