COVID-19 positivity levels are higher in Frederick County than they have been in three months.

The local seven-day average positivity rate was 9.38% as of Friday, the last day for which data was available on the Frederick County Health Department’s coronavirus dashboard. This measure is a comparison of the total number of coronavirus tests administered and the number of positive tests reported.

The last time the positivity level was this high in Frederick County was Feb. 9, when it stood at 9.66%. At the time, cases were rapidly dropping locally and statewide after surging in December and January due to the extremely contagious omicron variant of COVID-19.

Coronavirus positivity rates bottomed out at 2.17% on March 14 in Frederick County and have since been gradually increasing.

Local numbers remain higher than state measures. On Friday, Maryland’s overall positivity rate was 5.99%.

Omicron remains the predominant strain circulating locally, Frederick County Health Department spokeswoman Rissah Watkins said, with the offshoot BA.2.12.1 slowly becoming more prevalent.

This omicron “subtype” is highly infectious, even more so than its predecessor. But Watkins said people testing positive have had milder cases of the disease than what was typical of cases associated with the delta variant.

With pollen levels so high this time of year, many people who think they’re experiencing typical allergy symptoms may actually have COVID-19 and be spreading it, Watkins said.

“It’s still important to test, so that you can isolate and reduce the spread, and also get treatment early if needed,” she wrote in an email. She encouraged people who test positive to report their results to

Even as positivity levels have increased the past three months, local hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID-19 have remained relatively low, according to county data.

As of Sunday, the last day for which data was available, six people were hospitalized with COVID-19. None were being treated in the intensive care unit.

The highest that COVID-19 hospitalizations have been since dropping quickly through February was 16 people hospitalized with the virus on March 11, according to county data.

Nobody has died because of the virus so far this month. Seven people died from COVID-19 last month.

It’s up to each person to decide the level of precaution to take against COVID-19, Watkins said. This judgment should be based on their medical circumstances and how much they’d like to keep avoiding contracting the virus, she said.

Free at-home test kits and masks remain available at all Frederick County public libraries, Watkins wrote in an email. She encouraged people to talk to their health care providers if they have questions about their health risks or needs.

Close to 88% of Frederick County residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data displayed on the local dashboard Monday. Almost 79% of the county is fully vaccinated.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier

(16) comments


Regardless of the high positivity rate, the numbers of hospitalizations are not skyrocketing and it's been a long time since the ICUs were full. Proof that the vaccines and therapeutics are working. The curve has been flattened and stomped on.

Masks? Those who are at risk should wear an N95 to protect themselves - not a face diaper but an N95.


I do.




Face diaper, eyeroll.


People out here in Frederick County are too stupid to do the right things to keep covid-19 down. We might as well shoot for 20% positivity rate before it goes down. Who will care if someone dies from this disease. Nobody cares and nobody wants to care.


I wouldn't say that... though I would think it.

Greg F

Who didn’t expect this? Nobody is wearing a mask even at doctor offices I’ve seen.


Yup, most of my co-workers haven't masked for the last couple of months.


If they are not at risk and are vaccinated, why should they? Don't the vaccines work?


No, not completely with the new variants Whiskey. It makes it much less serious but you can still pass it on to unvaccinated people who could die. Why do I have to keep teaching you this stuff?


How many times do I have to explain that (1) No vaccine is 100% protective, (2) Most vaccines do not produce sterilizing immunity, so even protected people can get infected and spread infectious agents, (3) Immunocompromised people, including those with cancer and diabetes, are less protected by vaccines, (4) Masks and vaccines help protect the wearers and those around them, and (5) There are animal reservoirs of Covid, so it would probably not going away.


There are still about 5 Covid deaths/day in Maryland and about 5 people hospitalized in Frederick. I don't know what percentage are vaccinated and boosted.


And, phydeaux, haven't I repeatedly advocated for those who are vulnerable to protect themselves by wearing a mask - and an N95 not a face diaper? It's up to them to protect themselves and not to depend on others.


WT, I would respect you a lot more if you would just admit that you find it too much trouble to protect those who are more vulnerable. I think that is a reasonable position, given mask fatigue and the relatively low number of deaths.


I don't wear a mask to protect me. I wear a mask to protect others. You can have the virus for up to 2 weeks before showing symptoms and can spread it to others. I would not be able to live with myself if I didn't do everything I could to love others as I love myself, just like Jesus said we should. I don't think wearing a mask is too much of a sacrifice to be a good Christian and protect my fellow man.


threecents say "WT, I would respect you a lot more if you would just admit that you find it too much trouble to protect those who are more vulnerable. I think that is a reasonable position, given mask fatigue and the relatively low number of deaths"

OK threecents, here you go. Given the low death rates, low ICU cases, people who still refuse to get vaccinated, and the fact that the vaccines and therapeutics are working, I find it annoying, as a vaccinated American who masks when required, to continue to mask up when not required to protect those around me who may be at risk. Those who are at risk should wear an N95 to protect themselves. When mask mandates do not carry a standard for the type of mask, a face diaper or a cowboy bandanna will meet the requirements and is only "mask theater".

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