Coronavirus

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Nearly 19 percent of Frederick County’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 are among residents of long-term care facilities.

The Maryland Department of Health released weekly data Wednesday on the number of cases and deaths among long-term care residents and staff. However, the data for the county only reflects facilities with active cases of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

This means Frederick Health and Rehabilitation Center, the site of the first outbreak in the county, and Heartfields Assisted Living are no longer listed on the state health department’s website.

Including the two facilities that were removed from the list, there have been 300 cases of COVID-19 among residents of nursing homes and 192 cases in staff, although it is not clear if all staff members are residents of Frederick County.

Including the deaths previously reported at those two facilities, a total of 75 residents, and one staff member who worked at Heartfields, have died from COVID-19.

That means roughly 78 percent of Frederick County’s COVID-19 deaths are residents of nursing homes.

Across Maryland, the percentage is lower, with nursing home residents accounting for approximately 56 percent of deaths. However, it is not clear if the total number of state long-term care facility deaths include deaths from nursing homes that no longer have active cases.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that the state will provide 20,000 tests a week to 227 nursing homes in the state, according to a press release.

The governor also announced that more than 33,000 swabs and 2,000 viral transport media will be sent to local jurisdictions. Another 10,000 tests will be going to local jurisdictions, with about 4,500 going to VEIP station and community-based testing sites. Another 6,000 will go to local health departments, depending on population, according to the press release.

Local health officials can then request more from the state.

On Wednesday, the Frederick County Health Department reported three additional deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total death toll in the county to 96. Approximately 6 percent of Frederick County residents diagnosed with the disease have died.

The three new deaths are a man in his 90s, a woman in her 90s and a woman in her 80s, said Rissah Watkins, director of assessment, planning and communications for the Frederick County Health Department.

That does not necessarily mean the mortality rate is 6 percent, as testing limitations early on meant that many with mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 went untested.

Frederick County now has 1,581 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 874 people have been released from isolation.

In the state, approximately 4.7 percent of residents diagnosed with the disease have died. The Maryland Department of Health announced an additional 41 deaths Wednesday morning, bringing the state death toll to 2,004.

Confirmed cases of the disease are now at 42,323, an increase of 777. Wednesday’s increase was about 1,000 fewer than what was reported on Tuesday.

The number of cases is likely to increase as the state and other private health care providers begin to offer tests to those who believe they were exposed to someone with COVID-19 regardless of symptoms.

Hospitalizations also decreased, dropping another 11. That does not necessarily mean no one is being admitted to the hospital. The number of new hospitalizations increased by nearly 200.

However, both acute care and intensive care numbers were down Wednesday, with 539 intensive care patients due to COVID-19 and 871 acute care patients.

In Frederick, hospitalizations increased by three.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

(3) comments

bosco

Time to reopen. The curve has been flattened. For the majority of the population, coronavirus is a non-event or similar to the seasonal flu. Continuing lockdowns are only delaying our arrival at herd immunity and are destroying the economy.

Is it politicized? Of course, it's an election year and Trump is the incumbent. Why is the media ignoring red states that are successfully reopening after they predicted that those governors would have blood on their hands and were setting up for human sacrifice?

User1

Such misleading terminology. “The number of cases have increased dramatically”. If there is more testing being done then of course there would be more cases of people having the virus in their system...and not being active! And deaths in nursing home are being seriously undercounted. Why does Homewood in Frederick show only 8 deaths of residents when we just got a call saying there are now 13 residents that died. You can make the figures do anything you want them to.

phydeaux994

Why do you say the virus isn’t active? That’s what the test is for, active cases. The antibody test is for cases no longer active.

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