Maryland reported its lowest daily positivity rate in more than eight weeks Saturday as Frederick County marked a fourth consecutive day with no coronavirus deaths.

Still, the state tallied 939 new cases overnight, 16 of which were in Frederick County. Maryland’s seven-day rolling positivity rate notched slightly downward to 3.7 percent, half a percent higher than the county’s Saturday rate.

Since the pandemic began, 311 county residents have died of the virus. No new deaths were reported here Saturday, but Maryland reported 20 — bringing the statewide total to 8,575.

With the state’s metrics steadily improving and more than 2 million Marylanders fully vaccinated, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Saturday that the state’s mass vaccination sites would open up for direct appointment scheduling. The pre-registration system has been closed, he wrote in a statement, and all 831,872 pre-registrants have been offered appointments.

“We are in a new phase of our vaccination efforts, where we are focused on making sure no arm is left behind,” Hogan said in the statement. “Making an appointment to get vaccinated is easier than ever, or you can now just walk up or drive through most of our sites.”

Earlier this week, Hogan eased key virus restrictions, declaring all Marylanders — regardless of their vaccination status — were free to go maskless in nearly all outdoor settings.

Plus, Saturday marked the first day bars and restaurants across the state were able to resume standing service in outdoor settings with no limits placed on capacity.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, meanwhile, told the News-Post in an emailed statement Wednesday that she would continue to encourage people who are not vaccinated to wear masks outdoors when they can't physically distance.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!