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

Just three weeks after Frederick County celebrated its first day with zero hospitalizations, local cases and hospitalizations are gradually increasing once again.

On June 23, the seven-day positivity rate in Frederick County was 0.31 percent. But the figure had quadrupled to 1.24 percent on Thursday. The local rate is also higher than that of the state’s, which was standing at 1.14 percent.

Frederick County reported seven new cases Thursday, matching the highest daily count of July. Daily new cases never hit higher than five in June.

But these figures shouldn’t be cause for too much concern, said Rissah Watkins, the director of planning, assessment and communication at the Frederick County Health Department. The Health Department has been expecting cases to creep back up, and they expect that trend to continue into the fall, said Watkins.

The upward trend in cases isn’t unique to the county, she added, as it is happening nationwide.

Watkins said what’s most important is that the hospitalizations and deaths don’t increase along with the cases and positivity rate.

“We’re all excited to have things back open and to resume a bit more of normal life, but we are expecting cases to continue to increase, which as long as hospitalizations and deaths don’t increase — that may become more of a new normal,” Watkins said.

In the past week, Frederick County has experienced zero deaths. There were two people hospitalized with the virus as of Wednesday, the most recent date for which data was available.

Watkins attributed some of the increase in cases to the circulation of the Delta variant across the country, state and county. But even though cases are rising, the community can still mitigate its effects, Watkins said, simply by getting vaccinated.

“So we do have more work to do in order to protect our own community. It is not over,” Watkins said. “Vaccinations are still the best choice.”

With school starting back up next month, Watkins reiterated the importance of the quarantine process. If a person is exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, unless they are vaccinated and are experiencing no symptoms or tested positive for the virus within the last 90 days, they need to quarantine for at least seven days, she said.

She noted how this could be disruptive — considering people are going back to work and school in-person — but she said that only emphasizes the importance of getting vaccinated in this process, she said.

This is especially true as vaccines for younger populations become available.

“We still have some power in the situation,” Watkins said.

Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel

(37) comments


If you have not gotten vaccinated by now, barring any medical reason not to, YOU ARE STUPID. It’s that simple, just as not wearing a mask and social distancing when appropriate, IS STUPID. The Surgeon General said yesterday that almost every death now from COVID-19 was avoidable and that the demographic has changed. It’s now younger people, 20-40, getting sick the most. And it’s overwhelmingly the unvaccinated.


While I agree, it's misleading to say the virus is affecting 20-40 year old's now more. It's simply because the older population is fully vaccinated, most hold outs are in the 20-40 range so naturally they make up majority of people getting sick.

Greg F

Not misleading at all, in fact it is exactly right.


And vaccinations have been available for 20-40 for long enough that they should have been vaccinated before the current rebound began


The delta variant is much more virulent to 20 - 40 year olds than the original strains.


No proof of that.


How is it the wrong impression if now more people between 20 and 40 are becoming infected while more people over 40 are vaccinated?


Because it gives the impression strain "x" of this virus is somehow more dangerous to younger people than older people.


According to the Surgeon General, it is. He also said that unlike the original COVID-19 which started with flu like symptoms this strain hits hard immediately. I just repeated what he said, “the demographics have changed”.

Greg F

It is more dangerous to stupid people, how about that. There evidently are more stupid 20-40yr olds too.


@phydeaux, @gregf. The demographics have changed because the older population is mostly vaccinated, not because the virus is particularly more dangerous to younger people. Correlation doesn't equal causation in this case. The reason the virus "hits hard immediately" with this strain is because it's running into a more robust immune system of 20-40 year old's than of 70 and 80 year old's. So yes, phydeaux's statement is misleading.


I don’t see that. I think it’s about who’s at most threat now. I would think suffocating to death would be uncomfortable if not dangerous to anyone even if you survive.


The Surgeon General didn’t give a reason why the demographics had changed. So you both could be right. I didn’t mean to start a freakin’ argument. Sheesh!!!! You can’t win here, always some nit picker over nothing.


Since the court has forced the state to continue to pay the extra $300 unemployment, that extra money should be discontinued for anyone receiving aid but is not vaccinated. That should go for any public aid. Unless there is a legitimate medical reason to not get a vaccination everyone of age should get it. If one is unwilling to protect society be being vaccinated, then society (tax payers) owes you nothing.


👍👍👍 md1756! Time to stop enabling poor behavior. Get vaccinated or this thing will continue to mutate, potentially into something that the current vaccines may offer little protection to. Almost every of these hospitalizations and deaths now could have been prevented.




Wouldn’t that be federal enforcement? I don’t think you’ll get much GOP support for that idea. But everyone that can should be vaccinated.

Greg F

It’s not asking anyone directly to get vaccinated….only rewarding decent behavior.


MD; can we do the same with tax breaks? No deductions unless you show you are vaccinated?

Greg F

Good idea. No soup for them.




“…the community can still mitigate its effects, Watkins said, simply by getting vaccinated.”


Get vaccinated everyone! Be safe yourself and be safe for others. You hardly feel the prick.


Tell the people not vaccinated, this is not political, it is to save lives.


They’ve been told. There’s just no getting past their special Xray vision that detects the horns on our heads no one else can see.


LA county just imposed mask mandates for everyone, I don't really think people will follow that rule as there is a vaccine easily available to all now. I'm vaccinated, and I know for sure if they try to mandate masks again here I'm not wearing one. Unfortunately as we head into fall and winter, I think vaccine passports to do certain things (shop, go to sporting events, concerts, travel, etc.) will be needed.

Greg F

This does not have to happen. It's the same bunch of nitwits that refuse to use common sense and that only care about themselves that still also believe in stolen elections, deny climate change while being burned y record fires, flooded by record rains, boiled by record heat, and ruined by record drought. Of course, red states lead the way in the stupidity parade, while blue states will see increases, but not to that degree. We now get to play in the arena of new and worse variants that could wipe out any progress with the petri dish of antivaxxers and knuckle-headed nutters until someone bashes them upside the head with some sense.


Those of us fully vaccinated can look on the stupidity. Most of them are Republicans. Going to be fewer Republicans in 2022.


Evolution in more ways than one.


The headline, "COVID cases gradually increasing in county, but trend reflects nationwide stats" uses the word, but, as though the rising trend is okay. "And" would be a better choice.


[thumbup]bpsws That “but” drew my attention to the article. Like it’s a “Hey, we’re keeping up!” or “If we all go, so does everybody!” No worries. We’re just average. 😀




i agree get vaccinated,i do not think the American people will tolerate another lock long as we have the two stooges in Washington supposedly running the country do not protect our borders,we will have more cases of covid.


Come on Leonard... Really, look where the cases are and get over your delusions.

Greg F

Lenny…your idiot party stooges are still rambling on about stolen elections. They had no plan during trump’s reign and still have none pursuing his supposed reinstatement next month. Go away lemming.


Lenny. Racist much?


Get vaccinated. Get your friends and family vaccinated. It's our best chance to keep hospitalizations and deaths low. Anyone who can get vaccinated, should. And when the flu shot is available, get that too. It's a miracle we have vaccines. Use them.

Welcome to the discussion.

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