As workers return to Anne Arundel Co. office buildings, officials encourage COVID-19 vaccination

Workers in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, returned to their offices Tuesday prior to county buildings opening to the public July 19 — while the county’s health officer reinforced messages about the importance of vaccinations and, for the unvaccinated, precautions they should take.

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant represents an increasing portion of COVID cases in Maryland,
Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said at a Tuesday briefing.

The Delta variant spreads faster and causes more severe disease than the initial virus or UK variant, and is among “variants of concern,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“What we see is that when people get vaccinated, their chances of hospitalization go down by 94% by getting both doses of the shot. That is amazing, that is impressive,” Kalyanaraman said, adding that over 90% of the COVID cases in Maryland are in people who are not vaccinated.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s spokesman, Michael Ricci, said in June 2021, all Maryland deaths occurred in unvaccinated people. Ninety-five percent of new coronavirus cases in Maryland occurred in unvaccinated people, and 93% of new hospitalizations in the state occurred in those who weren’t vaccinated, he said.

“Nationally, almost every death from COVID in the past few months has been in people who are not totally vaccinated,” Kalyanaraman said.

Individuals who are not vaccinated, Kalyanaraman said, should wear masks while indoors in public spaces.

“That’s particularly true for our younger folks in the county. We’ve seen that 53% of 12- to 17-year-olds got at least one shot, 51% for 18- to 24-year-olds,” Kalyanaraman said.

COVID vaccinations will be available daily through July and August at four schools:

  • Mondays: Central Middle.
  • Tuesdays: Marley Middle.
  • Wednesdays: Glendale Middle.
  • Thursdays: Annapolis Middle.

“We’ll also be doing something new: We’ll be offering required 7th grade vaccine for meningococcal and the T-Dap vaccine, because we know that at the start of every year there’s a group of students who don’t have their vaccines and can’t come back until they get those,” Kalyanaraman said.

You can find a list of required vaccinations for children to attend Maryland schools on the Department of Health website.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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