Health care workers in Maryland’s Montgomery County are sending residents a recommendation: Go back to masks.
In the last week, the county health department reported a spike in new COVID-19 cases and a surge in local hospitalization rates. The combination has caused the county to move from a “medium” to “high” community transmission status.
“We might be tired of COVID,” the health department tweeted to residents Tuesday. “But, COVID isn’t tired of us.”
As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 dashboard reported around 258 cases per 100,000 residents in Montgomery County.
In the last seven days, county health workers say 10% of hospital beds are now occupied by someone confirmed as having the illness.
Montgomery County is the largest county in Maryland, and the surge there may an early indicator of things to come statewide.
The CDC’s website still shows Montgomery County in the “medium” category. But that could change as the agency updates its own data every Thursday.
When a county reaches “high” status, health workers recommend residents wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. They should also update COVID-19 shots and seek testing if symptoms appear.
Across the U.S., hospitals are steadily increasing in COVID-19 patients, with an average of over 43,000 a day. Back in January, hospitals saw an average of 140,000 people per day.
Nationwide, the number of people hospitalized and dying due to COVID has been rising in the summer months.
The U.S. is seeing an average of around 430 people dying daily, the highest since early May.
However deaths remains far below levels seen during the Winter surge.