ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Most Marylanders who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 went to family gatherings, house parties and outdoor events, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday.

Nearly half of those who were interviewed by contact tracers tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a family gathering, Hogan said during a news conference.

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“The number one activity of those who have tested positive recently, reported by a staggering 44 percent, nearly half of all those who were interviewed by contact tracers, or just tested positive, was attending family gatherings,” the governor said.

Nearly one in four reported attending house parties prior to testing positive for COVID-19, while 21 percent said they had attended outdoor events.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Hogan said Marylanders must still remain vigilant while around family and at higher-risk locations like shopping at retail stores, dining outdoors at a restaurant and dining indoors at a restaurant.

“Each of us has to be cautious and vigilant,” the governor said. “We can’t afford to let our guard down.”

“Even I am guilty of this. I had my daughters and son-in-laws and four grandkids over sitting in a room, watching movies with the kids without masks,” the governor told reporters. “…Not thinking that my granddaughter’s going to camp, the son-in-laws are going to work and we could have been spreading the virus,” he added.

According to data, for all the positive cases of COVID-19 recently reported, the largest impacted group of people was healthcare workers at 25 percent.

 

“These folks are obviously the heroes and are on the frontlines every day in a very risky job,” Hogan said.

Last weekend, Dr. Joseph Costa, who headed critical care at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center died from the virus. Mercy announced Wednesday they are renaming their Intensive Care Unit on his honor. Here is the hospital’s full statement:

“Today, President & CEO David N. Maine, on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy and Board of Trustees, announced the hospital will name Mercy Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit in honor of Joseph J. Costa, M.D. Please consider a gift to the Joseph J. Costa, M.D., Memorial Fund.

Dr. Joseph Costa, Chief, Division of Critical Care, and longtime Mercy physician, colleague and friend, represented the true spirit of our institution. With a deep commitment to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, he dedicated his life and career to caring for the sickest patients of Baltimore and offering comfort to their families and loved ones. In memory of Dr. Costa, and as a tribute to his selfless compassion, The Joseph J. Costa, M.D., Memorial Fund has been established to name Mercy’s Intensive Care Unit in his honor and to provide continued support in the care of our patients.”

The state reported over 750 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours as the total case count jumped past 86,000 on Wednesday.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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