ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland reported Tuesday 771 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, as well as eight additional deaths. Thirty-three more people were also hospitalized because of the virus.

While the positivity rate remained nearly flat in the state, the case counts are at a record in other parts of the country. Gov. Hogan said the pandemic is far from over and Marylanders can’t let their guard down.

“I’m encouraged that we’re better than most states in America,” the governor said. “On the other hand, this thing is by new means behind us. We’re watching it every single day.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Health experts like Chief Medical Information Officer for LifeBridge Health Jonathan Thierman are concerned about the rising numbers, especially as the weather gets colder.

“As the humidity drops, our mucus membranes get dried out and are less protective against viruses penetrating into our system, and the virus itself is hardier and last longer when the weather is cooler,” he said.

As the holiday season approaches, there are continuous calls to limit family gatherings.

“Rather than having 12 guests, even if it’s family means just having your nuclear family,” Thierman said.

He said consider having Thanksgiving and holiday meals outside to try to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Or maybe it’s outside with heaters, and it’s not ideal, but it’s better than not having it at all and it’s much better than having an event where people spread the virus,” Thierman said.

Thierman pointed out there were spikes in cases after the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

He said another spike is likely over the holidays, but that it can be limited by considering alternative styles of celebrating this year.

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.

Stetson Miller

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