BALTIMORE (WJZ) — People lined up at the Baltimore Convention Center to get tested for COVID-19 Wednesday.

Many are concerned about their status because of the alarming recent surge in cases across Maryland.

READ MORE: Reese Scores 18, No. 8 Maryland Women Beat Rutgers 74-59


The Maryland Department of Health reported 1,714 new infections in the past day alone and 16 more deaths.


The positivity rate is now up to 5.6 percent.


The governor has ordered hospitals to plan for a surge in patients and has given them the flexibility to transfer those patients where space is available.


Doctor Thomas Scalea is one of the most recognizable health professionals in the Baltimore area for his work saving lives at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma.

“I think our biggest fear is the unknown. A big pop in cases. We’re up 70 percent across the medical system over a few days,” Dr. Scalea told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “If that’s 70 percent and it stops, that’s one thing. If it’s 70 percent and three days later it’s another 70 percent, it’s really hard to know.”

He said they are using methods learned over decades there to handle the rise in COVID-related hospitalizations. “It’s right patient, right place, right amount of time,” Scalea said.

READ MORE: The University Of Maryland Takes On Virginia Tech At The New Era Pinstripe Bowl

As of Wednesday, 805 people were hospitalized in Maryland, an increase of 44 since Tuesday.

“We’ll do the best we can to make sure that the fewest people die and the fewest people get sick.”

The state also has new restrictions in place: Restaurants have been reduced to 50 percent capacity from 75 percent and Maryland’s travel advisory advises against non-essential visits to most states.


Some communities like Baltimore City and Montgomery County are putting even stricter 25 percent capacity limits on restaurants.

Baltimore City’s restrictions start Thursday at 5 p.m.

“We’ve been following the guidelines to the best of our ability,” Nick Zahirsky, the General Manager of Charles Village Pub in Towson, said.

“It’s imperative. We all want this to end, so I think that’s the only way if we’re all on the same page,” Nick Liberatore, Co-Owner of Lib’s Grill, said.

Scalea said he fears things could get worse.

“It’s wise to be prepared. We need to be ready because this could be worse than the last surge,“ Dr. Scalea said.

MORE NEWS: Northwestern Beats Maryland In Manning’s Coaching Debut

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.